Tom Callahan is one of the best all-round sports writers in the world. Golf has been lucky to have such a fine wordsmith, with a genuine love for the game, witness its biggest moments and tell the stories of champions. In a career spanning five decades, he’s has had enough experiences to last a few life times from having Ben Hogan critique his swing, to Arnold Palmer making him drinks to trekking through a Vietnam jungle looking for the family of Tiger Phong, the soldier after whom Earl Woods nicknamed his son. In this episode to close out 2020 for The Thing About Golf podcast, host John Huggan chats with Callahan about his colourful career that has included working as a columnist for The Washington Post, long-form writing for Time magazine and authoring best-sellers like In Search Of Tiger and Arnie: The Life Of Arnold Palmer among others. And it shouldn’t surprise that he apart from writing good stories, he tells good ones as well.
Estimates say there are as many as 60 million golfers in the world and we all know at least some of them who are completely addicted. The question is why? Join us as we try to discover the answer to that burning question, interviewing golfers both famous – and not – on a monthly quest to solve the riddle of this maddening game.
This episode of the The Thing About Golf has a distinct Scottish flavour as we welcome John Huggan in his debut episode as co-host where he chats with Scotland’s most promising young professional in Robert MacIntyre. Huggan caught up with MacIntyre the week after he claimed his maiden European Tour title, the first of what many good judges believe will be multiple career victories. MacIntyre is not your run of the mill Touring Professional and in this fascinating conversation with Huggan reveals some insight into an upbringing surrounded by foster brothers and sisters, his passion for the little known Scottish pastime of Shinty and why he’ll never win his club championship playing right handed.
Twice a Honk Kong Open winner Ormsby is one of those golfers who has flown mostly under the radar of much of his career. It would be fair to say he was a bit of a late bloomer in terms of his golf but as you’ll hear in this conversation he has no regrets about learning his craft on the job, so to speak. Hailing from Adelaide where his father, PETER, also a professional, owns one of the most successful off course retail golf shops in the country we caught up with Wade in his home town where he was into day eight of his 14 day quarantine after returning from the UK. From his multiple successful trips to Q School to a life-long friendship with Adam Scott to the business realities of playing golf for a living, Ormsby is open, honest and reflective in this interview which I hope you enjoy…
The name Jane Lock will be familiar to anybody with an interest in the history of the game in Australia. After all, she won the Australian Women’s Amateur three times and was a member of the first Aussie team to win what’s now known as the Espirito Santo trophy, the world cup of amateur golf. But beyond that, most of us know almost nothing of Jane Lock. An LPGA Tour player from 1980 to 1986 her professional record never really reached the heights of her amateur achievements. But her contribution to the game in Australia should not be overlooked.
The first time he played golf he shot “about 140.” Last year at the Vic Open, James Nitties joined an elite group in the record books when he reeled off nine birdies in a row. In between, the Novocastrian has been on quite the golfing journey and he’s here to talk about it all on Episode 29 of The Thing About Golf.
Brad Hughes was always known as a level above when it came to ball-striking and on those weeks when his putting matched he was close to unbeatable. But as the game moved away from the heavy wooden clubs of his youth, Hughes’ advantage became less and less. He began a search to understand the swing, a search which has ultimately seen him emerge in recent years as one of the game’s most sought after coaches. Hughes is an interesting thinker and an engaging speaker and we hope you enjoy what is a comprehensive discussion about all things golf.
Some people are born to be Generals while some are more naturally comfortable in the role of lieutenant; Dean Herden is the latter. After a playing career that didn’t pan out as he had hoped, Herden took what would be an unthinkable step for many: he swapped sides and stated carrying the bag for others. 28 years and 51 victories later, it seems he made the right call. Herden covers plenty of ground in this wide-ranging chat with host Rod Morri, including revealing the secret to the success of Korea’s women golfers and a heads up on three up and comers who might just be the ‘next big thing’.
There’s often an adversarial nature to the relationship between golfers and administrators which is why it’s rare to find a successful player who makes the transition to the other side. One shining example is Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) CEO Karen Lunn – a 10-time Ladies European Tour winner, who now has the responsibility of steering the women’s professional game in Australia into a very uncertain future. Never one to shy away from controversy, Lunn talks about modern equipment and its impact on the game to the lack of ‘mongrel’ in some of the game’s younger players. After a lifetime in golf Lunn has collected plenty of nuggets of wisdom and she shares many of them during the course of this interview with host Rod Morri.