A reader emailed today to let me know that GolfBlogger.Com had been mentioned in Sports Illustrated’s Golf Plus Section (and also is available online here). The article, by Senior Writer Michael Bamberger, begins:
Once, before the advent of Golf Channel and golfblogger.com and the PGA Tour Network’s Satellite Radio XM 146 — are you dizzy yet? — there were men, and a few women, who walked the course, talked to the players and wrote up what they heard, smelled, felt and saw. You’d read about a golfer with grass stains on his trousers while you got ink stains on your fingers. The reports, the good ones, left a golf deposit in you. All over the country, there were folks typing golf (among many other things): Art Spander in San Francisco, Furman Bisher in Atlanta, Dave Anderson in New York, for the Times.
The email writer and several others who since have contacted me have suggested that the reference is less than complementary. But I’m not sure. It occurs to me that—in paying homage to one of the deans of golf writing—Bamberger simply is making a point about the proliferation of golf media. When the Times Dave Anderson began writing, there was the print media and little else.
That Bamberger thought to include GolfBlogger.Com on the short list of the “new” golf media is high praise indeed.
But while I am thrilled to be included in the same thought as the Golf Channel and PGA Tour Network (whatever Bamberger’s intentions), I should point out that GolfBlogger.Com covers an entirely different beat.
I have never pretended to cover the PGA Tour. My “beat” is the game as seen and played by a slightly above average golfer (and sometime high school coach and clubmaker) on the public courses of Michigan. And in spite of Bamberger’s admonition, I am indeed walking courses, and writing about what I hear, smell, feel and see. It’s just that the courses I play cost $25 a round and the players I write about are 20 handicappers with ten-year-old clubs.
At Golfblogger, I write about books I’ve read, equipment I’ve played, courses I’ve visited, people I’ve met and neat stuff that I lust after but know I’ll never own. I link to interesting golf articles that I’ve read, and offer commentary as the urge strikes me. I’m a gadget freak and gearhead, so I like to point out all the new stuff as it comes out.
When I write about the the Tour, it’s only as a fan. As my (somewhat distant) cousin Will Rogers famously said: “All I know is what I read in the papers.”
I write because I feel the compulsion to do so, not because it is my job. I began my working career as a stringer (freelance reporter), then as a staff writer, editor, public relations flak and ghost writer. After spending a decade away from that as a teacher, I saw blogging as the perfect opportunity to return to something that I have loved—yet from which I had strayed.
I hope that my love of golf, writing and reading come across in these pages. And to those of you who read the site, I thank you for indulging me.
PS: If anyone has a copy of the Sports Illustrated page that has the article on it, I’d appreciate getting a copy. I don’t get the magazine, and its not in the newstand edition.