Michael Bamberger
Michael Bamberger>ARCHIVE

Michael Bamberger is one of the country's most elegant writers on golf. His versatility as a writer and his lucid, open style are hallmarks of his work. Bamberger joined SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as a senior writer in 1995 after 13 years as a newspaper reporter. His work has appeared in three editions of the annual anthology The Best American Sports Writing, including a 2005 profile of Jeff Allison, a Massachusetts high school pitching phenom who battled drug addiction.

Bamberger has written on baseball, Women's beach volleyball, men's field hockey and other sports. He is the author of six books including To the Linksland, about a honeymoon trip he and his wife took on the European golf tour in 1991; Wonderland, about a year in the life of a large American high school, published in 2004; The Man Who Heard Voices, about the director M. Night Shyamalan, published in 2006, and This Golfing Life, a collection of golf writing, published in 2005. Bamberger has also written a play, Bart & Fay, about the relationship between former major league baseball commissioners Fay Vincent and Bart Giamatti. It was produced in 1996. Bamberger and his SI colleague Alan Shipnuck wrote the 2011 novel The Swinger, about a swinging golfer named Tree Tremont. It was described by The New York Times as "Dead On." Bamberger was also a caddie on the PGA Tour in 1985, which he later wrote about in the well-received book The Green Road Home. He is also the inventor of The E-Club (eclubgolf.com), a utility golf club.

Before joining SI, Bamberger worked as a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1986 to 1995. He also worked as a reporter for the (Martha's) Vineyard Gazette after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982.

Bamberger and his wife, Christine, have two children, Ian and Alina. THEY LIVE in Philadelphia.


  • Favorite SI Vault story and why: The Curious Case of Sid Finch, By George Plimpton. "My answer to this question changes with the day, but today I am missing Plimpton, and his mirth."
  • Writers who have inspired your work: "Red Smith, E.B. White, Roger Angell and Plimpton, all for their excellent use of white space."
  • Hobbies/interests: "Body surfing, movies, people-watching, skiing, reading."
  • Person you would most like to interview: "Paul McCartney. Just the very idea that Paul McCartney lives makes me happy."
  • Favorite television show character: "Agent 99 on Get Smart. Anyone who has seen the show would know why. If you haven't, Agent 99 IS both brainy and beautiful, and always kind to Maxwell Smart. She reminds me of my wife."
  • Favorite book: "Too many favorites to limit an answer to one, but I'll mention two that spring to mind: The Great Gatsby, for the beauty of its language, its economy and because it is at once gloomy and hopeful, which is my general view of life. Also, The Year the Mets Lost Last Place, by Paul Zimmerman and Dick Schaap, about the '69 Mets, which I read as a kid and has stayed with me ever since as an inspired example of how good reporting."
  • The greatest team you've seen in person: "The '69 Mets."

Updated July 2013

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