Good morning! If you celebrated any of the recent holidays, we hope that you had a fun, relaxing time, and that you got to enjoy some time with loved ones.

After our Thanksgiving review of stand-out content from this year by our media colleagues, we figured we’d wrap up 2020 by highlighting some of our own stuff. Our three full-timers—Andy Johnson, Garrett Morrison, and Will Knights—would like to thank everyone who has read our articles, listened to our podcasts, watched our videos, and generally experienced the game of golf alongside us this year. We never take for granted how lucky we are to work in the golf industry, and none of it would be possible without your support.

Here’s to a happy, safe 2021.

Fried Egg Year-in-Review

For this newsletter, Andy, Garrett, and Will each chose their favorite projects from 2020 by the other two. We hope you enjoy revisiting these pieces!

Andy Johnson

Something from Garrett that I enjoyed – How can you not choose Garrett’s Fried Egg Stories? The hardest thing is narrowing it down to one episode. All are worth a listen and tell stories in depth with perspectives not often heard. If I had to pick one, I would go with Episode 8, “Golf and the City: Harding Park.” It exemplifies the level of storytelling that Garrett achieves with this series. Harding Park’s renovation isn’t just a story of a golf course getting fixed up; it’s a story with many layers of complexity involving San Francisco’s local politics as well as the public perception of golf in the city.

Something from Will that I enjoyed – Outside of his thrice-a-week brilliance with the newsletter, an article of Will’s that stuck out to me was “The DJ Conundrum,” his investigation into Dustin Johnson’s place in history. Will dug into a few historical comparisons that often get thrown around for DJ, as well as a couple that aren’t often mentioned but actually line up quite neatly. Especially now that Johnson has two majors, Will’s analyses and predictions look even better than they did back when he wrote the article after the Travelers Championship.

Garrett Morrison

Something from Will that I enjoyed – First off, if you enjoyed The Fried Egg newsletter as much as I did in 2020, you have Will to thank. Three times a week, he found something interesting to say about the golf world, even in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown. When he gets a chance to write at greater length, Will excels at commentary on competitive golf, from amateur to professional subjects. Particularly insightful was an article of his from July, “Bryson and the Pitfalls of a ‘Player-Run Organization.'” Unlike most Bryson DeChambeau content, this piece did more than simply gawk at the big man’s eccentricities. It placed DeChambeau—his self-presentation, his attitude, his behavior—in the larger context of rising player wealth and power on the PGA Tour. Good writers don’t just tell you what happens; they give you a framework for understanding past events and predicting future ones. On a consistent basis, that’s exactly what Will does.

Something from Andy that I enjoyed – You can’t beat Andy’s work with the drone and the microphone, and The Fried Egg’s best videos combine both. For this year’s U.S. Open, he was ready with two outstanding videos about host venue Winged Foot Golf Club. “Beautiful and Scary: The Greens at Winged Foot West,” which combines words from Geoff Ogilvy and Gil Hanse with footage that Andy shot last year, is by far our most popular video ever. But don’t sleep on episode two of our new “Digging into Design” series, which came out the same week and features a longer-form interview with Hanse about the history and design of Winged Foot.

Will Knights

Something from Andy that I enjoyed – April was a difficult time for us all. The pandemic was picking up steam, sports were shut down, and we had just missed the Masters. Then the TaylorMade Driving Relief match at Seminole Golf Club was announced. For a moment, golf fans were able to emerge from their funk and look forward to the sport’s eventual return. Andy’s article “Routing the Ridges: Seminole Golf Club” was a really cool primer for the event and taught me a lot about one of America’s most treasured courses. I also have to throw in “Why Every Player in the Masters Won’t Win”; it’s too entertaining to leave out.

Something from Garrett that I enjoyed – Among the many amazing podcasts Garrett did this year was a series called the School of Golf Architecture. He and his guests have completed five parts so far—Place with Blake Conant, Linksland with George Waters, Tie-Ins with Riley Johns, Collaboration with Andy Staples, Routing with Jeff Mingay—and each one is incredibly informative. I go into every episode knowing that I will learn something new and be a better golfer for it. Garrett’s contributions to The Fried Egg cannot be overstated, and his dedication to creating unique, illuminating podcasts is inspiring.

Additional thank-yous

Left to their own devices, Andy, Garrett, and Will would have a hard time keeping the S.S. Fried Egg afloat. So we’d be remiss if we didn’t thank some of the people who have served on our crew during this tumultuous year.

Paulie – The Fried Egg’s fantasy guru is not the bragging type, but the guy absolutely nails his picks week in, week out. We’re glad Paulie has this beat covered because you definitely wouldn’t want betting tips from any of the rest of us.

Kaley Johnson – Mrs. Fried Egg takes care of a ton of business-side stuff and generally keeps everything humming along. Also, we’re a little scared of her Twitter account, so we know not to cross her.

Katie Coyle – Andy’s sister has allowed us to use her home as a merch warehouse. Oof. Sorry about that.

Brendan Porath – After walking away from the sad wreckage of SB Nation, Andy’s Shotgun Start co-host started writing occasional articles for us. We’re thrilled to host them; Brendan is one of the top golf writers in the game.

Cameron Hurdus – The multitalented Cameron (who is, among other things, your favorite golf photographer’s favorite golf photographer) edited several of our videos this year, and always did beautiful work. Check out his cheeky little animation at 2:30 in our Meadowbrook video. How cool is that?

The J(ay)s – Our Fried Egg Stories docupods require a massive amount of production labor, and we couldn’t do them without the help of J Vierck, who edits and engineers every episode, and Jay Fischl, who assists with the unenviable task of transcribing interviews.

Contributors – We’re always happy to host excellent writing from contributors. This year we were lucky to present outstanding pieces from Ryan Book, Colin Criss, Michael Geiger, Brett Hochstein, Jaeger Kovich, Connor Laubenstein, and Jim Sitar. Thank you to all!

The Latest from The Fried Egg

The Free Online Library of Golf Course Architecture – Out of the money after the holidays? No worries, you can still keep up your education in golf course architecture. Garrett put together a guide to GCA books that are available for free online. You’ll be surprised at how much good stuff is out there!

Andy and Brendan haven’t gotten much sleep or endeared themselves to their wives, but the Shotgun Start Year-in-Review podcasts are nearly complete! Relive the bizarre golf year that was 2020 on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

With the holidays behind us, we have a few months of cold weather to trudge through. Keep your noggin warm with a TFE Beanie!