I just finished reading A Course Called Ireland by Tom Coyne, the same person who wrote Paper Tiger. It was a good read, but I probably enjoyed Paper Tiger a little bit more. Some great humor in the book and pretty amazing to read about he walked all of Ireland and played every links course in the country. I would recommend it.
Non-Instructional Golf Books - Page 5
I'm going to give my recomendation for two books that have been listed but without description
The first is a recomendation for "Dream Golf: The Making of Bandon Dunes." It gives some insight into the owner of the resort and how the resort has become one of the greatest in the world inspite of or because of it's unorthodox buisness plan. It's interesting to read about the owner, management, architects, laborers and planners and how they all interact to obtain the end product. I probably like it because I have an unrealistic fantasy that some day I'll build and opperate a golf course.
The other book is "Final Rounds." The book is a tribute to the authors father and tells the story about their golfing trip that occured when it was determined his father only had a few months to live. Golf provided the opportunity for lessons on life to be shared between a father and a son. I figure there are many guys who are most intimate with their fathers on the golf course so it probably is a story of many father son relationships.
Also for a quick read I liked the articles found here:
The short articles are written by a guy who caddied in Chicago during the summers as a kid and after college.
One book that I haven't enjoyed but is always highly recomended is "Golf In the Kingdom." Maybe it's because I'm not so much into the spirtuality stuff, but for some reason many of the conservative friends of mine enjoy it despite the zen-iness...maybe I just miss something.
Edited by act0fgod - 6/26/11 at 10:24pm
Just finished "Paper Tiger" by Tom Coyne. Thanks to all of you who recommended it, now I can add my own recommendation! This book was a real eye opener, revealing just how far away scratch is from "these guys are good". This should be required reading for any one who aspires to competitive golf.
7 Days in utopia. Quick nice read. written by David L, Cook PhD. He is a sport mental coach. Great story lets you understand that golf is so wrapped around the head game we must let go just enjoy the game go out with your buddies and thank god we have the opportunity to even play the game. That's right game. Go play some day with your best group don't count the score and it will be the best fun you will have had on the links in a long time.
One of my pure passions is traveling to Scotland and Ireland and playing golf on their links courses. Tom Coynes A Course Named Ireland inspired me to set up a specific trip so I could play some of the courses in the North West that I had not played previously.
Darren Kilfara's Playing Through as a tale of his taking his family to Gullane, Scotland and his various escapades inspired me to go there and look up Archie Baird one of the lead characters to his story. I went with a group of 12 and arranged for Archie to give us a tour of his museum that is attached to Gullane's pro shop....That was so majestic.
The book Dream Golf about the creation of Bandon Dunes is a must read. Tom Doak's various books on architecture are so informative. The Anatomy of a Golf Course is wonderfull. His Private Notes Book what ever the name of it is is my currentt gotta get ahold of. I even saw there is a copy available on this site but at $400. Ugh....
Have read many of the books listed prior but the few above my favorites. Excuse my lateness to this post.
Agonising Golf is a humorous fictional ebook that answers questions such as: I've had lessons and my golf's still lousy, could my clubs be possessed? One of our members has Multiple Personality Disorder, which handicap does she play off? As I wrote it, I won't comment on its quality but Albaswede gave it a 5 star review at smashwords.com.
"Sir Walter" is an engrossing biography of Walter Hagen, written by Tom Clavin. For anyone who is interested in the evolution of professional golf, I'd highly recommend giving this a read.
After reading of how Hagen was so instrumental in shaping professional golf as we know it and his accomplishments on the course, it is surprising that he isn't considered among the top 3 to ever play the game. He had 11 major wins which puts him behind only Jack and Tiger, but the Masters didn't even exist until the end of Hagen's playing career, and he did capture 5 Western Opens which were widely considered as equivalent of a major at that time. His streak of wins is even more remarkable considering that many tournaments then were match play and sudden death; at one point Hagen had won 68 straight matches - this is absolutely phenomenal when one looks at the WGC Match Play events today and see how easy it is to get knocked out.
Hagen is essentially the creator of professional golf as we know it today. Prior to Hagen, professionals were considered second class citizens (or worse), with miniscule purses and unwelcome in the clubhouses. Through force of his personality and playing style, Hagen legitimized professional golf, busted down the class barriers, and essentially was the driving force in creating the professional golf tour and events like the Ryder cup. Off course, Hagen was a larger than life personality who loved to entertain the crowds and his fellow players, developing a reputation as someone who partied hard (which he played up to great advantage in his matches). He also enjoyed the company of any pretty woman he could find, and his continuous infidelities make those of a contemporary golfer seem pretty mild. Basically, Hagen was Jack, Arnie, and Tiger all rolled into one.
Do yourself a favor and learn more about Hagen's interesting character and this pivotal time in American golf.
About half way through Moe & Me: Encounters with Moe Norman, Golf's Mysterious Genius by Lorne Rubenstein. It's been an interesting read, I had no idea Moe was such an amazing ball striker. I also thought it was sad/interesting how he felt the other guys on the PGA Tour leveraged his autism (Asperger Syndrome) by making him uncomfortable in order to keep him from competing more on the Tour.
"Anatomy of a Golf Course" by Tom Doak.
Doak wrote this in the early 90's, and it is a very nice overview of golf course design describing pretty much all elements of a course, pros and cons of different design features and hazards, practical aspects of building and maintaining a course, and how the designer looks at a piece of land and works to transform that into a strategically interesting course that will challenge the good players but be playable for the high handicapper.
Although it the descriptions of how design elements are used, one of the interesting things I found through the book were the little comments he sprinkled throughout about the practical aspects of different design features and the maintenance challenges they may present. One example is giving amount of square footage needed on a tee box based on number of rounds played per month so that the tees can be moved around to give each day's golfers a well kept teeing surface; he does the same with the sizes of greens. Another interesting example he talked about is how courses might remove grass from bunkers due to the high cost of maintaining the sand, believing that grass bunkers are more economical. However, he points out the difficulties mowing those spots, indicating there are more than a few groundskeepers missing one or more toes because of the dangers hand mowing those hilly lies.
Throughout the book, Doak sprinkles in quotes and writings from the games great designers such as MacKenzie, Tillinghast, Dye, etc. to show others' perspectives as well. From reading this book, it is easy to see Doak's admiration for the work of the classic architects and the designs they've achieved, and one can see how those have shaped his concepts on design. Although it sounds like it could be a fairly dry read, I found the book to flow very nicely, and Doak adds in enough examples and descriptions that it makes it an enjoyable journey. OK, it isn't a barn burning page-turner that makes you look forward to the ending to figure out "who dunnit", but his writing style is pleasurable.
I'm now in search of Doak's other book on course design called "The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses". First self-published by Doak in 1986 and later published by Sleeping Bear press in 1996 in very small quantities, this book is a biting critique on many of the worlds hallowed golf courses, and Doak doesn't pull any punches. Copies are very hard to come by and can be found from $200 and up at collectible book stores. If I can ever score a reasonably priced copy, I'll certainly follow up with a thorough review!
Alright, here are my suggestions and two of them have not been suggested yet or at least I think so.
First off, I'm a big fan of true story average joe to pro type books because that is my dream as well so hopefully I'll be writing a book about it too one day ha....
Paper Tiger by Tom Coyne - it was already talked about and in my opinion, it is a great read about personal struggle and the battle of will. Some people talk about how it's not so believable of his handicap. It is hard to believe but he said he has posted some pretty low rounds and the handicap is kind of based on what your best round can be rather than what you always shoot.
Dream On by John Richardson - A regular joe, 9-5 job kind of guy and a wife and kid, regular weekend hacker who couldn't break 100 and then decides to shoot a par round in one year and he goes through his story of his journey which is great.
My personal favorite:
Striking it Rich: Golf in the kingdom with Generals, patients, and pros by Reid Sheftall - A guy who used to golf as a young kid and was pretty good but then chose his profession as a doctor and for the next 20 years he golfs maybe once a year. Then gets invited to play at a nice course in which a pga pro notices how talented he is and tells him that if he really worked on his game he might have what it takes. A good review of the book right here:
GOLF MISCELLANY: Everything you always wanted to know about golf.
Skyhorse Publishing, NY, NY. 2012
Printed in China.
Here is a small, yet heavy, book with very slick and glossy pages and many bad color photos. The book has nineteen chapters, all of them framed as questions, such as ‘What’s inside a golf ball?’ and ‘What is the difference between White, Red and Yellow stakes on a golf course?’ The actual depth of the answers is rather shallow and many of the questions posed are quite simplistic and juvenile. For example, Q. ‘Why isn’t the hole larger?’ A. ‘The first hole cutter was fashioned from a piece of drain pipe which happened to be 4.25 inches in diameter’. And from this tidbit of information the author offers his opinion that he wishes the hole was larger.
Many of the 181 pages are no more than a single color photo with minor caption and some of the photos are incredibly poor. One photo of the Ryder Cup trophy, residing behind a glass plate, mostly shows the brilliant image of the flash bulb. Another photo shows the dead and lifeless lineup of four old and massive leather golf bags. Another photo shows an ancient and slightly crumpled soft drink can with Arnold Palmer’s name and likeness printed on the can: yes a true example of golf miscellany. And didn’t you want to know about ‘disc or frisbee golf’? Yes, find that info here too. Many pages, far too many, have nothing but a short, golfy quotation from either a former player, a politician or a nobody, coupled with a short, boxed, paraphrased rule.
Why have trees been cut and energy expended to make the paper and ship this book from China? Simple. The author needs a house mortgage payment and this book will join many others on Christmas tables in bookshops throughout the country so that when little Suzy asks ‘What can I buy for Grandpa?’ mum can advise a small book on golf which gramps can read on the ‘Throne’. Too bad, though, these pages will not serve as wipers as the paper is not absorbent and the pages far too stiff to serve a useful purpose.
One happy thought for me. I borrowed this book from the library so paid nothing. But even at Amazon‘s price of $1.30, it is overpriced.