In honor of the 2nd annual Friends of the San Bernardino Public Library Golf Tournament and Good Old-Fashioned Book Faire” upcoming on Oct. 29 at the San Bernardino Golf Club (see my column on the event at http://sbsun.com/johnweeks), here’s a list of my Top 5 Favorite Golf Books:
1. “Golf in the Kingdom” (1972) by Michael Murphy: A fictional encounter with a shamanistic golf teacher named Shivas Irons results in a transcendent round in which much is learned about the game, and much more about life.
2. “The Mystery of Golf” (1908) by Arnold Haultain: A classic meditation on the game’s physical and metaphysical nuances that inspires the reader to play better golf in order to live more fully, and live more fully in order to play better golf.
3. “The Legend of Bagger Vance: A Novel of Golf and the Game of Life” (1995) by Steven Pressfield: A washed-up former hometown golf champ is invited to take part in a local promotional match that also features golf legends Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen. An enigmatic golf teacher named Bagger Vance appears on the scene and helps the self-doubting underdog to rediscover his swing … and himself.
4. “The Green” (2000) by Troon McAllister: In this novel, which is both hilarious and thought-provoking, an unknown golf hustler named Eddie Caminetti is recruited to help the Americans take on the highly favored Europeans in golf’s Ryder Cup. Troon McAllister is the pen name for Lee Gruenfeld, a prolific novelist who lives in Lake Arrowhead and Palm Springs.
5. “The Greatest Player Who Never Lived: A Golf Story” (2001) by J. Michael Veron: The fictional account of a golf prodigy named Beau Stedman who cannot play in public because he is a fugitive from the law. But golf legend Bobby Jones, determined to help Stedman use his talent, takes him under his wing and arranges secret matches between Stedman and the great players of the day.