Looking for a good golf book or movie? Check out the list below for some of the best!

Check out your local library to find a copy, or buy through Amazon and support First Tee with your purchase (click here to learn how).

If you have a suggestion to add to the list, send an email to information@thefirstteeseattle.org


Movies we recommend

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The Caddy (1953)

A Gentleman’s Game (2002)

The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)

The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)

Seve: The Movie (2016)

Seven Days in Utopia (2011)

The Short Game (2013)

Stroke of Genius (2004)

Tommy’s Honour (2017)

For older audiences:

Caddyshack (1980)

Happy Gilmore (1996)

Tin Cup (1996)


Books we recommend

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Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf, by Ben Hogan

Over 50 years later, Ben Hogan’s book Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf is still considered one of the premier instructional books on the fundamentals of the game of golf. Renowned for his swing, Ben Hogan methodically describes his technique through his lessons. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, this famous book is a must-have reference guide for any golfer.

The Bogey Man: A Month on the PGA Tour, by George Plimpton

What happens when a weekend athlete – of average skill at best – joins the professional golf circuit? George Plimpton, one of the finest participatory sports journalists, spent a month of self-imposed torture on the tour to find out. Along the way, he meets amateurs, pros, caddies, officials, fans, and hangers-on. In The Bogey Man, we find golf legends, adventurers, stroke-saving theories, superstitions, and other golfing lore and, best of all, Plimpton’s thoughts and experiences – frustrating, humbling, and sometimes thrilling – from the first tee to the last green.
This intriguing classic, which remains one of the wittiest books ever written on golf, features Arnold Palmer, Dow Finsterwald, Walter Hagan, and many other golf greats and eccentrics all doing what they do best.

Caddy for Life: the Bruce Edwards Story, by John Feinstein

Beyond golf’s polished surface there lies a world not often seen by the average fan. The caddy sees everything – the ambition, the strategy, the rivalries, the jealousies – that occurs behind the scenes. Award-winning John Feinstein, America’s favourite sportswriter, got one of golf’s legendary caddies to reveal the secrets behind the most popular sport of our time.
Bruce Edwards was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in January 2003, a progressive disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, but he dominated coverage of the 2003 US Open. This is a position not usually bestowed on a caddy, but Edwards was no ordinary caddy. In 1973, after forgoing college, Edwards walked on the course behind a young Tom Watson and never looked back. Watson would go on to win eight major titles with Bruce Edwards by his side. Edwards continued to do the job he had dedicated more than half his life to right up to his death in April 2004, aged 49. This is a moving, dramatic and thoughtful book about a life devoted to sports.

Chicken Soup for the Golfer’s Soul: Stories of Insight, Inspiration, and Laughter on the Links, by Jack Canfield

Chicken Soup for the Golfer’s Soul is a perfect gift for any golfing enthusiast, whether their drives land in the sand or on the green. This inspiring collection of stories from professionals, caddies and amateur golfers shares the memorable moments of the game.

Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your Score, by Dave Pelz

Fed up with trying to imitate the pros, buying the latest expensive equipment, and seeing your handicap stay the same? The first book by bestselling author and internationally revered golf instructor Dave Pelz since Putt Like the Pros, his bestselling classic, Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible can show you the way to lower scores by improving your short game. The result of decades of scientific research studying thousands of golfers, Dave’s philosophy is as simple as it is revolutionary and groundbreaking: Instead of practicing the wrong things the right way, or the right things the wrong way, Pelz shows you how to find your own personal weaknesses and how to improve them to efficiently lower your scores. 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.
A former physicist for NASA, Dave brings a scientific rigor to his research and instruction that has made him the top short-game expert in the world. His renowned golf schools and clinics focus exclusively on putting and the short game, attracting top players like Tom Kite, Colin Montgomerie, two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, reigning PGA champion Vijay Singh, Steve Elkington, Payne Stewart, Peter Jacobsen, and many LPGA players including Annika Sorenstam and Liselotte Neumann. The pros know, as you are about to learn, that while others teach golfers how to swing, Dave Pelz teaches golfers how to score . . .  and win.

Extraordinary Golf: the Art of the Possible, 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 fifteen years, in his clinics around the country, in his Golf in the Kingdom seminars at the Esalen Institute, and at his own School for Extraordinary Golf in California, Shoemaker shows how extraordinary golf can be coached, learned, and practiced, with results not only in people’s scores but in their sheer pleasure in the game. Combining a host of practical exercises with an entirely new point of view, he demonstrates how to focus not on the voices in your head but on the reality of golf: the club, the ball, your body, the course – the elements that actually make up your game. He shows how to approach shots creatively, instead of mechanically; how to read greens simply by staying awake; how to develop a powerful and consistent swing by rediscovering trust for your instincts; and how to improve yourself in competition by determining what you’re competing for. He also gives simple guidelines on how to coach yourself, your spouse, and your children successfully.

Golf in the Kingdom, by Michael Murphy

When an American traveler on his way to India stops to play a round on one of the most beautiful and legendary golf courses in Scotland, he doesn’t know that his game—and his life—are about to change forever. He is introduced to Shivas Irons, a mysterious golf pro whose sublime insights stick with him long after the eighteenth hole. From the first swing of the Scotsman’s club, he realizes he is in for a most extraordinary day.
By turns comic, existential, and semiautobiographical, Michael Murphy’s tale traces the arc of twenty-four hours, from a round of golf on the Links of Burningbush to a night fueled by whiskey, wisdom, and wandering—even a sighting of Seamus MacDuff, the holy man who haunts the hole they call Lucifer’s Rug.
“Murphy’s book is going to alter many visions,” The New York Times Book Review declared. More than an unforgettable approach to one of the world’s most popular sports, Golf in the Kingdom is a meditation on the power of a game to transform the self.

Golf is Not a Game of Perfect, by Dr. Bob Rotella

Dr. Bob Rotella is one of the hottest performance consultants in America today. Among his many professional clients are Nick Price, Tom Kite , Pat Bradley, John Daly, and many others. In Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect, Rotella, or “Doc,” as most players refer to him, goes beyond just the usual mental aspects of the game and the reliance on specific techniques. Rotella creates an attitude and a mindset about all aspects of a golfer’s game, from mental preparation to competition and with a conversational fashion in a dynamic blend of anecdote and lesson. Rotella helps golfers improve their golf game and have more fun playing.

Golf My Way, by Jack Nicklaus

Hailed as a classic and read everywhere golf is played, Golf My Way has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide since it was first published in 1974.
Finally, Jack Nicklaus, golf’s leading master, definitively covers the whole of his game through a lifetime of greatness. Golf My Way presents an all-inclusive, A-to-Z explanation of how this greatest of champions thinks about and plays the game.

A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tour, by John Feinstein

Traveling with the golfers on the PGA Tour, Feinstein gets inside the heads of the game’s greatest players as well as its struggling wannabes. Meet superstars like Nick Price, who nailed a fifty-foot putt at the seventeenth to win the British Open, and Paul Azinger, who marked his return from a bout with cancer with an emotional appearance at the Buick Open. Go behind the scenes for Davis Love III’s unforgettable come-from-behind victory in the Ryder Cup. In golf, Feinstein eloquently relates, the line that separates triumph from disappointment is incredibly fine. “One week you’ve discovered the secret to the game; the next week you never want to play it again.”

The Grand Slam: Bobby Jones, America, and the Story of Golf, by Mark Frost

In the wake of the stock-market crash and the dawn of the Great Depression, a ray of light emerged from the world of sports. In the summer of 1930, Bobby Jones, a 28-year-old amateur golfer, mounted a campaign against the record books. In four months, this natural, self-taught player conquered the British Amateur Championship, the British Open, the United States Open, and finally the United States Amateur Championship, an achievement so extraordinary that writers dubbed it the Grand Slam. No one has ever repeated it.
Yet, soon after the Grand Slam, Jones made the shocking announcement that he was retiring from the game. His abrupt disappearance from the public eye helped create the mythological image of this hero from the Golden Age of sports that endures to this day. Mark Frost uses a wealth of original research to provide an unprecedented intimate portrait of golf great Bobby Jones.

The Greatest Game Ever Played, by Mark Frost

The Greatest Game Ever Played is the story of Francis Ouimet and Harry Vardon, who in pursuit of their passion for a game that captivated them as children, broke down rigid social barriers that made their sport accessible to everyone on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond, positioning golf as one of the most widely played games in the world. Ouimet and Vardon were two men from different generations and vastly different corners of the world whose lives, unbeknownst to them at the time, bore remarkable similarities, setting them on parallel paths that led with a kind of fated inevitability to their epic battle at Brookline years in the future. This collision resulted in the ?big bang’ that gave rise to the sport of golf as we know it today.

The Inner Game of Golf, by Timothy Gallwey

W. Timothy Gallwey’s bestselling Inner Game books–with more than one million copies sold–have revolutionized the way we think about sports. As he did in his phenomenally successful The Inner Game of Tennis, Gallwey provides methods that can be applied to situations beyond the green. The Inner Game of Golf delivers strategies to achieve potential–both in the crucible of competition and in everyday life. With Gallwey as a guide, you’ll learn how to
• defeat your mental demons and find clarity under pressure
• dispel tensions that can sabotage your performance
• build confidence and overcome insecurities that can hijack your best instincts
• employ the art of “relaxed concentration” to improve your swing, your game, and your life
No matter what your skill set, Gallwey’s pioneering strategies, real-life examples, and illuminating advice are perfect for anyone who strives to be a champion on and off the course.

Jack Nicklaus’ Lesson Tee, by Jack Nicklaus

In 45 colorful, easy-to-follow lessons, Jack Nicklaus shares his tips, techniques, and tactics for playing winning golf. Covering everything from A to Z, readers will find all they need to know to play the game to the best of their ability, including not only hitting the shots, but also actually playing the game. Full-color illustrations.

The Last Stand of Payne Stewart: The Year Golf Changed Forever, by Kevin Robbins

Forever remembered as one of the most dramatic storylines in the history of golf, Payne Stewart’s legendary career was bookended by a dramatic comeback and a shocking, tragic end. Here, Robbins brings Stewart’s story vividly to life.
Written off as a pompous showman past the prime of his career, Stewart emerged from a long slump in the unforgettable season of 1999 to capture the US Open and play on the victorious US Ryder Cup team. He appeared to be a new man that summer: wiser, deeper, and on the verge of a new level of greatness. Then his journey to redemption ended in October, when his chartered Learjet flew aimlessly for more than a thousand miles, ran out of fuel, and fell to earth in a prairie in South Dakota.
His death marked the end of an era, one made up of “shotmakers” who played the game with artistry, guile, finesse, and heart. Behind them were Tiger Woods, David Duval, Phil Mickelson, and other young players whose power and strength changed the PGA Tour forever. With exclusive access to Stewart’s friends, family, and one-time colleagues, Kevin Robbins provides a long-overdue portrait of one of golf’s greats in one of golf’s greatest seasons.

Legend of Bagger Vance by Stephen Pressfield

In the Depression year of 1931, on the golf links at Krewe Island off Savannah’s windswept shore, two legends of the game—Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen—meet for a mesmerizing thirty-six-hole showdown. Another golfer will also compete—a troubled local war hero, once a champion, who comes with his mentor and caddie, the mysterious Bagger Vance. It is Vance, sage and charismatic, who will ultimately guide the match, for he holds the secret of the Authentic Swing. And he alone can show his protege the way back to glory.
Written in the spirit of Golf in the Kingdom and The Natural, The Legend of Bagger Vance reveals the true nature of the game in a story that is unforgettable.

Life Well Played by Arnold Palmer

“A wonderful compilation that reflects who he was as a person, as a golfer, and as someone who believed in giving back. He was a champion at each turn, and it was an honor not just knowing him and competing against him for nearly 60 years, but also being his friend.” ―Jack Nicklaus, from the foreword
This book is Palmer’s parting gift to the world — a treasure trove of entertaining anecdotes and timeless wisdom that readers, golfers and non-golfers alike, will celebrate and cherish. No one has won more fans around the world and no player has had a bigger impact on the sport of golf than Arnold Palmer. In fact, Palmer is considered by many to be the most important professional golfer in history, an American icon.
In A Life Well Played, Palmer takes stock of the many experiences of his life, bringing new details and insights to some familiar stories and sharing new ones. This book is for Arnie’s Army and all golf fans but it is more than just a golf book; Palmer had tremendous success off the course as well and is most notable for his exemplary sportsmanship and business success, while always giving back to the fans who made it all possible. Gracious, fair, and a true gentleman, “Arnie” was the gold standard of how to conduct yourself in your career, life, and relationships. Perfect for men and women of all ages, his final book offers advice and guidance, sharing personal stories of his career on the course, success in business, and the great relationships that gave meaning to his life.

Little Red Book by Harvey Penick

Harvey Penick’s life in golf began when he was eight years old, caddying at the Austin, Texas, Country Club. Eight decades later, he is still there, dispensing wisdom to pros and beginners alike. His stature in the golf world is reflected in the wide array of champions that he has worked with, including those featured in this audio program. And it is not for nothing that the Teacher of the Year Award given by the Golf Teachers Association is called the Harvey Penick Award. After sixty years of keeping notes on the things he’s seen and learned and on the golfing greats he’s taught, Penick lets the secrets in his Little Red Book be heard by the golf world in this classic work. His simple, direct, practical wisdom pares away all the hypertechnical jargon that’s grown up around the game, and lets all golfers play their best – whatever their level.

The Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant

In the wake of his retirement from professional basketball, Kobe “The Black Mamba” Bryant decided to share his vast knowledge and understanding of the game to take readers on an unprecedented journey to the core of the legendary “Mamba mentality.” Citing an obligation and an opportunity to teach young players, hardcore fans, and devoted students of the game how to play it “the right way,” The Mamba Mentality takes us inside the mind of one of the most intelligent, analytical, and creative basketball players ever.
In his own words, Bryant reveals his famously detailed approach and the steps he took to prepare mentally and physically to not just succeed at the game, but to excel. Readers will learn how Bryant studied an opponent, how he channeled his passion for the game, how he played through injuries. They’ll also get fascinating granular detail as he breaks down specific plays and match-ups from throughout his career.

The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed by Mark Frost

The year: 1956. Decades have passed since Eddie Lowery came to fame as the ten-year-old caddie to U.S. Open Champion Francis Ouimet. Now a wealthy car dealer and avid supporter of amateur golf, Lowery has just made a bet with fellow millionaire George Coleman. Lowery claims that two of his employees, amateur golfers Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi, cannot be beaten in a best-ball match, and challenges Coleman to bring any two golfers of his choice to the course at 10 a.m. the next day to settle the issue. Coleman accepts the challenge and shows up with his own power team: Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, the game’s greatest living professionals, with fourteen major championships between them.
In Mark Frost’s peerless hands, complete with the recollections of all the participants, the story of this immortal foursome and the game they played that day-legendarily known in golf circles as the greatest private match ever played-comes to life with powerful, emotional impact and edge-of-your-seat suspense.

Miracle at Augusta by James Patterson

A year ago, unknown golfing amateur Travis McKinley shocked the world by winning the PGA Senior Open at Pebble Beach. Now he’s famous, he makes his living playing the game he loves, and everything should be perfect. Still, Travis can’t shake the feeling that he’s a fraud, an imposter who doesn’t deserve his success-and after a series of disappointments and personal screw-ups, he might just prove himself right.
A shot at redemption arrives in an unexpected form: a teenage outcast with troubles of his own . . . and a natural golf swing. As this unlikely duo sets out to achieve the impossible on the world’s most revered golf course, Travis is about to learn that sometimes the greatest miracles of all take place when no one is watching.

Missing Links, by Rick Reilly

From Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly comes this spoof of all things golf and country club.
Missing Links is the story of four middle-class buddies who live outside Boston and play golf together at Ponkaquogue Municipal Golf Links and Deli, not so fondly known as Ponky. An 18-hole garbage dump with hazards that include a concrete river surrounded by a chain-link fence and the pillars of the elevated train that runs through the course, it is reputed to be the worst golf course in America.
One day the group inadvertently discovers that all along they’ve been playing right next door to the Mayflower Club, a true golfing Eden. The rollicking plot includes a bet to see who will be first to sneak in a round at the Mayflower, as well as the narrator’s attempts to reach some sort of reasonable understanding with his overbearing father.

The Natural Golf Swing, by George Knudson

According to champion golfer George Knudson, your swing is governed by laws of nature, and is subject to logical, physical fundamentals that are all too often ignored. By learning the simple principles outlined in this book, you will generate more powerful, accurate swings, reduce your score, and gain control over your game.
Take advantage of Knudson”s more than 30 years experience on the pro circuit as he guides you step-by-step through the mechanics of the natural swing, from the important first step of maintaining proper balance through the backswing, down-swing, and finishing form. Extensive illustrations and drills help to clarify each step. Knudsen also shares his experience as a golfer on the tour, offering valuable insights into the roles that temperament and concentration play in winning.

The One Minute Golfer: Enjoying the Great Game More, by Ken Blanchard

Here are the highly successful training techniques used at one of the top golfing schools in America–the Golf University in San Diego. It was founded by Ken Blanchard, coauthor of the bestselling books The One Minute Manager, Raving Fans, and Gung Ho! In this brilliant book, Blanchard applies his management wisdom to the game of golf. He explains how you can take the same methods that are highly effective in business and adapt them with astonishing success to your golf game. Using training techniques that have been tested with pupils from beginners to low handicappers, The One Minute Golfer offers a long-overdue program for playing and enjoying golf, while improving your game.

Paper Tiger: An Obsessed Golfer’s Quest to Play with the Pros, by Tom Coyne

“Think country-club clinic meets Navy Seals training. I will pay any price, bear any burden, leave my home to follow the seasons, build my own swing studio in the basement, construct a practice green in my backyard. . . . Everything the big boys have access to, I want double.” Like most amateur golfers, Tom Coyne had often wondered whether the pros won because they were more talented or because they were more obsessed. Overweight and burdened by a 14 handicap, he decided to find out for himself what it takes to play like a pro.
Charting his journey, which included hiring top golf gurus such as Dr. Jim Suttie—Paper Tiger takes readers from the Michelob tournament (a win for Tom) to the Australian Tour—where forty-mile-per-hour winds and a driving rain scare off his Japanese partners. With each chapter, he tracks his weight alongside his handicap, pursuing his dream with a reckless abandon that comes to involve hardcore diets, pricey technology, even psychologists. With echoes of Dead Solid Perfect and Who’s Your Caddy? Tom brings his uniquely edgy, deeply human perspective to a game that can simultaneously bring out the best and the worst in everyone who tries to master it.

To the Linksland, by Michael Bamberger

A sportswriter recounts his experiences as a caddy in Europe and his views on the world-famous Scottish courses, including St. Andrews, Cruden Bay, and Machrinhanish, discussing landscape, players, and his own self-discovery. 25,000 first printing.

Unconscious Putting: Dave Stockton’s Guide to Unlocking Your Signature Stroke, by Dave Stockton

When a resurgent Phil Mickelson won the Tour Championship in September 2009, he was quick to credit a series of simple putting lessons from veteran golf champion and instructor Dave Stockton. As a top coach, Stockton has taught a long list of pro players-including Annika Sorenstam, Yani Tseng (winner of four LPGA tournaments), Adam Scott (Texas Open champion), Hunter Mahan (Phoenix Open champion), and Morgan Pressel (World Ladies Championship of Japan winner)-the putting strategies that finessed their game.
Stockton’s breakthrough concept is that every player has their own Signature Stroke, which is unconscious. Good putting comes from the mind, Stockton says, not from a series of stiff mechanical positions. With visualization, the right frame of mind, an efficient pre-putt routine, and connection to the individual internal stroke signature, any player can make far more putts. Putting has always been taught as an offshoot to the full swing, when in reality it is far different- almost a different game. Unconscious Putting will help players get out of the rigid, mechanical, overthinking trap.
In Unconscious Putting, Stockton shows how players at every handicap level-from pros to weekend golfers-can putt effortlessly and with confidence by integrating a new mental approach with a few simple physical routines that will keep them locked on target. Readers will also gain invaluable advice on reading greens and equipment. Illustrated throughout and filled with anecdotes about how Stockton’s lessons have helped today’s leading players, Unconscious Putting is a must-have golf book and a category classic-in-the-making.

Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game by Joseph Parent

In chapters such as “During Your Swing Is Not the Time to Give Yourself a Lesson”, “Isn’t Where You Have to Play It From Punishment Enough?” and “How to Enjoy a Bad Round of Golf,” the author guides golfers with simple yet powerful techniques to prepare for, execute, and, equally important, respond to the results of any golf shot. The author, Dr. Joseph Parent, is a PGA Tour Instructor who draws on his teaching experience to offer special methods that have led to amazing improvements in the games of professionals and amateurs alike.
Zen Golf offers a fresh perspective for golf and for life. Rather than focus on what’s wrong with us (what’s broken, flawed, or missing) we can take the attitude that there is something fundamentally, essentially right with us. Through mindful awareness, distractions and negativity can be recognized and cleared away.
Clear, concise, and enlightening, Zen Golf introduces a unique combination of modern psychology, Buddhist wisdom, and professional golf instruction. By applying classic insights and stories to the challenges of golf, Zen Golf shows you how to make your mind an ally instead of an enemy: how to stay calm, clear the interference that leads to poor shots, and eliminate bad habits and mental mistakes. Zen Golf shapes ancient philosophies into new teachings, leading golfers to the effortless focus and unconditional confidence of being in “the zone.”

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