Just arrived here at HOG world headquarters is the 2nd edition of Tom Watson’s instructional DVD, Lessons of a Lifetime.
I’ll be reviewing the program soon and writing a full review so stay tuned. I will be skipping right to the short game lessons first, the area I need the most work.
In for review here at Hooked On Golf Blog is a very classy and finely packaged DVD box set from Gary Player called “A Game for Life.” With years of work in the CD/DVD manufacturing work under my belt, I’m very impressed with the layout and design of this set.
Gary Player – A Game for Life
I’m excited to check out this golf instructional DVD set as it claims to approach improving one’s golf game in a different and unique way.
Stay tuned for my review coming soon. I’m most anxious to see what Mr. Player’s short game instruction is. I need it… bad.
Hooked On Golf Blog Gary Player Interview
I feel a bogey rant coming on…
As I approach the 10 year anniversary of Hooked On Golf Blog I’m thinking about all the hundreds of crappy golf blogs out there now. When I started HOG in 2004 there was no template. There were only a couple of other golf blogs on the net, one of which is still operating. My format was developing on the fly. HOG was one of the first blogs to “review” golf equipment or golf apparel, or golf courses for that matter. Now “review” articles are cheaper than the latest “golf babe” photos on the Trash9Network.
I should just compile this into a top-10 list, but for now here are a few of the things golf bloggers do to make themselves look like idiots.
When identifying one’s self to others as a golf blogger the reactions are quite interesting and entertaining. Whether those reactions are positive or negative seems to depend on the perspective of that individual, and perhaps a personal experience they may have had with golf bloggers. On many occasion I’ve gotten some very bad reactions from professionals in the industry because a boneheaded blogger had been there before me, and f*!ked it all up.
Case in point was one of my first PGA Tour events with a media credential. When talking to the Tour’s media official in the press room about a photo credential, I got quite a reaction. He thrusted his head back and looked at the ceiling rolling his eyes. Then buried his face in his hands. Then he sighed three or four times. I felt like I’d asked him to cosign on a payday loan or something. Upon further discussion I was briefed on how the “last blogger” was a complete idiot and broke nearly every rule imaginable inside the ropes, like clicking his shutter in Tiger Woods’s backswing or asking him questions during the round. Players, caddies, other press, and even fans had complained about this bonehead.
It then became my job to convince the Tour official that not all bloggers were idiots. He begrudgingly gave me a photo credential.
I never clicked in Tiger’s backswing once. Well, Tiger was not in the field that week, but you get the point.
The rest of that week I’m pretty sure that this Tour official noticed that I was the first one in the press room in the morning and the last one to leave at night. By the end of the week, and at subsequent events, I was no longer judged based on a previous bonehead’s actions.
I type fast. I’m trying to write a blog post quickly before I run off to my tee time. Sometimes I make mistakes and a typo or two may fall through the cracks. We are all human. When I find a mistake like that, I kick the dog and fix it. Well, I kick the neighbor’s yelping poodle, but that is a story for another day.
That said, there are grammar errors I will NOT tolerate when reading an article. If a writer can’t use the proper version of they’re/there/their or two/to/too I leave the article immediately. Throw in your/you’re as well. “They’res” nothing worse than bad grammar, run-on sentences, and blatant misspellings which are not proofread. Get “you’re” crap together.
Speaking of bad grammar, there’s a great new Twitter account to follow called GolfBlogGRR. This person (not sure if male or female) scans golf blogs and points out their boneheaded grammar errors, and their crappy photos (see next items).
And by the way, when you see a misspelled word or bad grammar here PLEASE tell me so I can fix it. As a single independent I proofread as best I can, but sometimes I miss. I appreciate it.
I inherently distrust bloggers/reviewers who use stock or public relations photos for their equipment or apparel “reviews.” This makes me think they’re completely full of manure and are making the whole thing up. Take your iPhone or some cheapo camera and shoot a photo of the golf club. Spend two extra minutes and make your review a tiny bit better and more believable.
On second thought, maybe stock photos are better. Why is it so hard for someone to point a camera at a golf club and shoot a picture? Apparently this is difficult. There are countless crappy review photos out there, where the lighting is bad, the background is in focus (not the subject), or the photo was shot in the reviewer’s kitchen with last night’s dirty lasagna dishes in the background. GolfBlogGRRR (mentioned above) is great at pointing out how nice the “carpet” is on many of these bad golf blogger’s photos. Brilliant.
Class it up a bit and shoot a decent photo. Make sure the subject is in focus. Try not to shoot it in your kitchen. This tiny bit of effort will make the review better.
Regurgitating PR Speak
Golf PR agencies love bloggers. Free publicity! The PR agencies send press releases to them and the bloggers post them. Win/win right? The PR agency gets their word out and the blogger doesn’t have to do a damn thing! This is great for apparel scripts and other worthless drivel golf PR companies come out with… It is nauseating and readers see right through it. So does Google.
Even worse than simply posting press releases (I created a site just for press releases so PR agencies wouldn’t be mad that I didn’t post them here), is bloggers who “write” reviews but 99% of it is the same drivel the PR agencies sent them. We all get these press releases. We know who you are.
Brown-Nosing Golf Companies for Free Stuff
“We get so much free stuff it is sick!” was the first thing I heard at certain golf blogger say to me when we first met at the PGA Show a couple of years ago. The guy had started his blog a short time before that. My first reaction was “we?” Who is this guy?
I started my blog back in 2004 for a love of the game and to document my experience. I never started it with “free gear” in mind. I’ve gotten a much gear as anyone I’m sure but let us be perfectly clear, the stuff is NOT free. It takes a lot of work to keep a decent blog going.
Can you trust a golf equipment reviewer who says Brand A’s driver is the “best I’ve ever hit” this week, and then the following week says the same thing about Brand B’s driver? Did that really happen or is this writer just being a shill? Brand B gets all excited about the review, Tweeting and Facebooking it to their fanbase. If they read five posts later though, they’d realize the shill just said the same “great” comments about their competition.
Lame Web Design or a Cookie Cutter Blogspot Domain
Do you want to be a “real” golf website? Get your own URL and take some pride in designing it or making it original and appealing somehow. If your site is mylamegolfblog.blogspot.com, please leave the web now. And take that green blogger template 50,000 other golf blogs are using with you!
Now to be clear I think a blogspot domain or WordPress domain is great for starting up. Get your feet wet. Gain some experience and make sure this is right for you. Then move up to your own URL.
To be continued…
This morning I’m not feeling very well. I walked a round of 18 yesterday in 97 degree temperatures and I’m a bit dehydrated. Big headache in the right eyeball. Feels like Joe Pesci is crushing my head in a vice. I also feel a little dizzy. The weather forecast yesterday was for cooler temperatures, and I was not set up well for the higher temps that did occur. I need to get into summer mode. Here are a few of the things I do in the summer to beat the heat.
During yesterday’s round I drank three bottles of Gatorade and it was not enough. It is extremely important from a health standpoint to stay hydrated, and it helps the golf game too. Sports drinks are better at hydrating you than water.
It can take a bit of time for fluids to enter your bloodstream as well. Start hydrating before the round.
Use an umbrella for shade
Protecting one’s self from the sun is important all the time, but especially in the summer. Yesterday I could feel my arms getting fried. I was not prepared with sunscreen. I also failed in the apparel script area, wearing a black shirt.
Wear white in the summer. White does not absorb and store the heat like black does. It helps reflect it.
I also wear a big hat in the summer, like a cowboy hat. The brim keeps the sun off my face, ears, and neck.
Sports sunglasses are very important as well, to protect the eyes from harmful UV rays.
With my golf pushcart I attach my umbrella to provide more shade.
Moisture Wicking Golf Apparel
Use moisture wicking apparel in the heat
Technology in golf apparel over the last decade or so has advanced tremendously. One great quality added to many golf apparel items is “moisture wicking.” This is a process where the fabric is designed to pull moisture off of the wearer’s skin, and move it to the outer surface of the fabric where it will evaporate.
I’ve reviewed countless moisture wicking golf shirts, golf socks, and other garments.
In the summer heat I like to carry at least two towels on the bag. One towel is a clean dry towel for wiping sweat off of my face and hands, or wherever else. A second towel I’ll keep soaked with water and use it around my neck and on my head to keep cool.
There are also some very interesting products similar to chamoises like the Frogg Togg Chilly Pad, which hold water and keep you very cool.
There are some fun golf accessories out there which help keep you cool on or off the course. One such accessory which can help is the Personal Golf Fan.
I have a unit in for review and it is time to start testing it!
Be a Dew Sweeper
Hit the course early in the morning, before the heat of the day. Not only is it cooler, the pace of play will be faster. As an added bonus, most golf courses are at their best aesthetically in the early morning. The term for playing golf very early is being a “dew sweeper.”
Lay Off the Booze
Many people like to enjoy a tasty beer or other alcoholic beverages on the course. In the summer heat, the booze will hurt you. Alcohol will accelerate your dehydration. Save it for the 19th hole.
Consider the golf course you choose to play in the heat. Is it wide open with no trees or shade? In the summer heat, choose a course which has trees and shade.
Golfing in the heat can be fun if you are well prepared. The course may be less busy too.
If you have other ideas for beating the heat, comment them!
Launch monitor technology has long been in a price range far beyond what the average golfer could spend, as in “should I buy a car or buy a launch monitor?” Technology is advancing quickly and now we are to the point where products which may have cost thousands a few years ago are now a few hundred bucks.
Swing Caddie SC100 Golf Launch Monitor
Case in point is the Swing Caddie SC100 Launch Monitor, which I’ll be putting to the test for the first time this morning before my regular weekend game. This unit is placed behind the ball and will give the the player carry distance, swing speed, ball speed, and smash factor. The unit also has other neat features like practice modes, random mode, target mode.
I can’t wait to test this unit out. Stay tuned for my review soon. Sight unseen, I’d consider this for a an upcoming Father’s Day golf gift.