10 Best Mental Golf Books to 10X Your Mindset

Best Mental Golf Books

Golf is a sport where the battle is not just on the golf course but within your mind. 

Dr. Izzy Justice, author of several golf books, even said that 93% of golf is mental. While Jack Nicklaus is famous for saying, "Golf is 90% mental, the other 10% is physical."

This is why mental golf books are so important. When you master the inner game of golf, it will change your scores forever. Plus, you’ll probably have a lot more fun too. 

The ability to stay focused, handle pressure, and maintain a positive mindset can make all the difference between success and disappointment on the golf course. Fortunately, there's a wealth of wisdom and guidance available in the form of books, specifically written to help harness the mental side of the game.

In this blog post, we'll delve into some of the best mental game books and other resources for the average golfer to master the mind.

10 Best Mental Golf Books 

If your golf game needs some help don't always look to change your golf swing. Instead, look at the mental aspect with these mental game books.

1. Golf is Not a Game of Perfect

Dr. Bob Rotella is the GOAT when it comes to mental golf training. He’s actually the reason I started this brand and the reason I became interested with the mental side of the game.

Consider this book a great guide to the mental game of golf. It's a must-read that will help you understand course strategy, 

Click here to check the price on Amazon now.

Also, don’t forget to watch this YouTube video reviewing his other book, Golf is a Game of Confidence

2. GYRA Golf 

GYRA Golf by Dr. Izzy Justice is an absolute game changer. I didn’t read this until 2023 but once I started reading, I binged it like a great Netflix series in less than 24 hours. The book is more brain based than most books on this list with tons of data to back it up.

Dr. Justice conducted thousands of brain scans with golfers to understand their mental activity during a round. His findings were incredible and make it easy to see why golf is such a mental game. 

After I read this book and implemented the GYRA approach, I had three of my best tournaments including my first amateur golf victory (68-71). A few weeks later I went on to shoot my lowest tournament round ever (66, which included six birdies). 

Dr. Justice was also gracious enough to be a guest on Wicked Smart Golf and share even more mental golf tips. Check out episode #177 of Wicked Smart Golf to listen to our epic conversation now. 

3. Zen Golf 

Zen Golf, by Dr. Joseph Parent, is another easy pick for one of the best mental golf books. 

If your mental game is solid for the full swing but putting needs help, check out Zen Putting. It covers some of the same principles of Zen Golf but focuses more on how to use your mind for better performance on the greens. 

Check the price on Amazon now.

4. Mastering Golf’s Mental Game

Every golfer knows their score after the round but what about your mental scorecard? Mastering Golf’s Mental Game by Dr. Michael Lardon makes it easy to learn how to score your mental game for each round. 

This system has made it one of the top-selling mental golf books and even included a forward from Phil Mickelson as he used some tips to win the Open Championship in 2012. If you need a way to measure your mental game, this is a great book to read. 

Click here to learn more now.

5. The Inner Game of Golf 

The Inner Game of Golf by Timothy Gallwey is a great read that will likely help your mental perspective immediately. Inside Golf even said it’s the best sports psychology book ever written about golf!

This mental golf book will help you:

  • Build confidence. 
  • Defeat your mental demons.
  • Dispel tensions that can ruin your performance.
  • Learn the art of “relaxed concentration” and a lot more.  

Click here to learn more now.

6. Tournament Golfer’s Playbook

The Tournament Golfer’s Playbook by Mike Bender is a great easy to read mental book for intermediate to advanced golfers. Mike is a former PGA Tour player and highly accomplished amateur golfer who was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. 

This book helped me perform better in tournaments and had some great life advice too. Since Mike has performed at high levels himself he brings a unique experience few authors can to the game. 

Mike was also a guest on Wicked Smart Golf Podcast and thinks it’s one of the best interviews yet. Watch the video below.

Click here to learn more now.

7. Putting Out of Your Mind

Another great choice from Dr. Bob Rotella is Putting Out of Your Mind. This book is one of the best books for beginners who need help simplifying putting. Dr. Bob does a great job keeping putting simple and getting rid of technical swing thoughts. 

Click here to learn more now.

8. Practical Golf

Practical Golf by John Jacobs is a great book for your mental perspective and to build a better swing. It’s one of the highest reviewed books and a great read for all types of players.

Click here to learn more now.

9. Fearless Golf 

What if you could learn how to play golf without fear? How would that free you up during the round?

In Fearless Golf, written by Dr. Gio Valiante, you’ll learn how fear sabotages swings and how to overpower it. He’s used these techniques with Davis Love II, Justin Leonard, and tons of other professional golfers. It’s a great read without spending thousands of dollars on sports psychologists. 

Click here to learn more now.

More Golf Books

Also, don't forget to check out these books that help with other parts of the game.

  • How I Play Golf by Tiger Woods. Learn from the GOAT himself - it's an easy read that will help all parts of the game.
  • Harvey Penick's Little Red Book. This little red book is one book every golfer should read.
  • Four Foundations. This new book by Jon Sherman can help with all parts of the game. 
  • The Practice Manual. Adam Young wrote a massive book on all things practice that can help you practice with purpose. 

Wicked Smart Golf Book 

Also, I had to include a quick paragraph about my own book, Wicked Smart Golf. I’m passionate about helping golfers play better without swing changes and this book provides 111 easy to apply lessons. 

Wicked Smart Golf includes five pillars to shoot lower scores and the first section is all about the mental game. The other sections can also help you practice better, improve your short game, and learn how to make better decisions on the golf course. 

Click here to learn more now.

Other Mental Golf Resources 

If you’re not a big reader or want even more help for your mental game check out these resources below. 

Mental Golf Type

Mental Golf Type, created by John Weir, is a game-changing way to improve your mindset. While all the books above are great, they are general advice that may or may not work with your personality type. This is why some golf tips from books work perfectly for you and others fail.

John Weir recognized this issue and created this system which provides mental tips based on your personality type. The easiest way to think about it is Phil vs. Tiger - Phil is an extrovert, Tiger is an introvert. 

Telling each guy to do the same thing on the course simply won’t work. That’s why Tiger was head down, focused, in his own world. While Phil was interacting with players and fans because that’s his personality. 

Both guys understood their personalities and used it to their advantage. When I learned my personality type - ENTJ - and applied to my game, it made a massive impact. 

Because when you play golf like your personality, you can get in the zone much easier. This makes it easier to pick targets, swing with confidence, and trust your game. 

John was also a guest on Wicked Smart Golf Podcast twice which you can check out below.

If you’re ready to take your FREE self-assessment check out Mental Golf Type now. 

Mental Golf Coaching

Working with a mental golf coach is becoming more and more common for everyday golfers. A coach can help you manage your emotions, overcome fear, game plan for tournaments, and a lot more.

Click here to learn more about mental golf coaching. 

Look and Shoot Putting 

Need help on the greens? I highly recommend the Look and Shoot Putting System by Cameron Strachan. This system helped me 10X my confidence on the greens using his 

Read my full review of the Look and Shoot Putting method here

Decade Golf 

Decade Golf is another great resource to learn proper course management skills. It does have some mindset modules as well and has been key to pro golfers (and amateur like myself) shooting lower scores.

Read my full review of Decade Golf here

Top Questions 

How do I get mentally stronger in golf?

Mental toughness is one of the most important skills to develop in this challenging sport. So, how do you get mentally stronger?

First, adopt the right attitude. To play your best golf you must be wildly optimistic and hope for things to go your way. Paired with the right self-talk and positive body language, you’re signaling to the Golf Gods you’re ready for anything.

Another mental trick is to monitor yourself throughout the round. The more you know yourself and your game, the easier is it to adapt a

Which Bob Rotella book is the best?

Dr. Bob Rotella has a ton of books but after reading all of them I can say they get somewhat repetitive. Which is okay because repetition is the mother of mastery. 

However, if I had to choose I’d go with the two listed above - Golf is Not a Game of Perfect and Putting Out of Your Mind. The first choice is great for general mental golf advice and a better understanding of the role the mind plays in golf. While the latter is better if you need help developing the right mindset on the greens. 

Why is golf the most mentally challenging sport?

So, why is golf so challenging and taxing on the mind compared to other sports and activities? Here are my thoughts from an excerpt in my book, Wicked Smart Golf.

  • Golf requires four to six hours of intense focus. All it takes is one mental slip-up to lose your momentum and turn a good round into a bad one quickly. It’s why sometimes, after long days, you’re not only physically tired but mentally exhausted. You must constantly battle inner demons, calculate distances on every shot, and keep your mind in the right place to play your best golf. 
  • You must battle the course, the conditions, your competitors, and your mind. No two golf courses are the same; some are long and wide open, while others are short with narrow fairways. Some courses have tons of trees, water, thick rough, endless amounts of sand, and other hazards, while some courses have large, flat greens and others have small greens with different speeds. Let’s not forget about Mother Nature either—unlike in some sports, you must worry about the weather, temperature, and wind every single round. The competition is also fierce at all levels. Finally, you need to win the mental battle.  
  • Golf is an individual sport. It’s all on you and there are no teammates to blame if things go bad and no one is coming to save you during those bad rounds. When things are looking bad, it’s easy to feel like you’re Tom Hanks in the movie Cast Away, stranded on an island, searching desperately for answers, and talking to a white ball, trying to figure out how to survive. However, when things are good, there’s only one person responsible for long drives, beautiful iron shots, great short game and hot putter—YOU. That’s why it’s so wildly rewarding when you put it all together and score well. 

How do you beat golf anxiety?

Anxiety can happen in golf more than other sports as there is so much time between shots. On the driving range work on the mental approach to ease anxiety by focusing on routines, challenging yourself, and

How do you get out of a mental golf slump?

Slumps - both swing and mental game - can happen in this challenging sport. To get out of a mental slump try to take time away to objectively analyze your game. I like to brain dump everything so I can clear my head and reset.

Other ways to get out of a slump include:

  • Breathing exercise on the course.
  • Practicing more gratitude while playing golf.
  • Improving your self-talk and body language.
  • Setting a clear intention for every practice session and round. 

Closing Thoughts 

As you can tell there are tons of mental game books to upgrade your mindset to shoot lower scores. Buy one (or several) and start working on different aspects of the mental game including pre-shot routines, managing expectations, controlling your emotions, and bouncing back from bad shots. 

No matter your skill level, the mental game plays a big role in the game. If you start getting into tournament golf you’ll need to focus even more on the mental game as the pressure is much more than a casual round. Not to mention playing with strangers, handling tough course conditions, managing expectations, and more. 

Don’t let your mind get in the way of having fun and playing your best. As Arnold Palmer said, “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.”

Next Steps 

Buy one or several of these mental game books to take control of your mindset on the golf course. If you want even more help make sure to learn more about 1:1 mental golf coaching

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