February 6, 2008

Three Amigos in search of golf

Editor's Letter

The travel team (from left): Ginella, Rudy and Kaspriske at St. Andrews Pub in New York City.

The travel team (from left): Ginella, Rudy and Kaspriske at St. Andrews Pub in New York City.

Our editors are just like you -- lovers of the game, looking for a lesson and trying to find the next great place to play. This month we've added a new Travel section that unleashes three Golf Digest editors in search of real-life golf experiences.

Matt Ginella is our new Senior Editor of Travel and charged with the tough job of roaming the world without losing his golf clubs. "My first week on the job I played 216 holes in seven days in three states," he says. "I was attacked by no-see-ums, sat next to Juli Inkster on a flight from Scottsdale to Palm Springs (see "Q&A with Juli Inkster) and befriended Jim Mahoney, Sinatra's PR guy of 15 years, who made me an omelet at his house off the 18th hole at La Quinta."

And a lesson? After 18 holes with former tour pro Artie McNickle at La Quinta, Ginella asked him, "So what do you think of my swing?" McNickle said, "Before I even make a comment, go back to Hogan's book, Five Lessons, and look at the pages where he compares the golf swing to a shortstop throwing to first base."

Ginella was throwing home. "I've been thinking about first base ever since," he says.

Ginella is writing a blog on golfdigest.com/courses called "Where is Matty G?" And look for "Ambush," a new feature in which Matty G sneaks up on groups of readers on golf trips, hands over goody bags (beverages, cigars, sunscreen, GPS devices) and records the ambush in photos and video for our website and magazine. Tell him about your upcoming golf trip and you might be next.

Another monthly feature will be "Long Drives," with Senior Writer Matt Rudy borrowing a hot new car and taking it on a long weekend golf trip. This month he drives a Shelby GT500 to northern Michigan (see "Long Drives: Michigan Muscle"). "My dad already thought that I had a pretty good job -- the route in the story passed by his lake house -- and he repeated that assessment when I stopped in with the hot rod on my way around the coast," says Rudy, our resident car buff. "Driving it around also gave me much more appreciation for the advancements in brake technology over my 1966 Olds."

The third element of our new coverage is "Golf Digest's 50 Best 19th Holes", which Digest Editor Ron Kaspriske will profile one by one in future Digest sections. His search proved even more dangerous than the others. "I found one place called 19th Hole Rendezvous in the golf haven of Scottsdale," says Kaspriske, "but it turned out to be an escort service."

It didn't make the list.