Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-19-2007, 08:26 AM
Zsofia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 24,534

Suggest some great golf (history) books


Man, they sure do write a lot of books about golf, don't they? There's gotta be more golf books than most other sports combined - how on earth do you pick the good ones? Here's the deal - I've just started playing and I used to think all those golf books were dumb and boring, but I read The Greatest Game Ever Played and now I want to find the rest of the good golf books. Emphasis on good - I strolled through the 796's and found a LOT of utter crap hanging out there.

I'm most interested in golf history (is there a really good, exciting biography on Babe Zaharias?), but I'll gladly read anything that's a really good read, or really educational, or even the one you found really made you understand what's wrong with your swing. In other words, I'm not really looking for instructional, but if you have a great suggestion I'll gladly read it. (Hey, I'd never have expected it, but Peter Dobereiner's Golf Rules Explained is a real hoot.) I'm not crazy about super hard-core "golf" books, where to read the history you have to slog through sixteen championships shot by shot by shot, although that's fine where it's necessary.

Suggestions?
  #2  
Old 03-19-2007, 11:23 AM
aktep is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Austin TX USA
Posts: 1,654
For a sort of zen-like set of instruction books:
The Little Red Book by Harvey Penick. If you enjoy it, you might check out The "little green book" and the other one.

As a sort-of-history book:
I enjoyed OPEN, the story about preparing for and putting on the 2002 US Open at Bethpage.

For fun, I not-too-long-ago read:
Who's Your Caddy?, which is more about the people than the golf, but was a fun read.
  #3  
Old 03-19-2007, 11:47 AM
Zsofia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 24,534
Oh, by the way, if any of them happen by I really want to thank the people who posted in my "Tell me about learning to golf" thread - man, am I ever hooked on this game! (I still think it's boring as hell to watch on TV, though.)

I think somebody at some point suggested the Little Red Book to me, aktep. I'll have to pick it up. I usually just toss out unsolicited golf advice immediately - you know, at my first lesson my teacher warned me, if you're a woman with a golf club twenty guys are going to come up and tell you how to play. Damned if she wasn't right, too. Blah blah head down blah blah head down blah blah distance blah read this book blah blah hey Annika!
  #4  
Old 03-19-2007, 12:18 PM
aktep is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Austin TX USA
Posts: 1,654
I knew there was another I was looking for: Here's a Harvey Penick book especially for women.
  #5  
Old 03-19-2007, 02:46 PM
Only Mostly Dead is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: DC, Approximately.
Posts: 2,458
I don't believe so much in instructional books (though a subscription to Golf or Golf Digest* will basically give you the same tips (Cure your slice! Hit Longer! Get out of the sand!, etc.) in a new way every month, so sometimes the fresh view that month will be something that clicks).

For fun golf books, I like David Feherty's writing (far more than his commentating). It does not take itself seriously at all, while still presenting its subject matter nicely. Try David Feherty's Totally Subjective History of the Ryder Cup: A Hardly Definitive, Completely Cockeyed, But Absolutely Loving Look at Golf's Most Exciting Event.

I didn't catch you on the "help me learn golf" thread, so I'll give my two cents on that now: go to the range. Go often. See if your local range has frequent player discounts. One nearby range for me has "hit as many as you can" for something like $12, and another gives you a little electronic keychain fob that works on their ball machine, dropping the price to somewhere between $2 and $4 per bucket, depending on how much you buy up front. That way, your half dozen lessons on establishing a good swing can be reinforced on the cheap by a few hundred balls, while rushing nobody.

My little philosophy (and "oh crap I'm hitting badly today" mantra) on the golf swing: Of the three major parts of the swing, getting a repeatable stance and a controlled backswing are the important things. You get those two working consistently, then the swing forward to actually hit the ball is almost just an afterthought.



*Assuming you went out and got a pair of golf shoes (and you should, since they really do help with stability), you'll eventually need to replace the spikes. Softspikes Pulsar are good spikes at about $15, plus a free year of Golf Digest.

Last edited by Only Mostly Dead; 03-19-2007 at 02:47 PM.
  #6  
Old 03-19-2007, 09:02 PM
Zsofia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 24,534
I've noticed that Golf Digest is basically the same magazine as Cosmopolitan, only with "twenty yards" standing in for "better orgasm". I'm a periodicals librarian, though - I got that covered. I wish we got Golf for Women, though - I really want more cute outfit coverage. I'm not even kidding.
  #7  
Old 03-19-2007, 09:23 PM
Little Nemo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 81,858
It's not a straight history of the sport but The Golf 100: Ranking the Greatest Golfers of All Time by Robert McCord is about notable golfers. It's out of print but Amazon has some used copies for next to nothing.
  #8  
Old 03-19-2007, 09:25 PM
Only Mostly Dead is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: DC, Approximately.
Posts: 2,458
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia
I've noticed that Golf Digest is basically the same magazine as Cosmopolitan, only with "twenty yards" standing in for "better orgasm". I'm a periodicals librarian, though - I got that covered. I wish we got Golf for Women, though - I really want more cute outfit coverage. I'm not even kidding.
Oh, I totally agree that it's recycled fluff each month. But I've found that while there are five or six explanations that don't work for hitting outside of a greenside bunker, there will be the next issue with a way of looking at it that clicks with me. I also like the tour coverage (though you said you don't enjoy watching golf, so that might not be much incentive for you) and personality stories.

And, as I mentioned, I get my subscription free as long as I get one set of spikes each year (and I average about two sets).
  #9  
Old 03-19-2007, 10:11 PM
freckafree is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 5,903
<hijack> I just wanted to say that I recently met Renee Powell. Wow!!!! </hijack>
  #10  
Old 03-19-2007, 10:27 PM
Governor Quinn is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,056
One that I like (although it is more a collection of reportage and fiction than a history, and I believe it is OOP) is Lure of the Links
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:50 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017