Humor, drama, and history on the links.

The Bogey Man

By George Plimpton

Plimpton spends a month on the professional tour, going up against Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and the imaginary Japanese admirals in his head that kept screaming instructions. Far more impressive, though, is Plimpton’s ability to showcase the psychology of the game with highly entertaining, often hilarious honesty.

The Back Nine

By Billy Mott

Mott didn’t start writing until age 36, but his long experience as a caddy pays off with this tough, mesmerizing, and cliché-free debut novel. A former golf phenom who stopped playing due to a freak accident slowly discovers — 20 years later — that he can somehow still swing a club competitively.

The Greatest Game Ever Played

By Mark Frost

The David and Goliath story of a match that changed American golf. Francis Ouimet, a young working-class amateur, takes on six-time British Open champion Harry Vardon, the inventor of the modern grip and swing, at the 1913 U.S. Open. The story is anything but predictable, mixing history, biography, and page-turning golf commentary into a seamless whole.

Golf Dreams

By John Updike

Updike, a devoted golfer, gathers together 30 favorite pieces on the game from 1959 to 1995: essays both serious and silly; short fiction turning on the game’s many frustrations and all-too-brief moments of elation; an instruction-book parody. Particularly delicious is a stitched-together trio of golf episodes from his acclaimed Rabbit Angstrom novels.

Jenkins at the Majors 

By Dan Jenkins

Jenkins covered 197 of golf’s major U.S. championships over six decades for a variety of publications. This loose, humorous collection from the author of Semi-Tough expertly paints the details of golf’s biggest moments and the idiosyncrasies of the game’s most towering players. Readers will come to understand why Jenkins is often described as a modern-day Ring Lardner.