How does one pick their favorite golf course, or their favorite city or favorite restaurant? Well it’s not easy to pick your favorite golf books, either. One way to pick your favorite is to create multiple categories, like we’ve done, and make a couple picks in each. The books listed below would all make great gifts for the serious golf fan and cover a variety of price ranges.
- The Valley Club of Montecito 1928-1998
- Garden City Golf Club: A History 1999
- Sunningdale Golf Club 1900-2000
- Pine Valley Golf Club: A Chronicle. Shelly Warner, 1982.
- The Definitive Guide to The Hotchkin Course – Woodhall Spa. Latham. 2004
- Golf at Merion. 2005
- Prestwick Golf Club A History and Some Records. Shaw. 1932
- The Evolution of the Links at The Royal County Down Golf Club. Latham. 2007
- The Country Club. Curtiss and Heard. 1932
Our favorite club histories all share two things in common. First, they are about world-class golf courses. And second, they all have the power to transport you to the course and really give a feel for what it is like to play there. There is nothing worse to us than a club history that just goes through the minutes of board meetings and tells esoteric facts about the course. All these books deliver on both fronts.
- Following Through by Herbert Warren Wind. 1985
- Down the Fairway by Bobby Jones. 1927
- The Best of Henry Longhurst. 1978
- The Story of American Golf by Herbert Warren Wind. 1948
- Golf Dreams by John Updike. 1996
- Golf on the LMS by Dell Leigh. 1925
What? No Bernard Darwin among great golf writing. Sorry, folks, Darwin is a great writer but we find him a little too dry and serious for us. These five won’t let you down. Wind is the most precise and gripping, Longhurst the wittiest, Updike the most insightful. Jones to this day has some of the best observations about the game and Leigh takes you back to a different era; you can feel what golf was like in an earlier period.
- The Confidential Guide to Golf. Tom Doak. 1996
- Legendary Golf Clubs of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Edgeworth and de St. Jorre. 1999
- Legendary Golf Clubs of the American East. Edgeworth and de St. Jorre. 2003
- Where Golf is Great. James Finegan. 2006
- The Evangelist of Golf. George Bahto. 2002
Maybe we’re simple minded, but we refer to these books more than any other in the library. Who doesn’t like to compare their opinion of a course to Doak’s ratings and strong opinions? The Legendary Golf Clubs books quite literally transport you to these elite and private courses. We’ve raved about these for years and our enthusiasm is still going strong!
- The Greatest Course That Never Was by J. Michael Veron. 2001
- The Greatest Player Who Never Lived by J. Michael Veron. 2000
Veron is not a well-known writer, but none-the-less we find his golf fiction quite good.
Improving Your Game
- Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by Dr. Joseph Rotella
- Zen Golf by Joseph Parent
Both are concise, simple and actually help both in life and golf (is there a difference?)
- Golf: The Badminton Large Paper Limited Edition of 250. Horace Hutchinson. 1890.
- British Golf Link Large Paper Limited Edition of 250. Horace Hutchinson. 1897.
- A Royal and Ancient Game Large Paper Edition of 50. Robert Clark. 1875.
The first time I saw the large paper editions of these books my jaw dropped. Wow! Although all three were published in the nineteenth century, the quality of the bindings, paper, print and illustrations to this day still set the standard. You may need a home equity loan for these three but they are cornerstones collectibles.