Reporting thisweek's Tiger Woods cover story, John Garrity trailed the world's top-rankedgolfer for six months and more than 30,000 air miles, playing six holes withWoods in Hawaii, following him to Dubai (where Woods is designing his firstcourse) and sitting down with him in Los Angeles. What Garrity found was notthe kid who's been fist-pumping his way through golf for the last decade but aman entering a new phase of life--advancing on Jack Nicklaus's record of 18majors with a baby on the way, a new job, a new business, a controversial newtournament and without his father. It's a story that's as nuanced as itssubject and easier to read--especially approaching the 2007 Masters Tournament,at which Tiger is going for his third straight major win.
Also inanticipation of the Masters, the SI Golf Group has reinvented GOLF.com,combining the resources of SI Golf Plus and Golf Magazine to serve fans andavid players with news, instruction, equipment reviews, travel guides andhandicap tracking. Add videos from Golf's Top 100 Teachers and multimediafeatures like David Feherty's regular video commentary, "Fly on theBall," and you have the most complete golf site online. All free.
The magazinereceived nearly 800 letters about the cover story on global warming (Going,Going Green, March 12)--most of them taking issue with the subject matter andsuggesting that SI stick to sports and pay more attention to business as usual.In fact, aggressive coverage of environmental issues is part of the magazine'sDNA. In its first full year, 1955, SI ran a piece by Wallace Stegner on theincreasing stress on national parks. In 1960 the magazine supported a newscience called "social conservation" and noted, "Today it is manhimself who is in danger of becoming a victim of the industrial civilization hehas spread so vigorously across the land." Throughout the rest of thecentury SI writers and photographers covered oil spills, endangered species,water and air pollution, acid rain, habitat loss, strip-mining and numerousenvironmental land-use battles from the Everglades to Alaska. In the 1987 storyForecast for Disaster, Robert H. Boyle explained the increasingly disturbingprospect of global warming and the then newly minted "greenhouseeffect." With climate modeling, Boyle even constructed a mock weatherreport from the year 2030 that, he said, read like a Weekend Update fromSaturday Night Live but was in fact possible. Reading it today--with itsdescriptions of devastating hurricanes, rising seas, flooding and drought--ischilling.
These stories werealways controversial. This time some readers suggested they didn't want Al Gorerunning the magazine. Chicken Little was also mentioned. Other letters pointedout that Mars is warming, and one contained a lefthanded reference to theearth's being flat: "Why are you buying into that stuff? There's no more'scientific consensus' on global warming than there is that the earth isflat." The temptation, of course, was to run a correction that read,"The earth is flat. SI regrets the error."
Instead, SI willcontinue to cover environmental issues and their impact on sports.