A good golf book goes hand in hand with golf season. Total immersion in the sport you love. 18 holes in the morning followed by a few chapters on the porch in the afternoon or before bedtime. It can be relaxing to read about the course you just played or learn about the destination you're planning to visit.
There are many new golf books for 2021, ranging from pictorals to architecture to historical and even controversial accounts. Chances are, a course you fancy or one on your bucket list can be found in these pages. Any of them will make great gifts for Father's Day or an upcoming birthday. Our philosophy? Reading greens is hard. Reading about golf is easy.
A Course Called America
Tom Coyne is back with his third (and perhaps final?) book in his popular "A Course Called ... " series. While his Scotland and Ireland books were New York Times best sellers, this one perhaps garners the most "must-read" status for any golfer in America. Not all of us have played overseas, but we all should better understand the dynamics of our nation's approach to a game with a complicated past and future. While visiting all 50 states and playing more than 300 courses, Coyne drops interesting nuggets regarding the history of U.S. golf and tackles why our golf culture is so different from every other nation: Why are our best courses so private when all the best courses in Scotland and Ireland are open to anybody? He goes behind the gates to experience the joys of these ultra-exclusive playgrounds, while wrestling with the issues of 'Do I belong?' He played every U.S. Open venue, but mixed in enough public courses and hidden gems that the majority of us without country club memberships could relate to his quest. His travels are deeply personal as he tracks down the place where his father learned the game. It's another epic adventure to find America's "greatest course" for the golf writer who has seemingly done it all. Details: Published by Avid Reader/Simon & Schuster, it retails for $28.99 at www.tomcoyne.com.
The Making of Pacific Dunes
As every golfer should know by now, Tom Doak is every bit as talented an author as he is a course architect. His career of writing books and designing courses has spanned four decades of influential projects, from his first book, "Confidential Guide to Golf Courses", to Pacific Dunes, the second course that transformed Bandon Dunes from a curiosity on the Oregon Coast to one of the best golf destinations on the planet.
With this book, Doak shares his journal entries, sketches and memos from his client, Mike Keiser, to take you behind the scenes of what many believe is America's finest links, and perhaps, its finest public/resort course overall. It is all complemented by before and after photography. Details: Published by Renaissance Golf Publishing and available July 1, it retails for $40 (before July 1 and $50 after) at www.doakgolf.com.
The Open Question
Avid fans of any combination of Ben Hogan, the U.S. Open or World War II history in will want to clear their reading list for The Open Question. Author Peter May chronicles the 1942 Hale-America National Open, which the USGA put on in place of the U.S. Open, which was canceled due to World War II. Hogan had a firm belief through his life that his win at this tournament, which featured a stellar field and whose medal was presented by the USGA, qualified as a U.S. Open. May chronicles the events in great detail and paints a picture of golf in wartime, and also presents a compelling argument as to why Hogan's insistance that he won five U.S. Opens has merit. Details: Published by Rowman & Littlefield and available on Amazon for $24 hardcover or $10 Kindle.
Golfers in the Carolinas, and specifically those who love the joys of walking, will enjoy a new book by Lee Pace, Good Walks. It's very much a coffee or sidetable book with a lot of beautiful photography. Pace's intro begins with a manifesto of sorts on the joys and benefits of walking over riding in a cart. It's followed by 18 chapters of history and experiences from North and South Carolina's best courses. The roster of courses featured include recent PGA Championship host Kiawah Island's Ocean Course, as well U.S. Open host Pinehurst No. 2 and PGA Tour stalwart Harbour Town Golf Links. Sprinkled in are a handful of illustrious Carolina private courses like the mountainous Grandfather Golf Club at nearly 6,000 feet of elevation, while there is also some muni love given to the Donald Ross-designed Wilmington Municipal Course. Details: Published by the University of North Carolina Press and available in hardcover for $40.
Seve: His Life Through the Lens
We've got David Cannon's golf course photography via Getty Images all over the pages of our website - he's a legend in the business, capturing not only fabulous golf course scenes but has also been inside the ropes during some of the most incredible moments in the sport. Cannon calls Seve Ballesteros his "sporting hero" and "best photographic subject." Teaming up with the R&A and European Tour, this latest pciture book, released on the 10th anniversary of Seve's passing, showcases Cannon's finest photographs of the iconic Spaniard. Details: $45 on Amazon.
Fans: How Watching Sports Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Understanding
Here's a book for any sports fan that will provide plenty of ammunition as to why your obsession watching and following of sports is in fact, quite healthy for you in a variety of ways. Author Larry Olmsted sets out on a mission to speak with experts in many fields as to the benefits of watching sports both live and on television, from team sports to the joys and benefits of watching America Ninja Warrior. And something that might be especially true for golfers: watching golf makes us want to play more, and in turn be more active and vigorous. Olmsted chronicles how Francis Ouimet's improbable win at the 1913 U.S. Open helped jump start the popularity of the sport in the country, and in particular middle-class Americans, which, if you connect the dots, helped lead to the creation of many of our favorite municipal courses in the country we all enjoy today. Details: Fans is published by Algonquin Books and available on Amazon for $16.99
Without its relatable and inspiring role models, golf might have remained a pure spectator sport of elite specialist professionals, like equestrian jumping or sailing regattas, rather than a widespread, traditional recreation pursuit."
One for The Memory Banks
Luke Reese's first book is getting strong reviews throughout the industry. Reese, who now lives in Colorado, was born in a small town in Ohio and was taught to play golf by two low-handicap Scots. He's worked in the golf industry for three decades and, as a panelist for Golf Magazine, he's experienced some of the world's best courses. His storytelling of how Allan "Bondy" Bond taught him the game and their travels throughout Scotland and Ireland captures what is so great about golf ... the competition, the relationships, the incredible courses, the triumphs (and failures) along the journey. It's part memoir, part travelogue that any golfer will enjoy. Details: It retails for $29.50 at www.thememorybanks.com.
This fictional tale by Jeff Wallach weaves a genetic mystery about two brothers who grew up as Jewish-Americans, but are they? Their quest for knowledge takes them to Ireland with golf very much a part of their discovery. Details: Published in 2020 by Open Books, it retails for $17.95.