Latest News

Playing golf by the book will take a while

The number of golf related books on store shelves tell you two things -- one, that golf is one of the most addling of all of life's endeavors and, two, golfers, being thusly addled, will buy anything.

How else to explain the publication of about 250 golf books per year, a figure I read awhile back?

I Googled golf books and learned that the website had received about 195 million hits. Figures. It's a sickness.

Swing need a fixup? Putter need a swift kick? You could look it up. Most books on the game are instructional -- how to grip the club, swing, putt, basic stuff. Putt Like The Pros. The 30-Second Golf Swing. Grip It And Rip It.

Need something a little less prosaic? Alter your mind with Visual Golf, The Inner Game Of Golf, Holographic Golf, Golf The Mind Game, Zen Golf, Fearless Golf, Strategic Golf, all about how the game can make you nuts and what you can do about it, maybe.

Exercise, rules, humor, equipment, history, attire, course design, great courses, great moments, great shots, language, biographies, clubs, caddies, gambling games, a pub or two, quotations collections, all of these have been written about.

There are novelty books, like Really Bad Swing Thoughts, How To Give Up Golf, Amazing But True Golf Facts (South African great Bobby Locke went through the 1945 season of competitive golf without a three-putt, covering 1,800 holes), comic-actor Leslie Nielsen's Stupid Little Golf Book and Bob Hope's Confessions Of A Hooker.

One chapter in Nielsen's book is entitled "The Eight Bad Shots In Golf And How To Make Them Work For You."

Hope wrote that his friend Jimmy Stewart couldn't play golf because he spoke so slowly, by the time he yelled "fore," the victim was already in an ambulance.

At last glance, I had in my shelves eight or ten books about the Augusta Masters, three or four about Tiger Woods, three or four about Ben Hogan, same with Jack Nicklaus, two or three about Bobby Jones, same with Arnold Palmer. Just because someone or something has been written about doesn't mean you can't write about them again.

My favorite golf book? Hard to say. Maybe The Greatest Game Ever Played by Mark Frost. Maybe Final Rounds by James Dodson. I liked The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield and everything Dan Jenkins has written. And, if you'll allow me a moment of immodesty, I loved Slow Dancing With Bobby Jones, even if I did write it.