Albatross, Eagle, Birdie … and Turkey!

Best Golf Books for Dads and Father-in-Laws

Albatross*: 2 on a par 5 hole, 1 on par 4 holeEagle: 3 on par 5 hole, 2 on par 4 hole, 1 on par 3 hole (a.k.a. hole in one!)

Birdie: 4 on par 5 hole, 3 on par 4 hole, 2 on par 3 hole

Wild Turkey at Granite Links Golf Course in Milton, MA


My husband played golf for University of Hawaii back in the day and all our kids have had a set of golf clubs. Our first-born, Grasshopper and Sensei,got her mini-set on her first Christmas when she was just a few weeks old along with Masie’s ABC’s, her first pop up book. My husband picked out both items himself; the book was the very first children’s book he bought for our kids.

PickyKidPix has a golf set too, and somehow she avoided getting a hand-me-down. But it’s our son who seems to spend the most time on the golf course because that where the boys go when it’s Mommy/Daughter(s) time.

It’s very humorous, but my little boy likes to hang out at the bar.  He’s been hanging out at the golf course since he was three. He orders his lemonade, requests peanuts or goldfish crackers, and chats up the bartender.

Last week, it so happened that he was an only child because his sisters were away. The three of us, my husband, son and me, spent the afternoon at the golf course. First we hit a small bucket at the golf range, then we putted on the practice green, and finally we snuck in a few holes of golf. Before I tell you how we did,  a few caveats:

1) I am not very good at golf.

2) I haven’t played a round of golf in years.

3) I am seriously bad at putting and chipping and yet I somehow think that I can pull off a flopshot. I am stupid like that. This attempt usually costs me 4 or 5 shots.

And so, we all played a few holes. And on the par 3, my little son beat me, straight up. He made a natural 6. My husband made par. And I stopped counting after 9. I think it was the d%*! flopshot that caused me to skull the ball over the green (several times).

And so …

Turkey: A turkey is an idiot golf player who thinks s/he can pull off a shot that s/he has not business attempting.

*Albatross is what they call a Double Eagle in England.


A flopshot lesson from a master of the short game: Phil Mickelson. Congrats on your British Open win!

Golf Book Selection from Golf Nut

These are the golf books that my husband highly recommends (and he collects books on golf). Here’s his golf swing as street cred that he knows golf. He’s has a zero handicap and played for University of Hawaii.


The Art of Putting and The Art of the Short Game, both by Stan Utley.  Instructional books.

PGA stars such as Jay Haas, Craig Stadler, Peter Jacobsen, and Darren Clarke have all sought advice from fellow pro Stan Utley about their putting, and have gone on to such immediate success on the green that Utley has become the most in-demand teacher in the game. Now, in The Art of Putting he outlines his unique approach to putting for golfers of all skill levels. In a welcome change from mechanistic and overly-complex putting “systems,” Utley breaks down the putting stroke to a simple, natural motion, revealing a straightforward method for learning this sure, repeatable stroke.

If there is one book I should read to improve my golf game, it would be The Art of Putting.


Playing Through:  A Year of Life and Links Along the Scottish Coast by Curtis Gillespie.

A blend of evocative memoir, lyrical travelogue, and passionate golf pilgrimage, Playing Through chronicles the year Curtis Gillespie spent with his family in quaint Gullane, Scotland. A seaside town crammed with championship golf courses, Gullane charmed Gillespie so much as a college student that he vowed to return one day with his father. That journey never came to pass, so thirteen years later Gillespie uprooted his wife and daughters and moved to the small Scottish village, hoping to learn something about himself and the delightfully gruff natives with their peculiarly addicting sport. Against the backdrop of a uniquely beautiful landscape, Playing Through deftly explores the bonds of fatherhood, friendship, and the irresistible lure of links golf, and in the process offers up a story rich in comedy, warmth, and insight.

A man’s version of Eat, Pray, Love.


The Seventh at St. Andrews: How Scotsman David McLay Kidd and His Ragtag Band Built the First New Course on Golf’s Holy Soil in Nearly a Century by Scott Gummer.

An acclaimed Scottish golf course architect who had to go to America to make his name lands the most coveted commission in all of golf: to design the first new course in almost a century for the town of St. Andrews, the game’s ancestral home.

David McLay Kidd became a wunderkind golf course architect before he was thirty years old, thanks to his universally lauded design at Bandon Dunes on the Oregon coast. When the town of St. Andrews announced in 2001 that a new championship course was in the works—the town’s first since 1914—Kidd fought off all comers and earned the right to make golf history. Author Scott Gummer was there to chronicle the days in the dirt and the nights in the pubs, the politics and histrionics, all with exclusive access to David Kidd, his team, and the St. Andrews Links Trust.

Unfolding in arresting you-are-there scenes, The Seventh at St. Andrews follows the young master at work as Kidd, with his sharp tongue, leads his accomplices in transforming a plot of flat, uninspiring farmland—smack in the middle of which sits the town’s sewage plant—into a rollicking golfing adventure and the most anticipated golf course opening in a generation.

Historical fiction on building of the holy grail of golf courses. Religious required reading for golf fanatics.


The Edict:  A Novel From the Beginnings of Golf by Bob Cupp.

In this colorful tale set in 1457—the year the Scottish Parliament banned golf (in the first recorded reference to the game)—renowned golf architect Bob Cupp brings to life the origins of a pastime that has transfixed us for centuries.

In the Middle Ages, St. Andrews was famous for its cathedral, its university, and for the game developed out in the linkslands by bored shepherds using balls and clubs. One of these, Caeril Patersone, is sufficiently skilled to compete for the title of champion, but in this quest he must contend with not only his competition but also a conniving financier in league with a sordid nobleman, not to mention the ravishing girl they have enlisted to further their interests. The Edict is rich in history about both golf and the community that defined the sport-a delight for anyone ever touched by the magic of the game.

At first I had a Beavis and Butthead moment … heh heh, his name is Cupp! Bob Cupp! This must be a pen name, right?!


Scratch by Troon McAllister.

Golf fiction’s most beloved hustler, The Green’s Eddie Caminetti, returns from self-imposed exile to turn the PGA Tour and the golf equipment industry on its ear. 

When Eddie’s former caddie, “Fat Albert” Auberlain (a cross between Tiger Woods and John Daly), loses his PGA Tour card, his endorsements, and his composure after posting a twelve on a par three at the Fruit-of-the-Loom Waste Management Open, Eddie finds the sad sack on his doorstep. Fat Albert, in debt up to his eyeballs and with several needy relatives to feed, had barely been eking out a living on Tour as it was, and the pressure was threatening to make him implode altogether. Eddie takes pity on his protégé but isn’t quite sure what he can do, when along comes nuclear physicist Norman Standish with the most revolutionary advance in golf equipment since the double niblick-a golf ball they call Scratch. If Standish’s claims are true, Eddie could make the killing of his strange and wonderful life and just possibly change the game forever. 

With McAllister’s patented golf hustling hijinks, roller-coaster plotting, and laugh-out-loud skewering of pro sports hypocrisy, Eddie’s die-hard fans and golf fiction aficionados will laugh all the way to the putting green. As Eddie himself puts it in The Foursome, “Why do you think they call the devil Scratch?”

A novel that my husband thought was a fun read. I can see how the cover art is also appealing!

To view any book at Barnes and Noble, please click on image.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Ann

    Hmmm, maybe one of these for my Dad’d birthday which is in a few days. He loves golf and is really good!

    I always wanted to be good at golf – but I am terrible!
    Ann recently posted…It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! Yellow and GrayMy Profile

  2. Mobile Dad

    Keep on practicing! The 7 year old is good but the wind doesn’t help him at all 🙂
    Yes! Don’t give up!
    Mobile Dad recently posted…Mobile Apps that Help Working Parents at HomeMy Profile

    • Hi Mobile Dad,
      It was windy that day! He does love to play golf with his dad, or maybe it’s driving the cart and eating the goldfish crackers that keeps him coming back for more! Time will tell!

  3. It is great to see your son developing his golf skills. I found your site by googling golf dads, and I would love for you to review a book I have just published. The book is called “Daddy Caddy on the Bag: Coach Your Child to Peak Golf Performance.”

    I am hoping you would permit me to send a copy of the book to you. Here is a synopsis:

    Parents know that coaching or teaching their own child to do anything can be quite challenging. When it comes to golf, those challenges multiply exponentially.

    Daddy Caddy on the Bag will help you through the entire process, beginning with introducing your child to golf. More than a pure golf instruction book, it is a guidebook that addresses working with your child as a coach, caddy, and teammate. In addition to instructional tips, Daddy Caddy on the Bag will take you all the way to serious golf skills development, being your child’s tournament caddy, managing emotions and mental challenges, and being an effective coach.

    Daddy Caddy on the Bag will help you juggle the often conflicting roles of coach, mentor, caddy, and parent, with the ultimate goal of teaching your child to love golf for life.

  4. Hi, Mia… just confirming that “Daddy Caddy” is on its way to you via US Mail. Thanks!


    • Hi Rick,
      Yes, just arrived. I gave it to my husband to review. As I mentioned, he’s a scratch golfer who played for University of Hawaii and he’s been teaching our three kids. He looked at it last night but it doesn’t fit his teaching philosophy. One thing he hated growing up was watching very intense parents pushing their kids on the golf course (a la school of Earl Woods). He favors a more laid back approach of letting the kids discover a love for golf on their own. Right now for our kids, it means our kids love to drive the cart, eat lunch with dad, hit a small bucket of balls, putt a bit and call it a day. They might play 3 holes of golf for fun.

      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Gifts for Letter Carrier and Others Who Helps You (Day 8)My Profile

  5. Hi, Mia. Thanks to your husband for looking at the book. However, he may have missed my main point: I too abhor the intense parental pushing, and I also favor a more laid-back approach. I’m disappointed that this did not come through in the book, since it is first about letting your kids enjoy golf and have fun, and second about allowing them to grow and take responsibility for their actions. The emphasis throughout is about clearing their way and letting them develop, while providing proper guidance and direction.



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