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Backspin with Alan Shipnuck

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Podcast by Backspin

Podcast by Backspin
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Podcast by Backspin




Ryder Cup Preview from the French Countryside

Looking out over the French countryside, Sean Zak and Dylan Dethier preview all things Ryder Cup. Will Tiger Woods be the best player in Paris? Will Phil Mickelson be the worst? How likely is an American blowout? They also break down their round at the "Augusta of France."


Brendan Steele 2.0

3-time Tour winner Brendan Steele joins Alan Shipnuck to talk about all things, beginning with how Google stock propelled his golf career. Other topics include Steele overcoming the belly-putter ban, the failings of the USGA, his money matches against Phil Mickelson and how he owns the Safeway Open.


Stewart Cink

Stew Cink sits down with Alan Shipnuck to discuss his career both past and present. Yes, that includes the traumatizing 2001 U.S. Open at Southern Hills as well as his triumph over Tom Watson at the 2009 Open at Turnberry. Cink delves into his family life, his mental game battles and how he sees himself on the PGA Tour today.


Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia sits down with Alan Shipnuck to talk about all things, starting with the Ryder Cup. Will he make the team? Would he accept a duty as assistant captain? Will it bring out the best in his game? The conversation spans many other topics, including his new life as a Texan, how golf has changed, the resurgence of Tiger Woods and Sergio's future endeavors.


Dustin Johnson + Drop Zone, Ep. 3 (ft. Tyrrell Hatton)

Audio from Drop Zone Ep. 3 is included, and the two hosts sit down with Dustin Johnson to talk about his mentality on many things: his press conferences, his look, his place in the world of athletes and more. DJ joins us at the 17:40 mark.


Dean Wilson

After receiving all kinds of messages on email and social media in response to his column about Dean Wilson in the October issue of GOLF, Alan Shipnuck figured it made perfect sense to have Dean join him as a podcast guest, so here we are. Dean is as laid back as they get, and Shipnuck had the pleasure of witnessing that on a recent trip to Bandon Dunes. Years removed from a professional career, what's most important to Dean Wilson now? The hang.


Remembering 9/11

Less than one week after terrorist attacks shocked the world 16 years ago, Sports Illustrated writer John Garrity did something almost no one would have considered: he boarded a plane for Europe. The Ryder Cup was cancelled and the PGA Tour put on hold as people everywhere braced for what seemed to some as the start of a third world war. Garrity left his home and family in Kansas City and flew to England. His assignment: tell us how the golf world would react. What he found was very telling,...


The Top 100 Courses in the World

GOLF has unveiled its ranking of the Top 100 Courses in the World. Travel editor Joe Passov joins the podcast to discuss the ranking, how it's created, who gets a say, the best new courses and much more.


Jhonattan Vegas

Alan Shipnuck caught up with Jhonattan Vegas last week at the Northern Trust on Long Island. Shipnuck profiled Vegas back in 2012, detailing his upbringing and humble beginnings in Venezuela. The two have remained chummy ever since, and sure enough, just days after they met in New York, Vegas finished tied for third behind Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson. Topics include: 1. Vegas' family 2. His humble beginnings in the game 3. His tricky path to the Tour 4. Playing against Tiger early in...


Recapping the PGA Championship

Back again, Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger recap the final major of the year from the PGA Championship. They talk Justin Thomas, Quail Hollow, Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner and share how it unfolded from a writer’s perspective.


Inside Donald Trump's Ties to Golf

Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger discuss Donald Trump's many ties to the golf world, his complicated relationship with it as president, and the recent Sports Illustrated story the explains what golf means to Trump. The discussion includes: How Trump called the White House a "dump" -- 3:10 Why he needs golf as a validation -- 9:00 What it's like playing golf with Trump -- 16:50 Trump's desire to control a Sports Illustrated story -- 21:30 Possible ties between Trump's courses and foreign...


In Love with Links Golf

Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger sit down in advance of the British Open to discuss their undying affection for links golf. Both writers have covered decades of Opens and probably spent just as much time traipsing linksland chasing their own golf balls. Topics discussed: 1:23 -- Why links golf is better 4:35 -- Playing jet-lag golf 7:37 -- The 1985 Open 10:55 -- Playing the Old Course alone, and in reverse 13:40 -- Walking St. Andrews with Tom Watson 17:20 -- The best courses in the rota...


The Story of Seamus Golf

The story of Seamus Golf, a golf headcover and handmade products company, begins with a beer bong of all things. A beer bong in Corvallis, Oregon on gameday between Oregon State and the University of Oregon. Megan Kenton convinced Akbar Chisti to do a beer bong, and though they barely knew each other at the time, they had a future in business together, as well as marriage. Both Megan and Akbar talked with Sean Zak recently about how they created a giant in the headcover business, and got the...


The U.S. Open and a career of covering it

Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger are back to recap the U.S. Open and their careers covering the event. If you’re looking exclusively for a breakdown of the most recent major, well, you’ll be getting that and a whole lot more, including stories of U.S. Opens and Sports Illustrated from the 2010s, 2000s, 90s and 80s. Topics include: Why Erin Hills became the story of the event — 1:10 What should the U.S. Open be? — 9:00 How Bamberger caddied at his first Open — 17:30 Shipnuck’s first Open —...


Andy Dillard and the 1992 U.S. Open

The 1992 U.S. Open ended with Tom Kite winning his first and only major, but it began strangely with Andy Dillard setting a U.S. Open record that will almost certainly never be broken. As we came to find out in his fateful story, he needed that record more than anything else in his life.


Dave Pelz

The Dave Pelz you see in 2017 isn’t all that different from the Dave Pelz you would have seen in 1957. The golf fanatic was then playing on scholarship at Indiana University, and competing against Jack Nicklaus, no less, so to see where he is today—as a world renowned short game instructor—comes without surprise. The astonishing part is how he got there, because shortly after enrolling at Indiana, and losing to Nicklaus on a number of occasions, he realized he wasn’t Tour ready. His...


Keegan Bradley

Keegan Bradley took a circuitous route to the PGA Tour: down the ski slopes of the toughest mountains in the Northeast. With stops at St. John's and developmental tours, he splashed onto the scene in 2011 with a PGA Championship victory. Over the last couple of season Bradley has been battling to get back to that rarified air, playing through swing changes and the USGA’s anchoring ban. Alan Shipnuck caught up with him at the Players to talk about his unlikely journey, and where he goes from...


Tour caddie Kip Henley

Tour caddie Kip Henley wasn't always a caddie. He was once an aspiring pro, until (in his words) he saw Jack Grout, Jack Nicklaus' famed coach. That's when his career as a golfer took the fateful turn. Since, Henley has made quite the career carrying bags and reading putts for a number of players on the PGA Tour, most recently Vijay Singh, whom he broke ties with just days after the recording of this podcast. You'll hear his thoughts on Vijay and much, much more. Topics: His failed Tour...


Sean Foley

Sean Foley is only 42 but he’s seen a heckuva lot in his career as a swing guru. His pupils have won a U.S. Open (Justin Rose) and now a Players (Si Woo Kim), but it is the man he took to number one (Tiger Woods) who made Foley famous. As you'll hear in this podcast with Alan Shipnuck, Foley is a philosophical thinker in his approach to teaching anyone around him. He's also a huge hip hop fanatic. Don't think so? Just ask him for his top 5. Here are just a few of the topics included: Hip hop...


Paul Casey

Paul Casey might have the most infectious laugh on the PGA Tour, and just a few moments into this discussion with Alan Shipnuck, he shows it off. Casey and Shipnuck sat down at the Players Championship this week to discuss cars, cycling, his Ryder Cup status, how he views his career and much more. Topics: The Tour's FedEx sponsorship extension -- 2:10 Cars -- 4:15 Cycling -- 7:13 Stipulations of his Nike contract -- 12:10 Golfer injuries -- 13:30 His relationship with Peter Kostis -- 16:00...