Best Selling Golf Books

June 29, 2012

Each quarter we update the list of the top 10 best selling golf books as sold on Amazon. Click on the either the text of the image of the book to buy through Amazon.

Highlights of the quarter: The new book about Tiger didn’t last as a best seller very long, dropping off the list in a couple of months after publication. And, this quarter there are two books in the top 10 by James Dodson. As of June 2012:

1. Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game by Dr. Joseph Parent, published in 2002.

2 .Lost Balls: Great Holes, Tough Shots, and Bad Lies by Charles Lindsay, published 2005

3. Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf by Ben Hogan, published 1990.

4.  Fifty Places to Play Golf Before You Die: Golf Experts Share the World’s Greatest Destinations by Chris Santella, published in 2005.

5. American Triumvirate: Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, and the Modern Age of Golf by James Dodson, published 2012.

6. Sports Illustrated: The Golf Book published in 2009.

7. Golf My Way: The Instructional Classic, Revised and Updated by Jack Nicklaus, published in 2005.

8. Final Rounds: A Father, A Son, The Golf Journey Of A Lifetime by James Dodson, published 1997.

9. The Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf by Joe Dante, published in 1995.

10. The New Yorker Book of Golf Cartoons (New Yorker Book of Cartoons) by Robert Mankoff, published in 2002.

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Golf Books – A buyer’s market!

June 22, 2012

The Jaime Ortiz-Patino collection of golfing memorabilia was auctioned off at Christie’s auction house on May 30th. Patino is most closely associated with Valderrama, a course that he brought Robert Trent Jones Sr. back to in 1985 to lengthen and redesign into one of the world’s premier courses. Christie’s marketed the sale in New York, Hong Kong and Dubai prior the London sale.

The auction included a large selection of artwork, clubs and balls as well as some books. Christie’s had predicted that the sale would bring in £2 million, but it realized only £1.8.  That’s US $2.8 million, putting Jimmy clearly in the 1% that many of the street protestors object to. The top three items in the sale were works of art, the highest being Sir John Lavery’s painting of North Berwick which sold for $376,350 (seen below).

We say it is a buyer’s market because the savvy purchaser could have snapped up some real bargains. H.S. Colt’s Some Essays on Golf Course Architecture with its rare dust jacket sold for $390!!! This book is worth at least 10 times this amount. Also, a copy of Bobby Jones’ Down the Fairway with the slipcase sold for $5,070, about half of what the book has traded at in recent years. Hillinthorn’s Your First Game of Golf also sold for 50% of the price normally achieved by US auction sites.

A 1743 copy of The Goff sold for $46,800. Although a difficult book to benchmark prices against because of its rarity and varied conditions, a 1793 copy sold for $80,500 in 1998 as part of the Joe Murdoch sale.

This rare Prestwick Rules book from 1873 achieved $2,340:

The auction also yielded some unusual results on the upside. Charles Blair MacDonald’s Scotland’s Gift was sold for $12,675, a price which is $5,000 more than a comparable copy we currently have for sale. Our conclusion after the Christie’s sale is that for sure it is still a buyer’s market with prices remaining cheap for those building a collection. It also reinforces our view that an educated buyer who does his or her research and is patient can build a nice library. And as the MacDonald book proves, P.T. Barnum was right!

The full results of the auction can be found on Christie’s website including prices realized.

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Yeamans Hall Club

June 1, 2012

The Yeamans Hall Club is located in Charleston, South Carolina and the golf course was designed in 1925 by Seth Raynor. It is a low-key club and one of the gems of the golfing world. Until now, lovers of Yeamans Hall have had to make themselves content with the spectacular chapter in Legendary Golf Clubs of the American East by John de St. Jorre and Anthony Edgeworth. The chapter gives you a very good feel for what the Yeamans Hall experience is all about: world-class golf, southern charm, an idyllic setting and a feeling of splendid isolation.

Lovers of Yeamans Hall (your truly included) have a new reason to celebrate. The club recently (2010) published a history titled The Cottages and Architects of Yeamans Hall. The book was written by Charlton deSaussure, Jr. and the photographs in the book were taken by Charlotte Caldwell. deSaussure is a lawyer in Charles who lives at Yeamans Hall.

One of the founders of Yeamans Hall was architect James Gamble Rogers who designed the clubhouse, the quadrangle of guest cottages, the golf house, gatehouse and staff lodging. Rogers was one of the most talented architects of his day and as the book describes, “What Olmsted brought to the property, Rogers brought to the buildings.” The book pays a massive tribute to Rogers and his vision of what Yeamans Hall could be.

The book includes a copy of the original land plan as laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. in 1924. The plan originally contemplated two golf courses and 255 home sites for the 1,000 acre former plantation site. The Great Depression put a halt to the development and afterwards the 35 proprietors decided to leave the number of houses to those already built, which is where it stands today. The original 35 cottages were built between 1927 and 1938.

The bulk of the book is devoted to a detailed look at the 35 private cottages, although the author weaves in history, anecdotes and interesting stories throughout. The history also recounts visits by many famous golfers over the years including Arnold Palmer, Ben Crenshaw and Bob Hope.

Webster’s dictionary defines a cottage as “A dwelling of a small farmer” or “small, one-family house”. The Yeamans Hall definition of a cottage, while not quite on the scale of the “cottages” in Newport, Rhode Island, are none-the-less, quite elaborate. Interspersed throughout the book are also vintage photos, facts of interest and newspaper or magazine articles about Yeamans Hall. An especially interesting one shows Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, USN and friends walking at Yeamans Hall in 1942. The first cottage was designed by Charleston architect Albert Simons and almost half of all the cottages were built by either Simons, his partner Samuel Lapham or by Rogers. The cottages at Yeamans Hall all have names. The “Colt” cottage was built for the designer of the Colt .45 pistol. deSaussure has done extensive research in compiling this delightful history and gives an interesting account of the families of each of the original cottage owners. The “Lamont” cottage was built by one of J.P. Morgan’s partners. All 35 cottages are pictured in the book.

Yeamans Hall has a timeless quality to it. Like the city of Charleston, it has a gentility and quaintness about it that are unique.

One of the finest experiences a golfer can have in my view is driving down the long entry drive through the moss-draped live oaks and rolling topography after you pass the front guard gate at Yeamans Hall. The legendary sports writer Grantland Rice summed up Yeamans Hall in an article published in 1927 and it is still the perfect description of the place today: “The Golf Course Most Marvelous in the U.S. “

The course designer, Seth Raynor wrote “The encircling trees give a warmth to the course in the wintertime, which is very delightful. This, combined with the invigorating climate and all the other fine features this spot contains, is bound to make one fall in love with golf at Yeamans Hall.”

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From Tee to Cup by Reg Manning

May 1, 2012

How many Pulitzer Prize winners have covered the subject of golf? As far as our research can uncover, three: John Updike, John Cheever and Reginald Manning. The two Johns are well-known fiction writers, but who exactly is Reg Manning? Manning won the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. Known as the “Cactus Cartoonist” because he spent his life working in Arizona, he drew more than 15,000 cartoons for the Arizona Republic and his work was syndicated in 170 newspapers. Manning’s signature includes a drawing with his trademark of a smiling cactus and can be seen on the bottom right of the book jacket below.

From Tee to Cup (Donovan & Jerris M9220) was Manning’s only book related to golf and it is a unique book. Published by Reganson Cartoon Books in Phoenix, Arizona in 1954, the book is 111 pages. Murdoch’s The Library of Golf 1743-1966 gives the book a nice mention. Its uniqueness comes from the fact that the book was intentionally printed with a hole in it. The hole is meant to represent an actual golf hole and Manning drew his illustrations with this in mind.

An example of how Manning uses the hole in the book to build his illustrations around is below:

Manning was an avid golfer and like all of us had his ups and downs with the game. As he writes in the book, “This book about golf is not written in a spirit of revenge. I would never do or say anything to detract from the game. But golf is tough.”

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Charlie Sifford Autobiography

April 10, 2012

Until 1961 the PGA of America Constitution had a “Caucasians Only” clause. Considered the “Jackie Robinson of golf” Charlie Sifford began his golfing exploits as a caddie and by age 13 could shoot par. With the help of the California Attorney General Sifford broke down the Caucasian clause. He was the first black man to play on the PGA Tour and the first to get a full PGA membership.

Sifford recounts a discussion he had with Robinson, “He asked me if I was a quitter,” Sifford recalled. “He said, ‘OK, if you’re not a quitter, go ahead and take the challenge. If you’re a quitter, there’s going to be a lot of obstacles you’re going to have to go through to be successful in what you’re trying to do.’ “I made up my mind I was going to do it. I just did it. Everything worked out perfect, I think.”

Sifford’s autobiography, Just Let Me Play, was published in 1992 by British American Publishing (D&J S18910). As the late Arthur Ashe notes in the book’s foreward Sifford’s struggle was harder in many respect that Jackie Robinson’s, “Robinson had the powerful presence of Brooklyn Dodgers’ president Branch Rickey behind him. Sifford more likely than not suffered in silence.” Ashe also takes a shot at sports writers who have described Sifford as “surly”, “mean” and “aloof”. “They either didn’t do their homework or were just insensitive to Sifford’s real life circumstances.”

Appropriately, the cover of Just Let Me Play features Charlie with a cigar hanging out of his mouth. A habit he took up at the age of twelve!

The cover of the first edition, first printing shows Charlie wearing canary yellow pants and a pale blue sweater with the cigar dangling lightly out of this mouth (above on the left). In the newer jackets there is no missing the prominent cigar in Charlie’s mouth (above in the center and on the right).

When Sifford played in a tournament in Los Angeles, a $100,000 prize and a new car awarded for a hole-in-one disappeared off a course banner just minutes before Charlie teed off and sunk the shot, starting a lawsuit he would eventually win. He was regularly berated on the course, called the “N” word, not allowed in locker rooms or clubhouses and treated like, at best, a second class citizen.

The Associated Press calls Sifford, “A man whose autobiography defined his career.” The book is controversial because Sifford raises some uncomfortable subjects and takes direct aim at certain people and clubs.

Sifford had five goals in golf — to become a PGA Tour member, win a PGA event, play in the U.S. Open, play in the Masters and get inducted into the Hall of Fame. His only regret is never getting into the Masters. He won the 1967 Greater Hartford Open and the 1969 Los Angeles Open but the Masters did not start inviting PGA Tour winners until a few years later. “One of the great disillusions of my life in golf is that the Masters has become a tournament so revered by golf fans and the media. As far as I’m concerned, it has long been the most racist and hateful spot on the golf globe”. When asked if he would attend the Masters as a special guest, at the tender age of 89, Sifford was quoted in the Los Angeles Times last year as saying, “’F Augusta”.

After reading many of the heartbreaking stories in his book I can understand his bitterness. The thing that struck me most was not that there was blatant racism in the 50s and 60s, but that right up until the book’s publication in 1992 Sifford suffered greatly and had limited support from the PGA.

In all, Sifford would compete in some 422 PGA tournaments, coming in second twice, registering five third-place finishes, and winning nearly $350,000 in prize money. On the senior circuit he was equally successful, winning the 1975 Senior’s Championship and collecting $930,000 in winnings. In 2004 Sifford became the first African-American inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. His autobiography is a worthy addition to the library of every serious collector and golfer.

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Best Selling Golf Books

March 23, 2012

Each quarter we update the list of the top 10 best selling golf books as sold on Amazon. Click on the either the text of the image of the book to buy through Amazon.

No surprise that the new Tiger book ranks #1. Several titles are on the list based on their Kindle sales. And this is the first time a book yet to be released is on the list: #9 – The Unstoppable Golfer by Dr. Bob Rotella.

As of March 2012:

1. The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods by Hank Haney, published in 2012

2. Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf by Ben Hogan, published in 1985.

3. Solid Contact: A Top Instructor’s Guide to Learning Your Swing DNA and Instantly Striking the Ball Better Than Ever by Jim Hardy, published 2012.

4. How Short Hitting, Bad Golfers Break 90 All the Time by Fred Fields, published in 2010.

5. Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game by Dr. Joseph Parent, published in 2002.

6. Hit Down Dammit! (The Key to Golf) by Clive Scarff, published in 2011.

7. FINALLY: The Golf Swing’s Simple Secret: A revolutionary method proved for the weekend golfer to significantly improve distance and accuracy from day one by J. F. Tamayo, J Jaeckel, published in 2010.

8. Moe & Me: Encounters with Moe Norman, Golf’s Mysterious Genius by Lorne Rubenstein, published in 2012.

9. The Unstoppable Golfer: Trusting Your Mind & Your Short Game to Achieve Greatness by Dr. Bob Rotella, published April 2012.

10. Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your Score (Dave Pelz Scoring Game) by Dave Pelz, published in 1999.

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Masters Golf Books

March 1, 2012

There have been many books written about Augusta National and the Masters and it can be a tough subject to sort out. The publication of a new book featuring Herbert Warren Wind’s writing about the course gave us the inspiration needed to tackle this big subject.

The Best of the Best

1. The Making of the Masters by David Owen provides extended insight into this lesser known golf god, Augusta co-founder Clifford Roberts. Owen was granted access to the archives of Augusta National, which is rare, and thus the book has an unusually detailed look behind the scenes. Filled with tons of little known facts about the course and its original plans done in a great writing style. (1999)

The best overall book on Augusta

2. A Golf Story: Bobby Jones, Augusta National, and the Masters Tournament by Charles Price (1986). Jones took Price into his confidence and befriended him for many years. He also had access to the Augusta archives, so it is a very good historical look at both Bobby, the club and the tournament. Some fascinating tid-bids to discover, for example Jones landed in France on D-Day plus one when he was in the military. A worthy book, but more than a few extended diversions away from Augusta, and some of Price’s analogies are a bit dated. Also published in a deluxe edition. (1986)

A good insider’s look at Bobby Jones and the club

3. The Story of Augusta National was written by co-founder Clifford Roberts. The three-part story of Augusta: The course and its designers; The Masters; The men who have played the course and who have made it so memorable. (1976)

A nice gift book

4. Augusta National & The Masters A Photographers Scrapbook by Frank Christian with Cal Brown. High quality book chronicles the story of father and son who were both official photographers of Augusta. Very well done with some seldom seen pictures and lesser known but fabulous stories. The limited edition of 500 presents well and would make an especially nice gift. (1996)

Would make a nice gift book

5. America’s Gift to Golf: Herbert Warren Wind on The Masters. In our view Wind is the best writer that golf literature has ever seen. Wind coined the term “Amen Corner” and this is only the beginning of his genius. The only question is why did the world have to wait until 2011 to have all his writings on Augusta published in one place? Brilliant. (2011) A fabulous storyteller who never gets dated

Masters Rarities

The Masters Tournament was published in 1952 with a foreward written by Bobby Jones and Cliff Roberts. The book was produced by Augusta National and includes a map of the course and a plan for crowd control. The book was issued in appreciation to those who have actively contributed to the success of the Masters Tournament. Rarely comes up for sale

Suggestions On How To See the Masters Tournament was first produced in 1949 and is an 11 page softcover. Very difficult to find

The Rest of the Masters Books

Listed in date of publication order. Rating indicted with an asterick, three astericks represent the best books.

The Masters: The Story of Golf’s Greatest Tournament by Tom Flaherty (1961)
The Masters: the winning of a golf classic by Dick Schaap (1970). Dated.
The Masters: All About its History, Its Records, Its Players, Its Remarkable Course and Even More Remarkable Tournament by Dawson Taylor (1973). Leather bound.

Augusta Revisited: An Intimate View by Furman Bisher (1976). Bisher was a sports columnist & editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 50 years and covered the Masters for a long time. Good solid history, depth and breadth of period and historical pictures. Detailed chapters on Snead, Palmer, Hogan, Sarazen, Nelson, Demaret, Goalby and Nicklaus.
The Masters: an illustrated history by Dawson Taylor (1981)
The Masters: Golf’s Most Prestigious Tradition by Dawson Taylor. A year-by-year description of each tournament. (1986)
The Masters: Golf, Money, and Power in Augusta, Georgia by Curt Sampson. The book jumps around a lot and isn’t the most balanced view of the club. (1988)

Augusta from the Air by Robert Green. Softcover, 20 pages. (1995). Hello.
Augusta: Home of the Masters Tournament by Steve Eubanks. Not as perceptive or deep as other Augusta books. A me-too effort. (1997)
Shouting at Amen Corner: Dispatches from the World’s Greatest Golf Tournament by Ron Green, Sr. A collection of articles by a Charlotte-based sports reporter who covered the Masters for 45 years. (1999)
One Week in April: The Masters: Stories and Insights from Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson, Rick Reilly, Ken Venturi, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, and Many More About the Quest for the Famed Green Jacket by Brad Faxon and Don Wade. An anthology of stories about Augusta. (1999)

I Remember Augusta: A Stroll Down Memory and Magnolia Lane of
America’s Most Fascinating Golf Club by Mike Towle. Quotes about Augusta and the Masters. Some interesting, some not. (2000)

The Masters: A Hole-by-Hole History of America’s Golf Classic by David Sowell. A study of the holes of interest to architecture aficionados. (2003)

The Augusta National Golf Club: Alister MacKenzie’s Masterpiece by Stan Byrdy. For the golf course architecture fan. Chronicles the changes to the course over time on a hole-by-hole basis. (2005)
Golf Heaven: Insiders Remember Their First Trip to Augusta National Golf Club by John Andrisani. Somewhat interesting, parts a bit dry and formulaic. (2007)
The Masters: 101 Reasons to Love Golf’s Greatest Tournament by Ron Green, Sr. (2008) Light, breezy and a quick read. Entertaining and often funny and a lot of anecdotes about players.
Freddie & Me: Life Lessons from Freddie Bennett, Augusta National’s Legendary Caddie Master by Tripp Bowden. A former Augusta National caddie life lessons he learned from the late Freddie Bennett, the fabled club’s legendary caddie master. More of a tale about two unlikely friends. Rarely do you see a new book on Amazon with all 5 star ratings, but this book achieves it, although I thought it a bit clichéd and the use of slang becomes overbearing. (2009)
Augusta National Golf Club Photo Gallery of 8×10 Images: Exclusive Sports Photography from Famed Photographer by Phil Reich. (2010)
The 1986 Masters: How Jack Nicklaus Roared Back to Win by John Boyette (2011). Self-explanatory and a good book that tells one of the most compelling golf stories of our era. The better of the two (see below).
One for the Ages: Jack Nicklaus and the 1986 Masters by Tom Clavin (2011).

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Our Favorite Golf Books

February 1, 2012

Through 2006 over 15,500 golf books have been published, and it can be daunting to find the best ones. It has been five years since we last published a list of our favorite golf books, so here is an updated listed, which has now expanded to three pages and boils it down to less than fifty.

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.

Club Histories
1. The Valley Club of Montecito 1928-1998
2. Garden City Golf Club: A History 1999
3. Sunningdale Golf Club 1900-2000
4. Pine Valley Golf Club: A Chronicle. Shelly Warner, 1982
5. The Definitive Guide to The Hotchkin Course – Woodhall Spa. Latham. 2004
6. Golf at Merion. 2005
7. Prestwick Golf Club A History and Some Records. Shaw. 1932
8. The Evolution of the Links at The Royal County Down Golf Club. Latham. 2006
9. The Story of Golf at The Country Club. De St. Jorre. 2009
10. Somerset Hills Country Club 1899-1999
11. Royal & Ancient Golf Club St. Andrews. Three volume set by John Behrend
12. The Story of Seminole. Dodson. 2007

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.

Great Writing

1. Following Through by Herbert Warren Wind. 1985
2. Down the Fairway by Bobby Jones. 1927
3. The Best of Henry Longhurst. 1978
4. The Story of American Golf by Herbert Warren Wind. 1948
5. Golf Dreams by John Updike. 1996
6. Golf on the LMS by Dell Leigh. 1925
7. The Making of the Masters. David Owen. 1999
8. Wodehouse on Golf or The Clicking of Cuthbert by P.G. Wodehouse.

These six authors 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. Owen’s book is the single best written about the Masters. Wodehouse was one of the best writers of the 20th century in or outside of golf.

Picture Books/Coffee Table
1. Legendary Golf Clubs of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Edgeworth and de St. Jorre. 1999
2. Legendary Golf Clubs of the American East. Edgeworth and de St. Jorre. 2003
3. Where Golf is Great. James Finegan. 2006
4. Planet Golf. Darius Oliver. 2007
5. Creating Classics: The Golf Courses of H.S. Colt. Peter Pugh. 2009
6. The Scrapbook of Old Tom Morris. Joy. 2001

Maybe we’re simple minded, but we refer to these books more than any other in the library. 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!

Reference Books
1. The Game of Golf and the Printed Word. 2006. Donovan & Jerris. For the serious collector of golf books, lists every golf book published through 2005.
2. The Book of Golfers by Daniel Wexler. 2005. Comprehensive coverage of golf’s historical figures, a small but very detailed bio on each is included.

1. The Greatest Course That Never Was by J. Michael Veron. 2001
2. 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
1. Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by Dr. Joseph Rotella. 1995
2. Zen Golf by Joseph Parent. 2002

Both are concise, simple and actually help both in life and golf (is there a difference?)

Best Produced
1. Golf: The Badminton Library. Large Paper Limited Edition of 250. Horace Hutchinson. 1890.
2. British Golf Links. Large Paper Limited Edition of 250. Horace Hutchinson. 1897.
3. A Royal and Ancient Game. Large Paper Edition of 50. Robert Clark. 1875.
4. A Golfer’s Gallery by Old Masters. Darwin. 1920

The first time I saw the large paper editions of these books my jaw dropped. Wow! Although all four were published in the nineteenth or early twentieth 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 four but they are cornerstone collectibles.


1. The Life and Work of Dr. Alister MacKenzie. Doak, Scott and Haddock. 2001
2. The Links. Robert Hunter. 1926
3. Golf Architecture in America. George Thomas. 1927
4. Golf Architecture. Alister MacKenzie. 1920
5. The Evangelist of Golf. George Bahto. 2002
6. The 500 World’s Greatest Golf Holes. George Peper. 2003
7. The Confidential Guide to Golf. Tom Doak. 1996

Who doesn’t like to compare their opinion of a course to Doak’s ratings and strong opinions? Since the National Golf Links of America never published a history, Bahto’s is the next best thing and offers great insights into C.B. Macdonald. Thomas’s book is probably the most influential in terms of architecture ever written.


1. Scotland’s Gift. C.B. Macdonald. 1928
2. The Walter Hagen Story. Walter Hagen. 1956
3. Down the Fairway. Bobby Jones. 1927
4. Bobby Locke on Golf by Bobby Locke. 1954

The personalities of all these golfers come out in their biographies. Macdonald’s strong will and arrogance. Jones’s grace and class. Hagen’s unique and fun approach to life and golf and Locke’s grit and determination.

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Golf Books with Pictorial Covers

January 1, 2012

Can you ever judge a book by its cover? In the world of golf books, if you are collecting for the long term, perhaps you can, since they are among the most collectible.

This month we feature twenty-three golf books with great eye appeal. It is too bad that the quality of book cover illustrations has deteriorated over the years. These featured gems offer a look back at how a bit of extra care and design made such a difference. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words, as these worthy books illustrate. Who hasn’t at times felt like the golfer pictured on Hillinthorn’s Your First Game of Golf (D & J H17500) which was done over 120 years ago?

Of our featured books, fifteen have the pictorial images as part of the cover, and in our view are the most interesting. The Golfing Swing (1913), Inspired Golf (1921) and Locker Room Ballads (1925) have pictorial labels added to the front covers. The last four books featured have their fabulous images on dust jackets, proving that jackets don’t have to be bland, like many of today’s sadly are. We have listed the books in chronological order to give the reader a sense of how designs have evolved over the years. The hey-day was in the Victorian, pre-war era.


Your First Game of Golf was published by Day & Son and notes that they were 25 years lithographers to the queen.

Horace Hutchinson’s
Hints on the Game of Golf
A very early illustrated cover




















Modern covers don’t have to be bland or generic. The Pulitzer Prize winner John Updike actually designed the cover of his Golf Dreams himself. The Australian edition of The Golfer’s Bedside Book also represents another nice modern cover.




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Golf Book Gift Ideas

December 1, 2011

We’re often asked about gift ideas this time of year, so we offer the following idea for all levels of budget and in varied subject areas.

General All Purpose – Commonly available and not budget busters.

1. The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever by Mark Frost is the #1 best selling golf book on and chronicles a match of Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan against two amateurs.

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2. The Making of the Masters by David Owen. Insider’s access to Augusta and great story telling.

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3. Following Through by Herbert Warren Wind. In our view the best golf writer ever with interesting and varied stories.

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4. Golf Dreams by John Updike. A renowned writer captures better than anyone does the life-long struggles of every golfer in their quest to perfect their swing and their mental struggles with the game.

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Books on Improving a Golfer’s Game

5. Zen Golf by Dr. Joseph Parent. The best of the instruction books, virtually guaranteed to help the mental side.

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6. How to Play Your Best Golf Now. By Pia Nilsson & Lynn Marriott. Helping to master the mental side of the game on and off the course.

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Wow Factor

7. Legendary Golf Clubs of the American East or Legendary Golf Clubs of England, Scotland and Ireland by Anthony Edgeworth & John De St. Jorre. Featuring some of the world’s most elite and exclusive golf courses. Any of the three books by these two authors would make a spectacular gift as the photography is simply stunning and the accompanying text matches their brilliance.

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words – Nice coffee table or special interest

8. Planet Golf by Darius Oliver. A pictorial tour of the great golf courses outside the United States.

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9. The Club Menu by Scott Savlov and Jon Rizzi. Menu items with accompanying recipes from many of the world’s best courses. A good choice for the food loving golfer.

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For the Connoisseur That Has it All – A budget buster, but unique

10. The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses is an insider’s look at the world’s golf courses and was written before he was a famed architect. His opinion is prized because it is a well-honed one and very honest, which is a rarity when people assess golf courses.

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