Matthew Rudy: Perfect Your Swing

Matthew Rudy: Perfect Your Swing

Matthew Rudy: Golf Digest – Perfect Your Swing; How to Hit the Ball Like the Game’s Greats

This well-known and popular instructional book features a succession of swing sequences and commentary on what various players are actually doing. There are many good photographs and photo-sequences with analysis including several major winners.

First published in 2001, Rudy’s analysis includes this revealing (and accurate) observation about Tiger Woods – “The only drawback to this kind of action (i.e. Tiger’s) is the stress it puts on the right knee”.

Lee Trevino – Super Mex

Lee Trevino

Trevino’s autobiography, co- written with Sam Blair, is a pretty straightforward telling of the story of Lee’s upbringing and his start in the game. Trevino was a man who both gave and received great respect from friends and peers alike and this book is sad and funny ,but always entertaining, just like the man himself, on and off the golf course.

Whether he is talking about beer and booze, serious back trouble, being struck by lightening or stories about his life, you are left with the impression of an honest man, to see and admit his mistakes in golf and in life. In an era where true characters are rare, here is a complex and skilled man, who worked very hard to make the most of his talents and whose story makes for a fascinating and hugely enjoyable read.

Gene Sarazen – ‘Thirty Years of Championship Golf’


Gene SarazenSarazen played during the ‘Golden Era of American Golf’ (between 1920 and 1949 he played over 8,000 rounds of competitive golf and captured all four of golf’s major championships). Here is his personal account of growing up, discovering golf, his early work as a golf caddy, and insights and stories about his time at the very top of the game.

For the golfer, the strength of this book are the accounts of his competition rounds, the clarity with which he remembers significant holes and rounds played, the way he compiled his scores and the shots he played. Along with stories of fellow competitors his account makes for fascinating insights into the game for the golf beginner and  seasoned player alike.

While we may think that we have ‘moved on’ and that ‘modern golf is a different game’, Sarazen’s insights into the ‘heart of battle’ of championship golf are still relevant for aspiring champions today – whether the medal at your local club or high level amateur or professional competition.

The Only Golf Lesson You Will Ever Need by Hank Haney and John Huggan

For anyone who has read all the so called golf instruction books and manuals this is a book that will open your eyes to what really matters in golf, better impact of the ball. Hank Haney takes you back through the years of learning from the great teachers such as John Jacobs and Jim Hardy in golf schools fixing hundreds of swings and finding what works. Unlike some so called gurus, Haney doesn’t claim to have dreamed all this information up. He can back it all up from years of trial and error. This is a great book if the reader will let go of the old conceptions of how a golf swing should work. If you read John Jacobs’ “Practical Golf” with Haney’s “The Only Golf Lesson You’ll Ever Need.” Your golf game will forever prosper.

Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf

Hogan’s book has been continuously in print for over fifty years. Most other golf swing books, in contrast, disappear from print within a year or so. Hogan’s book is exceptionally clear and detailed about all the swing fundamentals. Consequently it enables one to figure out, when needs must, what’s going wrong with one’s swing and how to correct it.

Hogan’s book is also unique in demonstrating how each swing fundamental links with the others. Other golf swing books, in contrast, tend towards being just compilations of swing tips. So, where other books provide swing band-aids, Hogan’s illuminates and helps develop real understanding.
Hogan’s book has been called, rightly in my opinion, ‘the bible of the golf swing’. All modern golf swing theorists, as is clear from their writings, merely repackage or add footnotes to Hogan.
Go to the source, to the benefit of both swing and understanding, read Hogan’s timeless classic.

How to Feel a Real Golf Swing by Bob Toski and Davis Love

The most difficult part of golf is the mental game. Though cliched, that statement is incontrovertible. For most golfers, the tendency to view the swing as a mechanized process dominates their swing thoughts. “Keep my left arm straight,” “Swing through to the target,” “Don’t reverse pivot,” “Cock/load my wrists,” “Put the ball back/up in your stance,” “Shorten your backswing. . .” All of these ideas, though fundamentally sound in their physical advice, tend to prevent the golfer from optimizing his/her performance because they force the golfer to consciously force a complex physical activity that should really be driven by the subconscious and feeling.

Bob Toski and Davis Love III have written a book that truly fosters golf as an athletic expression. Rather than burdening ourselves with overly precise mechanical thoughts, we must allow our natural athleticism to shine through and carry our game. The golf swing is a beautiful, fluid motion. To mechanize it detracts from its efficiency and power and renders it less graceful and effective. “How to Feel a Real Golf Swing” provides invaluable drills and advice that will allow you to understand and develop the feeling a good swing creates. It fosters the notion of allowing the arms and club to do the work of turning the body and shifting your weight.

As a serious golf addict and student of the game, this book, more than any other I’ve read, allowed me to understand my swing and improve my game. We all know the sweet feeling of hitting the ball on the sweet spot, this book devotes itself to the sweet feeling of the entire swing. I give it the highest rating I can.

The Plane Truth for Golfers by Jim Hardy and John Andrisani

The most amazing thing about golf is that the harder you try to get better the more confused and erratic you become.
Although this book suffers from a paucity of pictures and a rather text-heavy format, if you are a technically-minded ‘student of the swing’then you will wish you read this book years ago.
I have numerous books, DVDs and subscriptions to magazines and what strikes you is how much contradictory information is out there in so-called ‘instruction bibles’. With his break down of the one and two-plane swings, Hardy shows the reader why he cannot produce consistant results – because he has elements of both swings in his game.
This book is not for the absolute beginner, but for those who thought they understood the golf swing, but did not understand why they could not apply what they know, this is GOLD DUST!

Playing Partners By George Peper

He’s not exaggerating. Unfortunately, the game’s pleasantries are nearly poisoned in an alkaline-based obsession. The author, former editor-in-chief at Golf magazine, admittedly “semi-detached” from friends, a child loner who discovered a “blissful monomania” in golf, provides an introspective and often painful account of what golf has wrought on Pepers senior and junior as well as the missus.

Early on there’s an inopportune call from Johnny Miller that interferes with something of a first date (actually a couch moving). The call took an hour. “Golf had come between us for the first time – and far from the last,” he writes. “For the next twenty-five years the game would pull me physically, mentally, and emotionally from my wife.” While maintaining his vows, he nevertheless feels compelled to add, “However, I have nonetheless been criminally unfaithful to her through my fatal attraction to golf.”

Perhaps this book is meant as an apology to the long-suffering Libby. Perhaps he should pack it in. The deadpan earnestness – an admission, really, without the apology – is reminiscent of the criminally negligent at last coming clean, but only to make sure the details are in order.

“Golfers are essentially nice guys,” Mrs. P. suggests in a rare aside, “but they’re insensitive. They need to be beaten over the head with things. Once they understand what it is that you want or need, they’re like big loping dogs, only too eager to please. But until then they’re clueless, so absorbed in themselves and their game that they’re oblivious to everything else.”

That may very well be true, one of the few genuine insights obscured by the myopia – honest and sincere as it may be – that will likely interest only those closely acquainted with the personalities.

Pity there wasn’t more time for the interesting brushes working with name tour players and the occasional celebrity (he helped Bill Murray with his book, which included a “desperate” all-nighter), or even detailing the trials of growing a national magazine. We learn he is very likely the only person who agreed with Jan Van de Velde’s club selection at Carnoustie. It would be entertaining to hear more of his observations about those who display the qualities, as Shoeless Jean has, that he clearly admires in others, namely lack of self-absorption and friendship.

The Four Cornerstones of Winning Golf: Butch Harmon

As a golfer of over 35 years, a collector of golf books, and a serious student of the game, I believe “The Four Cornerstones of Winning Golf” is the most easily understood instructional books published on golf and a must for both the beginner or advanced golfer. Key to successful golf is an understanding of the fundamental concepts of the swing as well as the ability to form simple, repeatable thoughts as you play a shot. Butch Harmon provides the reader tightly focused instructional text along with with first rate photos and illustrations essential to understanding the basics of the game. Unlike many books that stress the “simplicity of the game”, Harmon minces no words on the importance of physical conditioning to achieve a higher level of play. It is this candor and his solid recommendations on how to development better golfing fitness that sets this books above the rest. In short, “The Four Cornerstones of Winning Golf” belongs on the bookshelf of any golfer wanting to better understand the game and improve his or her ability.