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The Bookshelf

This page features book reviews and mentions by Cliff Schrock on golf, general topics and classic golf books. There will be occasional product reviews and commentary on popular culture as well.

A few options for Father’s Day golf book gifts

Check each week for book reviews at This week’s books are a few ideas for Father’s Day gifts, including “All the Memorable Rounds” by Tripp Bowden, “Tales from Augusta’s Fairways” by Jim Hawkins, “Be a Player: A Breakthrough Approach to Playing Better on the Golf Course,” by Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, and “Incredible Golf Stories,” by Julie Ganz.

At a time when publishers are backing away from books on golf, Skyhorse Publishing has kept the presses rolling at a consistent speed with new material on the game.

Previously this year, Skyhorse came out with “Golf’s Iron Horse: The Astonishing, Record-Breaking Life of Ralph Kennedy,” by John Sabino, and “Gary Player’s Black Book: 60 Tips on Golf, Business, and Life from the Black Knight,” by Player, with Michael Vlismas.

Two more Skyhorse books came out in the last couple months. If anytime is a good time for you to read about the Masters, Hawkins’ “Tales from Augusta’s Fairways” (236 pages, $19.99, hardcover), done with Robert Hartman, fits the bill. In this revised edition of his 2012 release, Hawkins writes anecdotally about all-things Masters, ranging from Bobby Jones to Bubba Watson.

A pair of books from Skyhorse Publishing

A pair of books from Skyhorse Publishing

Bowden’s “Memorable Rounds” (200 pages, $24.99, hardcover) was a May release. In it he states his case that golf is all about the experience and everything else is secondary. By experience he means the whole shebang, from getting your bag ready for the first tee to hanging out after the round for drink and dialogue. The book is a mix of his own adventures with those who share his love for the experience. The result is a book George Bailey would love because it helps golfers trapped in their hometowns to feel what it’s like to go off to faraway places.

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Nilsson and Marriott have their fourth book out as of June 6, having already produced, between 2005 and 2011 with Ron Sirak, "Every Shot Must Have a Purpose," "The Game Before the Game," and "Play Your Best Golf Now." “Be a Player” (Atria, 247 players, $25, hardcover) is part of the duo’s VISION54 program, in which the score of 54 is incentive for improvement. The book is a text-heavy analysis of how the mental approach is critical to better scores and that getting better isn’t all about working on swing fundamentals.

The late Don Wade, a longtime Golf Digest editor, created a multi-volume series that focused on the retelling of stories. Similarly, Julie Ganz has created a story series with her second entry, having come out with “The Best Golf Stories Ever Told” in 2013.

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“Incredible Golf Stories: Amazing Tales from the Green,” is edited by Ganz and is another Skyhorse product ($17.99, paperback, 213 pages) from earlier this year. With 18 stories from writers such as F.Scott Fitzgerald and P.G. Wodehouse, the book is divvied up into history, lessons for life and anecdotes from the course. Some of the stories touch upon the 1965 U.S. Open, Masters week, Harry Vardon in America, Horton Smith, Francis Ouimet and Pine Valley. There are more than 30 photos/illustrations to tie in with the anecdotes.

Cliff Schrock