editor and UR alum Alan Bastable

Long game

April 8, 2024


Alan Bastable, a Rye, New York, native arrived at the University of Richmond without a major. After writing for The Collegian and taking journalism classes, he realized he could do something with his skills and curiosity. Digital journalism was unfolding, and he saw an opportunity. While earning his master’s at Columbia Journalism School in New York, he started working in communications with a tri-state golf association. A year later, he was writing features for

“If you have an interest in journalism, or writing, or reporting just start doing it,” Bastable added. “As you do more interviews, as you write more, you’ll learn to craft new narratives.”

Now, as executive editor of, Bastable, a 1998 grad, walks a fine line between two sides of the sport.

“The unique thing about golf, relative to other sports journalism, is that there’s a recreational element — and then there’s the PGA Tour, the LPGA and all the newsy stuff that happens in the game,” Bastable said. “We have an audience that comes to us for ‘Pick up 10 yards with your drives’ or ‘How to stop slicing the ball,’ and then there’s another segment who wants to know the state of affairs in professional golf.”

Bastable and his editorial team frequently change hats, even with a few specialists in areas like equipment and instruction, to keep up with readers’ demands. The COVID years saw dramatic increases in the sport, including an 8% jump among female players in the first year, because golfers could easily keep socially distanced outside.

“We’re constantly thinking about how do we cater to these golfers who just love the game and want to get better? How do we cater to that audience that is just hungry for news and understanding about what’s happening in the game?” he added.

Many themes remain universal, like technology. “If you go back and read Golf magazine 40 or 50 years ago, you’ll see a lot of the same marketing and language around equipment — and the focus on technology and little tweaks that manufacturers make,” said Bastable, whose bylines also appear in the print edition.

Bastable’s career included interactions with a young Tiger Woods. He recalls an early interview with the player who would go on to win five Masters Tournament wins. Woods is making in his 26th Masters appearance this week.

“I remember him being intense, looking me square in the eye with every answer. I was still a young journalist, so there was a little bit of intimidation,” Bastable said.  

Woods’ impact on the game changed everything. “Tiger literally is the needle; he doesn’t just move it in golf,” Bastable said. “When he plays, you feel this kind of electricity in the air that just doesn’t exist when he’s not in the field.”

A married father of four, Bastable squeezes in an occasional round with friends. Among his favorite courses is a public par-9 near his New Jersey home, where he can play a few quick holes with his kids. But working with world’s leading golf writers doesn’t give him a leg up: He maintains a 12-stroke handicap.

Golfers are always looking for an edge, he said, which is part of the draw to the publication he leads.

“It’s inherent in all golfers that we think we can get better,” he said. “Whether or not we get there, I think that’s what keeps golfers coming back.”