Best Golf Books Of All Time: 13+ Books That Changed My Game

The only sort of practice most weekend golfers do is going to the range and hitting 100 balls in a row. That’s not always the best way to improve your game but in this post, I’m going to be showing you a bunch of different books that have really changed my golf game.

Golf is an extremely mental game and my rounds didn’t start improving until I started reading and studying the successful golfers out there. Learning different techniques to try and how to actually practice was super helpful for me and I think you’d benefit a lot from it as well.

Some of these books are only useful in physical form because they have pictures and whatnot but some of them are great in audio form and if you want to get 2 free audiobooks you can click here (paid link) and signup for a free Audible trial.

My Favorite Golf Books Of All Time

1 – Golf My Way

This (and the next) is probably my favorite golf book of all time and is where the techniques I’m using came from. It’s written by Jack Nicklaus, whose technique is a bit different from modern-day golfers but it’s what I’ve had the most success with.

It’ll show you all the basics (grip, stance, backswing, etc), why he swung the way he did, how to actually practice the right way, and how to improve pretty much every area of your game. I also found it really simple to understand as well which isn’t always the case in other golf books.

I’d recommend the print version because there are images in it. You can watch the video version below.

2 – Ben Hogan’s Five Fundamentals

This is another one of my favorite books and is pretty similar to Golf My Way (but a slightly different technique). The way Jack Nicklaus golfed isn’t going to work for everyone and there are certain parts of this book that worked better for me.

I think the best thing to do is to take parts of different people and make your own swing. You’ll have to practice a lot of really figure it out but it’s what you’ll have to do if you want to be a better golfer.

It’s going to cover the fundamentals of a solid golf swing (grip, stance, backswing, etc). The pictures in the book aren’t the greatest but it was still super useful. I’d go with the print version because the audiobook won’t have pictures.

3 – The Big Miss

This is the book Hank Haney wrote about coaching Tiger Woods. It’s not exactly a golf instructional book but it was an incredibly insightful book to read. A lot of the stuff was useful in other areas of my life as well.

He talks about what it was like coaching Tiger, what his work ethic was like, how he prepared for tournaments, and just what it takes to become the best in the world at something.

4 – The Keys To An Effortless Golf Swing

This is another one of my favorite golf instructional books because it really helped me swing more smoothly and effortlessly. You probably know that the harder you try to hit the ball, the worse things usually go. This book will fix that.

It’s simple to go through and will build your swing from scratch. You’ll learn how to turn your body (instead of your arms) and keep your arms relaxed. I think it’ll really help your golf game.

5 – The Practice Manual

This is a great book if you practice a lot. It really helped me figure out my practice routine and made me more mindful during practice. Going to the range and smacking 100 balls isn’t going to make you a better golfer. You need to practice with a purpose.

What I really took from this book is that the only thing that really matters is what you achieve at impact and not how you achieve it. That’s really helped the mental side of the game for me.

6 – Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book

This is a great book if you’re looking for simple ways to improve your game. It’s not overly complex like a lot of other books out there and that’s the main reason I enjoyed it so much.

It talks a lot about the fundamentals of your swing but the part I liked best was the way it made you think about certain things. Just the little things to think about when you’re on the course has been a big help for me.

Best Golf Books For Beginners

1 – Putting Out Of Your Mind

The single best way to lower your scores is to improve your putting. “Drive for show, putt for dough” is a common saying and I think it’s completely true. This book is awesome because it doesn’t really talk about technique but it’s still helpful.

It’ll show you the right way to think when you’re on the greens and it’ll save you hundreds of dollars in lessons. It’s been one of the best things I’ve done to improve my short game.

2 – The Unstoppable Golfer

If you’re looking to improve your short game (which you should be) such as chips, pitches, bunker shots, bump and runs, digging the ball out of the rough, or making more putts then this will be a great book for you.

It’s way cheaper than lessons/training aids and I’ve actually got better results from books like this. It just gets you in the right frame of mind and thinking the right way. One of the best books for beginner golfers wanting to improve their game.

3 – Power Golf

This is another book by Ben Hogan and it talks about some of the things his Five Lessons book doesn’t such as putting and hitting out of the bunker. You’ll probably be better off starting with the five lessons book though.

One of the biggest tips I got from this book was to hit the ball as hard as you can from the start. Most people say to not do this but if you don’t swing hard then it’ll be tough to get distance and you’ll have to change your swing later on.

4 – Putting My Way

This is another book from Jack Nicklaus and like it because of how simple it is. It’s almost like Ben Hogan’s Five Fundamentals but for putting. Most people try to make things way more complicated than it needs to be and if simple worked for Jack then it’ll probably work for you and me.

You don’t need any of these overcomplicated training aids people are selling and you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on lessons. Sure, those can help but I got way more from a $10 book.

Best Golf Books For The Mental Game

1 – Fearless Golf

If you find a thousand different things racing through your head as you stand over the golf ball this book could be for you. Most people overthink on the golf course or are too worried about looking good in front of someone else. This usually ends up in bad shots.

This book will help you tackle the nerves and become more “fearless” on the course. It’s not going to magically fix your golf game overnight but it will help your confidence and get you moving in the right direction.

2 – Zen Golf

Here’s another good book on mastering the mental side of golf. They’re mostly all the same but I still think you’d see value in reading more than one of these books.

Best Golf Exercise Books

1 – The Flexible Golf Swing

If you don’t have the greatest flexibility then you should definitely get a book like this. It’ll also help you off the golf course because it’ll help with strength and posture.

If you actually follow along with what he says then you’ll have more balance over the ball, more power for longer shots, and you’ll eventually lower your scores.

2 – Fix Your Body, Fix Your Swing

Is this book going to fix your game? That all depends on whether or not you’ll actually use it. It’s not a get good quick sort of thing but if you stick with it then I see no reason why it wouldn’t help.

You’ll improve your mobility, increase your strength, and have much better cardio. There’s really no reason why that shouldn’t improve your golf game. There are a lot of books out there on this topic but I think this is one of the better ones for the majority of players.

Notable Mentions

1 – My Golden Lessons

2 – Jack Nicklaus’ Lesson Tee

3 – Mastering Golf’s Mental Game

4 – Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect

5 – Be A Player

6 – The Match

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

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Hey, I'm Jon. I started Out Of Bounds Golf to share my findings after testing golf gear for the past 10+ years. My goal is to make the game a little easier to understand, whether that's with finding the right product or answering common questions. I currently live in the Pacific Northwest.

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