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Local Knowledge

Golf Digest
364 episodes
The best golf stories have multiple layers to them. In each episode, Local Knowledge dives deep into a subject golfers want to know about, whether it’s about the game they play, the competition at the highest level, or the surprising ways golf factors into larger conversations throughout society. Hosts Daniel Rapaport, Alex Myers, and Keely Levins weave together original interviews, Golf Digest reporting, and additional elements to tell the type of compelling stories that have been a Golf Digest staple for decades.

Disclaimer: the content and artwork of this podcast are the property of its owner and are not affiliated with nor endorsed by Audiotrails.

The golf course ranking no one agrees with

In 1962, Mapmaker C.S. Hammond & Co. asked Golf Digest for a list of the country’s best courses for its cartographers to chart, but editors thought such a list was too subjective. Instead, the magazine embarked on a four-year project using USGA course ratings along with its own research to determin…

The ‘Oh sh!t’ moment: The mystery of the golf slump

No golf slump is exactly the same, but they all tend to have similar ingredients. Whether it’s Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, or even you, most slumps arise from a crisis of confidence. But as Dan Rapaport reports, a slump doesn’t need to be a death sentence. In this episode of Local Knowledge, Rapa…

'Lucky bastards': What it's like as a guest at Augusta National

On the list of great golf courses around the world, Augusta National often ranks near the top. But when it comes to the course most golfers want to play, there is no question. Owing to its exclusivity, its manicured perfection, and the familiarity from watching the Masters every year on TV, a chanc…

Golf and the gambling revolution

Golf gambling has taken off in recent years, and it figures to grow even bigger. How did we get here? In this episode, we examine the game’s rapid embrace of what was once considered a seedy pastime, and why golf seems particularly well suited to benefit from legalized gambling. We’ll look at how g…

The greatest round in Players history—and why we know it is

Ken Duke’s 65 at the 2016 Players Championship isn’t close to one of the lowest rounds in PGA Tour history. It’s not even the best round ever at the Players. So why does it qualify as the greatest round in Players history, as well as one of the greatest rounds in the history of golf? In this episod…

The Sugar Daddies of the PGA Tour

There is no draft in pro golf. When most young players try to make a go of it on tour, they’re on their own, which means the expenses of tournament fees, travel, and caddies can add up in a hurry. In the absence of the type of endorsement contracts given to top prospects, some players have to get c…

When the LPGA bet big on sex appeal: The wild career of Jan Stephenson

Jan Stephenson won 16 times on the LPGA, including three majors, but in the 1970s, the tour sought to market the Australian as more than just a talented player. From her photoshoots in a nightgown or in a bathtub full of golf balls, Stephenson faced backlash from fellow competitors who thought mark…

The curious life of a PGA Tour rules official

A golf rules official’s responsibilities cover a broad spectrum. They set up the course, oversee playoffs, and determine when a golf course is playable in a rainstorm and when it isn’t. Perhaps most important, they help golfers decipher the game’s complicated rules at pivotal moments throughout a t…

Back from the Brink: How the PGA Tour saved its season

After a 91-day hiatus caused by the surge in COVID-19 cases, the PGA Tour returned last June and continued uninterrupted through the end of 2020. Through positive tests and logistical details that ranged from how to keep score to how to give volunteers coffee, the season was unlike any that came be…

A long drive champ takes aim at the PGA Tour

Conventional golf wisdom has said long drive competitions and tournament golf are two entirely different disciplines. But the gap has closed in recent years, and Kyle Berkshire, the No. 1 ranked long driver in the world, is out to prove his 150 mile-an-hour swing speed would give him an advantage e…

Living room visits with golf’s greatest players

Before his retirement from Golf Digest last month, Guy Yocom had one of the most unique jobs in golf. In his 36-year career, Yocom came to know virtually every great player in the modern game by way of extensive one-on-one interviews for the magazine. Yocom met with Ben Hogan in his Forth Worth off…

The last days of the true amateur

A seemingly obscure legal rule that would allow college athletes to profit from their name, image or likeness could change the complexion of amateur golf, what was once considered golf in its purest form. In reality, the game is already well removed from an era when Bobby Jones and Frances Ouimet…

The near demise of Augusta National

At the first playing of the tournament that is now known as the Masters, Augusta National Golf Club needed to borrow chairs from a funeral home. The club needed money to buy grass seed, and the only reason we now know Augusta National’s clubhouse as one of golf’s most iconic buildings is because th…

Team Game: Inside the life of the modern PGA Tour caddie

No job in golf has evolved more than the tour caddie. Once just a set of shoulders to carry a bag, caddies have grown to assume different roles for different players. Some have been elevated to where they’re mentioned in the same breath as the guys hitting the shot. Others are just friends or famil…

The bootstrapping life of an LPGA Tour player

When reports surfaced of a top LPGA player needing to pay for her own clubs while in contention at the season’s second  major championship, it spoke to the harsh financial realities faced by many women golfers. With fewer sponsorship opportunities and smaller purses but often just as high expenses …

The dirty secrets of sandbaggers

Every golf club has a sandbagging story. The 26 handicap who miraculously shoots 85. The 12 who flirts with even par. It is the rare handicap event in which certain golfers are  better than advertised, which is great news for their partners, and a source of outrage for everyone else. In this episod…

“I’m such an idiot”: The hidden lessons in a collapse

Why did Phil Mickelson blow the 2006 U.S. Open? It wasn’t just about a pushed drive into the trees on the final hole. It was about poor decision-making, and perhaps wanting something too much. On the occasion of Mickelson returning to Winged Foot for another U.S. Open, host Keely Levins unpacks th…

Funny Money On Tour: The lucrative life of a PGA Tour golfer

“The money out here is comical,” admits PGA Tour player Joel Dahmen. But he’s not complaining. After slogging through the mini-tours earlier in his career Dahmen in just a few years on the PGA Tour has already earned more money in official earnings than Jack Nicklaus did in his entire career—all th…

The Golf Savant: The life and career of Moe Norman

As Tiger Woods often said, only two players truly owned their swing: Ben Hogan and Moe Norman. But while Hogan won nine major championships, Norman’s career never took off outside of his native Canada. In this episode we’ll revisit the life and career of one of golf’s most enigmatic figures. The la…

Bob May and the curse of the very good golfer

As the PGA Championship draws a collection of club professionals who join the big leagues for this one week, we examine the myriad elements that separate players at the height of the sport from those just one tier down. Whether it’s physical, psychological, or a simple matter of luck, we look at wh…

Swing Oil: Does alcohol really help your golf?

The question of whether a few drinks can actually help you play better golf is as old as the game itself. In the newest episode of Local Knowledge, host Alex Myers consults experts and everyday players to understand the role alcohol plays in golfers' performance; and  revisits a series of experimen…

Golfing While Black

Five women joined a golf club outside of York, Pennsylvania, only to have the police summoned to the course by the owner midway through their first round. Their crime, they say, was “golfing while black.” The first episode of Local Knowledge, a new podcast by Golf Digest, tells the story of the Gr…

Introducing: Local Knowledge

In golf, Local Knowledge means you’ve done your homework. In Local Knowledge, Golf Digest applies the same approach to the most compelling golf stories, with each episode diving deep into a subject that resonates with golfers. Host Daniel Rapaport explains what’s to come in future episodes, from st…

How the Tour is combating the spread of COVID-19, Dustin Johnson’s Travelers victory

Alex Myers, Sam Weinman and Daniel Rapaport discuss Dustin Johnson’s tremendous weekend in Connecticut, how the PGA Tour has responded to players contracting the virus and why it matters that NBC took back U.S. Open coverage from Fox Sports. Also, WHOOP CEO Will Ahmed joins the show to discuss the …

Sir Nick Faldo, high drama at the RBC Heritage

It’s not often that we have a knight on the podcast. Six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo joins the show to discuss broadcasting PGA events remotely, how these tournaments feel without fans and what his sweater collection is looking like. Also, Alex Myers, Sam Weinman and Daniel Rapaport discuss …

The PGA Tour’s return at Colonial, caddie John Wood

We’re back with real PGA Tour golf to talk about! Alex Myers, Sam Weinman and Daniel Rapaport break down the Charles Schwab Challenge, from Daniel Berger’s win to Jordan Spieth’s putting game to Bryson DeChambeau’s new look. Also, John Wood, Matt Kuchar’s caddie, joins the podcast to discuss the sc…

Behind the scenes of the PGA Tour’s return

It’s here! After a long hiatus, professional golf is back and Alex Myers, Sam Weinman and Daniel Rapaport are here to break down the upcoming Charles Schwab Challenge. They discuss the loaded field, what they expect to be the main story heading into the weekend and when we’ll see Tiger again after …

Annika Sorenstam, the Euro Tour’s bold new strategy

Annika Sorenstam, arguably the GOAT of women's golf, joins the pod to discuss her game during the pandemic, whether players should be mic’d up at tournaments and what she remembers from her LPGA record-breaking 59. Also, Alex Myers, Daniel Rapaport and Keely Levins talk about everything surrounding…

Why The Match worked so well

Golf doesn’t stop for Memorial Day. Alex Myers, Sam Weinman and Daniel Rapaport discuss everything about The Match, from how good Tiger Woods looked to Justin Thomas the broadcasting phenom to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning’s golf games. Then, the trio debates what athletes or celebrities would be th…

Mike Weir, golf's return at TaylorMade Driving Relief

The 2003 Masters champion and eight-time PGA Tour winner, Mike Weir, talks to Golf Digest about whether he deserved to be named the 2003 Player of the Year over Tiger Woods, why lefties play well at Augusta and hitting the course with Wayne Gretzky. Also, Alex Myers, Sam Weinman and Daniel Rapaport…