About The Albatross and me

Thanks for your interest in The Albatross. An albatross—a score of three under par on a hole; what many Americans call a double eagle—is one of the rarest and coolest things in golf.

I’ve never seen one in person, but I got to talk with Gene Sarazen about the famous 2 he made on Augusta National’s 15th hole during the 1935 Masters. I was on the grounds at Oakland Hills in 1985 when T.C. Chen made the first albatross in U.S. Open history. I sure heard Louis Oosthuizen’s deuce on the par-5 second hole during the final round of the 2012 Masters as the massive roars reached the press building. Newsletters aren’t rare, but I believe you’ll find The Albatross a cool addition to your golf reading. It will appear in your in-box regularly with additional editions going to paying subscribers, who also will be able to comment on stories.

The Albatross is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Reporting and commenting on golf since the early 1980s, I spent most of my career on staff at Golf World as writer and editor until 2014, when the weekly magazine in its 67th year—and loved by its loyal readers—was a casualty of the changing media landscape. Since then, I’ve been a freelancer, contributing articles or research various places including The New York Times, espnW.com, The Met Golfer, PineStraw, GolfDigest.com and NBC/Golf Channel.

I received the 2020 PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism, whose previous winners include Dave Anderson, Dan Jenkins, Bob Verdi and Herbert Warren Wind. It’s humbling to be in their company, but I’m proud to have done my share of winning, placing and showing in the Golf Writers Association of America annual writing contest over a 35-year span. I also have done a lot of golf photography, having shot dozens of major championships along with grassroots subjects.

Spectators, The Open at St. Andrews, 1990 (Bill Fields)

Don’t know if I was born to be a golf writer, but I was born in Pinehurst, N.C., arguably America’s golf capital, and grew up nearby. I was a low-handicap golfer as a teenager and know what it’s like to break 70 (well, once) but my junior golf record also included a tournament round of 52-36. Despite dreams of being like the tour pros I watched in the World Open on Pinehurst No. 2 during the 1970s, I was never going to be inside the ropes except as standard bearer, scribe or photographer—I’ve managed to be all three.

Golf bags, California, 2012 (Bill Fields)

For Golf World and other publications before and since my long stint there, I’ve written columns, tournament accounts and in-depth features. Many of my longer Golf World articles—30 of which you can find in the anthology Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History—were historical. Signing a book for me once, Ben Crenshaw wrote that I “understand yesteryear,” which was almost as nice as if he’d said I possess a good putting stroke. I like to think that an appreciation of the past can help explain and interpret the present.

I’m going to mix it up on The Albatross: history, competition, perspective on golf matters big and small on and off the pro tours. This independent outlet provides the freedom to cover what interests me. I may pursue some photography as the newsletter evolves.

Driving range in winter, Connecticut, 2016 (Bill Fields)

If you’ve read and enjoyed my writing over the decades, I believe you’ll like The Albatross and really hope you support it. The same goes for those folks just discovering my work. I’ll be grateful if you tell your friends.

Shop window, St. Andrews, 2022 (Bill Fields)

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