About John

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.

John Garrity at Carne Golf Links, 2007 (Tom Garrity)


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.)

53 responses to “About John

  1. bc

    Might be the view from the clubhouse:

  2. Hi John, really like your blog, and have added it to our blogroll. Your #1 ranking of Askernish reminded me to put that trip back on my list of places to play in Scotland. Cheers!

  3. Bobby

    John, I’m writing a story on golf and was wondering if you adhere to the prevailing theory that the sport is in decline — both in weekend players and perhaps now with the Tiger Woods affair (hmm) in prestige and viewership.

    • I don’t think the sport is in decline, Bobby, but the golf industry is certainly caught in the jaws of a big-time depression. See my GOLF Magazine article, “Back to the Drawing Board,” for the impact the real-estate crash has had on golf architects. We’ve built too many pricey golf courses and allowed our critics to slander golf as “the rich man’s game,” when, as you know, neither you nor I are certifiably rich. And there’s no denying that golf is just too hard to play and too difficult to learn for it to grow exponentially. Tiger Woods couldn’t make that happen a decade ago, and it certainly won’t happen now that he’s leaning against his pedestal with a bump on his head.

  4. Joe


    I just finished reading Tiger 2.0. Quite interesting how the first chapter which was written three years ago is so relevant with everything that is unfolding with Mr. Woods each day.

    I would like to bring your attention to the nonprofit that I am the Founder and President of- Bunkers in Baghdad. We have collected over 990,000 golf balls and 27,000 golf clubs for our soldiers overseas and our Wounded Warriors all throughout the country. With your help- additional attention can be brought to the great work that we are doing. I would be interested in discussing how we can work together to help our brave men and women all across the globe. Check out our webpage- http://www.bunkersinbaghdad.com.

    Best regards-

  5. John, I’m writing a story on golf and was wondering if you adhere to the prevailing theory that the sport is in decline — both in weekend players and perhaps now with the Tiger Woods affair (hmm) in prestige and viewership.

    • I’d say the golf industry is in decline — you can’t argue with stalled developments, closed courses and stagnant equipment sales — but the game never really declines. Most golfers who get hooked, stay hooked, and it truly is a game for life. I’m 63 and I, uh … okay, bad example.

  6. Western Isles Police Notice:

    A strange looking six foot seven prowler was seen peering through the windows of Borrodale Hotel in the early hours of this morning..He then proceeded to wander aimlessly through the township of Daliburgh before knocking on a young lady’s door and demanding that she “let him in.”
    If anybody has any further information on the identity of this “suspected pervert” please contact the committee of Askernish Golf Club.

  7. Hello, I am terribly sorry to bother you on your blog but I have an unusal request.

    I am a great fan of Kenji Miyazawa, a Japanese poet. I set up a Google alert on his name years ago. I didn’t get many hits until an article of yours was published with this quote “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”. It is no exaggeration to say that you printing these words has made ripples across the net, spreading to people who neither play golf nor know of Kenji’s work. The earliest mention I can find is your SI Tiger 2.0 article from 4/2/07 but I remember seeing it in an article on a different site (golf.com?) and possibly even earlier (late 06?).

    If you remember, could you tell me where you learned this quote and where you first used it?

    Whether you remember or not, I want to thank you for introducing so much of the English world to Kenji, even if its just a little.

    • I came across Miyazawa’s “We must embrace pain” quote while writing my “Tiger 2.0” cover story for Sports Illustrated (since anthalogized in my “best-of” collection of the same name). There was a point I wanted to hammer home about Tiger, so I went to my home library alcove dedicated to major and minor Asian poets ….

      No, wait. I think I went to Google first and found what I was looking for on a quotations web site. (I hate to reveal my working methods, but at least this puts to rest the canard that I developed my unique style by paraphrasing passages from John Barth novels.) I don’t remember the exact site, but I’m sure Google does. The quote suited my needs perfectly, and I liked that it wasn’t one of those Oscar Wilde/George Bernard Shaw/Mark Twain quips that has been used a million times by American sportswriters. The golf.com citation, by the way, has to be from the web version of that same Tiger.20 article.

      I am thrilled, of course, to learn that I have introduced Kenji’s poetry to millions in the English-speaking world. If only half of my readers go on to buy his complete collected works, his heirs will be very rich, indeed. (I urge my Asian readers to visit the Miyazawa Kenji Museum in Hanamaki.) I should add, for the benefit of my Top 50 followers, that Miyazawa was also an agronomy teacher; had he lived long enough, he undoubtedly would have participated in the post-war golf course construction boom.

      Thanks so much for your comment. It raised the tone of this blog to a whole ‘nother level.

  8. Hey John:

    Got to Askernish last month, you’re right it’s one of the best, here’s my review at our blog, I’ve also added a link to your site:


    • Great review of Askernish, Jay. I’m delighted that you got to play it — it does take some effort, doesn’t it? — and even more delighted that you liked it. I’m thinking of playing the course this winter, when the greens are fenced off, the livestock are back, and the dune slacks have turned into lochs. Should be even more challenging.

  9. John:

    As I made my way to and from Askernish, I was thinking this will be the last time I’m going to be here. Now that I’ve played it, had the experience, I have to go back. Doubt I’d try it in the winter, it looks like the Hebrides might be a fairly inhospitable, but I will be back.


  10. Patrick

    My dad and I drove over to the New Richmond Golf Club from St. Paul yesterday and managed to get in 10 holes before the weather got “a little soft” as the Irish like to say.

    A lovely course, particularly #4 over the creek, #5 and #6. A family of deer softened up the green on #6 as we getting ready to hit our approach shots.

    We both loved the book and hope someday soon to make it over to Belmullet to play Carne. Although I think our talents might be more suited to New Richmond rather than #17 at Carne.


    • Thanks for the kind note. I’m glad you got to play the nasty par-4 fourth at New Richmond before the skies opened up. It couldn’t be more different from Carne’s seventeenth, but it’s the one hole at New Richmond that would best prepare you for the Irish challenge. Now that you mention it, wouldn’t it be fun to try to shoot, I don’t know, 85 with 18 balls on the Wisconsin hole?

  11. i always look for golf courses with well-maintained lawn and golf courses with very clean recreational area :”

  12. william godfrey

    I discovered your site in a ‘side bar’ on Shackelford’s website.
    Glad I found it. I was a ‘many-year’ subscriber to Sports Illustrated and miss the Golf Plus section. Your contributions were great. Many were photocopied and forwarded to my 4 golfing brothers.

  13. Terry Follmer

    I am KC (Prairie Village, KS) born and raised, although I live outside Eureka Springs, AR now. In 2004, before I knew of you or your rankings, we spent 2 mos. in Scotland & Ireland playing numerous golf courses, me and my son. As is my nature, I did extensive research on which courses to play. We probably played at least 25 courses on that trip (and I’d been there before, alone). One of these was Carne in 25mph steady winds (Chris Biranne caddied for us). Anyway I played super, shot 81 from the back tees in huge winds, and told my son, Craig, after we were done that, far and away, Carne was absolutely, without a doubt, the best course we had played of all of them (Dornoch, Ballybunion, Carnoustie included). So sometime, years later, I learn of your love affair with Carne. Now, my son and I are going to Askernish for a week, Macrihanish, then Portrush and Carne on a 3+ week golf junket in July. See you there, maybe, and if you ever visit Eureka Springs you should check out my course, Big Sugar Golf Club; it could crack your Top 50 for sure, as it’s a much better course than Hallbrook.

    • Great hearing from you Terry. I’m glad you got such a kick out of Carne, and I wish I’d been there to audit professor Birrane’s lectures as he carried your bag. That must have been rich. As for Big Sugar, it’s currently ranked just outside the Top 50 — either at No. 66 or No. 99. (It’s hard to tell from the sprinkler head.)

  14. Scott Simpson

    Long time fan of your work. I married a 1st gen. Cty. Mayo girl and based upon your pieces in SI took her to Carne a few years ago. In fact, Mary in the golf shop told me you were in town at the time (this would have been Sept. 2007, if memory serves me correctly), but we didn’t cross paths.

    I wanted to ask about the status of your new This Old Course feature on Ashkernish. I caught two installments in SI Golf+, but haven’t seen anything further. Based upon your work (I read your original piece back in the paleozoic era) as well as the New Yorker article, it’s become my “great white whale,” replacing Machrahanish after we finally trekked out there in 2009.

    Is the renovation work at Ashkernish finished, or do we need to give them another season or two? Not sure I could get there in 2012 in any event, as the long-suffering bride has indicated that our big trip this year should be sans clubs. I’ve heard that normal people do that, just never considered us normal.

    I also love the Top 50, just wish (like everyone else) that the posts were more frequent.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Scott. The third installment of “This Old Course — Askernish” has been ready to run for months, but my editors at SI think there’s no reason to rush a series about a golf course that was lost for decades. As for the renovation work, it’s so low key that you probably wouldn’t point to anything as “finished” or even “begun.” It’s just evolving in a very natural and sensitive way. There’s certainly no reason to wait, but it will be years before the roughness has worn off. But that’s one of the things that makes it great.

      As for the infrequency of my posts, I can only apologize and blame my poorly-paid staff. (Or my editors, who shovel work in my direction when the tours heat up.) I’ll write something tomorrow if the planets align.

  15. John: I recall some of your early writings in the 1960s. Long time ago.

    • Hmmm. In the early ’60s I was writing for the Palm Beach High School Frond. Mid-sixties would have been the University of Missouri Maneater. Late sixties, Stanford, I edited and wrote a folk music paper called The Kept Press. I finished the decade in New York as an editor/writer for High Fidelity Trade News, followed by free-lance work for Rolling Stone, Sport Magazine and The Village Voice. Which makes me wonder: Are you one of the Ron Johnsons I know?

      • Palm Beach Jr. High. Shooting baskets at 10 pm on the PB Playground. The silly articles we wrote and printed that no one read. Alfred F., Mike Delmar and the bicycle hockey behind Alfredos. Football in the middle of Royal Palm Way.

      • You left out the Sydney Olympics at the Brazilian Court Hotel and bicycle dogfights in the Worth Avenue arcades, but it’s obvious that you are THE Ron Johnson. “Football in the middle of Royal Palm Way”, you’ll be surprised to hear, appears in my book Ancestral Links. I’ll contact you off-line and send you a copy.

  16. Thought you had forgot …. great times in old Palm Beach. So many memories. Looking forward to hearing back.

  17. John, awesome blog! How many courses would you say you’ve played in your life? Keep up the awesome work!

    • We store a lot of data here at Catch Basin, but we’ve never tallied my rounds of golf. I’ve played far fewer courses than you might imagine. When I was a full-time golf writer, I played fewer than twenty rounds a year. Granted, those rounds were at Turnberry, Seminole, Carne and Pebble Beach, but I just didn’t play that much. What I did was PRACTICE, trying to find my lost swing. That’s why my first blog was “Mats Only,” a driving-range travelogue. But now that I’m semi-retired, it’s different. I play more than forty rounds per year, and maybe half those rounds are on courses that are new to me.

  18. John, I am returning to the Askernish Open this August for the second year in a row. Prodded by what I read about Askernish, I decided to make the journey alone, because none of my golf buddies wanted to travel to the Outer Hebrides. My four days at Askernish exceeded my expectations, it’s not just one of the great courses but also a magical setting. And, of course, the folks on South Uist are utterly hospitable, especially the Askernish pro, Ralph Thompson, and the golfers who make the journey are a self-selected breed of golf lover I had never met before. This may sound harsh, but I will say it anyway: Any lover of links golf who does not make the trip to Askernish is like the person who claims to love Michelangelo but never makes it to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to see the “David.”

    • You’ll be pleased to hear that I will be finishing off my “This Old Course” series on Askernish this fall, exclusively on Golf.com. To that end I’ll cover this year’s Askernish Open. Or maybe I’ll play in it. But you’re right, Askernish is the essential destination for the true links nut. (Guess I’d better book a ticket to Florence while I’m at it.)

  19. Jay Morse

    Couldn’t agree more Deal, I made my first trip to Askernish for exactly the same reasons as you, and have been back twice, and planning another trip next year. Along with playing Harris, Stornoway, Barra, and yes even Benbecula, it was a terrific experience, enhanced by the isolation of the setting and lack of other golfers! Let’s not broadcast though! Cheers!

  20. John, that’s wonderful, and I look forward to meeting you. I will be the guy with a bottle of Glenmorangie peeking out from a pocket of his bag. I found it essential last year, in the final round, when I woke up with a badly swollen left foot — Ralph Thompson was kind enough to take his last full bottle off the shelf and give it to me (though I did pay for it later!). I felt no pain at all until I had to make that long trudge up the par-5 18th.

    • I call Ashkernish my Great White Whale, and will get there soon. Even my wife si signed on for the trip, but then agains she’s first generation County Mayo.

      John, was This Old Course – Ashkernish ever published?


    John Garrity,

    Your article in the October 2014 issue of Golf Magazine—-THE GRIP FIX—-
    REFERRED TO a “short thumb placement of my left thumb on the shaft”.

    Could you send me a picture of that.

    Mike Sahr

    • Mike: I don’t have any pictures of my normally-long thumbs, but I’ll try to describe it. When I went to Brian Mogg, my left thumb was practically on top of the club, just a little to the right, and it was pretty much straight — that is, a full-length thumb. When I squeezed the club in my fingers, it rolled and the clubface closed like a door. Not a good thing. Brian had me move my left thumb a little more to the right, so it was more on the side of the shaft, and then had me pull the thumb back and then press the pad of my thumb into the grip. That created a “pinch” between my thumb and forefinger. So now, when I tightened the grip with my fingers, the club didn’t roll and the clubface didn’t slam shut. Problem solved!

      But that’s not the end of the story. This spring, mystified by a sudden attack of bad shots, I detected that my grip was acting up again. I was gripping it with the short thumb, all right, by I had gotten into the habit of “milking” the club while I was over the ball — gripping and regripping to relieve the tension in my hands and arms. That put the club more in my fingers again and closed the clubhead before impact. Now I’ve solved the whole problem with a radical new approach to gripping the club. I put the clubhead on the ground — iron or metal-wood, it doesn’t matter — and fan the clubface wide open. I literally point it at the sky. Then I put the club into the fingers of my left hand and squeeze — and guess what? The shaft rolls in my fingers and the clubface snaps into a square position. And here’s the great part: No matter how hard I squeeze, the face stay square! It can’t go any farther. I simply add my right hand to create a conventional overlapping grip, and that’s it. I’ve got a solid grip, and now I can confidently play hooks and fades again, because the clubface is stable. It looks goofy — my playing partners think I’m trying to play a 100-degree slice — but my clubface is square at address, and it stays square.

      I’m happy to share this tip with you, Mike. If you don’t mind taking lessons from a 10-handicapper who chips like a chimp, I can teach you everything I know, on-line, for $500 a lesson.

  22. courtney (gherty) fruchter

    Mr. Garrity,
    Do you know if you are related to the Ghertys (alternately Gerrity, Geraghty, Garrity) that left Bellmullet to settle in Erin Prairie, Wisconsin? (Later in New Richmond, WI and Hudson, WI, on the St. Croix River).

  23. Harold "Sam"Samorian

    JG- on my way to Ireland in 3 weeks, taking my father in law (86) for his last trip along with his son and two boys. They all have Wisconsin roots and the young lads going are both fine players, one playing EGolf and Dakotas Tour. I insisted to the group that Carne be on our list- I have played probably 20 rounds there in 4 trips. Eamon, Mary, Gary etc. are just wonderful folks. We stay with Mairin and Gerry Murphy at Drom Caoin. Got your book for all those going and have made it required reading along with Coyne’s book, with a quiz each week. Will report back after the trip.

    • Sounds like a great trip, Sam. I visited Carne the week after the Open, as I always do. The people were in great shape and the course was as friendly as ever — wait a minute, I think I’ve got that backwards. Anyway, I’m sure your father-in-law will be enthralled. Tell everyone that if they get 100% on the Ancestral Links quiz, I’ll send them a copy of Tiger 2.0.

      • hs6164@aol.com

        John- realized I had not responded as a follow up. It was a great trip and my father in law (Dick Hearden) was treated like royalty. We met Pat Ruddy at the European Club- he greeted us before our round. At Carne, Mary came out to the 18th green as we finished and presented Dick with a sweater and made him an Honorary member. They also posted on their Facebook about our trip. They all loved the course- in fact, my brother in law said that if he came again- he would make his way towards Carne- play a course on the way (we played Sligo and Portrush) and then spend a few days there and then play RCD on the way home.

        Anyway- attaching a picture for you from McDonnells- since you weren’t there, we used a stand in- the uncola!

        Play more golf John!


        Sam Samorian

  24. Debbie O'Connor


    My mother was born in Tipp, a small village outside of Belmullet. Every year someone from our large family goes back. Many of us have golfed at Carne. I would like to purchase Ancestral Links for my husband. Would you be able to inscribe it for my husband? Thanks!

  25. John, this is an awesome website. Sir, its been a long time since our meeting at Jack Stack in 2006. I am actually headed there today for a Super Bowl Lunch. Sir, I would like for you and I to please pick up our conversation about The Future of Golf. As you might remember, I have been working on a golf ecological project that also includes a play/participation platform surrounding alternative golf and short format events. Golf Punk in The UK just released this video—> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QurX7rijoNk

    I hope we can connect so that we can move the agenda forward.
    Happy 2016! Thank you Sir and All the best.

  26. Tom Buggy

    Hello John. I am about to publish a book titled “Ray Billows – The Cinderella Kid.” The subtitle is “The unlikely and colorful story of a world-class amateur golfer.” It’s a biography, but it also provides a bit of a history of amateur golf and its players in the 1930’s and 1940’s I would like to send you a copy of the book for your review and possible promotion to your golf audience. Please provide an address. Thanks, Tom Buggy

  27. Eileen Murphy Harrington

    My husband was the son of Mary Casey. You mentioned his aunts, Bessie and Tody of New Richmond in your Ancestral book. His father, Chuck Harrington, gre up in New Richmond.

  28. Hello,

    I just stumbled upon your website after chatting with Geoff Shackelford. Thanks for sharing the great info, I learned a lot from binge reading the articles on the website and your blog.

    By the way, what do you think about my blog (www.bonkersforegolf.com)? I started my own blog about golf instruction here in Charleston, SC , and I would love to know what you might think of it.


  29. Dear John

    I hope that you’re well.

    I’m an Australian freelance writer based in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve written for The New York Times, ESPN, Bleacher Report, New Statesman, The Guardian and Roads & Kingdoms.

    I’m writing a feature article for Deadspin about the all too brief life of Sports Illustrated Australia.

    Would it be possible for me to interview you over the phone sometime?

    If you’re happy to be interviewed, then could you please follow me on Twitter so that I can send you a private direct message?

    My Twitter handle is: @sb_tang

    All the best.

    Kind regards

  30. Charles Mahar

    John, your New Richmond connection inspires me to reach out. I was a friend of the late Tom Doar, Sr., patron saint of the New Richmond Golf Club. Could you please email at your convenience and I will send you contact information

    Charlie Mahar
    St. Paul,

    Thank you

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