14 of our best stories from 2020 that you may have missed

It’s been quite the year for GOLF.com. At first, it held such promise. A new decade! But then, the coronavirus swept across the country and left us wondering if golf was safe at all.

In the months since, the sport rebounded impossibly well, and took us along for the ride. The PGA and LPGA tours showed us that sports can move on — and yes, we can do it with or without fans — and the major championships were as exciting as ever. A green jacket was handed out, a U.S. Open was played in December, and rounds played across America were up month after month after month. Our staff was there every step of the way.

Below you will find a wide array of our most interesting stories from various corners of the golf world. It’s not all about the PGA Tour. It’s not all about buying equipment or playing elite courses. Tiger Woods is a big deal, but he isn’t everything. Golf is way bigger than that.

Enjoy.

Inside this PGA Tour pro’s impromptu missed-cut money game

We begin with one of the most fun stories of the year. Joel Dahmen, probably the most down-to-earth Tour pro, missed the cut at the Northern Trust and wanted to keep his game tight. He wanted a money game, so he reached out to the masses on social media. What happened next was too damn fun.

Read about it here.

Did this Texas pro really make 51 holes-in-one? We put his astounding claim to the test

When millions of golfers are dying to make their first ace, it should be annoying to hear about Mancil Davis, who has made 51. At least that was through this spring. He’s probably made more since. Seriously, the King of Aces is a story worth reading.

Read about Mr. Davis here.

Two normal golfers tried out 48-inch drivers. Here’s what happened

Our two gear gurus know equipment better than anyone out there. So when Bryson DeChambeau got the golf world buzzing with the idea of him playing a maximum length driver, we put them to the test. They delivered.

Read about it here.

Why the incomparable Mickey Wright belongs on the Mount Rushmore of American golf

Perhaps no golf writer had better access to the mind and wit of Mickey Wright than our very own Michael Bamberger. When he called, she’d pick up. When he wrote, she wrote back. It just happened that she was one of the greatest golf minds we were ever blessed with, and in her passing Bamberger wrote about it all. She deserves to be on the Mount Rushmore of American Golf.

Read about why here.

Tiger Woods gave her a Buick. Here’s what happened next

Woods used to be sponsored by Buick, and annually involved in some of their most entertaining commercial shoots. One of those was the “Tiger Trap,” in which Woods surprised amateurs on the course and challenged them to a closest-to-the-pin challenge. As you’ll find out, he didn’t win them all.

Read about it here.

How a pilot flying high above Augusta captured 2019 Masters photos unlike any other

Speaking of Tiger, remember when he won the 2019 Masters? How could you possibly forget. Well, you likely haven’t seen every angle from that momentous victory. Read here for a view unlike any other: above.

Enjoy the view here.

The most interesting man in golf? It was Bud Chapman, who died last week at 97

Bud Chapman was a golfer we could all look up to. He tried qualifying for 47 U.S. Opens. He played with Arnold Palmer. He was profiled by Sports Illustrated. Really, he just looked at golf in the most creative way possible, and that shone in his world-famous paintings.

Read about him here.

Like father, like son — golf runs deep in the Summerhays family blood

Is there any other family in golf that runs deeper than the Summerhays? With one of the most talented amateurs in the world in Preston Summerhays joining the ranks, they’ve only become more powerful.

Read about them here.

The Virtuoso: Tiger Woods’ longtime golf club whisperer is the ultimate grinder

Mike Taylor knows Woods better than you do. He knows him better than a lot of people do. But how? Because he worked on Woods’ clubs for years while Nike was in the equipment business. He told us what that life was all about.

Read about him here.

For some in the NBA bubble, golf is more than just a hobby — it’s become a necessary ritual

Golf came back to somewhat normal, but the NBA did not. It made its own bubble, down in Orlando, at Disney. The result saw a bunch of NBA players devoting themselves to becoming better golfers, even on game day. But who was the best golfer in the bubble? Who was playing matches with their playoff opponents?

Read about it here.

NBA players took their golf very seriously within the bubble.

GETTY IMAGES / INSTAGRAM.COM/NBAONCAMPUS / MATT CA

The Masters that Never Was

What a wacky year 2020 was, headlined on the PGA Tour by the Players Championship being canceled and then the Masters being held in … November? Long before Dustin Johnson tried on his new green jacket, our senior writer duo of Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger co-authored a fictional take on what would have happened if they teed it at Magnolia Lane this April. there are nine parts in total, and each of them are fantastic.

Dive into it here.

Inside the Match II broadcast: How a skeleton crew overcame protocols, monsoon to deliver big ratings

We all remember The Match with Tiger and Phil, but nothing delivered quite like The Match II. The world was coming to grips with this brutal pandemic, the sports world had paused almost entirely, and the outlook was bleak. But then, somehow, Turner got Peyton Manning and Tom Brady to play golf with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods in The Match II. They got dumped on by a monsoon but, it seemed, had everyone tuning in. That was an absolute feat.

Read the breakdown here.

How college senior golfers are coping after having their seasons taken away

Speaking of the pandemic, the earliest effects of it were the cancellation of collegiate sports like March Madness. College golf was not spared along the way. We caught up with some of the best college golfers during one of their most difficult moments: realizing that their college careers can be taken away or postponed in an instant.

Read their thoughts here.

How this U.S. Women’s Open groundskeeper silenced the skeptics and blazed her own trail

The finale of the championship golf season saw the greatest female players in the world descend upon Houston for the U.S. Women’s Open. It was a brilliant display of some of the best and brightest women in the game … including one non-player: a female groundskeeper. She has quite the story herself.

Read all about her here.

Sean Zak

Golf.com Editor

A senior editor for GOLF.com, Zak joined the GOLF staff three weeks after college graduation. He is the utility infielder of the brand, spanning digital, print and video. His main duty is as a host for various GOLF.com video properties and its award-winning podcasts. When the Masters comes around, be sure to tune in to hear him and fellow staffers recount the most memorable tournaments in Augusta National history on A Pod Unlike Any Other.