There are plenty of ways to measure popularity on the web, but most are flawed. Page views and unique visitors can be subject to the whims of format or algorithms outside of our control, and as editor of a website, putting together a subjective list of favorite stories is like having to pick between your children. But…we gotta go with something, so the chosen metric for GolfDigest.com’s most popular stories of 2019 is a hybrid of average time spent and unique visitors (Why? Because stories that people spend a lot of time with suggest they were popular with readers, but a significant audience still matters).
And as it happens, the stories on our list satisfy a representative swath of our best reporting and writing. They include a celebration of the life of one of golf’s most influential figures, profiles of those still making an impact in the game today, and explorations into golf concepts both real and imagined. Some originated in the print magazine, others began on the web, but all helped contribute to a memorable 2019 in the game and for Golf Digest specifically.
10. Mike’s magic touch: Why the Keiser method works: Ron Whitten profiles the developer who has tapped into the passions of the traveling golfer.
9. Serendipity leads to the discovery of hundreds of never-before-seen Masters photos: A Golf Digest office move leads to the discovery of classic never-before-seen photos from the magazine’s coverage of the Masters.
8. His Ownself: Dan Jenkins passes away at age 90: Tom Callahan’s appreciation of the late Golf Digest writer-at-large, the most influential figure in the history of sports writing.
7. My round at Augusta National: A dream realized and a window that almost closed: Joel Beall’s account of his round at Augusta National the day after the Masters was about more than a bucket list moment, but a chance to appreciate the remarkable trajectory of his career.
6. The CBS golf crew on what you don’t see on TV: Alex Myers presides over a roundtable discussion with the the veteran broadcast crew, some of whom have since been replaced, on the pain points of televising golf.
5. Is Joel Dahmen the best interview on the PGA Tour? Max Adler interviews the rare PGA Tour player who applies an everyman sensibility to the highest level of golf.
4. My Shot: Slugger White: Guy Yocom’s popular interview franchise includes insights and anecdotes from a veteran rules official who’s seen it all.
3. Matt Kuchar: Mr. Nice Guy or El Cheapo: John Feinstein delves into the complicated personality of a player whose reputation came under fire in an eventful 2019.
2. We redesigned Augusta National: A simple but absurd exercise—we asked leading architects how they’d tweak the world’s most famous course if given the opportunity.
1. USGA Confidential: John Huggan and Brian Wacker canvas tour players on their many grievances with U.S. golf’s governing body, which culminated with a near boycott of the U.S. Open.