The new year — 2021 — is here. And with it comes a new and exciting chapter of the “Talking GolfGetaways” podcast as Mitch Laurance and Darin Bunch welcome Kris McEwen to the GolfNewsNet.com team as a producer for our golf-travel podcast. McEwen, host of his own “Golf Origin Stories” podcast, joins Mitch and Darin to talk about their new collaboration, how it came to happen, plus Kris’ own journey into the world of podcasting, creating what is quickly becoming one of the game’s most popular golf podcasts.
Episode 164 of “Talking GolfGetaways” starts off with a bang — a brand-new intro showcasing Kris’ producing and editing talents as he and Darin collaborated on a fun, whipsaw track that features quotes from Mitch’s “Oscar-worthy” acting performance in the wildly popular cult-classic film “Syngenor” (all 10 people who saw the film agree).
The trio then talk about “The Best Thing You’ve Seen, Done or Read About This Week.” Darin, who also serves as marketing director for Rams Hill Golf Club in Borrego Springs, California, recently hosted the team from The Golfer’s Journal magazine and their followers at an event at Rams Hill, and explains why he was so taken by the magazine’s excellence in putting the event together.
Mitch shares his excitement about the news that Michael and Chris Keiser are working on a complete recreation of the iconic Lido Golf Club, a long-lost, classic C.B. Macdonald-Seth Raynor gem on Long Island, with architect Tom Doak leading the project set to open near the Keisers’ Sand Valley Golf Resort in Wisconsin.
Kris also mentions “The Golfer’s Journal” and talks about a recent “Golf Origin Stories” episode with TGJ contributor Laz Versalles extolling the fascinating article Laz penned for TGJ 14 called “Life in the Front Row” in which he solves a fascinating mystery based on one man’s constant presence in the gallery at The Masters.
The focus then shifts to Kris’ path in the game — he shares his own golf origin story, how his family figured into his sudden immersion into playing and the subsequent addiction to golf that many of us share. He details how he got the idea for the “Golf Origin Stories” podcast, how his passion for music figures into every episode (both in content and guests), and why he still feels surprised at the incredibly positive reaction he’s gotten from an ever-growing fanbase.
When talking about golf travel, Kris explains why the short drive to the Golf Courses of Lawsonia in nearby Wisconsin is so worth it and at the top of his list, and adds the Links of Carillon and the Schaumburg Golf Club, both near Chicago, to the places where the “culture of the place” makes every round a treasured one.
“Golf Origin Stories” features a heavy dose of pop culture ingredients — music, TV and film — and he explains why he feels it so important to include them in a podcast about golf, believing that his ability to share the things that he’s most passionate about are a key to his success.
Mitch and Darin then dive straight into a quick “Emergency 9” golf-travel quiz with Kris, who begins with an explanation of why his “Favorite Course or Destination” is Forest Dunes and The Loop in Michigan — and why Bandon, Pinehurst, Scotland, Ireland (and even Rams Hill) all deserve a mention on his Bucket List.
As an organizer of an ongoing, yearly family-and-friends event in Arizona, Kris shares why a rental house in Flagstaff that houses 26 guests is the “Best Place He’s Ever Stayed.” And burgers at Forest Dunes are the “Best Thing He’s Ever Eaten” on a golf trip. A welcoming culture of golf at a destination is, for Kris, “The Most Important Thing (besides people and golf) On a Golf Trip” and Kris considers his Bose pushcart speaker and photo ballmarkers from PhotoBallmarker.com as the two “Pieces of Equipment He Can’t Live Without.”
Kris talks about his 11 handicap and his “bread and butter” preference for playing a course of about 6,200 yards, and explains why a guy he once played with — an athletic, fun lefty who used Kris’ right-handed driver by turning it upside down and hitting it past Kris — was his “Favorite Person He’s Played Golf With.”
And, finally, we wrap up this episode with Kris sharing why a spinning wheel with different games and tasks that he used at his event in Arizona — and its resulting hilarious videos — is his “Best/Funniest/Weirdest/Craziest Golf Story.”
Listening to Kris and hearing the passion and fun he brings to any conversation, you’ll understand why his addition to the “Talking GolfGetaways” team is exciting for Mitch and Darin — and why you should be listening to “Golf Origin Stories” as well. The future is bright indeed.
—Words by Mitch Laurance