Golf Digest Issue 3, 2021

Golf Digest empowers the modern golfer, delivering monthly content on how, what and where to play. Golf Digest provides "how-to" articles by an unparalleled team of the game's top professionals, the most in-depth equipment rankings, the Hot List and is the No. 1 authority for golf course rankings.

United States
Conde Nast US

in this issue

3 min
a return to swearing

THE MASTERS marks the true start of golf season, particularly for those of us in the north. Just as the days grow perceptibly longer right after Christmas, images of Augusta let us see enough green and sun in our own back yards. I don’t know what goes through your head in those first early-season rounds, but here’s what goes through mine. Not much. Pale forearms and shins confuse me as my own. I try to recall useful swing thoughts, but my head is as muddy as my lie. I can gather just enough dumb faith to pull the club back and watch the ball squirt off to places bad and worse. “Sh__!” In mid- or late-season form, even if I’m hitting it poorly, my commentary is more articulate. Mostly internal though sometimes aloud…

4 min
your player just won a major? let the good times roll

THE RELATIONSHIP between a player and caddie is intricate, thrilling, messy, all over the emotional spectrum. It’s basically marriage without sex. So winning a major is, well, as close as we get to having fun in the bedroom. ▶ A lot of caddies grew up as players. If you’ve held a club in your hand, at some point you’ve dreamed of putting on the green jacket or raising the claret jug. Though we’re no longer the ones hitting the shots, those dreams remain. So when it comes to fruition, forget the money or the competition high; success is a validation of everything we’ve done to get to this moment. That is an experience you cannot buy. ▶ OK, we don’t forget about the money. That’s a pretty damn big part…

4 min
sungjae im

I REMEMBER LOVING GOLF since I was little, growing up in South Korea, winning little games, how fun golf was. But more than anything, I hated losing. My parents played, and by age 4, I would mimic their swings with objects around the house. When I was 9, I was good enough to enter my first tournament. I had never broken 90 to that point, but that day I shot 77. I remember being super focused and nervous at the same time. The way those two feelings came together, it almost felt spiritual, and it resulted in a concentration I had never experienced before. After feeling that, I knew I could be a good player. I knew I wanted to play golf professionally. I never really thought about being anything…

4 min
how collin morikawa quiets his mind

LAST JULY, Collin Morikawa wasn’t feeling as confident as he normally does about his game. When I met him at Muirfield Village for the Workday Charity Open, he was coming off his first missed cut as a professional. Of course, we never expected him to make every single cut, but it was certainly a bit of a shock after he had made 22 in a row to start life on the PGA Tour. The week before, he had finished T-64 at the RBC Heritage. Those were the two worst finishes of his career to that point, and they happened in back-to-back weeks. You can’t swing freely if you’re thinking defensively. But he was not in the correct headspace to play his best. Besides the swing work we do, a big part of…

3 min
let’s keep it civil this golf season

GOLF AS REFUGE—my favorite subject. Now the challenge isn’t a pandemic, but politics. As we return to our courses this spring, I’m concerned that the divisiveness in the country might spill over into golf. Do we simply check our politics at the clubhouse door and avoid all conversation about the news, or does the civility among golfing friends make us more open to seeing the good in those who hold an opposing point of view? My ulterior motive is to find the best priest and rabbi joke that makes the point. So I went to Marc Gellman, the Long Island rabbi who—like most old golfers I know—retired to Florida, where there are no income taxes but plenty of tee times. “Politics is ridiculous,” he says to me. “Friendships are more precious than…

6 min
reliving the loneliest masters through my journal

For over 30 years, I’ve been a journal keeper. Each night, I recount the day’s events in a faux leather-bound executive planner. It contains all kinds of minutiae, such as details of a Dec. 10, 2005, visit to Byron Nelson at his ranch in Roanoke, Texas. On that day I noted, “Peggy served Byron’s favorite lunch: A half a hot dog with pickle chips.” I don’t know where that might fit in a future memoir, but there it is. ▶ The 2020 Masters was unique in many ways. I could tell the story in a narrative form but thought my journal entries would be just as revealing. So here are some of my notes starting on the Friday before the Masters. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6 5 a.m. (Pacific Time). Zoom call with Dallas…