By Sam Weinman
After two seasons of Local Knowledge, Golf Digest’s deep-dive narrative podcast, our audience has come to expect stories that open their eyes to undiscovered elements of the golf world. Although each episode endeavours to shine light on a worthy topic, these five were the biggest hits in 2021.
5. The inside story of how “Tin Cup” became a classic
A quarter-century after its release, “Tin Cup” gets plenty of airtime on Golf Channel, but maybe not enough credit as arguably the most authentic golf movie ever made. Alex Myers went deep with the film’s creators, including star Kevin Costner, to learn what went into pulling off a movie that could fly with general audiences and still ring true with golfers.
4. The Sugar Daddies of the PGA Tour
For every Tiger Woods or Rickie Fowler who can fund their early efforts as professionals with the help of endorsement dollars, there are dozens of golfers who need to get creative making ends meet when venturing out on tour. Enter the golf Sugar Daddy, who, as Dan Rapaport explains, either out of kindness or opportunity helps aspiring golfers pay their expenses before they potentially make it big.
3. An alternate reality without Tiger Woods
We think we understand the myriad ways Tiger Woods has shaped the modern game. But to truly grasp how revolutionary a figure Woods has been in his 25 years as a pro, it helps to consider what golf might have looked like if he never came around. Myers explores this bizarro world with the help of players and experts.
2. ‘Lucky bastards’: What it’s like as a guest at Augusta National
Golfers are endlessly fascinated with the Masters and Augusta National, particularly when it comes to those who get to take the drive down Magnolia Lane themselves. Myers reveals what to expect when you get the rare opportunity to tee it up at the most famous course in the world.
1. The new golf cheat code
Depending on your point of view, Scott Fawcett’s course-management system, adapted by a segment of pros and elite amateurs, is either a blueprint to better golf or an affront to the game we all love. Rapaport’s compelling profile of the man and his controversial philosophy stirs passions on both sides of the argument.