11 Best Golf Instruction Books

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11 Best Golf Instruction Books

Golf requires practice and the right techniques to perfect. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, the right instruction can make all the difference. With so many books available it can be hard to know where to start.

We’ve rounded up the 11 best books on golf instruction on the market. These books offer a wide range of tips, drills, and advice to help you improve your swing, short game, and help you shoot lower scores.

Golf instructional books have been one of the best ways to get better at golf for decades. So whether you’re looking to get ahead of the competition or just looking to get more fun out of your golf game, start with our best golf instruction books list!

1. Bobby Jones On Golf by Bobby Jones

Bobby Jones On Golf is an older book that is filled with some of the best insights ever written on the golf swing and the mental game of golf. It is not just a good book, it is a great book. Bobby Jones was the greatest player of his era and one of the best golfers of all time. He was also a very gifted and eloquent writer. Every golfer should have this book on his or her bookshelf.

You will come away from this book a more well informed and overall better golfer. The best thing about the book is the clear writing of Jones. He may have won the Grand Slam, but for any golf enthusiast we are the big winners who get to read the wise words of one of the greatest golfers of all time. Bobby Jones On Golf is one of the best golf instruction books ever written.

2. How To Feel A Real Golf Swing by Bob Toski and Davis Love Jr.

Bob Toski and Davis Love Jr. are two of the best golf teachers ever. They taught players such as Davis Love III, Tom Kite and Judy Rankin. This book is awesome. Instead of the usual golf instruction writing, this book goes into detail on what you are supposed to FEEL in your golf swing, not just generic terms telling you what to do.

There are great illustrations throughout the book showing what the authors are talking about. Below is a page from the book showing how to know if your club face is open, closed, or square.

Example of the detailed illustrations

This book has it all. There is even a chapter at the end by Dr. Bob Rotella on “Feeling Your Mind And Body”. So you can put everything you learn in the book together with a great mental attitude.

Pick up the book, your golf scores will thank you later!

3. The Wisdom Of Harvey Penick by Harvey Penick

This is one of my favorite golf books. It is probably on every list of the best golf books ever written. Harvey Penick has coached several professional golfers, such as Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite. This is actually three books in one. You may have heard of Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book, which was the first book the legendary Harvey Penick ever wrote.

Penick also wrote two more classics where he picked up right where he left off in the Little Red Book. These books are so great and so helpful to any golfer, no matter the skill level. Harvey Penick taught his students in such a simple way and that is also how he wrote these books. I can’t help but smile when I pick up my copy of his books because of the folksy wisdom he imparts throughout the entire book.

It will make you think, laugh, and maybe even cry at times. But mostly it will make you better at golf!

The third book in the set was aimed at specifically helping women with their games, which is cool. Mr. Penick was the teacher of a lot of great women players, such as Mickey Wright, Betsy Rawls, Kathy Whitworth and Patty Berg.

4. The Art Of The Short Game by Stan Utley

Stan Utley, unlike teachers like Hank Haney and Sean Foley, actually played on the PGA Tour and was known for his phenomenal short game. For the first time, in this book, he drops all kinds of knowledge on us about how to get that pesky ball into the hole in less strokes. As you probably know, most strokes are played around the green so it only makes sense to practice and learn to play these shots.

Stan Utley has worked with several PGA Tour pros and still does. If you are struggling with your short game and want to learn how to do the little things the right way, this is the book for you.

5. Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons by Ben Hogan

Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons is one of the all time classic golf instruction books. Ben Hogan is considered the best ball striker in golf history, so his advice on the golf swing should be taken seriously. Hogan breaks his book into four sections:

  • The Grip
  • Stance and Posture
  • The First Part of the Swing
  • The Second Part of the Swing

He goes into great detail on each of these parts of the golf swing. His famous glass pane imagery for figuring out your swing plane is known throughout the golf world. The book is filled with awesome illustrations as seen below.

This book is a must read for anyone interested in the golf swing, as it is one of the absolute best golf instruction books ever written.

6. Play Golf The Wright Way by Mickey Wright

Arguably the greatest woman golfer of all time, the legendary Mickey Wright wrote this really cool golf instruction book. Ben Hogan said of Mickey Wright that she had the finest golf swing he had ever seen, man or woman. That is high praise. Well we have some high praise of our own: this is one of the best instructional books for women golfers we have found. In fact, it is one of the best golf instruction books, period. Golfers of all levels will take something away from this awesome book.

If Ben Hogan thought Wright had the best swing he’d ever seen, you have to think she knew a thing or two about the golf swing and will lead you in the right direction. In this book Wright unloads a lot of technique and golf philosophy. We really like that the book has lots of pictures of her swing and really does a good job of explaining the different sequences of the swing. If you are a serious golfer looking to get better at the game, this is a great book written by a great player.

7. Jim Flick On Golf by Jim Flick

Jim Flick reveals a lifetime of golf instructions throughout the pages of this great book. Flick coached the like of Tom Lehman on the PGA Tour and the GOAT Jack Nicklaus once he got onto the Senior Tour.

According to Nicklaus, Flick doesn’t teach only one way to swing a golf club. Everybody is different and so everyone will swing the club differently. Flick’s book is about teaching you as an individual how you can best swing the club effectively.

This was a really fun read and my game saw significant improvement after reading it. Yours will too. Grab a copy.

8. Golf My Way by Jack Nicklaus

Golf instruction from probably the greatest champion in the history of the game. Every golfer over 45 years old probably has a copy of this book. It is one of the best golf instruction books ever written, told by The Golden Bear himself.

Not only does Nicklaus go into detail on the swing, but he also goes into detail on his mental approach to the game.

As a golf fan, who else would you want to teach you how to hit a power fade or sink a crucial putt to win a tournament than Jack Nicklaus?

9. Bunker Play by Gary Player

Front cover

Gary Player was a hell of a bunker player in his day (and probably still is in his 80’s). In his book, Bunker Play, Player drops a whole bunch of knowledge on the sand game. To give an example of the kind of valuable insights this book has to offer, I will summarize the section on “The Basic Bunker Shot”.

The Basic Bunker Shot

To begin the process of the basic bunker shot, you must read the bunker like you would read a green. Player states that there is more to read in a bunker than on any green in the world. Some of the conditions you need to read in a bunker:

  • Condition of the sand (wet, dry, etc.)
  • How much sand is there in the bunker?
  • What kind of sand is it?
  • Is the lie on the upslope, downslope, in a rake mark, is it a fried egg (what is a fried egg)?

After you have read the conditions of the bunker, you will need to focus on your setup to the shot. Unlike a lot of golf tips you hear, Gary Player advises you not to take the club back outside the line of your feet and shoulders and cut across the line. Instead, he recommends aligning your feet and shoulders left of the target and swing square down the line of your body, BUT with an open clubface. The ball will come out high and on target with the correct strike.

According to Player, the strike should be about 1.5 inches behind the ball. He advises that you should:

  • Take a little wider stance than normal
  • Dig your feet into the sand for stability and to limit lower body movement
  • Grip the club about 1 inch lower on the shaft than you usually do to adjust for the amount of distance you have dug in with your feet
  • Have about 60% of your weight on your left foot and keep it there throughout the swing
  • Hit the sand about 1.5 inches behind the ball

Once you have practiced all of this and are ready to take it to the course, Player says to just pick the spot on the green that you want to land the ball and let it roll into the cup. Then, visualize the ball actually doing it and feel what kind of swing would be needed to make that happen. Then it’s time to let go and play the shot the best you can.

As you can see, this book is full of useful tips on all things bunker play! It is a delight to read. I highly recommend picking up a copy.

10. The Anatomy Of Greatness by Brandel Chamblee

Brandel Chamblee is a divisive character, but one thing he definitely knows a lot about is the golf swing. In this book he analyses the best golf swings the game has ever seen, from Sam Snead to Tiger Woods.

He breaks down the swing into its parts, making the book an enjoyable read and very understandable even for a beginner. If you want to emulate some of the best golf swings in history, consider reading this book.

The book tries to find what all of the greatest players of all time have in common so that we can try to copy them as much as possible in our own games. The pictures from classic players helps makes this book a very helpful instruction book.

best golf instruction books
An example of some of the great pictures of some of the greats

11. Unconscious Putting by Dave Stockton

Putting guru of the pros Dave Stockton has been around the game for a very long time. He has famously helped Phil Mickelson and current World #1 Rory McIroy with the putting.

Stockton’s philosophy is to use your innate athletic ability and basically react to the hole, kind of like if you were shooting pool. He is a proponent of not taking a practice stroke, which is contrary to other coaches’ advice. But give it a try on the greens, it just might click for you.

Wrapping Up – Best Golf Instruction Books

We would like to make a quick note that there are several other golf instruction books that we didn’t include in this list that are excellent. We will be doing individual reviews of some of these books that were left out in the future. If you have any books that you want us to discuss, let us know!

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Hi, my name is Thomas. I love to play golf and play to a 7.4 hdcp currently. My goal is to help people learn the game of golf and have more fun playing.

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