The Man Who Made the Masters

This is the first in a series on Clifford Roberts, the co-founder of Augusta National Golf Club and the chairman of the Masters Tournament from 1934 to 1976. By John Coyne Copyright © John Coyne. All rights reserved. Used with permission. FROM THE HILLSIDE AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL one looks into a natural amphitheater and across … Read more

Augusta National and Doctrine of Deception

By John Coyne Copyright © John Coyne. All rights reserved. Two Masters champions on practice day at Augusta National. (Keith Allison) FOR ANYONE WHO HASN’T FOLLOWED its storied history, Augusta National Golf Club was originally a 365-acre indigo plantation. By 1857 it had become a plant nursery. At the height of the Depression the property … Read more

Doug Ford Belongs in World Golf Hall of Fame

I DON’T HAVE A VOTE, but if I did I’d cast my ballot for Doug Ford to enter the World Golf Hall of Fame. Ford was again bypassed this year, although he did finish second in the voting, appearing on 46 percent of the ballots. Lanny Wadkins is the sole 2009 inductee. “I’ll put my … Read more

The Masters, Aussie Style

Greg Norman tees off as fellow Australian Aaron Baddeley looks on. (Richard Carter/Flickr) “In arguably the most sports-obsessed country in the world, this may go some way to explaining Australia’s exceedingly high expectations in world golf. If we’re going to get up at these ridiculous hours to watch, our golfers had better put on a … Read more

On My Bucket List: The Home of Golf

The finishing hole at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. (Maedi/Flickr) THERE ARE SEVERAL THINGS I’ve been able to cross off my golf to-do list. For starters, I’ve been to many tournaments, including a few majors. Last year was an especially huge year for me. I finally made it to Augusta National Golf Club … Read more

Phil Mickelson Is Wire-to-Wire Winner

Phil Mickelson at the Ryder Cup. To his right are Justin Leonard, Paul Azinger and Butch Harmon. (Proforged/Flickr) “BEWARE THE AILING GOLFER,” Phil Mickelson said in the press tent after claiming his first World Golf Championship title on Sunday at the Blue Monster in Miami, Florida. It was Phil’s second win of the season and … Read more

The Telecast That Changed Golf

By John Coyne Special to ARMCHAIR GOLF THE FIRST TELECAST of a golf tournament came in 1947, when the U.S. Open was transmitted to a local audience in St. Louis. George May at Tam O’Shanter would go nationwide with his telecast in August of 1953. I had been at Tam earlier that Sunday as a … Read more

PGA Merchandise Show: Finding My Way

GOING TO A NEW EVENT can be a logistical challenge: flying on a bad weather day, missing a tight connection (in Atlanta, of course), figuring out how to get out of the rental car parking garage (lame, I know), and finding my hotel in Kissimmee at midnight. Stuff like that. Nonetheless, after a long hike … Read more

Birmingham (Ala.) Golfer Wins ‘First Off the Tee’ Drawing

CONGRATULATIONS TO SCOTT STONE, winner of the free drawing for First Off the Tee: Presidential Hackers, Duffers and Cheaters from Taft to Bush, a bestselling book on America’s golfing presidents by Don Van Natta Jr. Scott will receive an autographed copy of First Off the Tee (in hardcover), along with a personal note from the … Read more

North Carolina’s Rich Golf History

(Photo courtesy of Beth) TODAY I WAS REMINDED of North Carolina’s contribution to the game of golf. My wife, two daughters and I were in Raleigh for two days to see the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Museum of Natural Sciences. While there, we also visited the Museum of History, which included the North Carolina … Read more