McKellar #4 was created during the maelstrom of the Covid-19 pandemic, and its cover, by French-German artist Marc Majewski, reflects the intense longing for fresh air and freedom that the world wanted more than ever during 2020. Meg MacLaren’s “Belonging”, written during lockdown in the UK, offers a view of the life of a pro golfer during those dark days.
The issue, however, also carries plenty of hopeful notes with its informal theme of “islands”, with features on island courses ranging from Michigan to Scotland to the Goto Islands of Japan. And, of course, it is home to part 1 of Dan Davies’ wonderful profile of the mercurial European Tour legend Bill Longmuir.
This one belongs on your shelf, hands down. In 2022, its price was reduced to $10 and it is available for single-issue sales.
Meghan MacLaren has established herself as one of the most compelling voices of golf’s new generation. In McKellar #4, the two-time LET winner shows she can be as unsparingly honest in describing her inner life as she is in writing about the world around her. “Belonging” cuts to the heart of the Tour grind and what it feels like to break through in a sport as maddeningly difficult as golf.
The Golfers of Goto
Few golfers have likely even heard of, much less put a peg in the ground in the Goto Islands, a remote island chain in the southwest of Japan. Curious rumors of clifftop golf adventures eventually inspired Andrew Thomson, a lawyer based in Fukuoka, to make a series of visits to Goto. Teeing it up with the locals, Thomson tells the stories of how these spectacular homespun courses came into existence, and the herculean efforts the islanders have made to keep them going. For the armchair golf traveler, this is as good as it gets.
Six hours up the Oregon coast from Bandon Dunes one can find the oldest golf course west of the Mississippi–Gearhart Golf Links. Set not far from where the mighty Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, the course has experienced a wonderful renewal in recent years. However, the growth of its eponymous town has led to a new challenge–ever-increasing herds of wild elk. Blending historical research, nature writing, and reporting on the local political scene, John Strawn details the efforts that Gearhart and its neighbors have made to keep these unruly natives at bay.
The Ballad of Bill Who? Pt. 1
The leader after the opening round of the 1979 Open Championship at Royal Lytham was so obscure that even the most grizzled hacks were sent rushing to their media guides for biographical detail. The man of the moment was Bill Longmuir–the handsome and affable Essex pro who to that point had mostly been enjoying life on the African Tour. Though Seve Ballesteros ultimately won that Open, the story of Bill Longmuir is one for the ages. Dan Davies follows up his brilliant profile of the artist Harold Riley (McKellar #3) with the first installment of a two-part series on the adventures of one of golf’s most lovable underdogs.