I sat down with Dan Jenkins for an interview in the media center at Whistling Straits last Sunday — his 206th major, a record that will never be broken because “among other things, there won’t be golf writers someday!” — as play was getting underway. When I showed up, he was looking at the giant leaderboard in the front of the room and rifling through the names, deciding who would make the best winning story to write. “Rory [McIlroy] and Dustin [Johnson]. I guess Nick Watney. That’s about it,” he said. In other words, we didn’t want to write about anyone else.
Before I walked away, Mr. Jenkins imparted some words with me I’ll never forget, including a few pieces of advice. First, meet his daughter, Sally (pictured above). Then, he encouraged me to keep pushing through the industry and hoped I continued to cover golf. He said I needed to do two things: Listen to those who have been doing this for a long time (and know what they’re doing — in other words, be very discriminatory), and read — and not just his books.