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New Golf Books Index

The Best Driving Instruction Book Ever
The Best Driving Instruction Book Ever

Throughout the year, we'll be keeping you up to date on the golf books of 2011 -- what's out, what's coming out, and what they're all about.

2011
NOVEMBER
Golf Magazine: The Best Driving Instruction Book Ever
Editor: David DeNunzio
Publisher: Time Home Entertainment

Next up on the tee, our friends in Time's hardcover division with another snazzily illustrated instructional full of nuts, bolts, tips, drills, theory, practice, and -- for good measure -- a bonus DVD loaded up with 16 ways to let the big dog dominate. Top 100 teachers like Mike Adams, P.J. Tomasi, Jim McLean, Jim Hardy, and Mike Bender advise on every aspect of whacking it long and keeping it straight, from mechanics and set-up to finding the right driver for unsheathing the titanic driver trapped inside us all.

Golf Magazine: The Best Instruction Collection Ever: The Most Complete Guide To Improving Performance in the Three Most Critical Areas of Your Game
Publisher: Time Home Entertainment

Here's where it all comes together: a three-book instructional suite uniting our individual volumes on driving, short game, and putting into a single package. The gang's all here -- the Top 100 instructors and their insights, the unbefuddling prose, the full-color illustrations, and a trio of accompanying DVDS. Prime yourself now. Another season's just around the corner.

OCTOBER
Golf Courses: Great Britain and Ireland
Authors: David Cannon
Publisher: Rizzoli

The tariff on Cannon's new stunner runs about the same as the freight for seven holes at Pebble ($195); "Courses" is a thrill-for-thrill exchange for even the seven on Carmel Bay -- plus you can take it home with you. Cannon's one of the two best course photographers on the planet, and his book's leviathan format -- with gatefolds extending beyond the leather to a full five feet -- shows off his moody, dreamy golfscapes gorgeously. Through his lens, even the usual suspects -- St. Andrews, Turnberry, Prestwick, Royal County Down, Brancaster -- come off in new light from unexpected angles. Granted, the volume's a luxury, but what journey through the game's trophy addresses isn't?

Brassies, Mashies, & Bootleg Scotch: Growing Up on America's First Heroic Golf Course
Author: Bill Fitzpatrick
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

What "Brassies" lacks in length, it makes up for in charm, warmth, and the window it opens onto the National Golf Links and a bygone era of the game. The son of the course's Depression-era greenkeeper, Fitzpatrick worked on the crew and caddied for the swells, and his memoir recollects the old days -- the faces and the place -- less with nostalgia than with a boy's wonder three quarters of a century after the fact. His remembrance of C.B. Macdonald's visit -- by ambulance on his deathbed -- for one last whiff of the place he built is a genuine nugget.

SEPTEMBER
Unconscious Putting
Authors: Dave Stockton with Matthew Rudy
Publisher: Gotham Books

Golf's simplest lessons are the ones that prove most effective and tend to stick. Maybe that's why the path to Dave Stockton's door has become well-worn. His philosopy is so uncluttered and clear, he's emerged as the go-to guy for the likes of Rory and Yani and Michelle and Phil. His secret, like his book, is short and sweet and resides primarily in lightening -- and enlightening -- the dark abyss between our ears. Stockton preaches the benefits of a forward press in the swing and an unconscious mind -- not the same thing as as an empty one -- over the ball. Putting, for Stockton, is about feeling, not thinking; once we've banished the paralyzing march of fixes, fears, and failures, a whole other opportunity presents itself: to just feel the stroke and get the ball rolling.

The 3-Degree Putting Solution: The Comprehansive, Scientifically Proven Guide to Better Putting
Authors: Michael Breed with John Steinbreder
Publisher: Gotham Books

The ebullient host of "The Golf Fix" and a regular contributor to Golf Magazine, Breed codifies and lobbies for a tactic that some of the game's best putters intuitively incorporated into their putting: delofting the club to eliminate backspin and produce a smoother roll. The methodology is uncomplicated, but ingraining it takes practice; Breed spawns a variety of drills to go with sound advice for reading greens, so only one negative remains: the angle at which the clubface collides with the golf ball.

AUGUST
The 40 Toughest Shots in Golf: A Pro's Guide To Better Shot Making and Lower Scoring
Authors: Todd Sones with John Montelone
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

OK, raise your hands if you look forward to deep rough, fried eggs, uneven lies, hardpan and threading the needle through the trees. Didn't think so. Still, they're the sorts of predicaments we find ourselves in all too often. By effectively assembling a bagful of well-illustrated plans for escaping from dozens of these situations, Sones, a Top 100 Teacher, may not change your outlook about getting into trouble, but he'll certainly bolster your confidence -- and technique -- for getting out.

The Scratch Golfer's Ultimate Trivia Book
Author: Don Wade
Publisher: Sterling

With its hundreds and hundreds of multiple-choice teasers clumped into categories from Bobby Jones to Tools of the Trade, if "Trivia's" not the most mind-numbing golf book of the year, it may well be the most addictive. What other volume reveals that Mark Rolfing was Dan Quayle's college roommate, that Frank Connor and Ellsworth Vines were the only gents to have competed in U.S. Opens in both golf and tennis, and that the 1930 greens fee for hotel guests at Pebble Beach was -- get the defibrillator ready -- $1.50? And there's more where that came from. Lots more.

JULY
The Swinger: A Novel
Authors: Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Consider the set-up: His real name is Herbert, but all call him Tree, and he's the greatest golfer in the history of the solar system. He's rich, he's famous, he's got a spectacular wife, adorable kids, and a yacht almost as big as his ... libido. You can guess the rest, right? Not so fast. With SI's own Bamberger and Shipnuck at the keyboards, the obvious isn't so obvious and it's ha-ha funnier than real life. Sure, the scandal's a hoot, the fall's titanic, and the players -- on and off the course -- identifiable without a scorecard, but this is still a novel, which means after the fall, there's even hope for redemption.

Golf Course of Rhymes: Links Between Golf and Poetry Through the Ages
Author: Leon S. White, Ph.D.
Publisher: Golfiana Press

Now for something completely different. White, a retired MIT professor, lets the big doggerel eat in an appealing collection that covers the fairways with reasonable rhymes from Poets Laureate (Britain's John Betjman and America's Billy Collins) to more familiarly versed in other genres, among them Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, Grantland Rice, Ring Lardner, E.C. (as in Clerihew) Bentley, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Chick Evans -- yes, that Chick Evans -- and the ubiqiutuos and always reliable Unknown. White seasons his mix with contributions from his own pen, and enjoyable commentary from end to end.

Golf Fitness
Author: Karen Palacios-Jansen and the editors of Golf Fitness Magazine
Publisher: Taylor Trade

There's not a swing tip in its pages, but "Fitness" can only improve your game -- and overall health. Filled with stretches, exercises, and full routines (including those of Masters champ Trevor Immelman and LPGA titleist Suzanne Peterson), "Fitness" extends itself to address nutrition, weight, pain and mental outlook. Gary Player pens the foreward. How fitting.

Putter Perfection: The Groundbreaking Guide to Finding the Right Fit For Your Game
Author: Sean Weir
Publisher: Overspin Media

So, which putter is hurting your game more, the one holding the stick or the flat stick itself? Weir contends the inanimate one is as organic to success on the greens as the one with DNA, and devotes just under 100 informative pages to what you need to know to assure that the putter and the putter holding it can coexist in peace and harmony.

JUNE
Wonder Girl: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrickson Zaharias
Author: Don Van Natta Jr.
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Like that other Babe, this one also casts a mighty shadow. Talented, audacious, and full of pizzazz, she was one of a kind, a tower of sporting achievement, and golf is forever fortunate she chose to embrace the game after mastering so many others. She didn't just promote golf, she barnstormed for it, making the cuts in several PGA events. Her presence alone jumpstarted the fledgeling LPGA, then her courageous return from colon cancer to win the 1954 Women's Open jumpstarted the national imagination. She was so Bunyonesque a character that it's easy to overlook the reality: like that other Babe, her life was just that, a life -- as fragile and flawed as it was fabulous. Van Natta rectifies the oversight. In his sweeping bio, her heart beats loudly on every page.

Deane Beman: Golf's Driving Force
Author: Adam Schupak
Publisher: East Cottage Press

In his 20 years as PGA commissioner, Beman's vision changed the face of tournament golf. He steered a collection of events into a juggernaut, built the charity base, lassoed sponsors, sowed the seeds of the Players Championship and the TPCs, shepherded the separation of the Tour from the PGA, fought insurrections, forged alliances, battled equipment makers, raised profiles, and made a lot of people a lot of money. Schupak's scrupulously researched chronicle does more than give Beman his overdue due; by telling Beman's story, he compellingly charts the behind-the-scenes maneuverings that transformed a not-so-simple game into billion-dollar enterprise.

Let There Be Pebble: A Middle Handicapper's Year in America's Garden of Golf
Author: Zachary Michael Jack
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Every golfer goes through some variation of the mid-life crisis. Not everyone gets to do it on the Monterrey Peninsula. Once the obvious envy is removed from the equation, what's left is an inviting escapade into discovering -- through a diverse cast from Michael Murphy and Clint Eastwood to the caddie corps and the author himself -- why Pebble and its high-rent environs are always so absorbing, especially in an Open season.

MAY
Four Days in July: Tom Watson, the 2009 Open Championship and a Tournament for the Ages
Author: Jim Huber
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

The drama was heart-stoppingly rich in the moment, and remains heart-breakingly rich in retrospect. Watson. 59 years old. Turnberry. The Open. Huber, whose sterling commentaries grace CNN and TNT, carefully reconstructs the unforgettable week in a lively narrative filled with the recollections of those who lived it -- from participants like Watson, his caddie Neil Oxman, and eventual winner Stewart Cink to such interested and interesting parties as Nicklaus, Trevino, and Player. Huber's chronicle is elegant and detailed. It just doesn't change the ending.

Championship Golf Courses of Great Britain and Ireland: The Essential Guide to 43 Major Courses
Publisher: AA Publishing

The British Automobile Association has always had a knack with drivers. In this lavishly illustrated tour guide fit for any golfer's coffee table, the venerable AA displays its mastery of several other parts of the game, not the least of which is inspiring golf dreams. The nearly four dozen included courses cover the waterfront, the parkland, and the heathland from Royals -- like St. George's, Dornoch, Porthcawl and County Down -- to the peerless: St. Andrews, Aberdovey, Ballybunion and Sunningdale. Each has its own pictorial spread and brief write-up. Even better, each arrives with 18 hole-by-hole drawings that amount to a set of tantalizing yardage books. Which should come as no surprise. If the AA can't map a journey, who can?

The World Atlas of Golf: The Greatest Courses and How They Are Played
Editor: Mark Rowlinson
Publisher: Hamlyn

When first published in 1976, the "Atlas," now in its sixth incarnation, was a revelation, an instant cornerstone to any golf library. Focusing on the course itself -- as a cunning piece of craftsmanship, not just a destination or a battlefield -- it was big. It was brash. It was smart. It was colorful. It still is, thankfully. It still covers every continent. It's still full of analysis, insight, history, architecture, and advice. And it still comes with its marvelous defining feature: detailed overhead drawings of each of the 80 included courses (though, alas, given satellite photography not every routing is hand painted anymore.) But the original arrived with a murders' row of wordsmiths behind it -- the cosmopolitan foursome of Herbert Warren Wind, Pat Ward-Thomas, Charles Price and Peter Thomson -- and time has sadly erased their contributions and replaced their presence with lesser pens. Mesmerizing and addictive as the "Atlas" remains, nothing can replace the backbone and style of its Founding Fathers.

The Art of the Swing: Short Game Swing-Sequencing Secrets That Will Improve Your Total Game in 30 Days
Author: Stan Utley with Matthew Rudy
Publisher: Gotham

Short game guru Utley uses his sequencing concepts to -- well, the book's subtitle tells the story. What it doesn't tell is this: "Art" is the first instructional to incorporate Smartphone TagReader technology. So, in addition to photographs interspersed through the text, tags are sprinkled throughout; point your iPhone or Blackberry and click, and a video appropriate to the point Utley's making magically appears. If only sorting out the swing were that easy.

Golf List Mania!: The Most Authoritative and Opinionated Rankings of the Best and Worst in the Game
Authors: Leonard Shapiro and Ed Sherman
Publisher: Running Press

Nicklaus's own list of his five favorite victories? Certainly authoritative. Shapiro on the 10 Greatest Golf Traditions and Sherman on the 11 Greatest Shots of All Time? Opinionated, to be sure. There's much to digest and argue with in "Mania," but, then, what else are lists for? Guest lists contributed by Ian-Baker Finch, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Dan Jenkins, and even Errie Ball, the last survivor of the original Masters, add to the entertainment.

Driving Lessons: A Father, Son, and the Healing Power of Golf
Author: Steve Friedman
Publisher: Rodale

You can always tell when Father's Day's on the horizon; squint and you'll see subtitles like this one's. Though Friedman's short, mid-life memoir of reconnection hits the requisite shots of the genre -- lives in flux, father-son loose ends, renewal on the links -- Friedman's a skilled enough writer not to let the conventions sink him. When he was growing up, golf stood between him and his father. In middle-age, he finally ask his father to teach him how to play. Instead of spooning out the treacle, Friedman lets his story resonate with a deprecating wit he directs at himself.

Golfing With Dad: The Game's Greatest Players Reflect on Their Fathers and the Game They Love
Author: David Barrett
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

You can always tell when Father's Day's on the horizon ... but why sound like a broken record? When a gaggle of tour pros -- from Arnie, Jack and Phil to Peter Jacobson, Christina Kim, and J.J. Henry -- look back on the moments they shared on course with their fathers, expect the expected, and for the most part, that's what "Dad" delivers. There are a few different strokes here and there -- like Brittany Lincicome's dad, a scratch player, sacrifices his own Jones for the game to foster his daughter's -- just not enough to cut the sugar high.

Science and Golf: Proceedings of the First World Scientific Congress of Golf
Editor: A.J. Cochran
Publisher: Routledge

In 1990, golf-savvy scientists from around the globe convened for a conference at -- where else? -- the University of St. Andrews to present their research to other golf-savvy scientists. With titles such as "The Analysis of Time Series Decomposition Techniques to the Analysis of Golf Performance" and "The Effect of Sand Type on Ball Impacts, Angle of Repose and Stability of Footing in Golf Bunkers," this collection may not find its way to the bedside table, but some of the presenters have become household names in the game: Gary Wiren, Bob Rotella, and Dave Pelz. Even a quick delve into Rotella's co-written "A Closer Look at the Mind in Golf" can find the seed of several best-sellers planted within.

APRIL
America's Gift to Golf: Herbert Warren Wind on the Masters
Author: Herbert Warren Wind
Publisher: The American Golfer

"If it's nae wind, it's nae golf," the Scots assure us. The American corollary, then, might go something like this: "It it's nae Wind, it's nae the Masters." Stretching from 1954 to 1989, here, finally, are all of Wind's essential words on the event he brought so much color to with those words, including the two most associated with it: "Amen Corner," which he coined. There's even the unpublished gem that only ran in the SI prototype. Jones. Sarazen. Snead. Hogan. Palmer. Player. Nicklaus. Watson. Crenshaw. The gang's all here. Hallelujah. And amen.

The 1986 Masters: How Jack Nicklaus Roared Back to Win
Author: John Boyette
Publisher: Lyons Press

The silver anniversary of the Bear's golden moment's spawned a mini-publishing phenomenon. This one carries the trappings of a commemorative: glossy pages, lots of art, and the Nicklaus blessing. The sports editor of the Augusta Chronicle, Boyette augments his narrative with photos from the paper's archives, back-nine hole diagrams, brief interviews with Jack and Barbara, and this remarkable factoid: In the aftermath of the victory, MacGregor received 5,000 phone orders for Jack's Response ZT putter by noon the next day. Of course, history suggests the real game improvement feature was the putter on the other end of the grip.

Golf's Finest Par Threes: The Art & Science of the One-Shot Hole
Authors: Tony Roberts and Michael Barrett
Publisher: ECW Press

There have been plenty of volumes dedicated to distinguishing great golf holes, but this one's a first: all Par Threes all the time, and it's a beauty. As Tillinghast himself once noted, you don't judge a hole by its length, but by its interest and variety, and the wide variety - from the mountains to the prairies to the ocean's edge -- on display in their photographic glory are nothing if not interesting. What makes "Finest" even more interesting are the architectural analyses, the assembling of the ultimate Par Three course - relax: North Berwick's Redan, Yale's Biarritz, Pebble's No. 7, Augusta's No. 12, and the 16th at Cypress all make the cut - and a series of seven fascinating "Reflections" that stretch from a list of courses with the best sets of one-shotters to the shots themselves - like Watson's at Pebble -- that helped define greatness in Major competion.

Golf Magazine -- 500 Best Tips Ever: Simple Techniques to Help You Improve Your Game and Shoot Lower Scores
Editor: David DeNunzio
Publisher: Time Home Entertainment

Once again, the folks who bring you this space are happy - via its book publishing side -- to help tweak your game with another snappy compendium of advice. Swing troubles? Driving issues? Irons? Short game? Sand? Strategy? Trouble shots? Not a problem. The Top 100 Teachers in America come together to address your faults and suggest the fixes in the 500 promised mini-lessons of the title, all neatly illustrated and easy to grasp.

Play Your Best Golf Now: Discover Vision54's 8 Essential Playing Skills
Authors: Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott
Publisher: Gotham Books

Two of the game's cutting-edge instructors, Nilsson and Marriott base their approach on approach, and that holistic approach, in a nutshell, is this: to play better, think and feel the game better. Of course, it's not quite that simple, but there's a freeing clarity to their philosophy of golfing mindfulness, and their teaching techniques are blissfully free of crossed wires and confusing mechanics. This, their third instructional, focuses on an octet of fundamentals - from deciding the shot to play to building emotional resilience - that every golfer must master in quest of Vision54's almost mystical ideal of perfection: 18 holes, 18 birdies. Impossible? Maybe. But that's why it's an ideal.

Silent Mind Golf: How to Get Out of Your Own Way and Play Instinctively
Author: Robin Sieger
Publisher: Aurum

"The mind," suggested the poet of "Paradise Lost," "is its own place, and in itself, can can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven." Especially on the golf course. Sieger, a motivator by day, identifies his keys to quieting the internal chatter, then offers mental conditioning techniques - including a guided visualization on an accompanying CD - for advancing the kind of stillness that might actually encourage us to enlighten our load and get out of our own golfing way.

Golfweek's 101 Winning Golf Tips: Become a Shot-making Virtuouso With Tips From the Tour's Top Pros
Author: John Andrisani
Publishier: Skyhorse Pulishing

One of the game's most prolific instructional writers, Andrisani covers the waterfront - and the bunkers, fairways, tees, and greens - in his slim amalgamation of shot-making advice from some of the best players at work today. Every shot is broken down into three easy to follow components - situation, strategy, and technique - and though the illustrations are more generic than useful, a series of boxes throughout the volume identifies the player particularly good at a particular shot for further study.

Teed Off: My Life as a Player's Wife on the PGA Tour
Author: Sherrie Daly
Publisher: Gallery

John Daly's fourth ex-wife tells all. Enough said. Still, if there's no particular insight into why he's wearing those pants, there is into why he seems so partial to yellow.

MARCH
One for the Ages: Jack Nicklaus and the 1986 Masters
Author: Tom Clavin
Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Augusta. Jack. 1986 -- a threesome still raising goosebumps 25 years after the fact. Clavin marks the anniversary with a mix of Masters' history and a re-creation of events, building his retelling of the Nicklaus ascension on contemporary reportage and the recollections of a few key players. That the 21st century Bear makes nary a cameo is of no consequence; the masterpiece that he left golf hangs eternally on its own.

The Timeless Swing
Authors: Tom Watson with Nick Seitz

Publisher: Atria

Any swing that won a British Open in 1975 and held up long enough to almost notch another 34 years later is a swing worth learning from, and Watson's swing is certainly that: simple, solid and consistent enough to stand the test of time. His advice -- from the most basic fundamentals to the mysteries of low hooks, high fades, and cheating the wind -- is just as simple, solid and consistent, with lots of helpful photos and photo sequences for good measure. Watson being Watson, he neatly peppers the text with "Watson Moments," epiphanies that shed light on how he kept his swing -- and mind -- together in the crucible of competition. And, Watson being Watson, he also includes a nice section he calls "Swing Younger," which offers advice to help unleash the 59-year-old Open contender latent in every golfer.

True Boo: Gator Catchin', Orangutan Boxin', and My Wild Ride to the PGA Tour
Author: Boo Weekley with Paul Brown
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Interesting that Boo's co-author is an award-winning wildlife photographer; how else to bring such a rare species of untamed golfer into focus? Few stones -- or bodily functions -- are left unturned in this immensely enjoyable look at the folk hero of the '08 Ryder Cup, his rise to the Tour, and his menagerie of insights and escapades ... and so much the better for Weekley readers. As a character, he's filled with character; corn pone may cover the surface, but it's the layer just below -- built on decency and work ethic -- that's catapulted Boo from a potential punchline into a knockout fan favorite.

Golf Foreplay: Everything You Need to Know About the Game - Before You Try to Hit the Sweet Spot
Author: Ken Altshuler
Publisher: Sellers Publishing

The title's a mouthful and the cover's silly, but what's inside adds up to a first-rate primer on everything about the game except how to hit the ball. Etiquette? Check. Tradition? Check. Basic rules? Check. Basic dress? Check. Handicaps? Check. Equipment? Check. Scorecard deconstruction? Check. Tipping? Check. Wagering? Check. All those checks make "Foreplay" a worthy mate for the golfing journey. Newbies need it. As for the rest of us hackers, a little refresher couldn't hurt now and then.

The R & A Golfers Handbook 2011
Editor: Renton Laidlaw
Publisher: Macmillan

For the obsessives among us, the annual release of the R & A Handbook comes with as much anticipation as the azaleas at Augusta; it reinforces just how universal the Royal and Ancient endavor truly is, and how infatuated we are in our appreciation of that. Heftier than the Stadlers, the Handbook is more like a two-hand book, and it's loaded with all the gold we've come to expect from it: stats and recaps, mini-bios, rules, directories, and the long section on "Interesting Facts and Unusual Incidents" that always manages to live up to its billing. The big changes year to year are the essays up front: the new crop mucks around in how the Euros have commandeered the Majors, how Padraig Harrington jump-started Irish golf, and how technology makes for easier understanding of the rules. And, of course, next time you need to make a tee time in Nepal, you can just turn to page 871 for the number.

Golf's Strangest Rounds: Extraordinary But True Stories From Over a Century of Golf
Author: Andrew Ward
Publisher: Anova Books

Made up of 66 short eyebrow-raisers with titles like "The Spectator Who Holed Himself," "A Human Tee," "Masked English Golfer in New York," "When Ben Hogan Wasn't in the First Seven Thousand," and -- who can forget? -- "Van de Velde in the Water," this English chestnut, just updated and exported, is designed for dipping into willy-nilly a few minutes at a time. But beware: the minutes can add up faster than triple bogeys.

 

FEBRUARY
The Historical Dictionary of Golf
Authors: Bill Mallon and Randon Jerris
Publisher: Scarecrow Press

Nothing like a big, fat reference book[MDASH]and at more than 800 pages, this is certainly one of them[MDASH]to stir the latent curiosity about the game we tend to schlep along with our clubs. As its name suggests, the "Dictionary" is a golfing Webster's, its host of entries[MDASH]names, places, events, implements, even lingo and terminology[MDASH]neatly rolled out from Abbot (Margaret Ives) to Zuback (Jason) in alphabetical order. But that's not the half of it, or barely a third; the dictionary section is bracketed by a heft of arcana that serious golfers take pride in being up on: a comprehensive 46-page chronology - dating back to 1297 -- kicks things off, then 400 pages of various results-rich appendices segue into a bibliography so long and luxe that you'd best consider reinforcing your bookshelves before dipping in.

Essential Golf Skills: Key Tips and Techniques To Improve Your Golf Game
Publisher: DK Publishing

Size matters. This slimmed-down version of "The Complete Golf Manual," a British import that crossed The Atlantic last year, fits nicely in the main pocket of a golf bag. "Essential's" tips are useful, but its drills cover the waterfront. The clear photo sequences that attend them combine with its durable cover and lack of avoirdupois (the book weighs in at about two golf balls and a utility head cover) to form a deceptively thin instructional that's as totable to the range as it is consultable from the easy chair.

JANUARY
The Intelligent Golfer: How To Play a Civilized Game - The Essential Guide to Success on the World's Finest Courses
Author: Scott Martin
Publisher: Universe Publishing

For the intelligent golfer -- and you know who you are -- "The Intelligent Golfer" is essentially a reminder of what you already know and where you've already been (either awake or in your golf dreams). Its bulk, beyond the pile-up of subtitles, is a general travel guide that rounds up the game's usual suspects -- Pinehurst, Bandon, St. Andrews, Lahinch -- with a few frills tossed in like how to pack for the journey, how to write a letter to Britain's private clubs for access, and a reminder, when playing Pebble, that poa can be tricky to putt on. Yet even the most intelligent golfer -- and, again, you know who you are -- can benefit from "IG's" gentle reminders on course etiquette and smart advice for averting the varied disasters of decorum that fate has a knack for twisting us up in. If only "The Intelligent Golfer" offered more of that -- a lot more of that -- then it would hae been a truly intelligent volume, instead of an introduction to the obvious.

 

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