Happy Fourth Fifth of July from all of us at Fried Egg Golf! We hope you’re enjoying some form of holiday, however that looks for you. We have some international readers, of course, and for that and other reasons (namely, it’s boring) going full-blown patriotic essay was never really in the cards for us. (We did briefly consider letting Andy have run of the entire newsletter to break down regions of the United States according to his own unique interpretations, but he’s on vacation.)

Instead, we’re choosing to take this holiday in a different direction: looking back on the first half of the calendar year. It’s one that has seen three men’s majors, two women’s majors, dominant runs from top players, a complete collapse from another, multiple wild finishes, one of those top players arrested mid-major, and much, much more. It’s also been six months of work we’re very proud of, and what better time to showcase a selection than right now? Maybe you missed some of these pieces, maybe you’re in the mood for a refresher, maybe you’re looking for any possible bit of entertainment as you travel or kill time with family members you hope not to see again until Thanksgiving. In any case, these stood out to us, and we hope they do to you, as well.

The Holywood Hill – Brendan on what makes Rory McIlroy’s home course special, and why it reminded him of the origin story of an American legend.

Not So “Wee” Courses – Andy explains the joys of a “wee” course, and why American short courses could learn a thing or two from counterparts across the pond.

So, Can Scottie Putt Now? – Joseph LaMagna notes that Scottie’s putter switch could mean imminent domination, in perhaps the most prescient thing we’ve published all year.

NBC Delivered a Broadcast Worthy of the Event – Joseph LaMagna gives NBC the praise they earned at the Players, even if they haven’t quite matched that effort the rest of the year.

Beauty in the Grind – Shane Bacon on playing the Gasparilla Invitational, and why the grind of trying to hang on can sometimes beat a round on cruise control.

The Masters and Its Patrons – Augusta National is often called Disneyland for golf, and there’s more that goes on behind the scenes to make that comparison appropriate than you might expect, as Brendan reports from the grounds.

My Kid’s First Communion Is on Masters Sunday – Meg Adkins breaks down her stages of grief upon realizing that her child’s first communion was set for the best golf day of the year.

What I Learned From My Lottery Round at Augusta National – After winning the media lottery, Brendan was more overwhelmed by how everyone else reacted to his fortune than anything about the actual golf.

As Augusta’s Muni, The Patch Has Plenty of Potential – Matt Rouches visits Augusta’s municipal course, The Patch, which is a few small changes away from being a very special place.

Valhalla’s Open-Book Test – It’s hard to test the best when you give out the answers right away, as Andy notes.

Scottie Scheffler’s Wild PGA Friday – Jay Rigdon on the surreal experience of watching the weirdest golf day in recent memory unfold, as Scottie Scheffler’s arrest sent an entire Friday of major championship golf completely off the rails.

Pebble in the Rough – Garrett Morrison on how Pebble’s mowing lines and narrowed fairways are holding it back from being the course it could be.

The Architecture of Pinehurst No. 2 – Spearheaded by Cameron Hurdus, our video previewing Pinehurst ahead of the U.S. Open features interviews with Bill Coore and Geoff Ogilvy, along with plenty of stunning visuals. It’s well-worth your time, and if you can throw it up on a big screen you should.

Bryson’s Bespoke Irons & the Future of Equipment Testing – Will Knights offers another contender for prescience, writing about Bryson’s special irons and whether or not the USGA can effectively test and regulate equipment going forward.

Design Notebook: Architect Roundtable on Pinehurst No. 2 (Free!) – Garrett holds a wide-ranging discussion with working architects on how and why Pinehurst No. 2 is such a damn good golf course. (Also a great preview of our Club TFE content!)

In closing: we’re impossibly grateful for all of your support, time, effort, and feedback. Whether it’s listening to a podcast on occasion or playing in multiple Fried Egg Golf events, we appreciate each and every one of you, because without you we wouldn’t get to do, well, any of this.

Okay, that’s enough holiday schmaltz. No, we’re not crying, we just got some light beer in our eye. Yeah, the cooler is stocked in the garage, help yourself. Burgers and hot dogs will be ready in about half an hour, and more people are coming by any second.

Have yourself a great weekend, wherever you are.

The Fried Egg Golf Team

This piece originally appeared in the Fried Egg Golf newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.