I’ve taught myself to play golf mostly from golf books. It’s a great way to get instruction from the greats like Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Ben Hogan. And it can work for you if that’s the way you like to learn. It worked for me.
Here’s a listing of some of my favorite books and where you can buy them.
The Inner Game of Golf by Timothy Gallway is a great book about how to think on the golf course and on the practice range. Now this isn’t about strategy or course management but how hor egos get in the way of us playing our best. Finding this book was truly a breakthrough for me. It helped me to start consistently start breaking 80.
Golf My Way is the classic golf book by Jack Nicklaus. This book was my main source of instruction as I went from a 25 handicap down to a 5. In fact I still think about some of the main points that Jack made and use them constantly as I need to “fix” some part of my game. As a matter of fact his “bedrock fundamental”, a steady head, is still my number 1 fix for when things go wrong in my swing. I’ve heard this was Tiger Woods main book too when he was learning.
How I Play Golf is Tiger’s version of “Golf My Way”. In many ways it updates what Jack Nicklaus has said in his book. Still a great way to learn the fundamentals of golf from Tiger’s perspective. And the style is pure “Tiger Woods” with a no-nonsense approach and plenty of opinions about what works and doesn’t.
Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons is a book that every great golfer owns. It was the first book on the modern golf swing and every pro from Gary Player to Jack Niclaus to Tiger Woods has it in their collection. It’s a must read for any serious golfer. Period!
One of my favorite books about the swing plane is one by Jim Hardy called The Plane Truth for Golfers Master Class. In it Jim breaks down the swing plane for different well known golfers like Peter Jacobsen. He points out that the swing plane can be quite different from golfer to golfer. In fact he says some players have a one-plane swing and others have a two-plane swing. Knowing which type of swing you have is important for YOUR swing technique.