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No. 4

On the cover: No crowds, no phones, no cart paths. Just a golfer and his most faithful companion. No. 4 is a paean to the beauty and breadth of the game. At Machrihanish Dunes in Scotland, Tom Coyne finds joy in a modern course built with the Old Tom’s tools. In Harlem, artist Charles McGill valiantly showed how people of all colors can make golf a lifelong pursuit. There is heartbreak and redemption on a Nashville muni, a brash gamble in Las Vegas and three titans breaking the rules at Streamsong. Old stories of Arnold Palmer’s sensational Augusta caddie share a golfing soul with uber-talented young women making new marks on the game. And David Owen’s essay on club restaurants is a riot, but the point is clear: There is nothing better than golf.

Features
PHOTO: TOM SHAW

“And we felt this joyful rearrangement of priorities in Machrihanish as we played; it was the thrill of golfing genuine landscape, and a reminder that only on ground not bent to please our preconceptions did we find golf to please our souls.”

Proof in the Purpose

New regulations forced them to build a course the Old Tom Morris way. The result is Machrihanish Dunes.

Photo: Kohjiro Kinno

“He wanted them all to see what he saw: the big opportunity they’d all been waiting their lives for. The chance to actually cash in on this peculiar talent they’d been developing in obscurity.”

Present at the Creation

The Major Series of Putting is an audacious attempt at building a new sport within a sport.

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Photo: John Ashworth

“When I first started taking photos, most other shots out there were these deep-field-of-focus, full-color images where everything looked too perfect. I hated it.”

If You Want Something Done Right

He convinced Jim Nantz, John Cook, Fred Couples and Ernie Els to do a photo shoot in a speeding convertible. Reliving the wonderfully eclectic golf life of Barry Grimes.

Art: Shane Miller

“Etched into my memory is the sound my wife made when the confirmation came that the worst had happened.”

Nashville

Tear-stained putting sessions and blistered hands on the driving range. A journey through personal tragedy, one stroke at a time.

Photo: Courtesy of the Charles McGill Estate and Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York

“He’s swinging golf clubs through watermelons, which, of course, has always had the ‘black thing’ stigma. By bringing that to Harlem, people were looking at him like he’s crazy.”

Heavy Baggage

Through his art, Charles McGill tackled questions about golf and race head on.

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Photo: Gary Bogdon

“You don’t travel to Ormond Beach, Florida, less than a month after Christmas, when school is in for most students, and stay for a week unless you truly believe your baby girl has a future in this game. More and more think they do.”

They Grow Up Fast

A road trip to the Sally, where an old-school club has embraced the fresh faces of women’s amateur golf.

Photo: Associated Press

“Winnie had written a check for $14,000—more than Palmer’s $11,250 first prize—and Iron Man was attempting to cash it at the clubhouse.”

Arnie’s Iron Man

A proper eulogy for Iron Man Avery, the legendary Augusta caddie who was there for every step of Arnold Palmer’s four Masters victories.

Photo: Kohjiro Kinno

“Now they face a chip or pitch on tight Bermuda grass over the knoll, with the lake looming behind. It creates approaches more awkward than a sixth-grade dance.”

Shared Secret

Going long on No. 7 at Streamsong Red.