The Fire Pit Podcast

By Fire Pit Collective

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Description

In the 25 years of covering golf, the development of the game, courses and the camaraderie that’s core to the culture, it was time for Matt to share some of the best stories he has heard around fire pits all over the world. From PGA Tour players, caddies, architects, avid amateurs and buddies-trip planners, Matt has forged relationships with some of the most colorful and influential people in the game. So grab a drink, a seat and settle in. We’re getting to the essence of one story per podcast. A narrative so deep and meaningful, you save it for a post-round fire pit, which is where no one is in a hurry for the night to end.

Episode Date
Wishbone Brawl 2022
3752

The Wishbone Brawl is one of the purest events in golf. “Perfect” is how one onlooker summed it up. “It’s the unicorn of golf events,” says John Ashworth, the “caretaker” of Goat Hill Park, the municipal golf course in Oceanside, Calif., and the annual host of the tournament.

The Wishbone Brawl consists of four professionals playing a mini municipal using vintage equipment in front of an animated crowd that’s not confined by ropes, kids and dogs are everywhere, and all money raised supports junior golf. When people talk about “growing the game,” this is it on so many levels.

What you’ll hear in this podcast are all the relevant audio moments throughout the day, which starts with a warm-up session on the driving range and ends with the post-round interviews on the 18th green. In between are some walk and talks on the course and throughout play with the players and some notables in the gallery. And you’ll hear the occasional reacts from the crowd after key moments in the match.

The teams are Xander Schauffele and Dean Wilson versus Fred Couples and Geoff Ogilvy. They’re playing persimmon woods. The format is best ball of the twosome. It’s Nov. 19th, a perfect Saturday morning in San Diego, the crowd size is estimated to be 1,000 adults, another 250 kids and about 40 dogs. All of the proceeds are going to support North County Junior Golf, which is based out of Goat Hill Park, and the other half of what’s raised goes to support the Goat Hill Park Caddie and Leadership Academy.

“This is community golf at its best,” said Ogilvy. “This is as much fun as I’ve ever had playing golf.”

We hope you enjoy listening to the show as much as we did watching it. And as much as Ogilvy had playing in it.

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Dec 01, 2022
Need A 4th?! Ep. 3 with Michael Murphy - Author of "Golf in the Kingdom"
3565

In this episode, Alan Shipnuck, Geoff Ogilvy and Michael Bamberger sit and listen in awe as Michael Murphy, the wildly alert 90-something writer, takes over the show. Murphy is the man who invented golf’s most original player-philosopher, Shivas Irons, from his landmark novel/treatise, “Golf in the Kingdom.” Ogilvy, who has read the book innumerable times, looks like he is talking to a golfing god as he listens to Murphy. Shipnuck and Bamberger, who once had the privilege of walking the Pebble Beach dunes with Murphy, ask Murphy about Woods and Hogan and why the game has such a hold on us, and explore why his slender book captures more about the game’s complex beauty than any other golfing treatise ever written. Murphy is an utter inspiration and he is spellbinding in this podcast. Need a good listen? Allow us to offer, “Need A 4th?!”

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Nov 30, 2022
Fire Drill 053: Shark, Tiger and Pavin (Oh My!)
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In the latest Fire Drill podcast, Alan Shipnuck, Ryan French, and Mike Bamberger discuss the Global Player of the Year (hint: he just won in Australia) and the fatuous PIP payouts. There are also lively diversions about Corey Pavin, Greg Norman, Sean O'Hair and much much more.

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Nov 28, 2022
Need A 4th?! Ep. 2 with Trey Wingo
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Every NFL fan knows Trey Wingo, the excitable host and commentator on various TV and radio shows dedicated to the real national pastime. But Wingo is just as fanatical about golf, and he displays his knowledge and passion in this conversation with co-hosts Geoff Ogilvy, Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck. Wingo recounts how he fell for the game, spars with the hosts over his favorite courses and offers insight on the most golf-crazy players and coaches around the NFL.

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Nov 23, 2022
Fire Drill 052: Grand Finale(s)
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Alan Shipnuck, Michael Bamberger, and Ryan French break down the final week in golf before the holiday season begins. Jon Rahm wins on the DP Tour but Rory takes the Race to Dubai without winning a single DP event. Lydia Ko’s hall of fame career before the age of 26, Adam Svensson’s win at the RSM and his connections with the Big Money Classic and the crew presents their solutions to the current OWGR situation. 

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Nov 21, 2022
Fire Drill 51: The Plot Thickens with Andy Ogletree
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Coming off his career-altering victory in Egypt, Andy Ogletree returns to the Fire Drill to discuss what led to the breakthrough and where he goes from here. He provides valuable context in the Asian Tour’s increasing influence in world golf as well as fun travel stories of an innocent abroad.  

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Nov 17, 2022
Need A 4th?! Ep. 1 with Joel Dahmen
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Other than his otherworldly skill at golf, Joel Dahmen is just like us. A native of Clarkston, Wash. (population 7,229), he likes cold beer and football and, presumably, apple pie. While Tiger Woods’s maniacal workouts led to a physique that resembles a martini glass, Dahmen is unbothered by his dad bod. Think of him as the pro next door. 

In this episode Dahmen speaks candidly about his long road to the PGA Tour and the stress that comes with having to fight for his job. He talks about what he learned moonlighting as a caddie for a friend at Q School, and takes listeners behind the scenes of Max Homa’s baby shower. As a member of the Player Advisory Council, Dahmen sheds light on the Tour’s boardroom machinations and what Jay Monahan is like behind closed doors. At every turn he is self-deprecating and amusing. 

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Nov 16, 2022
Fire Drill 050: Grit and Intrigue
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In the latest Fire Drill, Alan Shipnuck, Ryan French, and Michael Bamberger drill down on a huge week, including winners like Finau, Fleetwood, Korda, Harrington & Ishikawa. They discuss the larger meaning of Andy Olgetree’s win on the Asian Tour, the Alex Fitzpatrick Q School drama and the Phil and Pat Perez scandal. 

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Nov 14, 2022
Fire Drill 049: The Ephemeral Nature of Winning
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In the latest Fire Drill podcast, Alan Shipnuck, Ryan French, and Mike Bamberger discuss Russell Henley’s (5th!) win, Q School storylines, Asian Tour results and Patrick Reed’s continued legal offensives. 

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Nov 07, 2022
Fire Drill 048: The LIV Grades Are In
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Alan Shipnuck, Michael Bamberger and Ryan French hand out grades on the first LIV season. (They are better than you think). Plus the rise of Seamus Power, some great stories from the PGA Tour event in Bermuda and the guys rank their favorite courses at Bandon Dunes, where all three spent the previous week. 

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Nov 01, 2022
Fire Drill 047: Rory Roars
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In the latest Fire Drill Podcast, Ryan French, Alan Shipnuck, and Michael Bamberger discuss the larger meaning of Rory McIlroy's latest win, Lydia Ko's renaissance and Alan's controversial ace, with the usual diversions. 

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Oct 24, 2022
Fire Drill 046: Down the Middle with James Hahn
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In this Fire Drill podcast, Alan Shipnuck is joined by James Hahn, a golf unicorn: a Tour member who makes supportive statements about LIV Golf. Hahn talks Tour politics, Monahan's future, his "price" to go  LIV and much more in this candid conversation.

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Oct 18, 2022
Fire Drill 045: On The Record
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In the latest Fire Drill podcast, Alan Shipnuck, Ryan French (MondayQinfo) & Michael Bamberger discuss Phil's curious press conference comments, Brooks and Keegan winning again, Rickie's resurgence and the delicate dance between reporters and subjects. 

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Oct 17, 2022
Fire Drill 044: Tom Kim Versus the Universe
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In this Fire Drill podcast, Alan Shipnuck is joined by Ryan French and Michael Bamberger to discuss Kim’s emergence as a budding superstar, as well as Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra’s win at LIV and what that means for the competition for young talent. Ryan brings to life his scoop on how the MENA Tour stiffed its players and what that means for LIV. They also riff on everyone from Frank Lickliter to Peter Thomson is a delightfully discursive conversation.

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Oct 10, 2022
Slaying The Dragon They Call Cancer
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The story of how the loss of one life is saving countless others.

Curing Kids Cancer is an organization that has raised over $23 million with a simple mission: “Find cures for all childhood cancers.”

This podcast tells the story of how one family’s loss has resulted in the inspirational progress to fund the development of CAR T immunotherapy. You’ll meet Grainne and Clay Owen, who, almost 20 years ago, lost their son Killian to leukemia. On the one-year anniversary of his death, they founded an organization that continues to change lives. 

“I didn’t have the luxury of feeling sorry for myself,” says Grainne. “That would’ve been way too selfish because I had three other boys that needed me and they saved me from myself.”

You’ll hear from Dr. Stephan Grupp, of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who has become a leader in research devoted to developing cell-based and molecularly-targeted therapies to treat leukemia and solid tumors. 

“What motivates me is I see what it looks like when it doesn’t work,” says Dr. Grupp. “And it’s completely unacceptable.”

Is this a golf story? Not really. But golf has played a critical role in the cultivating of the funds that are being used to make the difference. Curing Kids Cancer’s 17th annual golf tournament will be held on Oct. 3rd at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas and is expected to raise upward of $400,000. PGA Tour player Matt NeSmith will be there and makes a cameo in this podcast as he explains why he and his wife, Abigail, are involved in supporting Curing Kids Cancer. 

Lee Corso of ESPN’s “College Gameday” also offers his perspective and support. 

“It was 15 years ago when I met Clay Owen,” says Corso. “He was making his speech in Atlanta about how he and his wife lost their son Killian to leukemia. I was so touched, I walked up to him on the stage and I grabbed him and I said, ‘How can I help?’”

Corso hasn’t stopped his support ever since. And there are countless others. 

If you are interested in getting involved, please give this story a listen and then go to curingkidscancer.org.

 

For more visit the The Fire Pit Collective to check out everything we are doing.

Use promo Firepit25 at Linksoul.com for 25% off your next Linksoul order.

Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

You can reach me on Twitter (@mattginella) or on Instagram (@matt_ginella).

For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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Sep 30, 2022
Fire Drill 043: Thoughts from the International Team Room
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In this Fire Drill podcast International assistant team captain Geoff Ogilvy joins Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger to break down the results of the Presidents Cup, rising International stars, and the future of American team golf. 

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Sep 28, 2022
Fire Drill 042: State of the Union (Jack)
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In the latest Fire Drill podcast, Ryan French, Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger discuss another big stretch for the game: the compromised POY voting, bang-bang finish at Wentworth,Talor Gooch's rise and Monday madness as the Tour season begins in Napa.

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Sep 12, 2022
Fire Drill 041: Center of the Storm
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Andy Ogletree has been on a professional odyssey since winning the 2019 U.S. Amateur, including a dalliance with LIV. He speaks out here on his PGA Tour suspension (due to end in Dec.), recent adventures on the Asian tour and his new “optimism” for the future.

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Aug 31, 2022
A Tribute to Tom Weiskopf
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Tom Weiskopf was a man’s man, an outdoorsman who traveled the world to play golf, hunt and fish. Having conquered alcoholism (he had been sober since 2000), he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on Aug. 20 at his home in Big Sky, Mont. He was 79. Weiskopf had prominent careers as a player (16 PGA Tour wins and an Open Championship), TV analyst (he called the Masters for 12 years) and architect (his name is on 75 courses), and his life and legacy are celebrated in this podcast featuring Ben Crenshaw, Dave Stockton, Michael Bamberger and Guy Yocom. We also hear from Weiskopf about the building of Forest Dunes, one of his highest-ranked public courses, in Roscommon, Mich. In this Fire Pit podcast, you’ll learn the 6-foot-3 “Towering Inferno” had a bit of a temper, perfect posture, a big heart and a passion for purple as he played in the shadow of Jack Nicklaus. You’ll hear Weiskopf’s call of Jack’s magical run at the ’86 Masters and reflections on the ’75 Masters, and the case is made as to why this lover of "The Lone Ranger" belongs in the World Golf Hall of Fame. 

 

For more visit Fire Pit Collective

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Aug 26, 2022
Fire Drill 040: Unintended Consequences
3409

In the latest Fire Drill podcast, Alan Shipnuck, Ryan French, Mac Barnhardt & Michael Bamberger deconstruct a momentous day for the PGA Tour. Where is the money coming from? What happens to lesser players & tournaments? Will this thwart LIV? Answers here.

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Aug 25, 2022
Fire Drill 039: Patrick Reed vs. Brandel Chamblee
3748

In the latest Fire Drill podcast, Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger welcome legal expert Jeffrey Toobin to discuss the Patrick Reed defamation lawsuit (“It’s a joke”), LIV’s anti-trust case (“The PGA Tour will prevail”) and other contentious (and litigious) matters. 

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Aug 22, 2022
Fire Drill 038: Blood on the Floor
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The golf melodrama took more wild turns as Tiger Woods jetted into Delaware to hold court while Patrick Reed sued Brandel Chamblee & Golf Ch., alleging they are anti-LIV conspirators. Geoff Ogilvy, Michael Bamberger & @AlanShipnuck try to make sense of it all.

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Aug 17, 2022
Fire Drill 037: Opening Salvo
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Today, the PGA Tour won the first of many legal battles versus LIV Golf. @AlanShipnuck was in the courtroom for all of the drama. In this Fire Drill podcast, he discusses the developments with @MattGinella and Peter Ginsberg, a preeminent sports lawyer who has often dealt with the Tour.

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Aug 10, 2022
Fire Drill 036: The Voice of the Establishment
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In the latest Fire Drill podcast, U.S. Presidents Cup captain @Love3d goes deep on his support for the PGA Tour, his contentious history with Greg Norman, his melancholy over Mickelson’s heel turn and much more. Bamberger and @AlanShipnuck ask the questions you want answered. 

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Aug 05, 2022
Manning Brother's Buddies Trip (Part 2)
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In Part 2 of this podcast about the greatest buddies trip happening in and around the playing of the 150th Open Championship, the Manning brothers, Eric Church and several others continue their romp around the linksland of the UK, immersing themselves in the culture and traditions at some of the best golf courses in the world. From North Berwick to Gullane, Muirfield and Royal County Down, Eli Manning shares his wine and gets heat for ordering fish, Cooper Manning gets out of the robe but gets in red knee-high socks after Muirfield’s “proper” lunch, and a jet-lagged Eric Church is inspired to write a song, which he’s kind enough to share with us at the end of the adventure. More insider info, course reviews and reflections throughout this oral history of a trip that was a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” for a special group of friends.

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Aug 01, 2022
Manning Brother's Buddies Trip (Part 1)
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In Part 1 of this podcast, you’ll hear from Peyton, Eli and Cooper Manning, plus Eric Church, the country music star, Jim Nantz, the voice of golf, Joe LaCava, Tiger’s caddie, and you’ll listen in on John Daly smashing a drive off a tall boy Tenants. Two foursomes of friends start their trip as Tiger is finishing his Open, they navigate cemetery walls at midnight to pay their respects to Old and Young Tom Morris, while Cooper Manning pours and passes out free beers a Rusacks robe. They play Kingsbarns and Dumbarnie before watching Cam Smith catch Rory McIlroy from one of the greatest porches in sports. And then there’s Part 2…

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Aug 01, 2022
Fire Drill 035: Open and Shut
1700

At the end of a thrilling final day at the Open, Alan Shipnuck & Michael Bamberger reflect on Cam Smith’s stunning comeback and the anguish of watching Rory fritter away the lead. A couple of surprise guests enliven the final podcast of an action-packed week.

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Jul 18, 2022
Fire Drill 034: Destiny Awaits
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With the final round finally upon us, Alan Shipnuck, Michael Bamberger and Matt Ginella set the scene for what should an epic conclusion to the 150th Open Championship. 

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Jul 17, 2022
Fire Drill 033: Godspeed, Tiger
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With the 18th hole as a backdrop for this Fire Drill pod, Michael Bamberger, Alan Shipnuck and Matt Ginella relive the conflicting emotions of watching Tiger's farewell to the Old Course. They also go deep on a stacked leaderboard and the tourney's good vibes.

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Jul 16, 2022
Fire Drill 032: Dawn to Dusk
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In the latest Fire Drill podcast from St. Andrews, Michael Bamberger, Alan Shipnuck and Matt Ginella dissect a fascinating first round of the Open, in which Rory starred, Tiger struggled and a firm, fiery Old Course demanded precision.

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Jul 14, 2022
Fire Drill 031: On the Eve of The Open
2275

On the eve of the 150th Open Championship, Alan Shipnuck, Michael Bamberger and Matt Ginella banter about how and why we got here, and how and why it all matters. Especially to competitors like Tiger Woods. 

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Jul 14, 2022
Fire Drill 030: To The Linksland
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In this Open pre, Ogilvy-Bamberger-Ginella-Shipnuck go deep on the charm/challenge of the Old Course, with lively stories about their own adventures there (notably Geoff's t5 in '05). The pod gets emotional when they discuss what St. Andrews means to their lives.

Watch Journey with Matt Ginella: St Andrews 

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Jul 11, 2022
Fire Drill 029: The Inner Sanctum
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In the latest Fire Drill, Matt Ginella checks in from Ireland, having just competed in golf’s most exclusive event, the JP McManus Pro-Am. With Michael Bamberger & Alan Shipnuck, they bring to life the scene at Adare Manor and tense reunion of LIV and Tour players.

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Jul 06, 2022
Fire Drill 028: Open and Shut
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In the last Fire Drill podcast of a busy week, Geoff Ogilvy, Michael Bamberger & Alan Shipnuck go deep on long-hitting Matt Fitzpatrick’s breakthrough win at the U.S. Open. They also discuss Rory, Will Z, the course setup and The Country Club’s place in the pantheon.

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Jun 20, 2022
Fire Drill 027: A Wild One at the Open
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The latest Fire Drill podcast goes deep on a thrilling third round: Geoff Ogilvy revels in the windy challenge; Alan Shipnuck hails Rory’s grit; Ryan French celebrates the louder crowd; and Michael Bamberger discusses Jeff Maggert’s sex life. 

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Jun 19, 2022
Fire Drill 026: Cut Day at the U.S. Open
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For the latest Fire Drill podcast, Ryan French goes deep on the unknowns near the lead, Ogilvy and Bamberger wax poetic about metal spikes and Jon Rahm, and Alan Shipnuck asks, Who is the best player in the world right now?

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Jun 18, 2022
Fire Drill 025: Opening Salvos At The Open
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In this instant-reaction Fire Drill podcast following the first round of the Open, Ryan French revels in the qualifiers on the leaderboard while Geoff Ogilvy goes deep on the setup. Alan Shipnuck & Michael Bamberger chime in on Rory and the subdued crowd.

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Jun 17, 2022
Fire Drill 024: Final U.S. Open Preview
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On the eve of the Open, Alan Shipnuck, Michael Bamberger and Ryan French offer a final Fire Drill preview, touching on Tiger’s absence, JT’s emergence, the glory of TCC and the feeling in the air of LIV vs. the Tour. Stay for the bonus scenes after the credits!

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Jun 15, 2022
Fire Drill 023: Boston Tee Party with Geoff Ogilvy
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In this Fire Drill podcast, Geoff Ogilvy, Michael Bamberger, Alan Shipnuck and Ryan French preview the U.S. Open by discussing the qualifiers, the favorites, the charming course and the unique mystique of the national championship. 

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Jun 14, 2022
Fire Drill 022: Phil Faces The Music
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U.S. Open week began with lingering business: Phil Mickelson facing the free press. In this Fire Drill podcast, Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger discuss Mickelson’s performance, his legacy, and where he goes from here. 

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Jun 14, 2022
Fire Drill 021: The Next USGA President, Fred Perpall
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In this Fire Drill podcast, Michael Bamberger is joined by USGA president-elect Fred Perpall, who in 2023 will become the ruling body's first Black president. They discuss Perpall's unusual route to golf, how to diversify the game and the changing role of the USGA.

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Jun 13, 2022
Fire Drill 20: Final Thoughts on the First LIV Event
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Alan Shipnuck calls in from London to recap the inaugural LIV Golf event. Matt Ginella, Michael Bamberger and Ryan French join Alan to discuss the on-course play, and the off-course news of more big names defecting from the Tour to join LIV Golf. 

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Jun 12, 2022
Fire Drill 019: LIV, Live from London
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For this Fire Drill podcast, Alan Shipnuck calls in from England to discuss an eventful day at the inaugural LIV event, including his dust-up with Greg Norman and his goons. Matt Ginella, Michael Bamberger and Ryan French are all part of this lively discussion.

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Jun 10, 2022
Fire Drill 018: Go Time for Phil and the Saudis
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Following Phil Mickelson's announcement, the FPC team assembles to discuss the state of the game and the strengthening field for the first LIV Golf event in London.

Matt Ginella, Alan Shipnuck, Michael Bamberger, Ryan French and Mac Barnhardt share their thoughts in what feels like a significant moment for the game of golf. 

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Jun 07, 2022
Fire Drill 017: The Comeback Kid
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In the final Fire Drill of a jam-packed week, Geoff Ogilvy joins Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck to relive, and add context to, Justin Thomas's thrilling win. The setup at Southern Hills and Will Z's putting stroke are also dissected.

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May 23, 2022
Fire Drill 016: The Rielly Way
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The PGA Championship is our annual opportunity to celebrate club pros. In this Fire Drill podcast, Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck are joined by Rick Rielly, the head pro at Wilshire CC, to celebrate the legacy of Rick's father Pat, a PGA of America lifer.

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May 22, 2022
Fire Drill 015: Midway at the PGA
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In this Fire Drill podcast, Geoff Ogilvy joins Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck as they discuss how Southern Hills is playing, sing the praises of slower greens and riff on JT, Bernd, Tiger, Rory and other protagonists.

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May 21, 2022
Fire Drill 014: Rory, Tiger and Trump, oh my!
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In the latest Fire Drill podcast, Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck recap the first round of the PGA Championship, which was dominated by Rory McIlroy’s fine play and Tiger Woods’s struggles. They also discuss Bamberger’s story about his news-making phone call with Donald Trump, who is still stewing that this PGA was taken away from him after the January 6th riots.

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May 20, 2022
Fire Drill 013: Tiger Tales
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Few reporters have been closer to Tiger Woods than John Hawkins. In the latest Fire Drill podcast, Hawk joins Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck on the eve of the PGA Championship to riff on how Woods has (and hasn’t) evolved through the years. 

 

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May 19, 2022
Fire Drill 012: Dreamers and Shadows
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In this Fire Drill podcast, Ryan French and Laz Versalles join Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck for a non-traditional PGA Championship preview. Ryan gives the backstory on some of the longshot club pros in the field while Laz delves into the legacy of the Tulsa Race Massacre through the eyes of Bill Spiller, Jr., whose father, a Tulsa native, shamed the PGA of America into abolishing its Caucasian Only clause. This eclectic foursome also tees up their favorite storylines heading into this PGA Championships.

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May 18, 2022
Fire Drill 011: Geoff Ogilvy and Michael Bamberger Preview the PGA
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In the latest Fire Drill podcast, Ogilvy, Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck go deep on the charm and challenge of Southern Hills and relive its previous major championships, highlighted by Tiger Woods’s inspired play at the ’07 PGA. Typically discursive, the conversation also touches on Perry Maxwell, Gil Hanse, Scottie Scheffler, Retief Goosen and, from Ogilvy, exactly how different a major feels versus an everyday Tour event.

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May 18, 2022
Fire Drill 010: Show Me The Money
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This is a chaotic moment in professional golf. For this Fire Drill podcast, Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger brought in the Jerry Maguire of PGA Tour agents, Mac Barnhardt, to help make sense of the shifting landscape. Mac brought decades' worth of insight.

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May 17, 2022
Fire Drill 009: Trumped
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This PGA was supposed to be Donald Trump’s crowning moment in golf; everything changed on January 6th. Now Trump is in league with the Saudis, whose toxicity sent Phil Mickelson into exile. In his first big piece for FPC, Michael Bamberger untangles the tentacles.

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May 16, 2022
Fire Drill 008: Bamberger! “Phil”! The FPC Is On Fire
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Michael Bamberger is the greatest golf writer alive, author of various classic books and winner of innumerable awards, including this year’s lifetime achievement citation to be presented by Jack Nicklaus at the Memorial. The intellectual curiosity that informs his writing has led Bamberger to leave corporate media for a scrappy upstart. With typical modesty, Michael did not want a splashy announcement that he was joining the Fire Pit Collective, preferring instead a substantive discussion with Alan Shipnuck about their shared history and Alan’s forthcoming Mickelson biography “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar.”                                                                                                                   

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May 05, 2022
Journey to Kauai Recap
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In the latest episode of the Fire Pit podcast, Matt Ginella is joined by Colt Knedler and Patrick Koenig as they recap their recent Journey to Kauai. Throughout the conversation, seven guests from the show pop in and out of a Zoom call offering their reflections on the story of where they call home and they reiterate how and why the “act like a guest” mentality isn’t just critical for visitors to the Garden Isle. Farmer Samuel checks in from, well, his farm. Keli’i Alapa’i calls from his backyard near the pig smoker. Hualani Duncan is in a golf cart cruising the back nine of Hokuala. And Mayor Derek Kawakami provides more insight from his office in Lihue. Plus, Zeke Alamida, Kellie Hines-Akana and Mary Bea Porter King on cultivating the game on an island.

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Apr 18, 2022
Fire Drill 007: Masters Recap
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Geoff Ogilvy, Alan Shipnuck, Ryan French, Laz Versalles and Matt Ginella put a bow on the 86th Masters. From Scheffler’s dominance to Tiger’s grit, Rory’s Sunday 64, crowds, course changes and our Aussie friends provide a whole new description for Cam Smith. 

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Apr 11, 2022
Fire Drill 006: Cut Day at the Masters
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Matt Ginella and Alan Shipnuck reflect on an action-packed Friday at Augusta National, featuring a Tiger rally and more Scheffler mastery.

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Apr 09, 2022
Fire Drill 005: Masters Memories with Andy Ogletree
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When Andy Ogletree won the 2019 U.S. Amateur, his future seemed unlimited. But injuries and the impact of Covid on the pro golf schedule have left him on the outside looking in. Ogletree joins the Fire Drill podcast to relive his Amateur triumph and the tee time at the Masters with Tiger Woods that came with it.

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Apr 09, 2022
Fire Drill 004: Thursday Thoughts with Geoff Ogilvy
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In this instant-reaction Fire Drill podcast, Geoff Ogilvy and Alan Shipnuck break down the first round of the Masters, going deep on Tiger, Cam Smith and the scene today at a raucous Augusta National.

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Apr 08, 2022
Fire Drill 003: Stories From Augusta
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Our Masters week coverage continues as Geoff Ogilvy rejoins the Fire Drill podcast to talk Tiger, conquering pre-tournament jitters and whom he thinks will prevail. Co-hosts Alan Shipnuck and Matt Ginella share tales of jousting with the green jackets and reflect on how  much the Masters media landscape has changed. 

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Apr 06, 2022
Fire Drill 002: Wednesday Wisdom with Laird Shepherd
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For a new Fire Drill pod from Augusta, we brought together the OG Geoff Ogilvy to offer advice to Masters rookie Laird Shepherd, reigning British Amateur champ. Alan Shipnuck and Matt Ginella asked the questions and offered insight from their 40+ Masters. This is a fun chat that takes listeners behind the scenes at the tournament and offers a lot of nuanced discussion about the course and mental side of the game.

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Apr 06, 2022
Fire Drill 001: Tuesday at the Masters with Geoff Ogilvy
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The Fire Pit podcast has a new spinoff, the Fire Drill, which will bring to life the major championships and breaking news. For the debut of the Fire Drill, Geoff Ogilvy joins Matt Ginella and Alan Shipnuck to discuss his love affair with Augusta National, break down the course hole-by-hole, recreate his thrilling near-miss at the 2011 Masters and reveal many other little nuggets from inside the ropes. Alan and Matt have covered more than 40 Masters between them and Ogilvy played in eight of them (never missing a cut!), giving this conversation loads of depth and perspective.

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Apr 06, 2022
The Truth About Phil and Saudi Arabia
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"As of this moment, the Saudi Golf League is dead; and Phil helped write the obituary." Matt Ginella and Alan Shipnuck huddle up for this "Fire Drill" to break down the call with Phil last fall, Alan's report and the aftermath that has the entire golf world spinning.

 

 

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Feb 21, 2022
Canal Shores Teams Up With Kemper Sports
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For all the people from Chicago, who, upon hearing the name Canal Shores are inspired to say, “I grew up playing there,” the 103-year-old iconic fixture and fun zone that’s wedged between Evanston and Wilmette, and 10 miles north of Wrigley Field, is finally getting some much-needed resources and support.

 After years of a passionate band of locals making every attempt to restore the bones, implore more investment and explore every option or opportunity for a resurrection, along comes Kemper Sports. The Chicago-based management company, which is affiliated with Bandon Dunes, Streamsong, Sand Valley, Big Cedar Lodge and another 100 courses nationwide, Kemper has sunk its teeth, resources and relationships into making the Tom Bendelow original design relevant again.

 On 82 acres, and multiple mini parcels of land, the 3,900-yard 18-hole par 60 has been overgrown, downtrodden and, some might say, underperforming for quite some time. What is owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, that’s leased to the towns of Evanston and Wilmette, and leased again to the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association, will now be managed by Kemper Sports. Green fees range between $15 and $30 dollars. It’s a Youth on Course facility, so junior members of YOC can play for $5. The non-profit, which has relied heavily on donations and creative fundraising, finally has an optimistic plan for some realistic and relative success.

 In this podcast, you’ll be hearing from Josh Lesnik, President of Kemper Sports and the original General Manager of Bandon Dunes. Lesnik grew up in the town of Winnetka, which is 15 minutes from Canal Shores.

 You’ll hear from Karl Leinberger, President of Evanston and Wilmette Golf Course Association, which is currently managing the non-profit as a group of committed volunteers.

 And throughout this story, I get background and perspective from Andrew Fleming, a great friend of mine who’s a former lawyer at the Golf Channel and a former employee at Kemper Sports. Fleming graduated from Northwestern, which is around the corner from Canal Shores.

Charm, community, accessibility, a hyper-focus on impacting kids by way of caddie programs, as Lesnik says, "It's all there." And now it's time to make it all happen. 


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Jan 20, 2022
Tim Rosaforte: Celebrating a Life and Legacy
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Tim Rosaforte spent his life telling stories about golf’s greatest players. Now it’s time to tell Rosey’s story. A towering figure in the golf media, Rosaforte died on Jan. 11, 2022 at the age of 66, from complications related to early onset Alzheimer’s.

From Sports Illustrated to Golf Digest and Golf World and then to Golf Channel, Matt Ginella always seemed to be somewhere right behind Rosaforte. And what a good place to be. And although that felt so special, he knew he wasn’t alone. Rosaforte was beloved because he was a great teammate for so many. The Godfather of golf journalists, he led by example, selflessly and unconditionally always supporting someone in need. No one ever out-worked him, he had no enemies, and everyone called him back. And when Ginella asked a long list of Rosaforte’s friends and colleagues to help him produce this podcast, Rosaforte would smile knowing they all called Ginella back. 

 The goal here was to out-Rosie Tim Rosaforte on his own story. Upon hearing about his diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s, which goes back to the summer of 2020, Ginella did what Rosaforte taught him to do: report the hell out of the story. 

 In this tribute, you’ll hear from Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, Nancy Lopez, Lanny Wadkins, Ben Crenshaw, Jim Nantz, Bob Ford, Mark Mulvoy, Jerry Tarde, Geoff Russell, Molly Solomon, Jaime Diaz, Matt Hegarty, John Hawkins, Pete McDaniel, Damon Hack, Gary Williams, Craig Dolch, Ron Sirak and Davis Sezna.

For more on the life and legacy of Tim Rosaforte, go to firepitcollective.com.


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Jan 13, 2022
2021 Wishbone Brawl
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It’s the fourth Annual Wishbone Brawl at Goat Hill Park in Oceanside, Calif. It’s Saturday, November 20, and it’s a perfect afternoon for tournament golf at a 4,500-yard par-65 municipal where everyone in the community is committed to the vibe of “World Class for the Working Class.”

 

Class is at the core of the Wishbone Brawl, which was an idea Dean Wilson pitched to John Ashworth five years ago. Four players, two teams, best-ball and skins, persimmon woods, kids as caddies, no ropes, dogs encouraged, great attitudes are mandatory and all money raised goes to support junior golf. 

 

A quick history:

 

In 2017, Wilson, who lives in San Diego and has invested in Goat Hill Park, teamed up with Xander Schauffele, who grew up playing in San Diego and played for San Diego State. They beat Charley Hoffman and Chris Riley, who were UNLV teammates and now both live in San Diego. 

 

In 2018, Brawl 2, Wilson brought his friend Mike Weir and they beat Schauffele and Hoffman.

 

In 2019, Geoff Ogilvy, paired with Riley, had the walk-off ace from 133-yards on the ninth hole in a sudden-death playoff against Wilson and Schauffele.

 

2020 was cancelled due to Covid.

 

But this year, the Brawl was back, bigger and better than ever. Due to a fast flood of early interest, Ashworth had to close ticket sales on Tuesday before the Saturday event. Having had roughly 400 people in the gallery in 2019, in 2021, it was looking like there would be more than 1,000. Our team at the Fire Pit Collective partnered with the production company of KuenyPearson to go live on Linksoul.com. The edited version of the broadcast as well as other perspectives on the day can now be found at firepitcollective.com.

 

In this podcast, you’ll get some of the best action and reaction, added perspective and reflections from players, caddies and people in the crowd.

 

Schauffele and Wilson are paired together again. And today they’re playing against Fred Couples and Will Kropp.


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Dec 04, 2021
RainDance National, a Fred Funk Design
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Everything about RainDance National, a new golf course in Northern Colorado, is BIG, except for the guy who helped design it and the odds that it won’t hit. 

 It’s big news that there’s a new golf course being built. According to the National Golf Foundation, there were only 18 new ones in 2019, and some of those were only nine holes. The number on the RainDance National scorecard, from the back tees, will be over 8,400 yards, which will make it one of the biggest and longest in the country. The 1,000-year-old arroyos that the course is built around are big. The mountains that surround the course are even bigger. The landing areas, greens and expectations for the finished product are also all big. And then there’s Fred Funk, one of the littlest and shortest hitters in professional golf, who’s the co-designer of RainDance National. Nothing is bigger than his smile as he walks the routing and talks about how much fun he has had getting the opportunity to break into the business of course design. Funk, who won the 2005 Players Championship, is quick to point out that at an elevation of 5,000-feet, with most holes playing downhill and with the ideal playing conditions being hard and fast, the length could be deceiving. 

In this episode of the Fire Pit, while sitting around a fire overlooking the arroyos, you’ll hear from Funk, Harrison Minchew, Funk’s co-designer who spent most of his career working for Arnold Palmer Design, and Martin Lind, the third-generation farmer who finally pulled the trigger on a project he’s been sitting on for over a decade. 

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Sep 28, 2021
The Stockton’s
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Needless to say, Goat Hill Park in Oceanside, Calif., is a special place. Pull up, grab your clubs, throw a leash on your dog, walk to the recently renovated range and you never know who you might see. There’s Dean Wilson, Mike Weir, Bill Murray, Charley Hoffman, Geoff Ogilvy, Kelly Slater, Xander Schauffele, Byron Scott or Bubba Watson?! 

But on this day, the day that inspired a podcast and a feature, I saw three generations of Stockton’s: Dave Stockton Sr., Dave Stockton Jr., and Junior’s son, Jake, who’s a sophomore at Arizona State.

Senior won ten times on Tour, two PGA Championships, 14 more on the Champions Tour, which includes another three majors. He played at USC, turned pro in 1964 and was a member of the 1971 and 1977 Ryder Cup teams—both were winners—and he captained the winning Ryder Cup team in 1991 at Kiawah’s “War by the Shore.” He also played a role in the 2004 Ryder Cup, which get to in the podcast. 

With input from Lanny Wadkins, Chris Riley, Al Geiberger and more, in this episode, Stockton’s tell stories about all of the above. 


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Sep 23, 2021
Ireland Recap
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After over 2,000 miles in 15 days, 12 courses, 50 Guinness, two goats, one trophy, a car ferry, spectacular cliffs, a dire wolf, a giant's causeway and lobstering in a mini wooden skiff, several members of the Fire Pit Collective get together to reflect on Covid, camaraderie, culture and the craic on the island of Ireland. You'll hear from dignitaries, tournament directors, directors of golf, course owners, and we talk architects, value and the two new shiny pennies in the North, which are going to be worth their weight in gold to everything that's happening around them. (Especially Carne and Cruit Island.) Get in the huddle of a Gaelic football match, hear the punchline to a joke and listen to some Irish folk music as we're going over an hour on an itinerary that included six of Golf Digest's 100 Greatest in the World, two that will be there soon and several others that were built by shovel. And those were the ones that we'll never shake from our adventurous souls.  


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Dream Golf Giveaway

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Sep 09, 2021
Bandon Dunes is Back in The News
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The U.S. Amateur or the Walker Cup were always the Holy Grails,” says Josh Lesnik, President of Kemper Sports, who manages Bandon Dunes. Lesnik was also the first General Manager of the resort, where he started in his late-20s, and was literally in on the sand floor. “But to be honest, we never really thought about hosting anything like that until Mike Davis took a look and liked it. That’s a big part of this,” says Lesnik. “Mike Davis came out early, and the fact that he liked what he saw, that pushed it over the top for the USGA.”

Now here it is, July of 2021, roughly 25 years into the development of Bandon, and news just broke that not only is Mike Keiser looking to develop a sixth 18-hole course, another short course and a putting course, but that the USGA will be bringing 13 amateur championships in the next 24 years, which includes a Walker Cup, two more U.S. Amateurs, three Women’s Amateurs, a Curtis Cup and four U.S. Juniors, two boy’s and two girl’s. 

“I never dreamed Bandon Dunes would be as popular as it is,” Keiser said on Tuesday evening, just before he sat down to dinner with one of his granddaughters. “That popularity enables us to have these tournaments.” And it also frees him up to build more courses and lodging. 

In this episode, Matt Ginella, Alan Shipnuck and Colt Knedler discuss all that’s on the horizon for one of the greatest pure golf destinations in the world. 


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Jul 21, 2021
Part 4: Laird Shepherd, The 2021 Amateur Champion
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One more time around the block as we get reflections and observations on what was one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the Amateur Championship. Both competitors, their dads and a girlfriend, we heard from two announcers and Tom Bailey, who, over a chance encounter in December, set Laird Shepherd on a path to a life-altering adventure. But then there’s Monty Scowsill, who taught us all about sportsmanship and class as he set his own anguish aside and consoled the champion. This is a story that’s so much more than just an incredible comeback.


Special thanks to the R&A for their help from across the pond.


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Jul 15, 2021
Part 3: Laird Shepherd, The 2021 Amateur Champion
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If you’re just joining us, we’re about to tee off on the first tee at Nairn Golf Club in Scotland. It’s a Saturday afternoon in mid-June, it’s the finals of the 126th playing of the British Amateur Championship in which two underdogs, who’ve both overcome adversity and physical issues getting here, are about to finish things off. Monty Scowsill, who made six birdies in the morning, is 7-up on Laird Shepherd, who didn’t make any birdies and didn’t win his first hole of the day until the last hole of the morning round. Which made for a somber sandwich. But there’s nothing more dangerous than a talented competitor who’s so far down, it frees them up to swing freely and play aggressively. It’s never over until it’s over.


Special thanks to the R&A for their help from across the pond.


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Jul 15, 2021
Part 2: Laird Shepherd, The 2021 Amateur Champion
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We collected over nine voices and 12 hours of interviews on the twists and turns of the 2021 Amateur Championship at Nairn Golf Club in Scotland. We track the path of Laird Shepherd and Monty Scowsill as they chase their dream of winning one of the most storied championships in golf. At halftime of the 36-hole final, Shepherd is 7-down. Is there still hope? It would take a miracle.


Special thanks to the R&A for their help from across the pond.


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Jul 14, 2021
Part1: Laird Shepherd, The 2021 Amateur Champion
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The British Amateur Championship is one of the oldest and greatest events in golf. The first, in 1885, was played at Hoylake in England. 

Bobby Jones won the British Amateur in 1930 in what was then considered a part of his Grand Slam of championships. Other notable winners include Sir Michael Bonallack, who won it five times, Joe Carr, the great Irish Amateur, who won it three times, Jose Maria Olazabal in 1984, and Sergio Garcia in 1998. Runner-ups include Colin Montgomerie, Trevor Immelman and Tommy Fleetwood. You like the stories of Monday Qualifiers who get a spot in a PGA Tour event? Then you’ll love the fact that the winner of the British Amateur Championship gets a spot in the Open Championship, the Masters, the US Open, a European Tour event and a five-year exemption into the US Amateur.

The 2021 British Amateur Championship would be played at Nairn Golf Club in Scotland on the same weekend as the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Here at the Fire Pit Collective, the team had assembled to meet and greet, brainstorm story ideas. Colt Knedler jumped in: “Have you guys heard about the incredible comeback at the British Amateur?”

We have now.

 

Special thanks to the R&A for their help from across the pond.

 

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Jul 14, 2021
Reporting and Sharing the Hayden Springer Story.
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So, by now, if you’re listening to this particular podcast, I’m going to assume you’ve either read or watched the Hayden Springer story on TheFirePitCollective.com.

 If you haven’t, I strongly suggest you read the story, which was written by Ryan French, and then watch the story, which was produced by Ben Van Hook, shot by Henry Lynk, and edited by Adam Showen. 

As you all probably know by now, The Fire Pit Collective’s first hire was Ryan French and I’m not shocked by his relentless delivery of compelling observations on aspiring Tour pros.

And when he sent in his first draft of the Hayden Springer story, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. And it’s not just that Sage Springer took that first breath and then so many more. Or that while Sage is surviving, Hayden was qualifying for the U.S. Open. Or that Emma lives and works as a nurse all day every day to make both the surviving and qualifying possible. And it goes even deeper than they do it all with such ease and selfless grace. For me, it’s also about the fact that I’m a parent. That our son had complications at birth and if it wasn’t for the staff at the Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando, he wouldn’t be alive today. So, it’s all of that. Which is why, when watching the story produced by Ben Van Hook, my wife and I sobbed. But it was an oddly good cry. An, “I’m happy for them,” cry. As French said to me: “You think it’s supposed to be a sad story, but it’s not.” That’s the true miracle here. It’s that they’re all refusing sadness, that Sage is denying death, and that with dad on the bag and the whole family in the crowd this week at Torrey, Hayden could win the whole damn thing.

So, with that, I recently spoke to French and Van Hook about how they reported their stories and asked that they share their perspectives on why this story matters to them.

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Jun 16, 2021
Phil Mickelson, The Oldest on The Longest.
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Alan Shipnuck has covered Phil Mickelson for the entirety of their careers. He was there every step of the way at the PGA Championship, including when Alan and Phil were both almost trampled in the 72nd fairway. Shipnuck brings to life an unforgettable moment in golf history with probing questions by host Matt Ginella and further thoughts from Laz Versalles, the newest member of the Fire Pit Collective. Their deep reflections on Mickelson is the perfect way to relive his thrilling victory and better understand the forces that led to Phil's unlikely renaissance.


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May 26, 2021
Part 3: Jay Bilas provides perspective on the NCAA and the Women's Golf Regional in Baton Rouge.
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Here we are, almost exactly a week after Brad Hurlbut, the athletic director at Fairleigh Dickinson and member of the local NCAA Championship committee who walked down the stairs of The University Club in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, put his hand on his chest and stomped on the hearts of the assembled crowd.

In Part 1, we told the story of what happened last week. In Part 2, we covered what happened after they cancelled the championship.

And in Part 3, I turn to Jay Bilas, the college basketball analyst who once played and coached at Duke and is still a practicing lawyer in North Carolina. Bilas has spent the better part of his career questioning and assessing the dysfunction and flaws of the NCAA. Bilas is brilliant. I always get smarter when I spend time with him. It’s Bilas, Bones, John Smoltz and Tony Romo who are on my modern Mount Rushmore of sports analysts. Even if I don’t care about the teams or the outcome, I’ll watch for an education on the sport and what I’m seeing on the screen. In this case, I called Bilas to teach us about what we saw on those steps that day, and I wanted to get a better understanding of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.


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May 20, 2021
Part 2: NCAA Women's Golf Regional at Baton Rouge—Riggs and Barstool to the Rescue!
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Sam Bozoian, also known as Barstool Riggs, is the white knight who socially rode into Baton Rouge on a horse named Twitter, scooped up an assembled group of female golfers and their coaches out of the puddles of tears and broken dreams and is giving them an opportunity to finish their seasons, and in some cases, their college careers, ON the golf course. What a concept! Throughout this podcast, you’ll be hearing more from all of the players and coaches I spoke to last week to report Part 1. Most of my conversations took place on the days right after their regional was cancelled. Their thoughts on what Riggs and Barstool were trying to do to help are used throughout the Riggs interview.

So, it’s Sunday night and I called Riggs as he and his Barstool squad of do-gooders were well on their way to saving the day with a consolation tournament for the teams and individuals who got run over by the NCAA, the very organization that’s supposed to provide them opportunities to be athletes. This is the story behind the LTP Classic, as in: Let Them Play!


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May 19, 2021
Part 1: The Breakdown of the NCAA Women's Golf Regional in Baton Rouge.
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So, I can assume you’ve seen it by now; the video of a guy, walking down some stairs, puts his hand on his chest, and like a fire-breathing dragon, torches the hopes and dreams of an innocent gathering of female athletes. Then he turns around and disappears.

The dragon is the NCAA, in this case, in the form of Brad Hurlbut, an athletic director at Fairleigh Dickinson, who, from what I’m told, volunteers for this particular NCAA Committee, which was running a five-day Regional tournament at The University Club, home to the LSU Tigers.  

In Part 1 of tracking down the story of how and why the Women’s Golf Regional in Baton Rouge was cancelled and six teams and three individuals will be going to play for a National Championship without ever hitting a shot, I spoke to three coaches, five players and other members of the media. There were emotions, frustrations and a lot of anger over the organization and communication of the people in charge. Some could even call it corruption.

Visit the The Fire Pit Collective to check out everything we are doing.

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Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

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For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 18, 2021
More on "Blood, Oil and Golf" and why the Saudi story matters.
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In this episode of The Fire Pit, Matt Ginella interviews Alan Shipnuck about his recent story on Saudi Arabia's attempt to buy some good global PR through golf and a few of the world's best players and architects, which includes Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Jack Nicklaus. With more than a billion dollars to spend, Saudi leadership is breaking away from the concept of the Premier Golf League and trying to lure away top players into what is now being called the Super Golf League. Meanwhile, all of this talk of competition to the PGA Tour is giving its players some leverage to improve their situations, pad their bank accounts and they might even end up making a better product. Plus, Matt and Alan provide more insight and understanding as to how and why they were able to hire Ryan French, the curator of the Twitter handle, "Monday Q Info." 


Visit the The Fire Pit Collective to check out everything we are doing.

Use promo Firepit25 at Linksoul.com for 25% off your next Linksoul order.

Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

You can reach me on Twitter (@mattginella) or on Instagram (@matt_ginella).

For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 08, 2021
Info on The Monday Q
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Ryan French of “Monday Q Info” on Twitter joins The Fire Pit Collective, a modern media network.

From a TV on fire to the Fire Pit, we welcome Ryan French to the Collective. A Robin Hood of golf and media, the humble and thoughtful stay-at-home dad found a platform and a purpose while tending to the responsibilities of a daughter and a son, who, at the age of 18 months, was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation, a rare brain condition that required surgery. With a supportive family and friends who he made along the backroads of scruffy mini-tour venues, French launched a Twitter handle @acaseofthegolf1, more commonly referred to as “Monday Q Info,” which recently surpassed 50,000 followers. One of them is Aaron Rodgers, who slid into French’s DMs in order to support Monday qualifiers. Monday Q Info is one of the best stories in golf right now, and it’s because of the stories he’s compelling all of us to care about. See Michael Visacki, Corey Conners, and the guitar-playing lasso champion who competed in the Byron Nelson pre-qualifier. What’s French’s relationship with the PGA Tour? They, like everyone else, are taking notice. And rightfully so. 


Visit the The Fire Pit Collective to check out everything we are doing.

Use promo Firepit25 at Linksoul.com for 25% off your next Linksoul order.


Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

You can reach me on Twitter (@mattginella) or on Instagram (@matt_ginella).

For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 03, 2021
“By the way, Roger...” Arnold Palmer tells his Maris story one more time.
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As we kick off Season 2 of The Fire Pit Podcast, just a short reflection on where we’ve been since March, 2020, which is when, while in quarantine, we hatched the idea of this podcast.

Our first, which aired on what would’ve been Masters Sunday of last year, was the story of how and why John Ashworth caddied at the ’86 Masters for his childhood friend, Mark Wiebe. 

One interview led to the next, Zoom calling with Nicklaus, Griffey Jr., Walter Iooss, Fred Couples, Jim Nantz, Ben Crenshaw, Bill Coore, Mike Keiser, David Kidd and so many more, and here we are again, with an expanded Fire Pit Collective but the same objective, which is to tell compelling stories. 

 

As for the story we tell today—a trip to LaTrobe to sit with The King—it’s one of my favorites, but it’s bittersweet.

 

The events that took place U.S. Open week at Oakmont in 2016 which afforded Gary Williams, Damon Hack and I to not only have lunch with Arnold Palmer, but to get time with him in his office, now all seems like a dream. 

What you’ll hear is that story. And you’ll listen to phone footage from that day that I’ve only shared with a select few in small settings. Plus, Gary Williams, Damon Hack, Doc Giffin and Bob Ford will add their perspectives. Not to mention Arnold Palmer, who tells his Roger Maris story one more time.


Visit the The Fire Pit Collective to check out everything we are doing.

Use promo Firepit25 at Linksoul.com for 25% off your next Linksoul order.


Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

You can reach me on Twitter (@mattginella) or on Instagram (@matt_ginella).

For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 09, 2021
The Golf Man. Barry Grimes
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We’re back at The Fire Pit dropping a podcast, which always feels good. We’ve been busy interviewing and editing season 2, which will start going live in a few weeks. Among other things, you’ll be hearing tributes to Charlie Sifford, Tony Gwynn and longtime colleague and friend, Tim Rosaforte. We’ll also be hearing from Jack Nicklaus, Nancy Lopez, Arnold Palmer and Lanny Wadkins on a $4-check from Ben Hogan.

 In the meantime, we’re supporting our friends at Linksoul as they honor and celebrate the life of Barry Grimes, John Ashworth’s co-creator of the Ashworth brand. Grimes, 61, died of brain cancer in 2020. He is survived by his wife Kristin and his two sons, Paul and Charlie.

 Ashworth changed the golf apparel industry forever, not only in the look and feel of the clothes, but also the look and feel of the imagery and marketing around the brand. And that, in large part, was because of Barry Grimes.

In this podcast, you’ll hear from Ashworth and Geoff Cunningham the co-creator of Linksoul and you’ll hear from Fred Couples, Jim Nantz and John Cook, three of the original Ashworth ambassadors.

After some setup and stories about Grimes’ artistry, impact and famous photo shoots, you’ll get a chance to help his family by buying a shirt.

We appreciate your support.


The Grimes Tee. All proceeds from this t-shirt will goto Barry's family.


Visit the The Fire Pit Collective to check out everything we are doing.


Use promo MattyG25 at Linksoul.com for 25% off your next Linksoul order.


Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

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For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Feb 03, 2021
INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLE 2 – GOLF TO THE RESCUE!
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We started this podcast in April, not long after the country went into quarantine. And on April 18, we dropped episode two, a roundtable with industry leaders who provided perspective on the state of the game in the midst of a global pandemic. I was joined by the Presidents of Pinehurst and Kemper Sports, the owner of Forest Dunes, the manager of Goat Hill Park, and the CEO of an Irish-based travel company that customizes buddies trips.

If you go back and listen to it, it’s somber. It’s as if the group is in shock, and fair to say, they were scared for their business and had concerns for the future of the game. 

But if there was one common denominator, it’s that they all said that if they could get open, they had a chance. They knew that as long as they could get a set of sensible regulations, the game could ride a safe and responsible wave of opportunity all the way to the beach.

 And by June, or shortly thereafter, they were all open. And it’s as if golf is our only option for a safe outdoor activity. Mike Stachura of Golf Digest recently tweeted that Golf Data Tech reports rounds played in July were up 20-percent over last year. U.S. golf equipment sales reached the all-time greatest single month in retail sales since the company started tracking data in 1997, the year Tiger won his first Masters. As Stachura said in his tweet: “If it’s not nailed down, it’s selling.”

And so I got the buddies-trip of roundtables back together again to check in on the game and their business.


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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 01, 2020
A short tribute to Mike Keiser and Bandon Dunes.
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We’re back, and as we continue a short hiatus between seasons one and two of The Fire Pit, we continue to go through our first season of recordings and extract some relevant nuggets or unpublished stories from our distinguished list of guests.

 With all that’s happening this week at Bandon Dunes in Oregon, most notably the U.S. Amateur, we’ve created another mini pod serving as a short tribute to owner Mike Keiser and all that he has done to golf in America and for golfers all over the world. 

We hear from Keiser, David and Jimmy Kidd, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw and more.


Mick Peters feature.


Bob “Shoe” Gaspar, Director of Outside Happiness feature.


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Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

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For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 16, 2020
Sir Nick Faldo gets no respect at sunrise.
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Well, that was a blur and a blast. We produced 15 episodes (and a bonus) of this podcast, which wraps up Season 1. For the next few weeks, as a link to the start of Season 2, we’ll be dropping mini-pods, short stories or great golf jokes by the best storytellers I’ve met at fire pits all over the world.


Thank you for all of your support, kind words and thoughtful reviews. It has been a true team effort from the start, and I couldn’t have done any of it without Alex Upegui and Rex Lint, who’ve spent endless days and nights helping me tell the first set of stories.

In some cases, we’ve recorded up to 400 minutes of interviews from as many as 11 voices to help produce one 40-minute story. In other words, there’s a lot left over.

 Which brings us back to Sir Nick Faldo, who we interviewed as one of the voices to help us tell the two-part podcast on Riggs of Barstool quarantining for 99 days at Pinehurst, episodes 13 & 14 of The Pit. As we said goodbye to Sir Nick, he shared a story about playing the role of a fire hydrant...


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Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

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For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 26, 2020
The making of "The Story," a song by Joe Horowitz, produced by Jacquire King
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Every song is a story. This episode of The Fire Pit is a story about the making of a song, which happens to be the anthem we’ve adopted for this podcast. We listen in as Jacquire King, a Grammy Award winning producer works with Joe Horowitz on developing a song he started writing in 2016 at Matt GInella's wedding reception at Goat Hill Park. The inspiration: What has now become Horowitz's favorite fire pit.


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Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

You can reach me on Twitter (@mattginella) or on Instagram (@matt_ginella).

For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 19, 2020
Barstool Riggs, Part 2: His 99 days at Pinehurst
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At this fire pit, we get the second half of Sam "Riggs" Bozoian's 99-day quarantine at Pinehurst, which includes a scramble match against Kevin Kisner on Pinehurst No. 2. The four boys of the ForePlay podcast take on a PGA Tour player on a U.S. Open venue. Plus, we get details on an emotional goodbye.

Check out the The Fire Pit shop for our new hats! More items in the works!


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Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

You can reach me on Twitter (@mattginella) or on Instagram (@matt_ginella).

For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 12, 2020
No.14: BONUS EPISODE- Beating Bryson
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Welcome back to a special production of The Fire Pit. A mini mid-week episode, put together after my recent interview with Kevin Kisner, who’s coming off a third-place finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. Bryson DeChambeau (-23) won the tournament, Matthew Wolff (-20) finished second and Kisner (-18) made a run on Sunday. But to say Bryson “won” is to say he overpowered the course and the competition. 

I had Kisner on to talk about his match with Riggs and the boys of the Fore Play Podcast at Pinehurst. For more on that story, Part 2 of Riggs’ 99 Days at Pinehurst will drop on Sunday. But before we got to talking about trying to beat a four-man scramble squad for charity, Kisner and I had a short back-and-forth about trying to beat a guy who was outdriving him by 60 yards. I took the DeChambeau chunk of our conversation and played it for Brandel Chamblee, analyst for NBC/Golf Channel. Here are snippets of my conversation with Kisner with Chamblee’s commentary throughout…


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Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

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For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 09, 2020
Barstool Riggs, Part 1: His 99 days at Pinehurst.
2592

The story we tell today is that of Sam “Riggs” Bozoian escaping New York City to quarantine at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. He stayed there, playing an assortment of Pinehurst’s 10 courses and others in the area for 99 days. At this Fire Pit we hear about Riggs' start in life and at Barstool, his ace on The Cradle, a heated match against a 12 year old and a moral compass. Sir Nick Faldo is just one of the voices providing some perspective.


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Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

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For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 06, 2020
Forest Dunes: How an Arkansas trucker found golf gold in Michigan
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The story we tell today, sitting around an actual fire pit, is how and why Lew Thompson bought Forest Dunes in Roscommon, Michigan, the ridiculous deal he got, and then how he has made this remote location a legitimate destination. As Forest Dunes is setting record-breaking business days and gets set to open yet another golf course, we hear from Lew and Josh Thompson, Tom Weiskopf, Keith Rhebb and Riley Johns.


Check out the The Fire Pit shop for our new hats! More items in the works!


Use promo MattyG25 at Linksoul.com for 25% off your next Linksoul order.


Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

You can reach me on Twitter (@mattginella) or on Instagram (@matt_ginella).

For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 28, 2020
Joe Carr’s life and legacy.
2027

On this Father’s Day, a tribute to Joe Carr, who, along with his wife, Dorothy, raised six kids in a house overlooking the second green of Sutton Golf Club in Dublin, Ireland. 

Carr won three British Amateur Championships and was a semi-finalist at the 1961 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach. He won six Irish Amateurs, 12 West of Irelands, 12 East of Irelands, three South of Irelands, played in 10 Walker Cups, and in 1991, was the first Irishman to become captain of the R&A. In 2007, Carr was inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame by Jack Nicklaus. 

We hear from Nicklaus and three of Carr’s sons: Roddy, John and Marty.


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Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

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For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 21, 2020
Ashworth. How an American dream became a nightmare.
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We’re telling the story about John Ashworth, the man and the brand. From the trunk of a car to the No. 1 golf apparel company in the world, we hear from Ashy, Jim Nantz, Fred Couples, John Cook, Gerry Montiel and Hank Ashworth.✌🏼


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Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

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For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 14, 2020
Building Bandon, Part 2: A closer look at Opening Day, the first tee shot and what the development of this destination has meant to the area and golf in America.
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Part 2 picks up on May 1st, 1999 on the eve of Bandon Dunes opening for business. I’m not even sure Mike Keiser could’ve dreamed something as big as what Bandon has become. We hear from Bandon's original caddy master, Shoe, and the local barber, Mick Peters, who has hit the first tee shot on every course at Bandon, as well as reflections from Mike Keiser, David Kidd, Josh Lesnik, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw as we also celebrate the opening of the Sheep Ranch, their third course on property.


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Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

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Jun 07, 2020
Building Bandon, Part 1: Against all odds, Mike Keiser buys remote Oregon dunesland and hires a pair of rookies to help him build and manage a golf course.
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Today you’ll hear part 1 of the building of Bandon Dunes, as told by Mike Keiser, the owner, David McLay Kidd and his father, Jimmy, the architects, and Josh Lesnik and his father, Steve, who won the bid to manage it. Bandon Dunes, the original course at what is now the best pure golf destination in America, and arguably the world, was an outlier that opened in 1999. Like Sand Hills in Mullen, Nebraska, which opened in 1995, to build a golf course in a remote location using a minimalist architect or architects was anything but what was being built in America in the 90s.


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Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 31, 2020
Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Part 2: building Kapalua, Sand Hills and success.
3060

Part 1 leaves off in 1985, when Ben Crenshaw convinces Bill Coore to partner up. In part 2, we get them through some lean years, making a name for themselves in Maui, and tell the story of striking pay dirt and pink flags in the sand hills of Nebraska.


Use promo MattyG25 at Linksoul.com for 25% off your next Linksoul order.


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May 24, 2020
Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Part 1: Becoming Coore & Crenshaw
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Part 1 of the people, places and things that had an influence on what Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw have become as architects, how and when they met, who was involved and why it works.


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The Fire Pit shop is here!


Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

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For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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May 17, 2020
Walter Iooss Jr., Reflections on Michael Jordan, Tiger & more.
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Walter Iooss Jr. shares several stories about his special relationship with NBA legend Michael Jordan, chasing Tiger Woods at a golf tournament, almost botching a portrait session with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, and how he captured arguably the most famous image in NFL history.


Iooss has been taking pictures professionally for 59 years. He has shot every Super Bowl. He has over 300 covers of Sports Illustrated, which includes action, portrait and swimsuit. His versatility, personality and talent, along with the trust and respect of his subjects, plus his passion for sports and his craft have earned him a spot in the International Hall of Fame of Photography.


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The Fire Pit shop is here!


Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

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For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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May 10, 2020
Ken Griffey Jr. on Tiger, fatherhood, & hitting back-to-back HRs w/Dad!
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Ok, settle in, stoke that fire, because today we’re catching up with Ken Griffey Jr. He’s seventh on the all-time list of home run leaders with 650, and in 2016, he was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame with the highest voting percentage ever. 

We’re talking to "The Kid" about his father, about being a father, playing golf with Tiger and his father, and we’re revisiting one of the most memorable moments in the history of fathers and sons. What’s commonly known as, quote: “We finally did it.”


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The Fire Pit shop is here!


Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

You can reach me on Twitter (@mattginella) or on Instagram (@matt_ginella).

For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 03, 2020
Child's Play: How Alan Shipnuck chased down Pebble Beach, Sports Illustrated and Ken Griffey Jr.
2554

Alan Shipnuck, award-winning Senior Writer for Golf Magazine and Golf.com, joins The Fire Pit to tell the story of how he got the job at Pebble Beach as a kid, then Sports Illustrated, as a kid, and how he chased down "The Kid," Ken Griffey Jr., to write what would be the first of Shipnuck's 20+ Sports Illustrated cover stories.

With cameos by some legends in the sports world, Shipnuck's story parallels Cameron Crowe, as they both utilized talent and a dogged approach to reporting to get opportunities to tell meaningful stories at a young age for iconic publications.

Use promo MattyG25 at Linksoul.com for 25% off your next Linksoul order.


The Fire Pit shop is here!


Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

You can reach me on Twitter (@mattginella) or on Instagram (@matt_ginella).

For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 26, 2020
The States of The Game - Golf vs. Covid-19
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One of the benefits of being around a fire pit is that the conversation can go in a lot of directions. In this episode, it’s not one good story about golf, it’s several perspectives on the game now, and in the future. When and how can we play golf safely and responsibly by minimizing the risk of life or death? 

Joining me on this podcast are Dr. Ara Suppiah, a functional sports medical expert who I’ve worked with at Golf Channel for the last few years. Marty Carr, CEO of Carr Golf Group, which is based in Ireland and includes Carr Golf Travel and Carr Golf Management. Josh Lesnik, President of KemperSports and KemperLesnik, which manages over 125 golf facilities in 25 states. Tom Pashley, President of Pinehurst Resort. John Ashworth, who’s the co-founder of Linksoul and who manages Goat Hill Park, a municipal course in Oceanside, Calif. And Lew Thompson, owner of Forest Dunes, a multi-course facility in the middle of Michigan.


Be sure to follow my social handles because on Monday, April 20th we’re posting a live auction which will include items donated by all of my guests on this show and will benefit Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.


Use promo MattyG25 at Linksoul.com for 25% off your next Linksoul order.


The Fire Pit shop is here!


Got a story we should track down? You can reach me on Twitter (@mattginella) or on Instagram (@matt_ginella). For The Fire Pit podcast videos, goto The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 17, 2020
Mark Wiebe & John Ashworth: A Masters "Bro Deal"
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Mark Wiebe and John Ashworth share a story about a dream and deal they made as kids, which came true at the 1986 Masters.

Wiebe, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, and John Ashworth, who revolutionized golf fashion, made a deal when they were kids: Whoever qualifies to play in the Masters, the other one would carry the bag. And in 1986, they found themselves driving down Magnolia Lane, complete with chill-bumps and tears, it was a dream come true.


Use promo MattyG25 at Linksoul.com for 25% off your next Linksoul order.


The Fire Pit shop is here!


Got a comment about this story or a tip on a story we should track down?

You can reach me on Twitter (@mattginella) or on Instagram (@matt_ginella).

For bonus visuals and some behind the scenes of The Fire Pit podcast production, go to The Fire Pit YouTube Channel.

Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 12, 2020
The Fire Pit with Matt Ginella Trailer
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What the show is all about! 

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Apr 10, 2020