In the Spring of 1996 I had a special assignment. Then a co-owner of a golf retail store who dabbled in golf writing, little did I know how much my life would transform in short time.
Jeff Bauder, my friend who many of you may now know as the publisher of this website, had a request. He asked me if I would contribute a couple articles for his new magazine, Flagstick.
Knowing the back story of how he had formulated a plan for this magazine while working as a advertising sales rep and subsequently, as the General Manager of the store I was involved in, I was happy to dive in.
To this day I still have the tarnished yellow note pinned to a board in my office. I had three assignments – 18 trivia questions about The Masters, a review of the 1996 PGA Merchandise Golf Show, and an article on re-gripping. Not exactly The Old Man and the Sea but I was pleased to help out.
At the time I was aware that most consumer magazines had a short life-span. Averaging three and a half years, in fact. In other terms, the same length of an average NFL career, according to their Player’s Association.
It was not promising.
He was undeterred.
And here we are, two decades later. Yes, twenty years.
What has changed in that time? A lot. I could bore you with the changes that have taken place in the media industry in last two years alone.
We’ve published more than 160 magazines and special editions; printed more than 3,000,000 (a quick estimate) words on paper alone. And you can throw in a ton more (okay 3,000 more posts) in the digital world.
We’ve watched historic golf events be played; we’ve witnessed some talented golfers blossom; and looked on as some kids grew into professional golfers or just very fine adults. Sadly, we have seen many golfers depart as well; some far before their time.
But mostly what we celebrate at this junction is that we are still here and so is the wonderful game we create content about. That’s a blessing we never talk for granted.
Our format may change – be it new websites, social media outlets, or even sister sites like the new OntarioGolfNews.com we produce, but we’ve never abandoned you.
Lots of others have come and gone. Those who tried to squeeze money out of the sport; whose poor intentions went unrewarded. The essence is the game after all, you have to love it more than the money.
To be fair, we are a business as well but it has never been the $ that have driven our staff to do what we do. We dedicate ourselves to the our craft because golf is the hook. We are tied to it and so are you.
That bond is what has always connected us to our readers, and it makes our job less of one – even on late nights or facing a deadline.
You’ve been here for us and for that, we’ll be here for you in return.
Thanks for getting us to 20 years; it’s been a pleasure to serve you.
Golf is a game after all. So let’s keep having fun.
/ Scott MacLeod