If one subscribes to George Plimpton's famous Small Ball Theory
(the smaller the ball, the better the sportswriting), then
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED contains an embarrassment of riches for
nearly 15% of our three-million-plus subscribers. This week
those 440,000 subscribers are receiving GOLF PLUS, our
award-winning bonus insert that will appear in the magazine 40
times this year.
In this issue the 13 edit pages of GOLF PLUS allow SI to give
the PGA Championship blanket coverage. A team of 12 SI writers,
reporters and photographers was dispatched to Winged Foot Golf
Club. In addition to the account by Jaime Diaz that leads off
the main magazine (page 28), Rick Reilly comments on the Ryder
Cup team selection process; Alan Shipnuck describes John Daly's
battle to get his life, and game, in order; John Garrity remarks
on the mystery of the majors; and Gary Van Sickle contributes a
notes column. The last is a standard feature of GOLF PLUS (and
regularly includes a guest essay, this week by club pro Mike
Burke Jr.). To round out our package, SI special contributor Ron
Fimrite chronicles the life of A.W. Tillinghast, Winged Foot's
Four years after making its debut in SI, GOLF PLUS provides more
than 500 pages a year of golf coverage. Indeed, GOLF PLUS
devoted 36 edit pages to this year's Masters and 24 more to its
roundup of the U.S. Open at Congressional. What you get is a
unique approach: GOLF PLUS isn't about lessons on how to fix
your backswing; it's about in-depth analysis of golf events, on
the professional and the amateur level, as well as pieces that
you won't see elsewhere. For instance, GOLF PLUS didn't flinch
from investigating allegations of cheating on the PGA Tour (Oct.
30, 1995) or from chasing the real story behind the inflammatory
remarks made by then CBS broadcaster Ben Wright (Dec. 4, 1995).
In March, SI's golf writers swept the awards, in the magazine
newswriting category, given by the Golf Writers Association of
America. "We go our own way," says senior editor Jim Herre, who
oversees golf for us. "With the best writers and photographers,
we give our coverage the same in-depth treatment that SI gives
all its stories."
The increase in pages devoted to golf has paralleled the sport's
recent rise in popularity. "We meet the demand out there for
more coverage," says Diaz. "There's such a broad spectrum of
stories to choose from in golf, I can't think of a better
situation for writer and public alike."
--You can order GOLF PLUS for free by calling 1-800-205-0314.
COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK Our team of PGA pros: (clockwise from left) Van Sickle, Shipnuck, Herre, Reilly, Garrity and Diaz. [Gary Van Sickle, Alan Shipnuck, Jim Herre, Rick Reilly, John Garrity and Jaime Diaz]