Golf Instruction Books
This section of the Proponent Group recommendations library includes the top golf technique books as voted on by our members. Below you will find the 20 books most often mentioned as seminal reading for serious teachers by our membership. They are ranked in order with descriptive copy that appears with each book on Amazon.com. All of these books are currently available at Amazon or at the teacher’s personal website. How many of the Top 20 are in your library?
#1) THE GOLFING MACHINE By Homer Kelley
This book describes how (and why) every aspect of the golf swing works. Admittedly, the book is not easy reading, but the content holds what is probably some of the most accurate information on the golf swing available based on years of research into the physics/geometry behind the golf swing. This book has achieved cult-like status in the teaching community and today teachers can be certified in the application of the book’s content.
#2) HARVEY PENICK’S LITTLE RED BOOK By Harvey Penick
Named after the red notebook Penick always kept, this book is a collection of parables revealing the important truths behind the game of golf. It is full of useful advice not only for the keen golfer, but for pros and teachers as well. It is divided into a series of anecdotal lessons and teachings, from learning which club to use and practicing the swing, through to overcoming bad habits and preparing for big matches
#3) BEN HOGAN’S FIVE LESSONS: THE MODERN FUNDAMENTALS OF GOLF By Ben Hogan
Ben Hogan truly believed that any golfer with average coordination can learn to break 80 if he would apply himself intelligently – and here, with Herbert Warren Wind and artist Anthony Ravielli, he tells you, step by step, just how to go about it. Each chapter, each tested “fundamental” is explained and demonstrated with amazing detail and clarity. It’s as though the master himself were right there at your elbow, giving you a personal lesson with the same thought and care that has gone into his lifetime of golf.
#4) THE PLANE TRUTH FOR GOLFERS By Jim Hardy
In his bestseller, The Plane Truth for Golfers, Jim Hardy revolutionized how golf is taught around the world by introducing his innovative one-plane and two-plane swings. His thesis is that there are two sets of fundamentals to the swing, not one. There is a one-plane swing for more athletic players, and the two plane swing, suitable for players of all abilities. Every player falls neatly into one of these two categories according to Hardy.
#5) SWING LIKE A PRO By Dr. Ralph Mann and Fred Griffin
Joined by premier golf instructor Fred Griffin, Dr. Ralph Mann captures the essence of the skills of golf’s greatest champions in Swing Like a Pro. For 17 years, CompuSport International’s biomechanics expert Dr. Ralph Mann devoted himself to studying the swings of more than 100 PGA and LPGA Tour players to uncover the keys to a better game and a lower handicap. The results: a breakthrough learning tool, the computer-generated composite Pro.
#6) ON LEARNING GOLF By Percy Boomer
A quaint classic from 1946, with an intro by the Duke of Windsor. As Boomer himself explains, “This is not a book on the science of golf, but about learning it. Everything in the science of the game has been written, little on how to learn it. So I outline a method of learning and stress certain points about the golf swing.” Truly one of the most interesting reads on playing golf ever written.
#7) SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT SWING by Alistair Cochran and John Stobbs
Internationally renowned scientists in physics, ballistics, anatomy and human biomechanics and cybernetics conducted this groundbreaking, intensive, six-year study of the golf swing. By analyzing the swings of the world’s best golfers and basic human mechanics of movement, these scientists have uncovered ways to build the ideal golf swing. Long considered an instructional classic, Search for the Perfect Swing presents the scientific results in a framework that’s easy to understand and apply.
#8) DAVE PELZ’ SHORT GAME BIBLE By Dave Pelz
The result of decades of scientific research studying thousands of golfers, Dave’s philosophy is as simple as it is revolutionary and groundbreaking. Packed with all the knowledge, charts, and photos needed to learn from the master; Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible is the essential book for every golfer who’s looking to improve his or her game.
#9) THE LAWS OF THE GOLF SWING By Adams, Suttie and Tomasi
The LAWs of the Golf Swing is a teaching model that recognizes that the way a person swings his or her golf club is dependent on the person’s body type, personal strengths and natural tendencies. LAWs is an acronym for the three most common swing types: Leverage for golfers of average build and flexibility, then there’s the Arc player – tall, thin-chested, with maximum flexibility, and the Width player with a thicker torso, shorter arms, less flexibility but more shoulder strength.
#10) THE 8 STEP SWING By Jim McLean
With characteristic clarity and expertise, McLean breaks down the swing action into the eight key checkpoint positions that will build a grooved, repeatable, and mechanically sound swing. Helpful practice tips, drills, and mental exercises supplemented with technically accurate photographs keep you on track.
#11) PRACTICAL GOLF By John Jacobs
In this classic, world-renowned teacher John Jacobs presents a simple, sound way to an improved game for any skill level. Distilling his unrivaled knowledge into clear, practical instruction, Jacobs shows how to develop a consistent swing, improve mental attitude, achieve superior results from the rough, cure a slice in five minutes, and get greater distance. Line drawings.
#12) EXTRAORDINARY GOLF By Fred Shoemaker
Most golfers approach the tee with a complex mental package: worries and judgments about their swing, the other person’s swing, the course, the weather, looking good, looking bad. They think about what’s wrong instead of what’s possible, and this is what Extraordinary Golf teaches: the art of the possible. Drawing on his experience teaching both amateurs and professionals for more than 15 years, Shoemaker combines a host of practical exercises with an entirely new point of view.
#13 THE ART OF PUTTING By Stan Utley
PGA stars such as Jay Haas, Craig Stadler, Peter Jacobsen, and Darren Clarke have all sought advice from fellow pro Stan Utley about their putting. Now, in The Art of Putting he outlines his unique approach to putting for golfers of all skill levels. In a welcome change from mechanistic and overly-complex putting “systems,” Utley breaks down the putting stroke to a simple, natural motion, revealing a straightforward method for learning this sure, repeatable stroke.
#14) THE ONLY GOLF LESSON YOU WILL EVER NEED By Hank Haney
In The Only Golf Lesson You’ll Ever Need Hank Haney shares the secrets he’s learned by observing thousands of students. He explains how intelligent observation of your ball-flight tendencies–the way your shot behaves in the air–provides the answers to helping you develop a consistent repeating swing that will lower your scores. You’ll also pick up valuable pointers on how to precisely match your equipment to your game.
#15) GOLF SWING SECRETS AND LIES, SIX TIMELESS LESSONS By Michael Hebron
This book was written and compiled to be a tool and a guide for golfers who are not happy with their progress. It was written to give golfers some reason to rethink how they currently perceive their swing and refine how they are trying to improve. The general premise of the book is that the best information is information that is geared to helping people help themselves.
#16) SEE AND FEEL THE INSIDE MOVE THE OUTSIDE By Michael Hebron
A must read for every serious golfer who wants a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of the golf swing. It focuses on the motions and actions present in all sound golf swings. Explanations and the many illustrations are easy to understand. Hebron quotes Ben Hogan and Bobby Jones throughout the book. Originally his Masters thesis, now a classic in the industry.
#17) SWING THE CLUBHEAD By Ernest Jones
The teachings of Ernest Jones are of a distant generation, yet no one with the possible exception of Percy Boomer, has such an influence on modern day golf instruction. Jones is quoted in countless magazine articles, and golf instruction books by well-known players and teachers, including Jack Nicklaus, and Gary McCord.
#18) THE GOLF SWING By David Leadbetter
In the most revolutionary instruction book since Ben Hogan’s Modern Fundamentals, golfing guru David Leadbetter discloses the swing secrets that transformed the game of Nick Faldo-and which can bring solid ball striking within the reach of any dedicated golfer. The 250 individual color illustrations bring the text to life, showing clearly how a sound golf swing can be developed in a step-by-step manner.
#19) EVERY SHOT MUST HAVE A PURPOSE By Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson
Two legendary coaches give golfers a powerful new approach to the game… and to life. As coaches to some of golf’s top players, Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott have designed and refined a revolutionary way of teaching the game, with phenomenal results. Unlike any other golf book, Every Shot Must Have a Purpose offers cutting-edge techniques for integrating the physical, technical, mental, emotional, and social parts of a player’s game.
#20) THE X-FACTOR SWING By Jim McLean
Jim McLean’s theory is that it isn’t how much a golfer turns, but how much the shoulders turn in relation to the turn of the hips, that creates the power behind a swing. He introduced his theory to a sports specialist who tested it out on Tour pros using a high-tech machine which revealed that the differential between the shoulder turn and the hip turn creates the torque and the power in the golfer’s swing.