No.15

Look good, feel good, play great. With Audrey Hepburn and Cleopatra alongside St. Andrews and Augusta, No. 15 is not afraid to strut. An excerpt from Tom Coyne’s latest book revels in the splendor of the American game from Alaska to Hazeltine, while the thrill of discovery is found in a jaunt to four little-known English tracks. Looking sharp isn’t always easy, as seen in the bloody origins of the turf at Kiawah and Sea Island, but Nicklaus, Jones, Seve and Snead prove a great ensemble is timeless. See them all inside.

Features
Uncommon Land

“I take a breath—that last one just before the swing. I can hear the sheep pulling at grass 100 yards away. There is no other sound but my heart, slow now, but urging me to go on. The swing comes like a crashing wave over which I have no say. It finds me from the ether and I move with it.”

Uncommon Land

Finding golf nirvana in four little-known courses.

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A Life Rebuilt

“As I stared at the green scribbles on my ball, the right side of my face went numb. I pulled the club back and swung meagerly, dribbling a shot 40 yards to the left. I was no longer deflated about my round; I was scared.”

A Life Rebuilt

Golf gave him a way back from the unimaginable.

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Reflections on a Wooden Shaft

“Which Masters champion literally walks up No. 18 assured of victory and breaks into Dave Loggins’ ‘Augusta (The Theme From the Masters)’? I mean, probably Bubba Watson, I will grant you that. But nobody else.”

Reflections on a Wooden Shaft

Breaking down a theme song unlike any other.

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Half Full

“Without my 6-iron, I suddenly had to rethink that 181-yard shot. I grabbed the 5, shut my robot golf brain off and flipped on the creative side. Rarely had I been more excited for an otherwise run-of-the-mill shot.”

Half Full

Fewer clubs, more options and a deeper understanding.

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Trinity Forest US of Par

“I thanked Guy for ranking me as a best dude; it was as high a status as I’d achieved in golf. And it reminded me that my great American golf course was going to have more to do with the Americans with whom I played it, versus its red, white, and blue bona fides.”

The United States of Par

Searching for the perfect American course—whatever that is.

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Teachable Moments

“Rodgers, who at that point was nearly 80 years old and had been battling chronic myeloid leukemia for more than a decade, who experienced the dizzying heights of an NCAA title and two major championship near-misses and the crushing lows of falling into obscurity, still couldn’t quit golf.”

Teachable Moments

Guiding Nicklaus to major glory is only part of the Phil Rodgers story.

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Paspalum Shadows

“It is not in the power of the human imagination to picture a situation more dreadful or disgusting. To help sop up the mess, the ship was bedded with grass pulled from the Angolan deltas. Today, the same turf lines fairways and greens all over the world.”

Paspalum Shadows

Exploring the dark history at the root of a popular turf.

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The Glamorous Game

“Times and tastes change, but the golf course remains a celebrity playground.”

The Glamorous Game

Audrey Hepburn makes putting look good.

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Yardage Book: Cleopatra

“Such was the humor of Thompson: The original hole allegedly resembled a female form so provocative that it left little to the imagination. The story goes that the railroad ownership was so offended that they made Thompson change the hole immediately. Regardless, the name stuck.”

Yardage Book: Cleopatra

A stunning, complicated beauty in the Canadian Rockies.

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Office Hours

“Another time he showed me a twin of the spoon used by Gene Sarazen for his double eagle known as the “Shot Heard Round the World” at the 1935 Masters. Then he produced a photo of the Squire in full safari gear sitting among a tribe of bare-breasted women from, he said, “somewhere on the other side of the world.”

Office Hours

The only thing more legendary than this collection? His mustache.

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Marvelous

“Most importantly, he did it without bothering players—something the always-aware Seve Ballesteros appreciated.”

Marvelous

The weird and wonderful eye of photographer Phil Sheldon.

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The Truth About Cypress Point

“Ross built a home at Pinehurst, and his love for the area is widely known. But does that make Pinehurst his favorite?”

The Truth About Cypress Point

A (nearly) comprehensive research project on the true favorite courses of MacKenzie, Ross and Tillinghast.

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Just Get It in the Box

“His U.S. Open win confirmed, at least for now, that distance is king and accuracy is overrated. Yeah, well, screw Bryson.”

Just Get It in the Box

How a second-serve mentality changed my game.

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