GolfBlogger Golf Blog Turns Fourteen
GolfBlogger.Com turns 14 today. The first golf blog entry was published March 22, 2004.
In 2017, I published 1, 011 posts. Now that I look at it, that seems a little obsessive. I am, however, a very fast writer, and am fortunate to have never suffered from writers’ block.
Much of my time this past year was spent adding to my list of Michigan golf courses played and reviewed as well as in other states. I have now reviewed 185 courses.
Among the notable new (to me) courses were Boyne’s Donald Ross Memorial, Stoatin Brae, Michaywe Pines, and Treetops Signature. Thanks to Greg Johnson at Garylord Golf Mecca, Kevin Frisch PR, and Dave Richards and Bill Johnson at Gull Lake View Resort for their assistance.
Outside of Michigan, I had the chance to play courses in Texas and South Carolina. In Texas, I visited Omni Barton Creek’s Fazio Canyons and Coore & Crenshaw Cliffside courses. Both were absolutely wonderful. I can’t wait to go back to Texas to play. A shout out to Karen Moraghan of Hunter PR for setting up those rounds.
In South Carolina, my friend in blogging Stacy Solomon arranged visits to Grande Dunes, Myrtlewood Palmetto and Pine Lakes, all part of the Myrtle Beach Founders Group of courses. I also had the opportunity to play the Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, which immediately vaulted into my list of top ten courses. Thanks to Chris King of Kingfish Communications for arranging that.
Two midwestern courses offered chances to check off bucket list items. I had a chance to play at the legendary Medinah Country Club in Illinois. That was part of a media event centered around the restoration of their second course. I played the better known Medinah Number Three after the morning festivities.
In June, I traveled to Erin Hills in Wisconsin to cover the US Open. Attending a US Open has long been on my bucket list. (Now I have just the Masters and Open Championship to go.) Even better: I won the “lottery” and was able to play Erin Hills on Monday after the US Open. It was a phenomenal experience.
I also was thrilled to spend time covering Ann Arbor’s LPGA Volvik Championship. It’s a fun tournament, and I am always impressed with the talent of the LPGA.
In July, I was pleased to have the chance to revisit The Loop at Forest Dunes, for a couple of rounds with my friend Tony Korologos of Hooked On Golf Blog. Tony is half a continent away and I am always thankful that we have had the opportunity to play many fun rounds together.
My goal for this year, is the same as last: to continue to expand my catalog of Michigan Golf Course reviews, to do more golf product reviews, and to write more stories for the average golfer. It is my sense that the weekender—golf’s 99% has been left far behind by the major golf media. The equipment, courses and topics they cover are more applicable to the low digit handicapper and well-heeled executive than to the game’s real bulwarks: the working stiff who plays at munis with ten year old clubs and whose family and work preclude long hours at the range.
Thanks for the continued success of the blog are due to many, foremost of which is Mrs. Golfblogger, who puts up with both my writing and golf obsessions.
Second, I’d like to thank the millions who have visited the site over the past decade. When I started, GolfBlogger was just a way to vent my urge to write. I never expected anyone to pay attention, and thus the millions of readers have come as a complete surprise.
I’m also thankful for the various sponsors, advertisers and public relations firms who have made it possible for me to run GolfBlogger. The site is still just a hobby, and I’m not sure that Mrs. GolfBlogger would have allowed me to continue as long as I have if it was a drain on the family savings.
During the the fourteen years of GolfBlogger’s life, I’ve published more than ten thousand articles. In addition, I’ve engaged many on social media, with nearly ten thousand twitter followers who have seen more than 20,000 tweets. I’ve also recently begun an effort to reach out more on social media, with a GolfBlogger Facebook page and Instagram account.
Most of the success of GolfBlogger is, I think, due to sheer stubbornness on my part. I write every day, nearly without fail (there is the occasional weekend lapse). When I started, there really were no models to follow. I did not want to turn it into a site that simply reprinted news on the PGA Tour (and I’m glad I didn’t, for there are far too many of those now). Instead, my models were Instapundit, Gizmodo and BoingBoing. Like Instapundit, I decided to offer short, pithy comments and links to (golf) news; as with Gizmodo, I planned to link to new (golf) products and review them; and following BoingBoing’s lead, I would simply write about and link to (golf related) things that interest me or that I found cool. Finally, as with any blog, I would offer observations on life—in this case, my golfing life.
I’ve kept the golf blog going because I love to write. Before I changed careers to become a teacher, I was a professional editor and ghostwriter. I also love golf, so the match was a natural. In fact, I find that writing for GolfBlogger has become a compulsion.
In a side note, I also run a couple of other sites, on different subjects: Miniature Wargaming, Things In The Basement and Epic Disasters. I’ve also managed to publish three books: two on golf, and one a history of Halloween horrors. And all of this while maintaining a full time teaching job. Truth is, I don’t sleep much. Never have.
A lot has changed in the foruteen years since I started writing GolfBlogger. I was one of a handful of golf blogs in the first few years. There have since been thousands of entries into the field. Most significantly, large media corporations have gotten into the act, as extensions of their existing properties. Others, which once were independent have been bought out and now are XYZ Golf Blog Presented by QRS Corporation. That has pushed many small and independent golf blogs off the front page of search results, so that everyone (including myself) has to look much harder to find original voices not driven by the big media dollars.
There is a touch of jealousy in this, for at some level, I would not mind being sponsored by a big media corporation. It would be terrific to not to have to worry about covering hosting costs, office expenses, etc. and to be able to concentrate completely on writing. On the other hand, the lack of such in no way deters me. I see no reason why I can’t continue this for another fourteenyears.