Golf Digest Issue 4, 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
our controversial cover star

FORGIVE ME my one Patrick Reed story. ▶ The year was 2010. I’d just finished a two-month road trip across the country where I blogged “60 Stories in 60 Days” for The idea had been to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the magazine’s founding by visiting Americana like the biggest golf ball made of yarn and such. I played everywhere, and by the end understood the term “over golfed” for the first time in my life. It’s a mental condition, though all the miles and fast food surely didn’t help. As a sort of culmination for my return home, I’d signed up for a 36-hole U.S. Amateur Public Links qualifier. Nothing was more Americana than this championship, which was founded in 1922 on the simple rule of no silver-spoon country…

4 min
undercover caddie not everyone will be lining up to get vaccinated

WILL WE GET VACCINATED? Usually I feel good about speaking for caddies as a whole. But this isn’t about golf. A lot of us have the same feelings and opinions about the game and our profession, but there are some graveled roads once you get off that path. Commissioner Jay Monahan stated as recently as March that getting vaccinated is encouraged but not mandatory—it’s a personal choice. A friend of mine who isn’t in the sport asked if that really was the case. Wouldn’t we all be lining up when the chance came? Absolutely not, I said. People might be surprised to hear that. But on the whole—please underline “on the whole”—guys on tour aren’t spooked by the coronavirus. It’s not that they think it’s made up. A lot of them just…

4 min
abraham ancer i’ve never really had a swing coach. i still don’t

ABRAHAM ANCER PGA TOUR AGE 30 BUILD 5-7, 155 LIVES SAN ANTONIO I WAS BORN in McAllen, Texas, but I grew up in Reynosa, Mexico, a small border city in the northeast part of the country. Watching the PGA Tour growing up, it looked pretty impossible to reach. Competing professionally was always a dream of mine since I was a little kid. But it was always like, Man, there’s absolutely nobody who has ever made it to the tour from Reynosa. I was introduced to golf by my dad, Abraham Sr., not long after I was born. He took me to Club Campestre de Reynosa, the only golf course in the area. There are pictures of me in diapers out there. As soon as I could stand up, I was hitting balls with him. ● ● ● My…

3 min
my happy place writing down what i’m grateful for helps me play my best

I’VE ALWAYS BEEN a happy person, but only in the past few months have I become a happy golfer. There is absolutely a difference. The past few years have been awesome for me—I’ve gotten back to the PGA Tour and won twice, and I fulfilled a lifelong dream of winning the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, a tournament I attended as a kid. But before that, I went through some pretty brutal times. During the 2016-’17 season, I made two of 17 cuts, won just $18,008 and lost my card. It was almost impossible not to let those consistent failures affect my mood on and off the golf course. Though I’ve gotten my game back, there are still moments that can make me feel pretty crappy. Maybe it’s missing a putt to get a…

5 min
the best question you can ask a golfer one course for the rest of your life?

THE HARDEST GOLF COURSE I ever played was Pine Valley—backward. The practice has been discontinued, but for many years, Pine Valley members used to gather on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and play the No. 1 course in the country not from tee to green, but from green to tee (or more precisely, to the previous green). For example, we used to tee up on the collar of the 18th green and play over hill and hazard to the 17th green—now that is a monstrous par 4! I’ve never wavered in believing that Pine Valley, frontward or backward, is America’s greatest golf course, but it’s not the answer to this question: If you could play only one course the rest of your life, which would it be? ▶ Dave Anderson wrote…

15 min
the many sides of patrick reed

Patrick Reed has a beautiful young family, a green jacket, nine wins and has represented the United States seven times at the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup and Olympics. At age 30, it’s the foundation of what could become a Hall of Fame career. But how brightly these accomplishments would otherwise shine has been dimmed by various incidents. At this point, Reed has said all he cares to about allegations from his college days. His estrangement from his parents—who live in Augusta, Ga., of all places—has been reported. The same nosiness that draws people to tabloids might cause musings, but the only clear fact is that real pain exists, which Reed isn’t ready to talk about publicly. The other real pain belongs to his wife, Justine, who has “cried so many…