Alan Shipnuck wrote his first cover story for Sports Illustrated as a 21-year-old intern in 1994. Like his cover subject, Ken Griffey Jr., Shipnuck matured into one of the best of his profession. When he was hired in 1996, he became the youngest staff writer staff writer in SI's history. Now a senior writer at the magazine, he writes regularly on golf and has been honored multiple times by the Golf Writers Association of America. In 2008 he became the first writer to finish first in the same year in both the feature and news writing categories in the Golf Writers Association of America annual writing contest.
Though he specializes in golf for SI and Golf.com, Shipnuck has written on a variety of topics, including the 2007 (Brett Favre) and 2008 Sportsman of the Year (Michael Phelps). He currently writes a popular weekly column, Heroes and Zeroes, for Golf.com. His first book, Bud, Sweat & Tees, was published in 2001 and followed misadventures of unknown PGA Tour rookie Rich Beem and his caddie, Steve Duplantis. The book became a best seller after Beem's stunning victory at the 2002 PGA Championship. He is also the author ofThe Battle for Augusta National: Hootie, Martha, and the Masters of the Universe, which was published to excellent reviews in 2004; Publishers Weekly said Shipnuck "superbly recounts all of the debacle's hilarious, sad, serious and absurd details." His most recent book is The Swinger, a raucous novel written with fellow senior writer Michael Bamberger and released in July 2011. Shipnuck has also been a contributor to Artworks Magazine, Travel & Leisure Golf, Golf & Travel and Golf for Women and has appeared on CNN, NBC'sTODAYand ESPN's SportsCentury series, in addition to numerous other television and radio shows.
A 1996 graduate of UCLA, Shipnuck lives in Carmel, Calif., with his family.
Golf can be an uncommonly solitary game, especially for struggling PGA Tour pros. Swing guru Tony Ruggiero has a cure for that, a sort of roaming group therapy, where laughs are as key as launch angles.
In this week's post-Masters edition of the mailbag, Alan Shipnuck answers your questions on Spieth and Rickie's Sunday charges, Patrick Reed's victory, Rory's letdown, the new event coming to Augusta National and more.
Patrick Reed is a lone wolf on Tour with a complicated past. As he was on his way to winning the Masters Sunday night, his parents, sister and their family and friends were watching on TV just miles down the road at home.
For the second round of this Masters, the course presented a series of riddles: baked-out greens, sucker pins, swirling winds. The volatility of the leaderboard reflected the inner turmoil that was wrought. When a long, taxing round finally came to a close, Patrick Reed was on top.
Woods's presence here alone is worth celebrating, even if on Thursday the bad stuff between the ropes outweighed the good. But Tiger Woods has a long way to go if this Masters is going to get really fun.