This week I am joined by Mike McGee former Mount Union All-Conference baseball player, Jerry McGee’s son, and Managing Director of the Annika brand and her husband, Jeff Smith Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor and Golf Digest’s Top Instructor in the state of Indiana, and Evan Schiller PGA Professional and renowned golf course Photographer.
Mike McGee is from East Palestine, Ohio. He is the son of 4-time winner on Tour and Western Pennsylvania PGA Section Hall of Famer Jerry McGee. He is also the Managing Director of the Annika brand and Annika Sorenstam’s husband. Mike was also an All-Conference baseball player at the University of Mount Union over in Alliance, Ohio. He shares stories about growing up in the small town of East Palestine, Ohio in the early 80s. Mike speaks of a simpler time of backyard games and never locking your door. Mike reflects back on the Annika Fore East Palestine campaign that helped that community recover from the tragic train derailment and chemical spill that resulted last year. We also hear about his father’s career including playing in the 1977 Ryder Cup, multiple appearances in The Masters, and what it was like for Mike to induct his father into the Western Pennsylvania PGA Section Hall of Fame last fall. Mike is a huge Steelers fan so he weighs in on this weekend’s playoff matchup against Buffalo.
Jeff Smith has been named a Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor each of the last four years. Golf Digest has named him the best Teacher in the state of Indiana. Jeff also Co-Hosts a wonderful podcast alongside John Ashton called Those Weekend Golf Guys. We start out by hearing how his wife Kathy is one who got him started playing golf. Kathy played college golf at Indiana University, where they both went to school. Jeff shares the story of what it was like for him when he got the call that he was named a Top 100 Instructor by Golf Magazine. He says something that will stick with me forever, “You can do a lot of good in this world if you can teach someone to play golf.” We get into his winter seasonal jobs down at Bonita Bay Club outside of Naples, Florida and summering at Eagle Springs Golf Club in Wolcott, Colorado. We also get a couple of playing lessons for how to transition to playing on Bermuda grass if you’re going to Florida this winter and why we should consider leaving our 3-wood in the garage and replacing it with a 5-wood.
Evan Schiller is quite possibly THE best golf course photographer of all-time. If you think that may be hyperbole, please check out his work online at www.evanschillerphotography.com. Evan and I start out talking about his 2024 calendar and how he went about deciding which courses to include. He talks about his use of drone videos and what it was like shooting the 7th hole at Pebble Beach plus the range of clubs people have used on that very short Par 3 depending on whether the wind was up. We transition to some of the incredible courses he’s photographed overseas including Old Head in Ireland plus which courses remain on is bucket list.