Podcast Podcast

United States

Sean Zak and Alan Shipnuck get you up close and personal with some of professional golf's top players, personalities and commentators. We share the best and latest golf stories, from the PGA Tour to your backyard.


Remembering 9/11  

Less than one week after terrorist attacks shocked the world 16 years ago, Sports Illustrated writer John Garrity did something almost no one would have considered: he boarded a plane for Europe. The Ryder Cup was cancelled and the PGA Tour put on hold as people everywhere braced for what seemed to some as the start of a third world war. Garrity left his home and family in Kansas City and flew to England. His assignment: tell us how the golf world would react. What he found was very telling, but more than anything, if only for a few fleeting days, Garrity saw golf heal the minds of many people who were left confused and unsure how to move on.

The Top 100 Courses in the World  

GOLF has unveiled its ranking of the Top 100 Courses in the World. Travel editor Joe Passov joins the podcast to discuss the ranking, how it's created, who gets a say, the best new courses and much more.

Jhonattan Vegas  

Alan Shipnuck caught up with Jhonattan Vegas last week at the Northern Trust on Long Island. Shipnuck profiled Vegas back in 2012, detailing his upbringing and humble beginnings in Venezuela. The two have remained chummy ever since, and sure enough, just days after they met in New York, Vegas finished tied for third behind Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson. Topics include: 1. Vegas' family 2. His humble beginnings in the game 3. His tricky path to the Tour 4. Playing against Tiger early in his career 5. How winning for a second time is different than the first 6. Why he's had so much success in Canada

Recapping the PGA Championship  

Back again, Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger recap the final major of the year from the PGA Championship. They talk Justin Thomas, Quail Hollow, Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner and share how it unfolded from a writer’s perspective.

Inside Donald Trump's Ties to Golf  

Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger discuss Donald Trump's many ties to the golf world, his complicated relationship with it as president, and the recent Sports Illustrated story the explains what golf means to Trump. The discussion includes: How Trump called the White House a "dump" -- 3:10 Why he needs golf as a validation -- 9:00 What it's like playing golf with Trump -- 16:50 Trump's desire to control a Sports Illustrated story -- 21:30 Possible ties between Trump's courses and foreign financing -- 28:15 The role golf will play in post-presidency Trump -- 34:40 Trump's place in professional golf -- 38:52 If you could ask him one question... -- 44:40

In Love with Links Golf  

Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger sit down in advance of the British Open to discuss their undying affection for links golf. Both writers have covered decades of Opens and probably spent just as much time traipsing linksland chasing their own golf balls. Topics discussed: 1:23 -- Why links golf is better 4:35 -- Playing jet-lag golf 7:37 -- The 1985 Open 10:55 -- Playing the Old Course alone, and in reverse 13:40 -- Walking St. Andrews with Tom Watson 17:20 -- The best courses in the rota 19:00 -- Jack Nicklaus and hotels 23:15 -- Tom Watson and the 2009 Open

The Story of Seamus Golf  

The story of Seamus Golf, a golf headcover and handmade products company, begins with a beer bong of all things. A beer bong in Corvallis, Oregon on gameday between Oregon State and the University of Oregon. Megan Kenton convinced Akbar Chisti to do a beer bong, and though they barely knew each other at the time, they had a future in business together, as well as marriage. Both Megan and Akbar talked with Sean Zak recently about how they created a giant in the headcover business, and got the attention of every governing body in golf. This is a story of a startup company, but also a story of living freely with your present and your future, and stepping out on a limb with business decisions.

The U.S. Open and a career of covering it  

Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger are back to recap the U.S. Open and their careers covering the event. If you’re looking exclusively for a breakdown of the most recent major, well, you’ll be getting that and a whole lot more, including stories of U.S. Opens and Sports Illustrated from the 2010s, 2000s, 90s and 80s. Topics include: Why Erin Hills became the story of the event — 1:10 What should the U.S. Open be? — 9:00 How Bamberger caddied at his first Open — 17:30 Shipnuck’s first Open — 23:55 Bamberger 1999 flight alongside Fred Couples — 36:30 Senior writers being on TV — 42:15 How the Masters eclipsed the U.S. Open —47:18 Reporting the 2001 U.S. Open — 53:15 Reporting the 2010 British Open — 56:40 Reporting failure at the 2011 Masters — 58:35

Andy Dillard and the 1992 U.S. Open  

The 1992 U.S. Open ended with Tom Kite winning his first and only major, but it began strangely with Andy Dillard setting a U.S. Open record that will almost certainly never be broken. As we came to find out in his fateful story, he needed that record more than anything else in his life.

Dave Pelz  

The Dave Pelz you see in 2017 isn’t all that different from the Dave Pelz you would have seen in 1957. The golf fanatic was then playing on scholarship at Indiana University, and competing against Jack Nicklaus, no less, so to see where he is today—as a world renowned short game instructor—comes without surprise. The astonishing part is how he got there, because shortly after enrolling at Indiana, and losing to Nicklaus on a number of occasions, he realized he wasn’t Tour ready. His ascension to the top of the short game world—which includes advising Phil Mickelson, one of the greatest short game players of all-time—begins at NASA, and has to do mainly with physics, his major at IU. As you can tell by listening, he’s pretty good at telling the story. Topics include: 2:25 — Playing junior/college golf against Jack Nicklaus 7:30 — How a college golfer ended up working at NASA 11:10 — His introduction of the 60-degree wedge on Tour 21:45 — Phil Mickelson’s greatest short game shot 25:20 — His annual work with Mickelson 31:50 — His new green-reading project

Keegan Bradley  

Keegan Bradley took a circuitous route to the PGA Tour: down the ski slopes of the toughest mountains in the Northeast. With stops at St. John's and developmental tours, he splashed onto the scene in 2011 with a PGA Championship victory. Over the last couple of season Bradley has been battling to get back to that rarified air, playing through swing changes and the USGA’s anchoring ban. Alan Shipnuck caught up with him at the Players to talk about his unlikely journey, and where he goes from here. Topics: Playing with Phil Mickelson -- 1:10 PGA Tour money games -- 4:25 His relationship with Michael Jordan -- 5:45 The importance of golf shoes -- 9:10 The grind he's been on over the last few seasons -- 15:15 PGA Tour weddings -- 23:30 His first love (skiing) -- 28:00 The PGA Tour cliques in Florida -- 32:15 His dust up with Miguel Angel Jimenez -- 34:15 What he envies most about Dustin Johnson -- 37:02 His relationship with Jason Dufner -- 43:15

Tour caddie Kip Henley  

Tour caddie Kip Henley wasn't always a caddie. He was once an aspiring pro, until (in his words) he saw Jack Grout, Jack Nicklaus' famed coach. That's when his career as a golfer took the fateful turn. Since, Henley has made quite the career carrying bags and reading putts for a number of players on the PGA Tour, most recently Vijay Singh, whom he broke ties with just days after the recording of this podcast. You'll hear his thoughts on Vijay and much, much more. Topics: His failed Tour career -- 4:20 Why he began caddying -- 12:25 Caddying for Brian Gay -- 16:45 Are Tour caddies overpaid? -- 20:50 What works between player and caddie -- 26:33 The pettiness of certain caddies -- 31:00 The prevalence of cheating on Tour -- 34:07 How difficult it is to leave a player -- 38:20 Vijay's late-career abilities -- 41:43 His caddie dreams -- 45:10 How caddies make mistakes -- 48:06

Sean Foley  

Sean Foley is only 42 but he’s seen a heckuva lot in his career as a swing guru. His pupils have won a U.S. Open (Justin Rose) and now a Players (Si Woo Kim), but it is the man he took to number one (Tiger Woods) who made Foley famous. As you'll hear in this podcast with Alan Shipnuck, Foley is a philosophical thinker in his approach to teaching anyone around him. He's also a huge hip hop fanatic. Don't think so? Just ask him for his top 5. Here are just a few of the topics included: Hip hop music -- 1:42 His college experience -- 7:53 The roots of his teaching career -- 19:23 His time with Tiger Woods -- 27:10 How he works with young players -- 32:03 Why he can't watch live golf -- 38:32 Watching Justin Rose at the 2017 Masters -- 39:35 Why golfers practice incorrectly -- 56:40

Paul Casey  

Paul Casey might have the most infectious laugh on the PGA Tour, and just a few moments into this discussion with Alan Shipnuck, he shows it off. Casey and Shipnuck sat down at the Players Championship this week to discuss cars, cycling, his Ryder Cup status, how he views his career and much more. Topics: The Tour's FedEx sponsorship extension -- 2:10 Cars -- 4:15 Cycling -- 7:13 Stipulations of his Nike contract -- 12:10 Golfer injuries -- 13:30 His relationship with Peter Kostis -- 16:00 How he perceives his career -- 19:25 The Ryder Cup -- 26:35 The European Tour -- 31:50 His best Walker Cup memory -- 39:05

Danielle Kang  

Danielle Kang lives a lavish life, and she'd even admit it, but she'll also be the first to tell you it takes a lot of hard work. Kang recently sat down with Alan Shipnuck to discuss every corner of her career and approach to competing on the LPGA Tour. The discussion goes as follows: Living in Las Vegas -- 4:00 Getting through struggles -- 6:40 Why golf is the family game -- 14:08 Her successful amateur career -- 24:40 Her relationship with Michelle Wie -- 33:45 Why she has a love-hate relationship with golf -- 35:47

The Story of Arccos  

The story of Arccos, a golf performance tracking company, begins in Pakistan of all places. That’s where Sal Syed, CEO and co-founder of the company, grew up. It’s where he first studied advanced mathematics and fell in love with golf. There are a number of steps between advanced mathematics in Pakistan and launching a golf app on iTunes in the United States with coworkers and plenty of champagne. Syed recently sat down with Sean Zak to tell the story of all those steps, how his company came together, how he brainstormed with buddies at Bandon Dunes. Syed also explained where his company is headed, and just how it plans to bring all kinds of golfers along with it. This is the story of Arccos and, more generally, a story about why you need to look into tracking your own golf performance like you never have before.

Sandra Gal  

The 10-year LPGA vet joins Alan Shipnuck to discuss why he thinks she is the most versatile professional golfer in the world. Not versatile in the sense that she can do everything the game asks of her, but rather versatile in hobbies and skills. Yes, she has a budding music career, and is one of the most introspective golfers you'll meet, thanks to a commitment to meditation. Those are just two of the many examples they discuss.

The Masters & the Art of Covering it  

Sports Illustrated Senior Writers Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger discuss the most recent Masters, how Shipnuck covered it for the print magazine version, and how they both view various aspects of writing. The discussion includes: 1:20 -- Watching Sergio finally win 5:50 -- The art of reporting at a major championship 11:30 -- Chasing offbeat stories 13:00 -- Covering Tom Watson 21:40 -- Writing for a magazine 31:15 -- The lineage of SI golf writers 41:05 -- Tiger Woods' relationship with media

The 2017 Masters  

Sean Zak and Jeff Ritter take you through the story of the 2017 Masters, from Monday's rainout to Sunday's final putt. You'll hear from numerous players along the way, including their many thoughts from each day, as they chased the green jacket.

Masters Preview  

Our apologies if you've listened to all the Masters preview podcasts out there this week, but here's another one. Jeff Ritter joins Sean Zak to discuss every storyline ahead of the 2017 Masters. That means DJ, Spieth, McIlroy, Mickelson and others.

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