A deeper level of golf: conversations and stories about golf course design, professional golf, and more from the team behind TheFriedEgg.com
Five Things About the Ryder Cup with Lawrence Donegan
Lawrence Donegan (@lawrencedonegan) is a longtime golf journalist who has worked for The Scotsman and The Guardian. He co-founded the excellent McKellar Magazine and hosts the McKellar Golf Podcast. With the 2020 (not a typo) Ryder Cup approaching, Lawrence joins Andy Johnson to share five things to watch for at Whistling Straits. They discuss Steve Stricker’s uninspired start to his week-of captaincy, the reasons behind Team USA’s chronic underperformance, the looming succession drama on the European side, and more.
Thoughts on the Design of Whistling Straits
To get ready for this week’s Ryder Cup, Andy Johnson and Garrett Morrison chat about the design of host venue Whistling Straits. Andy recently shot the Straits Course for a new Fried Egg video, so Garrett asks for his thoughts on Pete Dye’s routing, par-3 concepts, and outrageous shaping. They also discuss the PGA of America’s hefty build-outs, the reasons behind Andy’s hatred of catch basins, and the simple pleasure of gazing at a big ol’ lake all day.
Mike Whan, the USGA‘s New CEO, on the Future of Golf
After a well-regarded run as LPGA commissioner, Mike Whan started two months ago as the CEO of the USGA. Earlier this week, he sat down with Andy Johnson at Chicago Golf Club to discuss a variety of topics. They cover Whan's thinking about the USGA's priorities, championship host selection, and the potential of bringing the U.S. Open back to Chicago and the Midwest. Whan also weighs in on the hottest topic of the day: the distance increases golf has seen over the past few decades, and the USGA's role in securing the future health of the game.
Mapmaking with Don Placek
In this wide-ranging conversation, Don Placek, Partner at Renaissance Golf Design, and Andy Johnson cover the complexity and challenges of the golf architecture consulting business, compare finding new golf courses to discovering new music, and discuss Don’s passion for drawing, maps, and art in general. Don shares how his passions and talents outside of golf improve Renaissance Golf Design’s work and how his routing maps help visualize the 3D world for their clients.
Affordable Golf as a Family Business
If you're in Northern Lower Michigan to play Arcadia Bluffs or Crystal Downs, you shouldn't skip Champion Hill Golf Course and Pinecroft Golf Course. Public, affordable, and well designed, Champion Hill and Pinecroft are owned and operated by one family. Is this the ideal business model for affordable golf? Andy Johnson and Garrett Morrison tackle that question in this episode, but first they spend some time chatting about the Solheim Cup, which took place at Inverness Club this past weekend. After Andy and Garrett finish up, they throw it to a conversation Andy recently had with Lee Stone, the owner of Champion Hill and Pinecroft, and Jim Cole, the longtime superintendent of both courses.
The Strategy of Team Match Play
Team match play is the most entertaining format in golf, but we might not understand it very well. What factors should team captains consider when pairing players up for foursomes and four-ball? How much does a player's past match-play record matter? In alternate shot, how should teammates decide who tees off on which holes? Joseph LaMagna (@JosephLaMagna) believes that the conventional answers to these questions rely on faulty reasoning. Joseph runs Optimal Approach Golf, which advises PGA Tour pros on strategy, and writes an excellent newsletter called Finding the Edge. In this episode, he and Garrett Morrison dig into the intricacies of team match play and the tactics that Team USA and Team Europe should use in the upcoming Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup.