I’ve said many times that the best benefit of running this golf blog for close to 10 years is the fantastic people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and befriending. Yes I’ve managed to play some great golf courses and test a lot of gear, but the best part about the golf world is the people.
I received a delivery yesterday, a small box. I get boxes full of random golf gadgets and such all the time, but the return address on this one meant quite a bit to me. Quite a bit. The return address was titled “EAT GOLF.” That could only mean one thing, something very special inside from my good friend Rich Hodge.
Back when I started my blog I looked up at other existing blogs like a young boy looking up to his father. At the time there were 3-4 golf blogs. Now there are 100’s, and most suck. I looked up to GolfBlogger.com, Bogey Lounge, and Eat Golf. Eat Golf had a certain twisted flare which really held my attention. There was an authenticity to the writing there which I still have yet to see again in the golf blogosphere.
Over time I got to know Rich Hodge, creator of Eat Golf. We became online friends, both golf blogging geeks back before most of today’s golf bloggers even knew what a blog was. I often asked Rich for advice and we both helped each other grow our followings, as the original blog crowd did. A rising tide raises all ships.
I started to dabble in PHP programming because I wanted to provide my visitors a way of punching in their golf stats and having the system spit out handicaps, fairways hit, putting stats and all that. On a nightly basis I was obsessively trying to learn a programming language with no formal training at all. Rich was (and is) a PHP pro. Almost nightly Rich and I would use some kind of online chat messenger at 2-3-4 in the morning. I’d ask Rich, “why does my screen say ‘Fatal Error:… bla bla bla?” or “why is my screen blank?” He would tell me, “put a semicolon on line 76″ and like magic the errors would disappear and suddenly my program would come back to life. He was like some kind of geek oracle.
When I asked Rich what blogging software he used, he told me he wrote the software himself. Yup. Oracle.
Years went by and Rich’s interest in golf waned, and his interest in pool took off. Eventually his site Eat Golf became a shell of what it once was. It eventually disappeared.
Rich and I have kept in touch over the years on Facebook, and I’ve been hounding him to transfer the domain registration of EatGolf.com to me so I can bring it back to life. I might even move my entire blog over to that URL, as it is so much better than the lengthy and PITA HookedOnGolfBlog.com.
Inside the box where some goodies from the famous Maui Hawaii course Kapalua, home of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Obviously Rich has been there recently, and the golf bug is still in his system. You never really shake it.
Nice to hear from Rich and the goodies are mega-cool.
Hats off. Cheers and all my best to Eat Golf, Rich Hodge, one of the pioneers in golf blogging and one of the best people I’ve met in this space.