Golf Books


The Marvin Books

“Marvin the Golf Caddy Dog” was the first in the series of books by Harold Mann. A stray golden retriever, kind of like Buddy in the “Air Bud” movies, and a boy named Ted meet on a golf course. Ted makes Marvin his golf caddy dog and their adventure begins. The book is filled with color illustrations of beginning rules of golf in a far easier format than the USGA Rules of Golf pamphlet.

After “Marvin the Golf Dog Caddy,” Mann created sequels as coloring books designed to teach the basics of the game, including etiquette. First came “Marvin the Golf Caddy Dog ABCs of Golf,” and then “Marvin the Golf Caddy Dog, 1 2 3s of Golf.” Now there’s “Marvin Qualifies for Junior Nationals.” Available from

“Joann Dost: The Ultimate Round Pebble Beach Golf Links, An Illustrated Guide to America’s Majestic Dream Course”

The title says it all, really, if you know anything about Joann Dost. But if you don’t, she is quite simply one of the very best golf photographers anywhere and has chosen to spend a great deal of her professional life photographing Pebble Beach. Dost has also been chosen by the USGA for a variety of photography assignments for their tournament programs. Neal Hotelling and James Dodson provide the words to accompany her photos, giving background about the resort and detail on the course.

In addition to beautiful photography, there are tips for how to play the holes as well as some historic stories about things that have happened on them. For example, on the second hole, although the hole is 511 yards and a par five for most golfers, the USGA routinely makes it a par four for its championships. There’s a note on the barranca in front of the green, with a suggestion that laying up in front of it is the way to go. That leaves a 75-yard pitch shot to the green.

History is a great part of Pebble Beach, and that information is included. For instance, on the second hole, Bobby Jones was short of the green after two shots in the 1929 U.S. Amateur played against Johnny Goodman. Jones conceded the hole to Goodman, giving him a two-up lead after two holes. Eventually Jones lost the match, and my opinion is that may be one reason Pebble Beach wasn’t used for a U.S. Open for another gazillion years.

Most recently, the hole was where Dustin Johnson made his untimely triple in the U.S. Open and lost his third round lead. The tournament was won by Graeme McDowell.

Every hole has a story, including the sixth, which was a pasture for “National Velvet,” starring Elizabeth Taylor. Together with stunning photos, it’s a book that lovers of the game will enjoy. Available at

“Golf: The Last Six Inches, Change Your Brain, Change Your Game”

A paperback by Sue Wieger, M.Ed, and LPGA 2015 Teacher of The Year might be just what the doctor ordered for help with getting the most out of your game. Part of it is, as the chapter 3 introduction says in a quote from Gandhi, “Your beliefs become your thoughts.”

She emphasizes the importance of keeping a journal to compare the golf shots you hit to what was happening mentally at that time. She talks about the emotions of the game of golf, the importance of selecting a target, and generally all those things good golfers know and do. So if you want to improve your physical game, Weiger says, it starts with the area between your ears. Find it at

My experience is the better golfers talk more about the mental side of the game because they have most of the physical down. But the mental side can help everyone. Available at

“Well Done! Life Love & Food – Jack and Barbara Nicklaus”

This is sure to become a golf classic because it has recipes that stoked the fires of a great champion! They call it recipes and memories because, just like at your house, certain dishes are served at special times of the year of for special occasions. There are old family photos to prove it.

Perhaps the best recipe is the one Barbara says she got from her mother called the Recipe for Living. It’s 1 cup friendly words, 2 heaping cups understanding, 4 heaping tablespoons time and patience and a pinch of warm personality. If you know Barbara Nicklaus at all, you know that describes her perfectly. Only in her case, the warm personality is more like a gallon than a pinch.

Recipes are in categories of Appetizers, Breads, and so on, through to Desserts. And she features some that were given to her, like the Antipasto Salad recipe that she got from Delores Hope.

“Jack and I were having dinner at the Hopes home in California,” Barbara writes, “and Jack commented that he really like the salad. So Delores sent me her recipe.”

There’s a recipe for game meatballs including elk. And there’s grouse with duck sauce. Jack’s sister shared an Italian noodle casserole, and Barbara’s mother’s cheese soufflé is included.

Mainly, it’s not fussy food. Barbara is not opposed to the can of soup here and there, which is common in most households (sorry, Julia Child). She has a Bailey’s white chocolate cookie recipe with macadamia nuts which sounds like it is to die for, and there’s one just called World’s Best Cookies from Janic Savic, Pandel Savic’s late wife. (Savic was a quarterback for Ohio State and is a good friend of the Nicklauses.)

If you are looking for a recipe that is going to work the first time, use one of these and just don’t worry about it. Barbara would never allow anything bad to come out of her kitchen. You’ll have to trust me on that.

I was particularly curious to see if there was a recipe for Buckeyes, which is a candy that everybody living in Ohio for longer than two years learns to make. Even I have made Buckeyes, and I almost never cook, so that’s how easy they are. Basically, if you love Reese’s peanut butter cups, you will love them. Sure enough there it is, squeezed in nicely between Peanut Brittle and Lemon Squares. It is actually her mother’s recipe and there’s a photo of her parents next to it. The only problem with it is buckeye lovers snap them up like they were M&Ms.

The buckeye is a tree and the nut of the tree is called a buckeye. It’s encased in a hard shell and it’s difficult to get open, but I bet squirrels have a way.

All the proceeds from the sale of the cookbook go to the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. ( to get yours)