Not to speak for anyone else, but the greatest Christmas gifts of all time will always and forever be a golf book. That is a very narrow and wholly specific category, but it may as well be fact. Now, personally, I read them. As you may or may not be able to tell, I am a huge golf aficionado. Total surprise, I know. There is a certain precision and tact to golf that is simply thrilling. Watching is one thing, but reading? That is another beast entirely. Even if you cannot muster the ability to flip through the pages, golf books make excellent coffee-table decorations, especially those about the courses themselves. Here are my Top 5 golf books for this holiday season:
- Golf Courses of the U.S. Open – Even the most casual of golf fans can enjoy this one with limited knowledge of the game. This book, by David Barrett, compiles thorough information through maps, descriptions, and gorgeous photography of the 50 courses in the tournament. The cover alone makes for a very attractive display piece or conversation starter.
- Great Getaways – This one comes directly from the pages of Golf Magazine itself, of which naturally I am a fan. Detailed here are “The best of the best three- and four-day golf trips” from author Tara Gravel. Getaways is not necessarily as pretty as some of the other options. The photos are nice, of course, but this book is hefty with knowledge and passages about the courses instead.
- Golf’s Best New Destinations – Here we have a best-of-both-words situation. Brian McCallen packs a wealth of information alongside breathtaking photography of the golf world’s more modern locales. The real joy is the attention to detail paid to activities off the course. New Destinations at times reads more as a travel book than a golf book, and that is a compliment.
- Planet Golf – Darius Oliver takes us out of the United States and along with him on his globe-trotting ventures. This book may be the definitive coffee-table book presented. Planet Golf will have great appeal to the golf nut who also appreciates architecture and integral analysis of the courses and landscapes themselves. The photography is simply awe-inspiring.
- Where Golf is Great – The one is “a biggie.” Literally, this book weighs in at 11 pounds. James Finnegan presents extensive knowledge alongside the usually wonderful photography, and in the same vein as New Destinations can be more a travel guide. Special attention is paid to the surrounding cities and attractions, with a focus on Scotland and Ireland, and Finnegan’s devotion to the game is felt with every word.