So very happy to make your acquaintance! Thanks for finding me here. This is my story:
Before writing books, I worked more than two decades as a reporter for daily newspapers in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas. I finished my career with the Austin American-Statesman, where I wrote about golf and maintained "Backspin," my beloved daily golf blog.
In 2012, I joined the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism and Media, where I am a Professor of Practice and Associate Director. I'm also the Associate Director for Student Engagement of the Moody College of Communication Center for Sports Communication & Media.
I've had an incredibly fortunate and fun career in journalism. I've reported from the Masters Tournament, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship, the Final Four, the Super Bowl, the national championships of college football and golf and a million games in other sports, including Scrabble. I walked every step of Tiger Woods' second round in the 2007 PGA Championship. The temperature was 102 that August afternoon at Southern Hills in Tulsa. Woods lipped out a birdie putt on the last hole to shoot 63. I felt the anguish as much as he did.
I've been published in The New York Times, TexasMonthly.com, espnW.com, Sports On Earth, PGATour.com, Golf.com, GolfDigest.com, USGA.org, Kansas City Magazine, the Kansas City Pitch, Travel+Leisure Golf and Golf Journal, among other publications. I've appeared as a guest on Golf Channel and CBS. I twice won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing competition (once for a story that chronicled Jordan Spieth's first start on the PGA Tour, when he was but a spindly junior at Dallas Jesuit High School) and twice won the Fred Hartman Award for Sports Journalism in Texas. I've been a finalist for the National Headliners Award and the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. I've also been cited twice in the Notables section in the annual Best American Sports Writing series. My biography of Harvey Penick was a co-winner of the United States Golf Association's Herbert Warren Wind International Book Award in 2017. The Last Stand of Payne Stewart, my second book, won the award for 2019. I've written the centennial history of Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas and a book documenting the 100-year history of the Texas Open, a PGA Tour tournament in San Antonio. I'm now under way on a book about the history of Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland (expected publication: 2024).
I'm hopelessly, desperately, enduringly and futilely smitten with golf. It's the only activity or obligation I can wake up for without an alarm. I've entered many national and state qualifiers in my unremarkable career, with no expectation of success. But get this: In the fall of 2012, I finished a stroke inside a seven-for-two playoff to advance to the Texas Mid-Amateur Championship at the venerable Dallas Athletic Club, my only actual experience in a state or national golf championship of any kind. I finished a distant last in the field. I'm still at it. Always will be, I suppose.
I'm a proud native of Kansas City, Missouri. I have two bachelor of science degrees, in journalism and in psychology, from the University of Central Missouri, and a master of science degree from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. I live with my wife and two children in Austin, Texas. My Wheaten terrier, Gimli, is always under my desk, with a few golf balls and a putter nearby.