May 13, 2024

The Journey of Chasing Scratch with Mike and Eli

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In the world of golf podcasts, there's one show that stands out from the rest - Chasing Scratch. Hosted by the dynamic duo of Mike Shade and Eli Strait, this podcast takes listeners on a rollercoaster ride through the ups and downs of trying to improve your golf game.

Recently, Mike and Eli sat down with Tori from the T-Time with Tori podcast to discuss their journey, their show, and what makes Chasing Scratch so special.

The Birth of Chasing Scratch 

It all started with a simple idea. Eli had bought both himself and Mike microphones, with the intention of starting a podcast someday. As Mike recalls:

"Eli had the idea first to have a podcast and he actually bought both of us mics and it just showed up at my house one day and I was like 'Why are you sending me a mic?' He said 'Because we're gonna do a podcast one day.'"

That day didn't come for another two or three years, but the seed had been planted.

The turning point came after a particularly frustrating golf trip in 2017. Mike and Eli played so badly that they decided enough was enough - it was time to get serious about improving their game.

And so, Chasing Scratch was born.

The Format of the Show 

One of the things that sets Chasing Scratch apart is its unique format. Rather than just discussing golf news or interviewing pros, Mike and Eli document their own personal journeys to improve their golf game.

As Eli puts it:

"The conversations that you hear on the podcast are the exact same conversations we've had for 20 years. For some reason, we graduated high school, we graduated college, we met in college, but when we graduated college, we just talked every day."

This authentic, relatable approach has resonated with listeners, who tune in each week to hear about Mike and Eli's triumphs and tribulations on the course.

The Imposter Syndrome 

Despite their success, both Mike and Eli have struggled with feelings of being imposters at times. As their show has grown in popularity, they've found themselves playing rounds with listeners and feeling the pressure to perform.

"The first time we played with listeners, I was terrified," Mike admits. "And now I can do that with no problem. I'm not nervous at all."

Eli agrees, noting that the "fraud syndrome" is a real thing:

"You go out on the range at your club or your course, and it's like, who's around here that knows me and knows I have a show and knows my goal and like, what are they going to think about my swing? And, you know, is that a scratch swing? What are they thinking?"

But as Tori points out, these feelings are normal and something that many golfers can relate to.

The Mental Game 

One of the recurring themes on Chasing Scratch is the importance of the mental game in golf. As Eli puts it:

This idea resonated with Tori, who has also struggled with the temptation to overhaul her swing every time she hits a rough patch.

Mike agrees, noting that sometimes you just have to trust your skills and swing freely:

The Ireland Trip 

One of the highlights of Chasing Scratch has been the hosts' golf trips to Ireland. In 2019, Mike and Eli took 26 listeners with them on a dream golf vacation, playing courses like Carne, Enniscrone, Connemara, Portmarnock, and the K Club.

For Mike, it was a life-changing experience:

"It was one of the best days of my life. You know, we played Carne, which I don't know if you all played Carne, but it was, Carne is my favorite course on planet earth. There's just nothing like it."

But as Eli points out, the trip was about more than just the golf:

The Future of Chasing Scratch 

So what's next for Mike and Eli? Well, as they reveal to Tori, this season of the show is taking a bit of a different turn. Eli has been dealing with an injury that has kept him off the course, forcing the duo to adapt and lean into whatever happens.

"This year we might be following some recovery journeys," Mike explains. 

But regardless of what challenges they face, Mike and Eli remain committed to being authentic and relatable to their listeners.

The Impact of Chasing Scratch 

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Chasing Scratch is the impact it has had on its hosts and listeners alike. As Mike reflects:

"I'm just amazed at how many people we didn't know five years ago that now are integral parts of our life. Where we talk to them all the time. They're, you know, like we go on trips, we just do stuff now. And it's like, how did I not know you five years ago? I don't understand."

For Tori, who has built a similar community around her own golf journey, this sentiment rings true:

"... we wanted to to really progress our golf game as an adult, you know, and we're just competitive. We want to get better. Like, it matters to us, you know, like, we want to go out there and shoot our best."


In the end, what makes Chasing Scratch so special is not just the golf, but the sense of community and camaraderie that Mike and Eli have built around the show. Through their honest and relatable approach, they've created something that resonates with golfers of all skill levels.

As Eli puts it:

"The best part of the show is we've just, we've come away with so many relationships where we're like, man, I did not see that as something that was going to come out of this when I started, but man, I'm, I'm sure happy it did."

And for listeners who haven't yet discovered the magic of Chasing Scratch, Mike has some simple advice:

"Start season one, episode one. You got to start there."

With their unique blend of humor, authenticity, and a genuine love for the game, Mike and Eli have created something truly special with Chasing Scratch. And as they continue on their journey to scratch, there's no telling where the show will take them next.

But one thing is for sure - it's going to be one hell of a ride.

Check Out the Chasing Scratch Podcast Here: 


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