Here are 6 golf books to read while you’re stuck inside
While we work through this period of social distancing, you’re probably grappling with lots of time in solitude. There are plenty of options to keep yourself busy, but as a scribe, I’d recommend using the time proactively. Here are six golf books to read while you’re social distancing.
From legendary sportswriter John Feinstein, “Tales from Q School” takes you inside “golf’s fifth major” (apologies to the Players Championship). Q school is a grind like no other, and Feinstein takes you on the journey from the first stage all the way to punching tickets to the PGA Tour. The story highlights the heartbreaks and triumphs as thousands of players vie for one of 30 available Tour cards during the most pressure-packed tournament in golf.
This book should be required reading for golfers of any skill level. Harvey Penick was a long-time instructor in Austin, Texas who kept detailed notes in his little red book. With the help of Bud Shrake, the notes were compiled into a masterclass on golf instruction. In a game with so much complexity and nuance, Penick simplifies his explanations with advice everyone can understand.
We remember Payne Stewart as a fallen hero with a tragic ending. But as tragic as his ending was, Stewart wasn’t always regarded so fondly in the public eye. In “The Last Stand,” Kevin Robbins tells the story of Stewart — and all of his flaws — through the lens of his 1999 season, highlighted by a dramatic U.S. Open victory. What readers might not know is that throughout that season, Stewart underwent a character transformation. Robbins tells Stewart’s story of redemption in the context of the overarching change that swept professional golf during that time, culminating with Stewart’s tragic death.
In “Slaying the Tiger,” Shane Ryan takes readers inside the ropes on the PGA Tour for the 2014 season. Each tournament has its own chapter as Ryan tells the stories of golf as a young crop of new stars burst onto the scene. “Slaying the Tiger” takes you inside the changing of the guard on the PGA Tour.
This memoir from GOLF.com’s own Dylan Dethier shares his journey across America, playing golf in each of the lower 48 states. Over the course of a year, Dethier plays everywhere from a raggedy muni in Flint, Mich. to the pristine fairways of TPC Sawgrass in his coming-of-age journey. The book is honest, insightful and well-written, and if you’re a fan of memoirs — particularly those about golf — you’ll be hooked.
Hank Haney was Tiger Woods’ coach from 2004 to 2010, helping him win 31 tournaments and six majors. In that time, he had access to Tiger that few have ever enjoyed. In “The Big Miss,” Haney tells all on Woods’ life from his perspective. It’s a fascinating look at one of the most private and guarded athletes of all-time.
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