John Garrity, best known for his three decades of scribbling for Sports Illustrated, is a self-described “golf authority.” He has written more than a dozen books, including the critically acclaimed America’s Worst Golf Courses — which would have cracked the New York Times best-seller list if the publisher hadn’t accidently shredded the second printing. A 9-to-14-handicapper, Garrity is a member of Milburn Country Club (Overland Park, Ks.) and an honorary member of the Belmullet Golf Club (County Mayo, Ireland), the Askernish Golf Club (South Uist Island, Scotland), and Hillcrest Country Club (Kansas City, Mo.). He lives in Kansas City, Mo., with his wife Pat, a church liturgist.
The Phoenix Rises: Milburn Country Club, 1917-2017, The Donning Company. Milburn’s centennial history features 40,000 words of text and more than 200 images. Highlights include chapters on Twenties golf sensation Miriam Burns Horn, the golf-crazy gangsters of the Thirties, and the golden age of Kansas City golf that produced Tom Watson, Jim Colbert and other PGA Tour players.
“Feherty on Feherty,” GOLF Magazine, March, 2013, pp. 90-96. He hears voices in his head. He goes days without sleeping. He is heavily medicated. And he cannot be trusted to get himself from one job to the next. David Feherty should be reeling, but instead he’s rolling — as a commentator, pitchman, emcee, motivational speaker, and the star of his own TV show. How does Feherty do it?
“Star Light,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, Oct. 8, 2012, p. G6. Rory-Tiger with the Cup on the line sounds good but wouldn’t have been much of a match.
“Ocean Course is a Flawed Monster from Golf’s Most Mischievous Man,” Golf.com, Aug. 12, 2012.
“Two Decades Later, Remembering the ‘War’ and the Fear It Wrought,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus (text) and Golf.com (video), Aug. 8, 2012.
“Recap: The 2012 British Open,” , Golf.com, July 23, 2012.
“British Open Passes ‘Marriott Pen Test’,” , Golf.com, July 19, 2012.
“Stop the Presses! How Tiger’s Vanilla Remark Became Absolutely Sensational,” Golf.com, July 16, 2013.
“Reaction to Tiger’s First-Round 69,” , Golf.com, June 15, 2012.
“Best. Team. Ever.”, Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, June 11, 2012, pp. 48-53. In the early ’60s San Franciscos Abraham Lincoln High was undefeated over a four-year span, and although a young man named Johnny Miller never lost a match, he wasn’t even the Mustangs’ best player.
“The Curious Case of John McDermott,” GOLF Magazine, June 2012, pp. 98-102. A century before 22-year-old Rory McIlroy won the U.S. Open, 19-year-old John McDermott did the same. McDermott defended his title the following year and then did something even more remarkable: He checked into a psychiatric ward and all but vanished from the game.
“Pro Move,” with Art Stricklin, Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, April 23, 2012, pp. G13-14. U.S. Amateur champ Kelly Kraft had a blast at the Masters, but he gave up exemptions to the U.S. and British Opens to make a run at a Tour card, a tactic that could become common.
“You Probably Think Phil Mickelson’s Triple Bogey Came from a Bad Decision. Think Again,” Golf.com, April 8, 2012.
“Weather Extreme at Masters Made for Tough Conditions and Wild, Muddy Shots,” Golf.com, April 8, 2012.
“Augusta National’s Newest Hazard: The Rookery,” Golf.com, April 6, 2012.
“Sweet Spots,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, April 2, 2012, pp. 76-79. Decades patrolling the grounds of Augusta have taught the author where to best view the action. Now he shares his secrets, starting with the simplest one: grow tall.
“Clash of the Texans,” GOLF Magazine, April 2012, pp. 112-116. Seven decades ago, with America headed to war and Augusta National headed for bankruptcy, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson dueled in a Masters playoff that energized the game — and elevated the tournament.
“The FAST Way to More Power,” by John Novosel and John Garrity, GOLF Magazine, April 2012, pp. 141-147. A new method for measuring swing tempo proves that your swing is too slow, and that the secret to more distance is simply a matter of stepping on the gas.
“Helping Hands” text for Darren Carroll’s photo gallery, Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, Feb. 6, 2012, pp. 26-35. The tour player’s life is nomadic, a blur of airports, hotel lobbies and cleared-out lockers. For constancy the pro must look to his fellow travelers: golf-industry reps and techs.
“Bad Timing,” book excerpt from Tour Tempo 2: The Short Game and Beyond by John Novosel and John Garrity, Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, Sept. 5, 2011, pp. G9-11. The golfing world wants to know: What’s wrong with Tiger Woods’s swing? A simple yet revolutionary new thesis provides the answer.
“Nothing But Trouble,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, Feb. 6, 2012, pp. 8-11. First, the Farmers Insurance Open struggled to get out of the long shadow cast by Tiger Woods, 8,456 miles away. Then, just as a shiny new champion was about to be minted, an unsightly meltdown made an unlikely winner out of Brandt Snedeker.
“It’s Official: No Hard Feelings,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, Aug. 22, 2011, pp. G12-13. All of the parties involved in one of the PGA’s most notorious controversies are in agreement. It’s time to move on.
“Just Like Home,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, July 25, 2011, p. G13. Kansas City may be 4,500 miles and an ocean away from the linkslands of Europe, but thanks to Tom Watson, everyone from the Paris of the Plains is up-to-date when it comes to the British Open.
“Changing Course,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, June 27, 2011, p. G10: The venue that first hosted the U.S. Open in 1964 was supposed to supremely test the world’s best, but heavy rains rendered Congressional and its subsurface moisture-control system defenseless.
“Pure Class,” The Memorial, 2011 edition, p. 42: An always-smiling and often-winning Nancy Lopez lifted the fortunes of the LPGA Tour when she arrived on the scene in 1978, and she remains an inspiration today.
“My Top 10 in Golf Fiction,” Golf List Mania! (by Leonard Shapiro and Ed Sherman), p. 106. “A fixture on the Sports Illustrated masthead since 1989, author and journalist John Garrity remains one of the most literate and prolific sportswriters of his generation, a master of his craft as well as a single-digit handicapper himself. We asked him to pick his all-time favorite works of golf fiction ….”
“Blue-Light Special,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, June 13, 2011, p. 54: Mired in a slump after a sparkling amateur career, Matt Kuchar turned to a new coach for a swing, um, overhaul.
“Is the Doctor Done?”, Golf Magazine, June, 2011, p. 108: During his residency as the “Open Doctor,” Rees Jones has earned a reputation for his bold, bruising, sometimes controversial redesigns of seven U.S. Open venues.
“With News of Seve’s Death, a Picture of How It All Began,” Golf.com, May 7, 2011.
“Help Wanted,” Sports Illustrated, May 2, 2011, p. 25: Without a title sponsor for next year, the Heritage, one of the most popular stops on Tour, could be history.
“Raising a Ghost: This Old Course Part 2,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, April 25, 2011, p. G2: Finally, work begins on Askernish Old, Tom Morris’s long lost links.
“Rookie Year,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, April 18, 2011, p. G16: Twenty first-time participants descended on Augusta National for an unforgettable week of golf. Lessons were learned, many of them the hard way.
“John Garrity Shares His Favorite Vantage Point at Augusta,” Golf.com, April 1, 2011.
“Who’s the Real King?”, Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, April 4, 2011, p. 58: Arnie, Jack, Tiger and Phil. They are the royal family of Augusta whose 17 combined Masters wins have helped make them single-named fictures. But which one truly rules Magnolia Lane?
“The Secret in the Pines,” Golf Magazine, May, 2011, p. 95: Whispering Pines Golf Club has a high-profile multimillionaire owner, a commendable philanthropic record, and arguably the best course in all of Texas. So why have you never heard of it?
“Company Man,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, March 14, 2011, p. G13: Mike Davis will test his political and people skills as the new executive director of the USGA.
“This Old Course,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, Feb. 21, 2011, p. G4. Episode 1: Old Tom’s Ghost Course is coming back to life.
“Golf’s Young Guns Sent a Message at the U.S. Open,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, June 22, 2010.
“Hoffmann’s Day in the Sun Crumbles with Quadruple-Bogey on 18th Hole,” Golf.com, June 17, 2010: Oklahoma State star puts three in the water on final hole.
“Frisky Fratelli,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, June 14, 2010, p. 42: Bootstrapping their way up the World Ranking, the Molinari Brothers have made it as far as Pebble Beach.
“June Madness,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, June 14, 2010, p. 18: After 30 teams were paired down to an elite eight, little Augusta State plowed through match play to stun top-ranked Oklahoma State.
Carne Golf Links report in “Six Irish Modern Classics,” GOLF Magazine, July, 2010, p. 130: Embrace the new on a visit to the Old Country.
“Oldies But Goodies,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, May 3, 2010, p. 18: Bob Charles and Gary Player won the money, but the real prize in the Legends’ Demaret Division were old memories relived and new ones created.
“Al Geiberger: ‘Call Me Mr. 2 after Albatross,’ Golf.com, April 20, 2010.
“Mickelson’s Masters Win Completes Role Reversal with Woods,” Golf.com, April 13, 2010: Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have switched places.
“The Best Damn Open Ever!”, GOLF Magazine, June, 2010, p. 116: Fifty years ago, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and a 20-year-old Jack Nicklaus waged a U.S. Open battle so wrought with drama, suspense, and story lies that is hasn’t been matched.
“Tiger Woods Looks Like He’s Swinging Well, But …”, Golf.com, April 9, 2010: … but the numbers tell a different story.
“Seo Good, So Sad,” Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, April 5, 2010, p.18: Sponsor’s invitee Hee Kyung Seo was a runaway winner at the inaugural KIA Classic, but what would an LPGA event be without a little rules controversy involving Michelle Wie?
“Back to the Drawing Board,” GOLF Magazine, Feb. 2010, p. 70: Add the Gilded Age of golf course design to the long list of recession victims. Top architects are trying to find new and innovative ways to stay viable.
Askernish Old chapter in Chris Santella’s Fifty More Places to Play Golf Before You Die(Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2009): “Back in 1990, John Garrity experienced the thrill of discovery in a very profound way, uncovering an 1891 Old Tom Morris design on the isolated Scottish island of South Uist. The course, Askernish, had not simply eluded American visitors. It had literally been lost to the ages! ….”
Spread #74, “Golf Books,” in The Final Four of Everything, edited by Mark Reiter and Richard Sandomir (Simon & Schuster, 2009): “Golf writers turn out distinguished prose, George Plimpton said, because their attempts to play the game lead to ‘the state of contained melancholy that so often produces first-rate writing.’ ….” So who wins? Dan Jenkins? Michael Murphy?
“In the Beginning: A History of the New Richmond Golf Club,” by John B. “Jack” Garrity, Travel + Leisure Golf, October, 2007: A father recalls how golf came to a small Wisconsin town in the 1920s; a son (naturally) critiques and corrects. (Note: View the on-line version for graphics only; the imbedded annotations do not display properly.)