Book Review: Bulls, Birdies, Bogeys & Bears

by: David Merkel, CFA

This is a clever book with a simple insight. When good times are expected to continue, golf does well, as a competitive professional sport, as a recreation (it's expensive), and the markets do well as well. Vice-versa when bad times are expected to continue.

There is a second insight, in how business gets done on the golf course, as relatively well-off people connect in person over something they enjoy.

The book describes these connections in many ways through history, over different nations, etc. It spends time on two of the greats of the game, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods, comparing them and the economic environments they lived in.

This book surprised me… I liked it better than I expected. That said...


A lot of the correlations he describes could very well be spurious. When I look at the graphs, I am on the borderline between being convinced and not. I give him the benefit of the doubt.


This is a well-written and entertaining book, and maybe it would make a good gift for a friend that likes golfing and investing.

Full disclosure: The author asked me if I would like a copy and I said yes.