Summer reading: Golf books worthy of skipping a tee time to read

I haven't written a golf book ... yet.

I can brag about the next best thing, though - being featured in one.

I have buddy Chris Rodell to thank. He wrote about our chance meeting with Arnold Palmer in 2016 in Latrobe, Pa. The whole experience was quite surreal, given that Palmer passed away less than six months later. If you want to know more, it's all laid out in Rodell's latest book, 'Arnold Palmer, Homespun Stories of the King'.

It's one of the four fine golf books that have found their way to my desk in 2018. If you're looking for some summer reading, or a late present for Father's Day or an upcoming birthday for your favorite golfer, give these books a look:

Arnold Palmer: Homespun Stories of The King

There are quite a few Palmer books out there. I've got 'Arnie & Jack' by Ian O'Connor sitting on a shelf above my computer right now. What I love about Rodell's is his take on who Palmer really was. Having lived near Latrobe, Pa., and written for Palmer's Kingdom Magazine, Rodell got to know Palmer and his inner circle personally. He took out an ad in the local paper looking for people willing to share their Palmer stories. He rounded up plenty of good ones from locals who knew him, like Palmer's dentist. Western Pennsylvania was Palmer's playground, and the place he felt most at home. Palmer was the King to most of us, but Rodell paints the picture of an everyman who never got too big for his britches. Newspaper clippings and a Palmer Timeline adds trivia and milestones to the mix. After reading the book, you'll have a more intimate understanding of the King, kind of like you sat down for a conversation, shared an Arnold Palmer together and became old pals. Publisher: Triumph Books.

A Course Called Scotland

Tom Coyne's much anticipated followup to his fun book 'A Course Called Ireland' lived up to my high expectations. Who wouldn't be jealous of Coyne's adventures getting to play every links in Scotland? He mixes well his commentary on the courses with the historical significance of each place he visits. This is a must-read for anybody going to Scotland for the first time or as preparation for The Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in July. Publisher: Simon and Schuster.

The Finest Nines: The Best Nine-Hole Golf Courses in North America

The timing of this hardcover book by author Anthony Pioppi couldn't be better. The United States Golf Association is heavily promoting playing nine holes to golfers pressed for time (and money) in today's fast-paced world. Who has all day to play 18 holes anymore? Most people don't.

The stigma that nine-hole courses aren't legit places to play is just silly. Pioppi highlights 25 of the finest nine-holers in North America and details how to play each one. Sadly, the one nearest me in northern California, Aetna Springs Golf Course near Napa, closed earlier this year. Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing.

The Range Bucket List: The Golf Adventure of a Lifetime

James Dodson has written numerous golf books, including one about Palmer, but this one was inspired by a simple act - opening an old trunk in his mother's attic and finding a list of 11 things he wanted to do in golf that he had written when he was 13 years old. He accomplished a few of them - Meeting Bobby Jones in Chapter One - and shares other tales of traveling the world chasing a little white ball, meeting Donald Trump, John Updike and others along the way. Publisher: Simon and Schuster.

I've written a similar bucket list of 25 things I think every golfer should strive to accomplish. Maybe I should have turned the idea into a book instead. Maybe someday. For now, I'll leave writing golf books to the experts. All told, these four authors have published more than a dozen golf books. Keep writing, and we'll keep reading.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Summer reading: Golf books worthy of skipping a tee time to read