AILSA CHANG, HOST:
Chris Solomon recently burst onto the golf scene, but not by scoring birdies on the links. He's a blogger. He loves the PGA, and golf-clap coverage was just not doing it for him.
CHRIS SOLOMON: There definitely is certain just kind of archaic rules to the media. Like, we don't pretend to be journalists. We're more of a community of like-minded people that discuss the game in the way that we do it.
CHANG: Solomon's site is called No Laying Up. We'll get to the meaning in a minute. It's a little edgy. And it's really popular, so popular Solomon just left his safe job with benefits in Europe. And he set up shop - temporarily, he says - at his parents' house in Ohio.
SOLOMON: After giving up a job with a 401(k) and health insurance and all that, a few rent-free months don't sound like the worst deal in the world.
CHANG: And this weekend, Chris Solomon will travel to Charlotte, N.C., to cover the PGA Championship. We called him to talk about the journey.
OK, so full disclosure, I know nothing about golf.
CHANG: So you're going to have to show me the way a little bit here. Let's start with the name of your blog, No Laying Up. What does that phrase even mean?
SOLOMON: The short description I usually give people that are not golf experts is to say it means go for it. So let's say you have a shot, and there's water between you and the hole. Laying up would be hitting in front of the water and then getting over it with your next shot, whereas not laying up would mean you hit it over in one shot. You go for it. So it's kind of more of a lifestyle thing than it is necessarily a direct translation. So that's the kind of personalities that we try to celebrate.
CHANG: I want to give people an idea of what your coverage is like. So what do people see flash across, say, your Twitter thread when you guys are watching a tournament?
SOLOMON: What I'll try to do at times is try to relate something related to the tournament to some kind of pop culture references, usually making fun of some guy's outfit or comparing it to some "Game Of Thrones" quote or something like that, but trying to just keep things fun and entertaining and that - not everyone's going to necessarily be watching the tournament live. So they kind of rely on Twitter for updates on funny things that happen. I mean, Phil Mickelson a few years ago at a tournament slid down a hill on a cardboard box to get down to his ball.
SOLOMON: And like, that's the kind of thing that, you know, Twitter is going to light up over something like that.
CHANG: So over time, your blog really took off. You've got this huge Twitter following. You've got a podcast, where you interview star players. Earlier this year, I saw that you broke some news about Rory McIlroy, who my editor just told me is the No. 4 ranked player in the world.
SOLOMON: I got an anonymous tip that Rory had played a recent round of golf with the sitting president of the United States.
CHANG: You got that, too.
SOLOMON: So I went - and so I went straight to Rory, who've I've been lucky enough to develop a relationship with, and he confirmed it. And it was somehow not in the news yet. So I was at my day job at the time, and I typed it up in 20 minutes. And next thing you know, it is all over every website. The Trump administration had said that he had only played a few holes of golf, whereas my report had said that he played 18 holes of golf.
CHANG: Wait, this came up in like a White House press briefing?
SOLOMON: So the administration actually had to correct their statement to confirm that he played 18 holes. It was actually one of the first corrections they ever (laughter) made...
SOLOMON: ...Was in response to my little blog report. It's an interesting space that we live in, where we are trying to be funny and entertaining...
SOLOMON: ...Yet at times, we do get some news scoops.
CHANG: Chris Solomon, founder of the golf blog No Laying Up and soon to be moving out of his parents' house.
CHANG: Thanks so much.
SOLOMON: Hopefully that's the case. Thank you so much for having me.
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