By Erik Matuszewski
It’s easy to see… well, hear the enormous appeal of the podcast format.
It’s a great way to find niche content that directly interests you and can be listened to anytime and anywhere—at home, in the car, at work, or while working out, commuting, or walking.
Indeed, there are now more than 700,000 podcasts—a total that’s increased by more than 33 percent in just the last year alone. More than half of the U.S. population 12-and-older (144 million people) has listened to a podcast, according to researchers, and an estimated 62 million are weekly listeners.
Music, comedy, technology, TV & movies, and kids & family are among the most popular podcast genres. Sports are up there too, and golf has a particularly passionate following—from talk about the professional tours and instruction to the wealth of amazing destinations the game has to offer.
While golf is predominantly a game played locally (more than 80% of all rounds are played within an hour of home), the golf travel business in the U.S. alone is a healthy $20.5 billion industry, according to the National Golf Foundation. Americans played in the neighborhood of 58 million rounds of golf last year while traveling, whether for business or leisure. As alluring as golf getaways are, there’s really not a wealth of podcast content that caters to this niche.
So, here’s closer look at six of the best golf podcasts (with a golf travel or destination element) that are worth a listen. Why six? Well, that’s because research shows that podcast listeners subscribe to an average of six different shows.
Erik Anders Lang Show
Anders Lang is the creator of the incredibly fun PGA TOUR/Skratch series “Adventures in Golf,” which I first discovered as an onboard entertainment option years ago while flying United Airlines. One of the most interesting and irreverent characters in golf, Anders Lang is a social media must-follow and has hosted his eponymous podcast for just over a year, offering an insightful dive into why we play golf over the course of more than 100 shows. He also expands on his golf travels and the fascinating people the game has introduced him to while traveling the world with his dog, Snowball—from “slum golf” in Mumbai to golf in the Arctic.
No Laying Up Podcast
The guys from No Laying Up are a perfect example of modern media, creating fun and engaging content—online, video, podcasts—that has spawned a legion of devoted followers, the majority of which are members of the game’s coveted Millennial demographic. Theirs is one of the most popular podcasts in golf for good reason. Not only does the NLU crew share inside stories from their golf travels, but in over 200+ podcasts they regularly bring in some of the game’s biggest and most compelling personalities, from Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Michelle Wie to Eddie Pepperell, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, and Matthew Wolff.
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Talking Golf Getaways
Journalists, course architects, and global golf travelers join co-hosts Darin Bunch and Mitch Laurance to talk about their favorite destinations and experiences on the entertaining Talking Golf Getaways podcast, which is approaching 150 episodes. Bunch and Laurance are long-time friends and a good personality mix; Bunch is the managing editor of GolfTripX.com and has a penchant for playing hickory clubs while Laurance is an actor, comedian, former disk jockey and golf enthusiast whose wife is a member of the Billiards Hall of Fame.
Golf Advisor Podcast
Golf Advisor is one of the best-known sources in the industry when it comes to course reviews, news and ratings, with a reach that’s been amplified by its affiliation with Golf Channel. But Golf Advisor is a relative newcomer to the podcast game, covering the latest in travel, golf course design, news and trends with a rotating staff of contributors. There’s been some strong content here, from a focus on emerging golf destinations like Sand Valley and Big Cedar Lodge to the latest dispatch on what’s to come with the Sheep Ranch out at Bandon Dunes.
The Fried Egg
This podcast from Andy Johnson is admittedly more about golf course architecture and courses, but there’s a nice dose of the destination theme tied in. Over more than 100 episodes, The Fried Egg covers a wide variety of topics and it’s often a fascinating dive into the design and history of courses and some of the game’s most heralded (and hidden) destinations. This is another example of a non-traditional entrant into the new media world and Johnson’s passion, as a devotee to golf course architecture, shines through.
LINKS Golf Travel
Despite a relatively recent run in the podcasting game (around 20 episodes), hosts Graylyn Loomis and Ian Critser have put together an engaging mix: highlighting golf destinations, answering questions from readers and listeners, and interviewing well-traveled characters from within the golf world. This is a true immersion into golf travel, from high-end international trips to the best budget-minded golf options. The well-traveled Loomis, who lived in Scotland for four years during college, has created a place where he and Critser can engage in conversation with listeners and readers, talk trips, give advice, and answer questions that range from walking-only courses to dealing with private clubs on golf getaways.
What’s your favorite golf travel podcast? Let us know in the comments section!