From professional golf's winningest 20-something to the game's pre-eminent elder statesman, this year's edition of Athlon Sports Golf Annual has it all.
There’s never been a more important golfer than Arnold Palmer, and Athlon was fortunate enough to gain an audience with The King for an exclusive, wide-ranging interview on topics from anchored putters to Adam Scott to the drink that bears his name. Enjoy a relaxed conversation with golf royalty in this year’s edition of Athlon Sports Golf.
Tiger Woods has already won twice as many majors as Palmer, but he’s still hounded by the question: When will he win another one? The drought has reached Death Valley proportions — it’s been almost six years since he limped past Rocco Mediate at the 2008 U.S. Open. And the pressure’s self-imposed, given Woods’ stated goal of surpassing Jack Nicklaus’ major haul of 18. Controversial Tiger critic Brandel Chamblee of the Golf Channel thinks the drought is on the verge of ending, although Brandel remains a little skeptical of Woods’ unusual approach to the game. In his article "Build and Destroy," Brandel dissects Woods’ unusual habit of periodically tearing down his game and starting over.
The only thing that Tiger’s latest rebuilding project has failed to produce is a major, but this year’s venues set up well for some long-awaited drought relief. Athlon takes you on a tour of this year’s four major tracks — Augusta National, Pinehurst No. 2, Royal Liverpool and Valhalla — and lets you know what to expect from these four high holy weeks on the golf calendar.
Speaking of Pinehurst, emotions will be running high as Phil Mickelson makes what he hopes will be a triumphant return to the North Carolina sandhills. We all remember the 1999 U.S. Open, where Phil posted the first of six runner-up Open finishes and where Payne Stewart consoled him on the 18th green. Fifteen years later, Mickelson can come full circle by completing a career grand slam at the spot where his flirtation with the U.S. Open became a major obsession. You can read about Phil’s quest in this year's edition.
Phil long ago shed his "can’t win the big one" label, and Athlon cover subject Dustin Johnson would love to do the same in 2014. Johnson is a proven winner — he's the PGA Tour's winningest golfer in his 20s — but he heads to Augusta seeking that career-defining major championship victory at the tournament he values most. Dustin spent some time with us sharing his approach to the game, which is enhanced by his incomparable athleticism but still has plenty to teach the average player, starting with his effective use of effortless power. Athlon also spoke to golf's top teacher, Butch Harmon, to get his thoughts on one of his prize pupils.
We unwind with a little R&R in our "Resorts and Real Estate" golf destination tips, look at "18 Holes to Play" for anyone working on their bucket list along with their golf game, and highlight the best clubs, apparel, shoes, shades and gear on the market.
Athlon Sports' Golf Annual is the most complete 2014 golf preview available today. Order your copy now!