From the beginning of my Sports Illustrated career in 1994, I have been blessed with generous mentors. I wouldn’t have made it this far without the guidance of Jim Herre, Michael Bamberger, Jaime Diaz, John Garrity, Gary Van Sickle, Mark Godich, Tim Rosaforte, Rick Reilly and various others.
From the moment we launched this little endeavor we call The Knockdown, I’ve have an idea about how to pay it forward, so I’m thrilled to introduce a new series called Knockdown Presents.
Over the years countless people have told me they want my job, so here’s your chance. Knockdown Presents is a platform for new voices writing about golf. I’ll help with the editing and then we’ll blow out each story here and across our social media platforms. Hell, we’ll even pay you for your efforts. Not much (!), but hopefully it will lead to more opportunities, here or elsewhere.
Send your ideas (or, better yet, a finished piece) to firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise to read and respond to every legitimate inquiry. It might take me a while — the golf beat is a busy one these days — so please be patient.
A few words of advice: Don’t pitch a 3,000-word feature on how Dustin Johnson has matured on and off the course; that’s my job. We’re looking for quirkier, personal pieces. Maybe you’ve been a marshal at a Tour event for 40 years and have lively tales to tell. Maybe there’s a high school golf coach in your area who has a unique back story. Maybe a guy you play with just sprinkled his father’s ashes in a bunker on every course in the Open Championship rota.
There are millions of golfers out there, so there are millions of possibilities. The stories can be short or long, written in first-person, third-person, or by Chuck Person. We're open to any idea, as long as it's unique and interesting.
And now for Knockdown Presents’ first offering: Dylan Dethier’s funny, affecting opus about his failed mini-tour career. It’s the best thing I’ve read in a long time. I hope you enjoy it, too.