Rank #1: What ideas will save golf?
Coming out of the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Ryan Ballengee has some ideas on HackGolf and the problems preventing golf from growing.
Rank #2: Why Phil Mickelson avoided jail and Muirfield is in Open purgatory
Phil Mickelson can thank a pair of 2014 cases for why he isn't in handcuffs right now, charged with insider trading and securities fraud. We explain that precedent and how Mickelson was a pawn of the feds. New GNN team member Kevin Power joins the show to talk about Muirfield's decision to remain an all-male club, talking about the implications for them, the Open Championship, the R&A, the Scottish economy and more. We also delve into Rory McIlroy's issue activism and the potential influence he could have on the game and his peers.
Rank #3: Recapping The Open - Shane's win, Rory's realization and more
Rank #4: Ep. 130: Ireland, Scotland, Philly and more in Tom Coyne’s Emergency 9
Golf-travel author Tom Coyne returns for this second episode on “Talking GolfGetaways” with answers from around the world — Ireland, Scotland, Philadelphia and the Monterey Peninsula — when taking the Emergency 9 quiz. Plus, his thoughts on haggis, travel roommates, golf raingear and, yes, ball-stampers.
Rank #5: PGA Championship review and talking Hogan Golf with Mitch Laurance
Brooks Koepka won his second major of 2018 in perhaps of one of Tiger Woods' best-ever major duels (even in a losing effort) at the PGA Championship at Bellerive. We go over the fantastic showdown between the two, throwing in Adam Scott and Justin Thomas. We go over the clutch shots, the big moments and what it all means for Koepka and Woods, as well the Ryder Cup.
Then Ryan's GNN compatriot and friend Mitch Laurance, host of the "Talking GolfGetaways" travel podcast, joins the show to talk about his journey from playing hickory golf clubs back to modern equipment with the Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company.
Rank #6: Making golf yours, and talking the state of golf with Josh Jacobs
On this episode, Ryan digs into the fun of the Zurich Classic, as well the great winning moment shared by the Jutanugarn sisters at the LPGA's Los Angeles event. It's a segue into talking about the beauty of golf being for the player whatever the want it to be -- and the truth that no one person should try to commandeer what the sport means.
Then Ryan is joined on National Golf Day by friend and TGA Premier Sports owner Josh Jacobs to talk about his business, junior golf, getting kids and families in the game and golf participation.
Rank #7: Playing Shinnecock Hills before the US Open
On this episode, Ryan talks about his experience of playing Shinnecock Hills Golf Club for US Open preview day. He takes you on a complete tour of the Southampton, N.Y., club, including the current setup, the demands on each hole and what players can expect inside the ropes as they battle for the national championship.
This was a likely once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and Ryan is beaming with excitement to share it all.
Rank #8: Reaction and fallout from the 2018 Masters
This episode is all about the 2018 Masters, of course. Patrick Reed wins, and the story about more than him winning. It's about how he got to this point, what he changed about his approach to Augusta to get the green jacket, how his past informs his present and future, and what's next for a guy who is beloved on American teams but wasn't beloved on Sunday.
We dig into Alan Shipnuck's Sunday night piece on Reed and his relationship with his family, trying to figure out what from what.
We also get into the weeks turned in by Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm.
Rank #9: Guest Dean Snell and experiencing golf in Houston
On this episode, we're joined by Snell Golf founder Dean Snell to talk about his new MTB Red and MTB Black golf balls, his company four years into it, as well the experience of making golf balls for the average golfer. Dean is always a great guest, and his insights into the golf ball and the golf business are a must-listen.
Ryan also shares his experiences in Houston for a few days, including playing golf with Steve Elkington, meeting Jack Burke Jr., and more on what's coming in the future with Secret Golf.
Rank #10: Reflecting on Jarrod Lyle's final battle, then discussing a few minor golf controversies
On this week's show, Ryan talks about the devastating news Jarrod Lyle has stopped treatment for his third battle with leukemia and is pursuing a style of hospice treatment as he prepares to die. It's an emotional opening segment, and hopefully one which pays tribute to the Aussie's remarkable life and fight.
In the second half of the show, Ryan delves into the latest quibbling controversies in golf, including wondering if we're in the process of giving Bryson DeChambeau the Bubba Watson treatment.
Rank #11: Feeling like you belong in golf
On this episode, Ryan digs in on his recent piece on seeking a feeling of belonging in golf, as well the overwhelming outpouring of reaction to the article. While he feels golf at the elite end has a potentially toxic culture for the sport, the idea of being a golf snob isn't exclusive to being wealthy. Ryan also commits to bringing more stories of golf as most of us experience it.
Rank #12: Playing golf with Laura Davies at Pine Needles
Ryan's back from a trip to the Pinehurst part of North Carolina, playing golf with Dame Laura Davies at Pine Needles to preview the second US Senior Women's Open. Ryan talks about the experience and what a joy it was to watch Dame Laura play some damn good golf (with a rental set, at that). Then he gets into comparing playing Mid Pines with Pine Needles, the strong opinions about both courses, as well the must-drinks and eats in Pinehurst.
Rank #13: What Phoenix gets right, and why the Saudi tournament is wrong
After a hiatus of a few weeks for the PGA Show and the launch of GolfTripX.com, Ryan's back to talk about the European Tour's mistake in hosting the Saudi International in Saudi Arabia, as well the other problem countries on golf's global calendar. Then Ryan goes on the other extreme and lauds the Phoenix Open for everything it gets right, including so much more beyond the infamous 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale.
Rank #14: FLASHBACK: Tom Watson talks the 2009 Open months after his close call
Rank #15: Recapping the 2018 Ryder Cup
This episode is dedicated to all things post-2018 Ryder Cup. We dig into why the Americans lost, ranging from analyzing their play and pairings, to digging into the interpersonal conflicts, captain's decisions and unfortunate circumstances which partially led to the Americans continuing a losing skid in Europe since their last win there in 1993.
Ryan gets into what Jim Furyk could have done differently (not much) given the hand he was dealt, where this Ryder Cup leaves the Ryder Cup Committee and its leaders, as well figures the lineage of future American captains.
Rank #16: Reviewing the Tourney of Champs and golf's new rules
We kick off the 2019 golf year with a new episode going over Xander Schauffele's big win at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Some key takeaways and questions from the win:
Is Xander Schauffele poised to win a major in 2019?
Where does the X-Man rank among the young guns?
Did Justin Thomas' finish inspire him toward a Sony win?
Then we look at the Sony Open in Hawaii and the big adjustment players have to make going from Kapalua to Waialae Country Club. We also look at Justin Rose's schedule choices, the big field for the Desert Classic and how that might lead to a new title sponsor.
Finally, we dig in on the two biggest new golf rules in 2019: the option to putt with the flagstick in with the ball on the green, as well the new drop heights. Ultimately, these new rules help make golf better for most.
Rank #17: Matt Kuchar and JB Holmes were both slow to act; did either really win?
On this week's show, we had two controversies to discuss coming out of the Genesis Open.
After some tone-deaf comments about his payment arrangement with El Tucan to caddie for him in Mexico, Matt Kuchar comes around and agrees to pay David Ortiz his requested $50,000. So now what?
JB Holmes won the Genesis Open on Sunday, and he frustrated a lot of golf fans in the process with is slow (yet clutch) play. The PGA Tour has to do something to improve its product, so why aren't they?
Rank #18: Saying goodbye to Tiger in DC, and talking Myrtle Beach World Am
On this edition of the show, Ryan shares stories from the final Quicken Loans National. He talks about the life and death of the tournament, and he digs into the Sunday experience walking with Tiger Woods for likely the final time in his hometown.
Then Ryan welcomes Scott Tomasello from the Myrtle Beach World Am to talk about the experience of playing in the event (come join us!), as well what to expect from the festivities on the Grand Strand.
Rank #19: Talking architecture and more with Nathan Crace
In this episode of the show, we talk golf course architecture with architect Nathan Crace. Nathan is a fascinating guy and a great Twitter follow, as well now a podcast host of his own "The Lipouts Podcast."
The conversation centers on Nathan's current portfolio of work, what it looks like and how it has progressed over the years. We discuss his beginnings as an architect, building his own three-hole course in his parents' Indiana backyard so he could play the game. Nathan shares his influences, including a great story about Bob Cupp.
We dig in on the flood of architectural opinions on social media, what they might miss and the tribal nature of favoring certain styles over others. Nathan takes a step back as we discuss the multi-dimensional nature of really understanding architecture as opposed to taking a more binary approach.
Finally, we talk about Nathan's new podcast and his great work at The Refuge in Mississippi, the things that are keeping him most busy these days.