My Bromance(s) Explained

What’s your favorite golf podcast? Hard to narrow it down? Mine is “The Drop Zone” with co-hosts Sean Zak and Dylan Dethier.

The roots of my Zak and Dethier bromances are at least threefold. First, they have an endearing friendship. Second, their content is always smart and socially conscious and often humorous. Third, Dethier completed the best gap year of all time at the end of which he wrote a book titled “18 in America: A Young Golfer’s Epic Journey To Find The Essence Of The Game” which I still have to read. The book is described this way:

“Shortly before his freshman year of college was set to begin, seventeen-year-old Dylan Dethier—hungry for an adventure beyond his small town—deferred his admission and, “like Jack Kerouac and Ken Kesey before him, packed his used car and meager life savings and set off to see and write about America” (ABC News/ Yahoo). His goal: play a round of golf in each of the lower forty-eight states.

From a gritty municipal course in Flint, Michigan, to rubbing elbows with Phil Mickelson at Quail Hollow, Dylan would spend a remarkable year exploring the astonishing variety of the nation’s golf courses—and its people. Over one year, thirty-five thousand miles, and countless nights alone in his dusty Subaru, Dylan showered at truck stops, slept with an ax under his seat, and lost his virginity, traveling “wherever the road took him, with golf as a vehicle for understanding America” (The New York Times).”

Man, what I would give to have had an 18 year-old Dethier in one of my First Year writing seminars.

The content of this fresh-off-the-press piece by Dethier, “How would a scratch golfer fare against LPGA pros? Now we know: not well.” which garnered about a third of today’s 36 minute podcast, kept me company on my chilly morning run to Priest Point Park and back. It exemplifies what makes “The Drop Zone” such a good listen. It’s a smart, funny, and wonderfully feminist take on just how good women professional golfers are these days.

So if you’ve been wondering what’s missing in your life, and you think it may be the lack of a truly excellent golf podcast, given Zak and Dethier a whirl the next time you’re practicing your chipping and putting.

Is There A More Global or Competitive Game?

Today’s Ladies* Professional Golf Association leaderboard following the first round in Oneida, Wisconsin. Eight countries represented among the top ten. Explained in large part by Asia’s economic rise. Little known fact, Yu Liu played at Duke University**. Course might be a little too easy.

Screen Shot 2019-07-04 at 6.05.22 PM.png

Today’s European Tour leaderboard, only seven countries represented among the top ten because of a run of Brits. Props to Padraig for reppin’ the old guys.

Screen Shot 2019-07-04 at 6.07.06 PM.png

*Who uses “Ladies” anymore?

**that’s what I’m here for

When Good Things Happen to Good People

June 2004. A favorite student and I are talking about meeting up after the US Open at Pumpkin Ridge Country Club where her family are members. My family and her family plan to meet afterwards at a restaurant for dinner. Coincidentally, within 60 seconds of walking the course, I bump into her. She says “change of plans” and “can you please join us at the house for a barbeque instead”?

Turns out they were hosting a young player, Katherine Hull, from Australia, fresh out of Pepperdine where she set an NCAA record with a 64 in one tournament. Hull hadn’t qualified for the Open, but like Lance Armstrong pre TdF, she was walking the course, doing reconnaissance for future opens.

I was amazed by her selflessness, personality, and maturity. Despite staying in other people’s houses all the time, she interacted with everyone for the entire meal, talking to A and J and eventually signing golf balls for them. I learned she took up golf kind of late and is a committed Christian.

Truth be told, she made a more lasting impression on me than the double X’s. Probably in part because they have never fantasized about playing golf for a living. Long story short, I’ve followed her career ever since. Last weekend, she shot 65 on Saturday (low round of the day) and finished tied for 7th. Career earnings, $2.2m+.

She was incredibly grounded in 2004. My guess is her success and the money haven’t gone to her head.

Footnote: How much is the LPGA struggling? Hull’s tied for 7th paycheck, $24k. Last week’s tied for 7th PGA paychecks, $199.5k.