Here is a selection of recommended golf books covering amateur golf and golfers that you may find interesting: –
‘The Amateur – The Story of The Amateur Golf Championship 1885-1995’ by John Behrend
Grant Books (1995) – 255 pages
The definitive history of The Amateur Championship up to 1995.
‘John Ball of Hoylake’ by John Behrend
Grant Books (1989) – 108 pages
The first biography of arguably Britain’s great amateur golfer Johnny Ball.
‘Hoylake Hero’ by Alistair Noakes
Biddles Books (2018) – 278 pages
An historical novel about the life of John Ball, one of Britain’s greatest amateurs who learnt his game at Royal Liverpool GC.
‘Ray Billows – The Cinderella Kid’ by Tom Buggy
Createspace Independent (2016) – 156 pages
Golf historian Tom Buggy tells the story of Ray Billows one of the leading U.S. amateurs between 1930 and 1950.
‘Par Excellence – The Biography of Sir Michael Bonallack, OBE’ by Donald Steel
The R&A (2018) – 198 pages
The long overdue biography of Sir Michael Bonallack commissioned by The R&A and written by his good friend Donald Steel.
‘The Bruen Loop’ by George F. Crosby
Mercer Press (1998) – 158 pages
The story of the famous Irish golfer utilising the Bruen family’s personal cuttings, photographs, letters, wires, scorecards and championship badges.
Breaking 80: The Life And Times Of Joe Carr by Dermot Gilleece
Poolbeg Press Ltd (2002) – 158 pages
A biography of the amateur great by the highly respected Irish golf writer Dermot Gilleece.
’18 Holes With Bing – Golf, Life and Lessons From Dad’ – Nathaniel Crosby & John Strege
Harper Collins (2016 – 209 pages
Nathaniel Crosby’s, the 1981 U.S. Amateur champion and 2019 U.S.A. Walker Cup captain, memories of his father and their time on the golf course.
‘Chick Evans’ Golf Book’ by Charles Evans Jnr
Thos. E. Wilson and Co. (1921) – 343 pages
The biography of Chick Evans who won the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in 1916. He competed in 50 consecutive U.S. Amateurs and played in three Walker Cups during the 1920s.
‘Harold Hilton His Golfing Life and Times’ by John LB Garcia
Grant Books (1992) A Limited Edition Of 750 Copies – 121 pages
A biography of the great Royal Liverpool amateur who won The Open, The Amateur and the U.S. Amateur.
‘Philomena Garvey Queen Of The Irish Fairways’ by Paul Garvey
The Liffey Press (2009) – 250 pages
A biography of the famous Irish women’s golfer Philomena Garvey. Phil was a leading player between 1946 and 1970 and played on the Curtis Cup team six times.
‘The King Of Swings’ by Michael Blaine
Houghton Mifflin (2006) – 314 pages
The inspiring story of Johnny Goodman. Goodman was the underdog who beat Bobby Jones to win the 1929 U.S. Amateur and went on to win the 1933 U.S. Open, the last amateur do so.
‘Sixty Years Of Golf’ by Robert Harris
Edgewood Tahoe: Batchworth Press (1953) – 131 pages
Biography of Robert Harris, winner of the 1925 Amateur Championship and 3-time playing captain of the GB&I Walker Cup team.
‘William Clark Fownes, Jr’ by John W. Stewart
Sheridan Books (2003) – 106 pages
Biography of the American amateur golfer and USGA administrator William C. Fownes, Jr who had an important role to play in the formation of the Walker Cup.
‘The Match’ by Mark Frost
Hyperion (2007) – 250 pages
The story of the Amateur v. Professionals match, played by Ken Venturi and E. Harvie Ward against Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, at Cypress Point Golf Club in California on 10th January 1956.
‘Out of the Rough – Booze, Birdies and a Driving Ambition: The Story of Barclay Howard’ by Barclay Howard with Jonathan Russell
Mainstream Publishing (2001) – 192 pages
The candid autobiography of the Scottish golfer who fought alcoholism to make it to the top of the amateur game in his 40’s before tragically contracting leukaemia.
‘Bobby’s Open – Mr Jones and the Golf Shot that Defined a Legend’ by Steven Reid
Icon Books (2013) – 261 pages
The story of amateur great Bobby Jones’ famous 1926 Open Championship victory at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s G.C.
‘Golf’s Golden Age – Robert T. Jones And The Legendary Players Of The ’10s, ’20s And ’30s’ by Rand Jerris
USGA / National Geographic Society (2005) – 159 pages
Celebrating the 75th anniversary of Bobby Jones’ Grand Slam year the USGA provide short profiles of the leading 52 professional and amateur golfers from the early 20th Century. The large sized book is beautifully illustrated with the photos of George Pietscker.
‘Roland – A Short Story About Roland R. MacKenzie’s Golfing Career by John W. Stewart
Printing Corporation of America (1987) – 184 pages
A biography of the 1920s American amateur Roland MacKenzie who played there 1926-28-30 Walker Cups before becoming professional at Congressional GC in 1933.
‘For Love Or Money’ by Peter McEvoy
HarperSport (2006) – 266 pages
A humorous trip through the great amateur career of the legendary GB&I player and captain.
‘The McGregor Story – The First Thirty Years’ by Roy Case
Authorhouse (2012) – 272 pages
An historical record of the English Boys’ U16 Stroke Play Championship which is played for the McGregor Trophy by former England Golf President and tournament co-founder Roy Case.
‘Gerald Micklem – A Life In Golf’ by John Littlewood
Grant Books (2014) A Limited Edition of 500 Copies – 160 pages
The biography of a four time Walker Cup player who went on to become an influential administrator and selector within The R&A.
‘Legends In Their Spare Time’ by Shane O’Donoghue
Primary ABC Abercorn House (2007) – 230 pages
O’Donoghue tells the stories of the famous Irish amateur golfers, Jimmy Bruen, Joe Carr, Jody Fanagan, Noel Fogarty, Philomena Garvey, Garth McGimpsey, Mary McKenna, Arthur Pierse and David Sheahan.
The Oxford & Cambridge Golfing Society 1898-1948 by Eric Prain
Eyre & Spottiswoode (1949) – 245 pages
The history of the Society from its foundation in 1898, covering tours, competitions and personalities up to 1948.
The Oxford & Cambridge Golfing Society by Peter Bathurst and John Behrend
Grant Books (1997) A Limited Edition Of 750 Copies – 216 pages
The centenary history of the Society following a similar anthology approach to the earlier Prain history.
‘The Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s Golf Club and the Amateur Game’ by Steven Reid
Rosses Publications (2015) – 158 pages
Stephen Reid tells the story of Royal Lytham’s impressive association with amateur golf dating back to Jones’ Open win in 1926 right through to the ongoing Lytham Trophy.
‘The Women Golfer: A Lifetime of Golfing Success’ by Belle Robertson and Lewine Mair
Mainstream Publishing (1988) – 138 pages
The legendary Scottish amateur golfer Belle Robertson reveals the secrets of her success and unprecedented longevity in the game.
‘Hey, Tiger – You Need To Move Your Mark Back’ by Steve Scott
Skyhorse Publishing (2021) / 256 pages
Steve Scott tells the story of his epic 1996 Championship Match in the U.S. Amateur at Pumpkin Ridge G.C.
‘I Was There. A Life In Golf’ by Sandy Sinclair
A Sinclair (2000) – 88 pages. Limited Edition of 150 copies
The autobiography of Sandy Sinclair, the Scottish amateur golfer and administrator who was also Captain of the Royal & Ancient G.C. of St. Andrews and President of the European Golf Association.
‘A Love Affair With The Game’ by Sandy Tatum
American Golfer Inc (2002) – 221 pages
Memoir from the former USGA President covering his 70 year involvement with the game of golf.
‘F. G. Tait: A Record – Being His Life, Letters And Golfing Diary’ by John L. Low
J. Nisbet and Co. Ltd (1900) / The Classics of Golf Ailsa Inc (1988) – 304 pages
The tragic story of amateur golfing champion Lieutenant Freddie Tait. The first golf biography ever written and one of the most comprehensive.
‘Young At Heart – The Life & Times of William Tillman’ by Dale Concannon
ATG Media Ltd (2009) – 179 pages
The biography of Bill Tillman, past captain and president of Surrey Golf and founder of the Tillman Trophy competition in 1980.
‘The Modern Golfer’ by Cyril Tolley
New York: Alfred A. Knopf (1924) – 213 pages
Biography of Cyril Tolley, the famous British amateur golfer. Two time Amateur champion and 6-time Walker Cup player and subsequently captain.
‘The United States Amateur 1895-2005 Volumes 1, 2 and 3’ by Colin Sheehan
Future Classics of Golf (2006) – 255 pages
The history of the U.S. Amateur Championship and personal recollections of its champions as told to Yale’s golf coach and historian Colin Sheehan.
‘The Walker Cup 1922 to 1999 Golf’s Finest Contest’ by Gordon G Simmonds
Grant Books (2000) – 280 pages
‘The Walker Cup 1922 to 2003 Golf’s Finest Contest’ by Gordon G Simmonds
Grant Books (2nd edition, 2004 revised and enlarged) – 309 pages
The updated definitive story of amateur golf’s premier team contest.
‘Joyce Wethered The Great Lady Of Golf’ by Basil Ashton Tinkler
Tempus Publishing Limited (2004) – 256 pages
The first and only biography of the most talented women golfer in the history of the game.
‘Golfing Memories And Methods’ by Joyce Wethered
Sportsman’s Book Club (1951 – originally published in 1934) – 255 pages
Wethered’s autobiography on her golfing career and approach to the game.
‘Golf As I Play It’ by Ronnie White
G. Bell and Sons Ltd (1953) – 159 pages
The instructional book from arguably the world’s best amateur golfer in the post-World War II period.
‘The Long And The Short Of It – The Autobiography Of Britain’s Greatest Amateur Golfer’ by Gary Wolstenholme MBE
John Blake (2010) – 303 pages
The story of perhaps the last career amateur and Walker Cup stalwart.
Copyright © 2014-2022, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.