Flashback Friday: ‘First-Tee Jitters’

This one is from the archives. In fact, the below verbiage is the first entry of what was originally called “The Armchair Golfer,” this golf blog, which shortly after became ARMCHAIR GOLF BLOG. (But I continued to call myself The Armchair Golfer.) I wrote this first post on September 28, 2005. An early logo. Well, … Read more

Q&A: Zach Johnson at Pinehurst

2009 WAS GOOD to Zach Johnson. The Iowan won twice and finished fourth on the PGA Tour money list. His scoring average was under 70 and he had 10 top-10 finishes in 27 events. Zach also played on the victorious U.S. Presidents Cup team. Johnson, 33, has six PGA Tour wins, including the 2007 Masters, … Read more

Q&A: Donald Ross Statue at Pinehurst

A FEW WEEKS AGO I was in Pinehurst, North Carolina, for a national amateur event hosted by RSM McGladrey and the PGA of America. I spent some time with Natalie Gulbis, Chris DiMarco and Zach Johnson (story to come). I also had the opportunity to visit with Donald Ross, the legendary golf course designer who … Read more

Q&A: Natalie Gulbis at Pinehurst

Q&A: Natalie Gulbis at Pinehurst 4

Natalie Gulbis.

NATALIE GULBIS IS ONE of the most recognizable female golfers on the planet. Only 26, Natalie is completing her eighth season on the LPGA Tour. Yes, eight seasons. It’s kind of hard to believe.

Natalie has won one LPGA title and played on three victorious U.S. Solheim Cup teams. She has five top 10 finishes in majors. And, of course, she is a golfer-model, with looks and sex appeal that attract legions of admirers and land her in magazine spreads and on TV programs such as “The Celebrity Apprentice” and her own reality show on the Golf Channel.

What is Natalie like up close? What is it like to talk to her?

I can tell you—at least a little bit—because I stood with her under a canopy on the 10th tee of Pinehurst No. 8 last week.

I was a sponsor’s guest at the finals of the McGladrey Team Championship, a national best-ball amateur tournament. In addition to attending the festivities and VIP activities such as a skills challenge, I had the opportunity to talk to Natalie, Zach Johnson and Chris DiMarco, the three RSM McGladrey tour pros.

I didn’t know exactly when or where I’d have my chat with the three tour players. Although I had prepared some questions and carried a tiny digital voice recorder in my pocket, I knew I better be ready for anything. This would not be sit-downs or in-depth interviews. I was there to take in the experience, including my encounters with Natalie, Zach and Chris.

Natalie was first. I introduced myself and shook her hand. We talked, sometimes whispering, as amateur teams teed off in the three-day competition. She stepped away a couple of times for photographs with the teams, as did Zach, who stood nearby.

Natalie is personable and direct. She is totally at ease and an eager advocate for the women’s game, charities and her sponsors. Although she has fielded thousands of questions, this may be the first time she was asked this opener.

Q&A: Natalie Gulbis at Pinehurst 5ARMCHAIR GOLF: I have to ask you a couple of questions for my daughters. My 9-year-old wants to know your favorite color.

NATALIE GULBIS: My favorite color is purple.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: My 14-year-old daughter wants to know if you have any pets.

NATALIE GULBIS: I don’t have any pets. I had pets growing up, but now since I turned professional it’s too hard to be on the road and have pets. Stuffed animals is about the extent. My family does, though. My family in Sacramento has a dog and a cat.

Read more

Chris DiMarco and the Corporate Outing

CHRIS DIMARCO IS THROWING golf balls on the practice range of Pinehurst No. 2 on Monday. He is trying to hit a small pane of glass stamped with a PGA of America logo that is perched on a metal stand about 30 yards away. The object of this part of the skills challenge is to … Read more

Gulbis, Johnson and DiMarco Kick Off McGladrey Team Finals

Chris DiMarco, Natalie Gulbis and Zach Johnson (Courtesy of Pinehurst Resort) I JUST RETURNED FROM a quick trip to Pinehurst for the start of The McGladrey Team Championship, a national amateur best-ball tournament conducted by the PGA of America. About 40 teams teed off today in the three-day finals that will be contested on Pinehurst’s … Read more

A Trip to Pinehurst for The McGladrey Team Championship

(deltamike/Flickr) I’M IN PINEHURST, NORTH CAROLINA, for The McGladrey Team Championship, a national best-ball amateur tournament conducted by the PGA of America. The amateur teams at Pinehurst have already advanced through a local qualifying event and a section championship. The finals are this week at the Pinehurst courses, and each amateur team will be playing … Read more


(Mike Licht/Flickr) Stephanie Wei talks to LPGA Tour player Christina Kim about Kim wearing a mike during the first round of next week’s McDonald’s LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock. (Wei Under Par) Ryan Ballengee interviews Mike Davis of the USGA, the famed U.S. Open setup man. (Waggle Room) Heather Jones fires a 37 and posts … Read more

Most Overrated PGA Tour Players

(Honeyfield/Flickr) Golf.com (SI) has published their PGA Tour player version of “all hat, no herd.” Here’s their list of the most-overrated players of the last quarter century: Colin Montgomerie Chris DiMarco Davis Love III Tom Lehman Charles Howell III Stewart Cink I’m sure we could come up with some others for the most-overrated list, but … Read more