Today marks the tenth anniversary of GolfBlogger.Com. The first post, on March 22, 2014, was speculation on whether Elin Nordegren would ultimately be bad for Tiger’s game.
GolfBlogger is, to my knowledge, the second oldest golf blog in existence (that’s why I was able to claim the painfully obvious golfblogger.com domain).
With a nod to the Oscars, I’d first like to thank Mrs. Golfblogger, who puts up with both my writing and golf obsessions. Our 23rd wedding anniversary was March 16, and I think one of the things that makes it work is that we encourage each other to do the things we enjoy. She skis, bikes and crafts. I golf and write.
Second, I’d like to thank the (literally) 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 many, many readers have come as a complete surprise.
I’m also thankful for the various sponsors and advertisers who have made it possible for me to cover the costs of running the site. 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.
In a similar vein, I’d like to thank the PR firms, especially Buffalo Communications, who have kept me supplied with golf gear to write about. It is especially great that they have never pressured me in any way to write something “nice.” I’ve always felt as though I could write an honest opinion without endangering the relationship.
During the the ten years of GolfBlogger’s life, I’ve published some 9,500 articles for a total of some 5 million words (some of that is code within blog posts, but I can’t figure out exactly how many). In addition, I’ve engaged many on social media, with 7,400 Twitter followers who have seen nearly 9,000 tweets. I’ve also recently begun an effort to reach out more on social media, with a GolfBlogger Facebook page. There’s now a Golfblogger Tumblr, a Golfblogger feed on App.Net and a Golf Blogger Google Plus page.
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 ten years since I started writing the golf blog. 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 extant 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 ten years.
Going forward, my goal is to do more Michigan golf course reviews (and just more course reviews in general—I’d love to find a way to raise money to travel), and to write more about the average golfer. It is my sense that golf’s ruling bodies and the major golf media have become increasingly isolated from the average, public course weekender who is long on desire and short on money and time. Those players are the game’s dominant majority, and that’s why I often describe GolfBlogger.Com as the blog for golf’s 99%.