An MLB ace makes his picks for the best golf cities to visit

On a golf fandom scale of 1-10, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen says he’s probably a 7. While he doesn’t follow the game closely on a week-to-week basis, he says he’s always invested in the major championships, and is an avid player himself, currently carrying a handicap index of 8.8.

One of the perks of being an MLB pitcher is the often significant downtime you have while on the road. That leads to plenty of opportunities to hit the links in between games, and on this week’s episode of Subpar, Gallen told hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz about some of his favorite U.S. stops when it comes to the quality of golf on offer.

“Pittsburgh is a good one,” he said. “We haven’t played Oakmont yet.”

San Francisco, home of Top-100 heavyweights like Olympic Club and San Francisco GC, is another stop Gallen looks forward to after logging enjoyable rounds at Presidio and the Cal Club. But he admitted he was humbled by the famously brutal Olympic.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen tees off on the 16th hole ahead of the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on Feb. 7, 2024.
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“The place that I played where I really got my lunch eaten in terms of putting was Olympic Club,” he said. “This is where I knew I was in for it: The caddie we had was this guy, I want to say his name was Manny but I don’t hold me to it. He’d been there like 40 years and he’s like, ‘I’ve been here 40 years, I still don’t know how every putt on this course breaks.’

“He’s like, ‘If you don’t hit the right speed on the right line, the grain, it’s just gonna eat you alive.’ And I checked the scorecard. I was like, yeah, holy s—, they kicked my teeth in out here.”

For more from Gallen, including his take on the Dbacks World Series run, check out the full episode below. Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on