Category Archives: books

A Small Golf Reference Library

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’re a golf reader.   (Not everybody is.)   You might have more than a few golf books at home, too.   Nothing wrong with that.   I have several score.

These are the ones I have found to be most useful in teaching technique, diagnosing problems, and just plain having fun with golf.

On Learning Golf, by Percy Boomer, 1946. The original book on how to be a feel player.   This book still has influence.

Advanced Golf, by Vivien Saunders, 1995. Saunders goes into detail on points that barely get mentioned in popular instruction books.   Once you get the hang of the basic swing, this is how you elevate it.

Golf Doctor, by John Jacobs (also published as Curing Faults for Weekend Golfers), 1979. Jacobs describes twenty-five errant shot patterns, explains why they happen, and tells what to do about them, in detail that no other book even approaches.   Whatever is going wrong, it’s in here.

The Elements of Scoring, by Raymond Floyd, 1998. This is absolutely the best book there is on both the mental game and the art of getting the ball in the hole.

The Complete Golfer, Herbert Warren Wind, ed., 1954. Great fun.   Fiction, humor, memoirs, history, instruction, and fold-out maps of great courses.   This book is for people who realize there was golf before Tiger Woods, or even Palmer, Player, and Nicklaus, or want want to find out about it.

A few others:
The Golf Swing, by Cary Middlecoff, 1974.
Play Golf the Wright Way, by Mickey Wright, 1990.
The Short Way to Lower Scoring, by Paul Runyan, 1979.
A Golfer’s Education, by Darren Kilfara, 2001.
How to Play Golf on the Low 120’s, by Stephen Baker, 1962.

My Ad-Free Blog Site

Wherever you go the Internet these days you see ads. Click on something and the next day you see an ad to buy it. You can’t get away from it, and it’s as annoying as all get out.

Except here. I have not monetized this blog and never will.

Think of it as a respite from drowning in an ocean of greed.

So could you say, “Thank you, Bob,” by doing me a tiny favor? Buy one of my books.

They’re just $14.95, the cost of a few sleeves of golf balls, nine holes at your local muni, or you tell me.

Especially The Golfing Self, my mental game book, which is the only mental game book on the market that not only tells you what to do, but HOW to do it.

Better Recreational Golf isn’t too bad, either. It tells you how to play better from the perspective of a recreational golfer just like you, rather than a touring pro who is ungodly good and really doesn’t know what you’re going through out there.

If you do just a few of the things that are in these books you WILL become a better player. Click the picture of the book cover and you’re on your way.

Thank you. Now back to golf.

My Adventures With The Golfing Machine

This is a post I was going to have to write sooner or later. I thought I would wait until I had some idea of what The Golfing Machine says instead of none. The “none” meant trying three ties to read it and getting nowhere.

But with help from a few online blogs, and a careful re-reading, I can finally talk to you about the book without being completely ignorant. Just unignorant enough.

A comprehensive overview would take the length of three blog posts, so I’ll just allude to a few highlights, and hope you’ll hunt up a copy and see what you make of it.

The Golfing Machine (TGM), by Homer Kelley, is not really an instruction book. It’s a compendium of swing features and components, broken down in a way that allows a golfer to build a swing from the very start, based on the particular physical characteristics and movement preferences of that individual.

It does not teach one swing. Someone calculated that if all the possible combinations of catalogued features were considered, TGM offers 446 quadrillion possible swings. One of them is right for you.

Actually, that’s not where the book goes. All the book is meant to do is take the way you swing, eliminate the parts of your swing that work against you, and substitute a different part at that same point that is compatible with what you do in the rest of your swing.

Instead of learning a new swing, you take the swing you have and make a few changes here and there so the whole thing works together. Who could argue with that?

It sounds so good that you want to pitch right in, but the problem is first you have to know what those parts are that need altering, and then you have to know which alteration to make with anywhere from three to fifteen variations per part, and after you have figured all that out, it really gets complicated.

You might need professional help with that, and there are certified TGM instructors if you want to go that route. But you can do it yourself if you consider matters carefully.

My swing is now emphasizing a matter I have brought up in the blog, the hands leading the clubhead, too much. My right arm and hand are now almost completely out of the swing. TGM is helping me put the right side back in without disturbing what I have accomplished with the left. That’s what this book can do for you.

Jim McLean wrote a article on TGM, praising it in general, but saying this about it. It is good for beginners and intermediate golfers, but Tour pros who latched onto it regressed. That would mean TGM is ideal for recreational golfers, but the problem with that is the book is so hard to read that you need to have a fair grounding in swing theory already to understand it and pick out the parts that might apply to your swing.

TGM is something of a cult book. If it was the be all and end all, every teacher would be using it and every pro would be teaching out of it. Clearly, that’s not the case.

You might want to hunt down a copy, though, to find out what all the fuss is about. You might find some bits of wisdom that help you tremendously. The rest of it you can forget about, and that’s all right, because that would be just what the author intended.

Break 90 (or 100, or 80) the Next Time You Play!

Better Recreational Golf has been revised and is now available on Amazon. Certain concepts are explained in more detail to help you play even better.

As part of this announcement, I am making you a special offer to lower your score even further.

Buy a copy of BRG and forward me, at, the e-mail message you got from Amazon confirming your purchase. I will send you, by e-mail, my FREE guide to breaking 100 (or 90, or 80), the next time you play.

If you’re close, shooting just a couple of strokes over these threshold scores, but not breaking through, I’ll tell you how to do it. FREE!

I watch the people I play golf with, and I see just what they need to do to shave three strokes off their score, which is all it takes.

This offer is valid for purchases made through March 31, 2014.

Thank you very much!