Your favorite golf book about the Tour


My favorites:

The Match - cant get enough of the Hogan / Nelson stories.
The Greatest Game Ever Played - 30 pages left, have enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
Paper Tiger by Tom Coyne - Immersion journalism as guy devotes life to trying to make a living playing golf.
The Secret of Golf by Joe Posnanski - Don’t let the cheeky title fool you, inside is a wealth of stories and knowledge about Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. This might be my favorite.

Honorable Mentions:

A Good Walk Spoiled - a bit long, and a bit too much about Corey Pavin and his ilk, but well-written.
Men in Green - Didn’t love it while I was reading it, but it was solid. The Ken Venturi stuff was most interesting, especially after reading about him in The Match.
The Big Miss by Hank Haney - All the Big Cat you can handle. I thought Hank did a really good job with this book in how he told the stories and explained how he was feeling without throwing Tiger under the bus too much.

Up Next: Feinstein’s new book on the 2016 Ryder Cup.


This was a favourite of mine.


It’s really unfortunate that two of my least favorite media personalities, Rick Reilly and John Feinstein, are also two of the most prolific mainstream golf writers. I will cop to enjoying A Good Walk Spoiled as well as Reilly’s Missing Links (which is fiction about a guys playing a muni that is right over the fence from an elite private club, clearly analogous to Putterham/The Country Club in Brookline) when I was in my late teens, but I haven’t revisited their work recently. Feinstein is particularly grating on college basketball, to the point I effectively boycott all of his other work.

I will second the recs for A Course Called Ireland, The Secret of Golf, and Slaying the Tiger. Coyne and Posnanski are worth reading any time (I see now that Coyne has a new one coming, A Course Called Scotland, this summer). Shane Ryan is another divisive one - his book was fun and interesting to read at the time, just before NLU was coming on the scene and the new breed of golf star was coming up - he captured a fun moment in time and arguably helped launch my obsession with the current tour. That said, he is now prone to some strange takes and his DSA leanings can be a little much for me, even as a more mainstream progressive.


You and I hold similar opinions, although I can’t stand Reilly, he’s a hack in my opinion. I’ve liked almost all of Feinstein’s books, but I do not like him when he makes appearances to discuss golf or college basketball. I guess I find him to be a better reporter than a columnist.

Slaying the Tiger is where I disagree. (and it appears with most on this thread) I found it almost comical how Shane Ryan went out of his way to cut down certain golfers and praise others, and it appeared to be almost entirely on who was nice to him and who wasn’t. His description of the PGA Championship at Valhalla was awful.

This thread has been awesome and I’ve added several books to my reading list based on the recommendations of others.


Slaying the Tiger is far from a perfect book. Ryan made several errors and seemed to have little innate knowledge of golf history, which led to some fairly embarrassing statements in my recollection (although that is a very general statement and I can’t enumerate any specifics 3 plus years after reading). He also did put a bit too much of himself into the book where he discussed his issues with access, as you note.

That said, I think it is a worthwhile read if you are a NLU-type of golf fan, just for deeper dives on people like Patrick Reed, Jason Day, and Victor Dubuisson, to name just a few memorable chapters. I certainly have not seen any other book that has tried to cover those players and parts of the game so thoroughly. I remember being struck in particular by his research into college golf as a way to learn more about the rising stars - I had never thought of that angle before. Finally, I will admit I am an unabashed Rory fan, so any book about the 2014 tour season is probably going to do pretty well by me.