LINKS Golf Podcast

George Peper and Al Lunsford of LINKS Golf Media

 

The LINKS Golf Podcast is hosted by Al Lunsford and George Peper, both passionate golfers and members of the LINKS staff. The podcast discusses a wide range of topics pertaining to golf travel, course reviews, interviews with leaders of the game, and more.

You can subscribe to the LINKS Golf Podcast in iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. We also want to hear from you about topic suggestions, thoughts on episodes, and ideas for interviews. Reach out to us on social media at Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! Additionally, you can send us an email at letters@linksmagazine.com.

 

Episode 64 – Ranking the World’s Golf Countries with Darius Oliver

Digital Editor Al Lunsford reports live from Sand Valley Golf Resort in Wisconsin, part of the Dream Golf umbrella, in this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast. Al interviews Sand Valley General Manager Michael Carbiener about the resort’s two top 100 public golf courses, the activities and amenities available to guests beyond golf, and what’s in store for Sand Valley’s future.

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Episode 63 – A Golf Trip to Provence

On this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast, LINKS contributor David DeSmith talks to Digital Editor Al Lunsford about the golf, gastronomy, and much more from his trip to France’s famed southeastern corner of Provence—the subject of David’s feature piece in the Fall issue of LINKS Magazine.

Terre Blanche (Le Chateau)

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Episode 62 – A Member’s Guide to Winged Foot

LINKS President and Publisher Jack Purcell joins Digital Editor Al Lunsford on the show to provide an insider’s perspective on Winged Foot, where Jack has been a member for more than 30 years. Jack gives the scoop on the preparation of the West course for this year’s U.S. Open, the things players need to do to score well, and the elements outside of golf he enjoys about the club.

Winged Foot East Course 17th hole (photo by L.C. Lambrecht)

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Episode 61 – In-Depth on Sand Valley

Digital Editor Al Lunsford reports live from Sand Valley Golf Resort in Wisconsin, part of the Dream Golf umbrella, in this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast. Al interviews Sand Valley General Manager Michael Carbiener about the resort’s two top 100 public golf courses, the activities and amenities available to guests beyond golf, and what’s in store for Sand Valley’s future.

(Photo by Evan Schiller)

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Episode 60 – Dream Nine: Par Fives with Ryan Asselta

LINKS Insider contributor Ryan Asselta is back to discuss the final installment of his “Dream Nine” series on this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast. Ryan and Digital Editor Al Lunsford take turns listing the nine holes they would include on their “Dream Nine” layouts made entirely of par five holes from around the world.

12th hole, Kingsbarns (photo courtesy Kingsbarns Golf Links)

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Episode 59 – Pinehurst Revisited Plus An Interview with Director of Golf Ben Bridgers

Digital Editor Al Lunsford recaps a week-long trip to Pinehurst in this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast. The host assesses what has changed about the resort since he last visited in 2013. Later in the episode, Al sits down with Pinehurst Director of Golf Ben Bridgers who dishes on the must-dos while in Pinehurst, the latest developments at the resort, the lesser-known courses, and preparing for the 2024 U.S. Open.

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Episode 58 – Tobacco Road and The Cradle—A Unique Day of Golf in Pinehurst

In this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast, Digital Editor Al Lunsford and his father, Greg, report live from Pinehurst, N.C. on a unique day of golf playing Mike Strantz’s Tobacco Road in the morning, followed by multiple loops on The Cradle short course and the Thistle Dhu putting course at Pinehurst Resort in the afternoon.

Tobacco Road 13th hole (photo by Al Lunsford)

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Episode 57 – What Does the Data Say About the Golf Business in 2020?

Participation on the rise? A new trend in golf travel? National Golf Foundation Chief Business Officer Greg Nathan joins Digital Editor Al Lunsford to talk through a recent update on the state of the golf business from the NGF on the Season 6 premier of the LINKS Golf Podcast.

(photo via Getty Images)

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Episode 56 – A First-Timer’s Guide to Bandon Dunes

It’s all things Bandon Dunes in the final episode of Season 5 of the LINKS Golf Podcast. LINKS contributor Erik Matuszewski joins Digital Editor Al Lunsford to break down Erik’s first-ever trip to Bandon, which aligned with the June 1 opening of the resort’s newest course, Sheep Ranch.

(photo by Erik Matuszewski)

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Episode 55 – Golf Course Architect Mike DeVries

On this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast, Digital Editor Al Lunsford is joined by internationally acclaimed golf architect Mike DeVries, who is featured in the Summer 2020 issue of LINKS Magazine. DeVries talks about growing up in Michigan and working at Alister MacKenzie’s Crystal Downs, his crown jewel at Cape Wickham in Australia (ranked 21st in Golf Digest’s World Top 100), lessons learned from Tom Doak, and his “boots-on-the-ground” approach to course design.

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Episode 54 – 10 Ways the Pandemic Has Improved the Game

LINKS Editor George Peper gives a sneak preview of his column in the Summer 2020 issue of LINKS Magazine where he opines on 10 things that the global pandemic has made better about the game.

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Episode 53 – Eric Sedransk (aka @member4aday)

On this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast, Digital Editor Al Lunsford sits down with Eric Sedransk (aka @member4aday on Instagram), the man who led a three-week individual effort to auction off rounds at some of the world’s greatest golf courses with all proceeds going towards meals for frontline medical workers in New York City. Sedransk talks about how the idea got started, the clubs that agreed to join on, the feeling of raising $100,000 in charitable contributions, and ideas for the future. Later, Al asks Eric about his favorite personal golf course experiences.

Shinnecock Hills (photo by L.C. Lambrecht)

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Episode 52 – Tiger vs. Jack: Who is Golf’s GOAT?

LINKS Editor George Peper is back on the podcast to tackle the age-old debate: Who is the greatest golfer of all-time? George and Digital Editor Al Lunsford run through George’s “Goat Herding” piece from the Winter issue of LINKS Magazine in which he established a criteria to give a definitive answer when comparing golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. George also talks about his interactions with each player from over the years.

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Episode 51 – Underrated Golf Destination: Canada

LINKS Insider contributor and native Canadian Adam Stanley joins Digital Editor Al Lunsford on this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast to detail the best golf destinations around the Great White North. Adam gives tips on what things any traveler needs to know when considering a golf trip to Canada. The hosts speak to some of the country’s underrated areas that should be on every golfer’s travel wish list, including Ontario, Calgary, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia—home to the highly regarded courses of Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs.

Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course (Photo by Jacob Sjoman)

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Episode 50 – Gary Player

LINKS Digital Editor Al Lunsford caught up with legendary World Golf Hall of Famer Gary Player on this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast. The Black Knight fills us in on what he’s been up to during quarantine, the importance of fitness, and his thoughts on receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Later, Player goes into detail on some of the answers from his “My Courses” interview in the Winter 2020 issue of LINKS Magazine and talks about how his golf course design philosophy has evolved over the years.

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Episode 49 – What are “Template Holes?”

Class is in session on this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast. LINKS Senior Editor Jim Frank rejoins Digital Editor Al Lunsford on the show to discuss his “Template Holes” piece from the Spring 2020 issue of LINKS Magazine. Jim breaks down the details of the most iconic hole designs, like the Redan, the Biarritz, and the Punchbowl. The pair also elaborate on why these holes serve as great examples of great golf course architecture, and what architecture is supposed to do—create challenge with alternatives and test golfers of all abilities.

17th hole, Old Course at St. Andrews (Photo by Kevin Murray)

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Episode 48 – Golf’s Response to COVID-19

Erik Matuszewski joins Digital Editor Al Lunsford on the LINKS Golf Podcast to talk about the various efforts, initiatives, and ideas that have been spawned in the golf world amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The pair go in-depth on ClubsHELP, a now-national 501(c)7 foundation that started to connect golf clubs with their local hospitals to provide much-needed supplies for health workers on the front lines. Later in the show, they talk about the current restrictions in place on golf courses that may become part of the norm and reveal the first golf destination they’re looking forward to traveling to.

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Episode 47 – The Golfer’s At-Home Survival Guide

In this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast, Digital Editor Al Lunsford is joined by LINKS contributor and first-time guest David DeSmith. The pair run down David’s list of golf-related activities as part of his recent column for LINKS, “An At-Home Survival Guide for Golfers,” and Al takes a turn at his own ideas inspired by the piece.

(Photo by Getty Images)

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Episode 46 – George Peper’s Top Moments, Favorite Holes, and more from Augusta National

In this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast, LINKS Editor George Peper details the moments that stick out in his mind among the 35 Masters tournaments he’s attended. Digital Editor Al Lunsford talks to George about the creative process behind his interview with the Sarazen Bridge in the Spring 2020 issue, and George reveals his favorite and least favorite holes at Augusta National. The duo also discuss the recent shakeup in the 2020 major championship schedule on the PGA Tour.

(Photo by Getty Images)

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Episode 45 – Dream Nine: Par Fours

The LINKS Golf Podcast is back with its first episode of Season 5. Digital Editor Al Lunsford is joined by recurring guest and LINKS Insider contributor Ryan Asselta to discuss Ryan’s second installment of his “Dream Nine” series. Al and Ryan take turns listing the nine holes they would include on their “Dream Nine” layouts made entirely of par fours from around the world.

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Episode 44 – In-Depth on Cabo Golf

Inspired by Senior Editor Jim Frank’s “Consummate Cabo” piece in the Winter 2020 issue of LINKS Magazine, Digital Editor Al Lunsford brings Jim on to discuss golf on the Baja Peninsula in the Season 4 finale of the LINKS Golf Podcast. Jim gives perspective on what makes Cabo a “slam-dunk, bucket-list destination,” why there has been so much golf and resort development of late, and what any prospective traveler to the area needs to know. Jim also walks us through the courses he was able to visit during a week-long trip where he played five rounds in six days.

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Episode 43 – Life Lessons, Memories From Raising a Golfer with George Peper

LINKS Editor George Peper joins Digital Editor Al Lunsford to discuss what it has been like to introduce golf to his son and watch him grow up with the game. George shares some of his fondest father/son memories and alludes to the various life lessons that any golfer can apply to other areas of their life. Later in the episode, Al gives the opposite perspective from a son’s point of view in an interview with his father, Greg, and the two mull over their favorite golf travel experiences together.

LINKS Digital Editor Al Lunsford (left) with his father, Greg

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Episode 42 – Golf Travel Expert and PerryGolf Co-Founder Gordon Dalgleish

At the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show, LINKS Digital Editor Al Lunsford caught up with Gordon Dalgleish (below, left), one of the founding directors of PerryGolf—a leading provider of international golf tours and cruises to dozens of the world’s most memorable destinations. Gordon reveals how PerryGolf came to be, how the business works, the different tours available to golf parties, and his favorite places to travel.

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Episode 41 – A Week Discovering the Best of Maui

LINKS Digital Editor Al Lunsford recounts his recent trip to the Hawaiian island of Maui where he played more than 100 holes of golf in six days. Al is joined by LINKS Insider contributor Erik Matuszewski who also enjoyed a trip to Maui to play the rejuvenated Plantation Course at Kapalua. Later in the episode, Al interviews Kaanapali Director of Golf Sutee Nitakorn.

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Episode 40 – Pete Dye Memories with George Peper

LINKS Editor George Peper and Digital Editor Al Lunsford expound upon the legacy that legendary golf course architect Pete Dye leaves after passing away at the age of 94. George offers some of his personal memories with Pete and Alice Dye and the hosts discuss the great impact Pete has created in the game of golf.

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Episode 39 – Dream Nine: Par Threes

Digital Editor Al Lunsford is joined by LINKS Insider contributor Ryan Asselta (Sports IllustratedGOLF.com) on this week’s episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast to discuss Ryan’s recent “Dream Nine” piece featured digitally in the LINKS newsletter. Al and Ryan take turns listing the nine holes they would include on their “Dream Nine” layouts made entirely of par threes from around the world.

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Episode 38 – Where should the well-traveled golfer consider visiting internationally? 

In this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast, Senior Editor Jim Frank once again joins Digital Editor Al Lunsford to talk about his extensive golf travel over the years. Jim offers recommendations as to where the well-traveled golfer should consider making their next international journey, including Vietnam, Thailand, Wales, and New Zealand. Later in the show, Jim provides answers for the podcast’s recurring “My Courses” segment.

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Episode 37 – Why do courses undergo renovations?

LINKS Senior Editor Jim Frank joins the LINKS Golf Podcast in this episode to detail his recent round-trip exploring several of the newest renovation projects around the U.S. Jim and Digital Editor Al Lunsford discuss the idea of building new courses versus modernizing existing ones, and outline the different reasons that courses undergo renovations.

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Episode 36 – The Ultimate Golf Bucket List

In this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast, LINKS Editor George Peper reviews his list of 100 things every golfer should try to do before they hang up their sticks, which he recently reexamined and updated. George and Digital Editor Al Lunsford talk about some of their favorite items on the list and reveal what pieces to the puzzle George has remaining.

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Episode 35 – What’s New in LINKS in 2020?

In this episode of the LINKS Golf Podcast, the hosts discuss some of the new features ahead on the 2020 LINKS Magazine editorial calendar. First, they introduce a series written by Planet Golf’s Darius Oliver on ranking the world’s golf nations outside of the United States. Later in the show, the hosts detail “My Courses,” a feature in which interviewees are given different categories and choose the courses that they feel fit best—meanwhile, LINKS Editor George Peper and Digital Editor Al Lunsford take turns sharing their answers.

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Episode 34 – A Golf Trip to Iceland; Thousand Greens

In this episode, George details and expands upon his published columns from the 2019 Fall Issue of LINKS Magazine. Al and George talk about Thousand Greens, a new social network expanding access to the world’s top 100 golf courses. George discusses his golf trip to Iceland and what he learned about the closest European neighbor to the United States.

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Episode 33 – LIVE from Casa de Campo at the 5th Annual LINKS Invitational

Season 4 begins with Al and George talking about their personal experiences at Casa de Campo. The hosts cover Teeth of the Dog, George’s honeymoon, and George’s encounter with course designers Pete and Alice Dye. Al sits down for two interviews recorded live in the Dominican Republic with Casa de Campo Director of Golf Operations Robert Birtel, as well as Tony and Kena Foreman who have played in the LINKS Invitational every year since its inception.

 

 

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Episode 32

The hosts round out the second half of the South Carolina road trip in this episode, resuming in Greenville and passing through Columbia on the way back to Beaufort in the state’s Lowcountry region. This leg presented a different flavor of experiences than the first, such as racing high-performance sports cars to passing through an armed security gate en route to the trip’s final round of golf.

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Episode 31

In this episode, the hosts dive into what makes Aiken Golf Club such a special place in golf. From the course’s fascinating history and strong ties to Donald Ross to its laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere, Aiken shines in every way while boasting one of the most fun and interesting courses we’ve ever played.

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Episode 30

In this episode, the hosts begin their road trip through the back roads of South Carolina, seeking out the best golf, food, and sights along the way. This leg of the trip takes them through the rolling, sandy hills in the middle part of the state near Aiken to the mountains just north of Greenville.

Aiken Golf Club

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Episode 29

In this episode, the hosts examine the ways to get around once you’re at your destination during an overseas golf trip. The hosts weigh the pros and cons of a variety of options from bus travel to train transport to help you pick the option that will fit your trip best. 

(Getty Images)

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Episode 28

The hosts go through a wide variety of golf trip mistakes (many of which they have made themselves) and how to avoid them when planning your next golf trip. From mistakes made while planning to those made while on the trip itself, this episode has you covered to make your next trip as painless as possible.

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Episode 27

In this episode, the hosts discuss Graylyn’s recent trip to the Australian Sandbelt. They go in depth on the strength of the courses in the area, the nuts and bolts of how to get there, and why Graylyn believes it’s one of the world’s most underrated golf destinations.

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Episode 26

In this episode, the hosts divulge their favorite underrated golf destinations from around the world. They go into detail about why they believe each destination deserves more praise and encourage listeners to consider incorporating the areas into their next golf trip.