It’s one of the most amazing times of the year in golf. It’s AMERICA’S CHAMPIONSHIP! Every one of the world’s greatest players is in action, trying to capture a major championship at Chambers Bay, a course which has been a huge topic of discussion. There are SO many great storylines and things to cover, yet Golf.com is covering “hot wives and gilrfriends.”
Hat’s off to Golf.com for their fantastic U.S. Open coverage
This is truly mindblowing. I’m sorry but this is downright stupid. I can’t get over the fact that it is US OPEN WEEK, but they have to post is drivel.
It’s not just mindblowing, it is sad. I guess this link bait is how they keep the lights on through drive-by T&A gawkers? If that’s the case they should just hang it up, or go full TMZ.
Chambers Bay – Click for more…
Thanks to the PR for DirecTV for sending in the information about their “Open Experience” this week. DTV has some very cool coverage over several channels which blows away regular single channel TV viewing of what may be the carnage at Chambers Bay.
Fans can watch the world’s best golfers take on the unforgiving Chambers Bay course at the 2015 U.S. Open on four different TV channels when they tune into DIRECTV’s U.S. Open Experience, beginning Thursday, June 18. The four-screens-in-one HD mix channel and interactive app are part of DIRECTV’s expanded coverage of this year’s second major.
Each channel of the U.S. Open Mix (701 & 205) is in HD and fully produced with its own announcers, and will include:
- The network feed from Fox Sports (702)
- Featured Group (703): This Thursday’s groups are: Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Angel Cabrera, teeing off at 7:33 a.m. PT; and Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Louis Oosthuizen at 2:28 p.m. PT.
- Featured holes (704) are the 12th and 15th
- U.S. Open 360 (705), an all-access look from the grounds of Chambers Bay – behind-the-scenes to action on the course.
Loading times for the interactive app will be even faster this year. Users can select the red button to bring up a list of features alongside the broadcast video that include:
- Player Scorecard
- Contains key bio info, player headshots, scores and stats
New this year – Additional Stats
The top 10 players will have the following stats made available on their scorecard:
- Their best finish at the U.S. Open
- Their finish at The U.S. Open 2014
- The number of titles they’ve won at the U.S. Open
- Player Bio
Allows users to get player bio info, access to their scorecard or add player to their favorites list
- Pairings and Tee Times
- All the groups and tee times for the current round
Mix Broadcast dates: June 18-21 Times in PST
6/18 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. FS1
5 p.m. – 8 p.m. FOX Sports
6/19 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. FS1
5 p.m. – 8 p.m. FOX Sports
6/20 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. FOX Sports
6/21 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. FOX Sports
A fantastic golf blog related Twitter discussion happened a couple of nights ago. There was some tremendous discussion and a few important points I thought I’d talk about today. Here’s the tweet that started it below. Click it and follow all the commentary. It is great.
People have a misconception about me, and bloggers who work hard to build a reputation and following who trusts their opinion. Often people say to me “you’re lucky you get free stuff sent to you all the time.”
Lucky? Puhlease. Like Gary Player says, the harder I work the luckier I get. I have to chime in because I have a very strong opinion on this. I’ve worked my ass off on this blog for over TEN years. I’ve spent thousands of hours and tens of thousands of my own dollars on web hosting, design, travel, trade shows, software, computers, photo gear… all things I use to produce what I hope is entertaining and original golf content. When I go to the PGA Show in Orlando I pay my own way. The PGA Show costs me thousands in airfare, hotels, rental cars, food. The biggest cost is being away from my super wife and my little 2.5 year old boy. So when I come back from a golf trade show with a new pair of shoes, a bag of tees, and a dozen golf balls, that is far from free. Dollars for dollars the last PGA Show netted me a $3500 pair of $129 shoes and a week’s worth of constipation.
I do not review these useless things…
If I receive a box of golf balls, a shirt, a driver, a book submitted for review here the stuff is NOT “free.” I spend HOURS researching, testing, writing, painstakingly taking photos, working on web content. At the hourly rate I charge my day-job web design and development clients that $29.99 box of golf balls would cost hundreds in my time. If it was free I might as well quit this blog thing and just spend the $29.99 and save myself 5-10 hours of trouble.
Why Little or No Negative Reviews?
If you saw my house you’d know I’m not full of it when I say I can’t go to the bathroom without tripping over a golf accessory or some golf gadget. Seriously. It is out of control. I’ve experimented with having other writers here, but I prefer to have this blog be MY blog, good or bad. Therefore it is not possible for me to review every item I receive. Maybe I could do it if I snapped one photo with my camera phone and wrote two sentence reviews about the products, but that’s not how I roll. I like to get into the products and try to translate my experiences in much more depth.
It is because of that time factor that I can’t review everything. So what do I choose to review what what do I abandon? I made the decision to try and limit most of my reviews to products I believe in and can convey a positive message about. So any product I feel is junk, crap, irrelevant, useless, or not well made or poorly designed gets no airtime.
That said, in every review I write I try to put in a critique paragraph or two if I can. I try to point out product weaknesses or ways the product could be improved.
Blogs Who Mail It In
I do have a beef with crappy and lazy bloggers who mail it in. You know the ones. They are the golf blogs who spend NO time on their reviews. Their content is a copy/paste of the PR firm’s materials and the photos are stock PR photos, or shitty photos they took in their kitchen with a couple of rotten pieces of lasagna from last night’s dinner in the background. Their poorly lit photos have the ratty carpet in focus and the product out of focus. They never played that club or tested those golf balls! They never REALLY tested it for a MONTH or more on a real golf course like I do. They’re mailing it in.
PR firms and golf companies love those types of blogs. Whatever PR stuff they send gets automatically posted. It’s like a free advertising outlet. Those sites are easy to spot because their content is the same as the others who are doing the same thing. Sorry, not here.
I have my reasons for keeping my reviews positive as I stated above. When it comes to others is that the same reason? If so, great. I suspect however that those sites are AFRAID to post a negative review for fear that their golf gear gravy train will run out.
Unfortunately the digital golf world is flooded with these sites which dilute the space and hurt the search rankings of good sites, making it even tougher for them to survive. I know. I’m one of them.
Many golf blogs come and go. Most don’t have the balls, time, or dedication it takes to keep it going and to produce ORIGINAL content. That wedge I reviewed last month was not free. I spent dozens of hours testing it on a real golf course, taking photos, and writing about it with a passion for what I’m doing.
The day that passion is gone or does not translate to an entertaining, original, and informative outlet is the day I leave. Could be tomorrow. Could be in a decade.
What are Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, and all the golf troll websites and blogs to do? The latest damage to the golf industry is the announcement that Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn have broken up. It’s yet another in the growing trend of hot WAGS leaving golf. Forget declining equipment sales, bankrupt golf courses and tanking golf real estate. Golf has a bigger problem, the HWIGS (hottest women in golf) and HWAGS (hot wives and girlfriends) exodus.
Golf media outlets depend on drive-by click bait T&A articles for their traffic. After all, how many times can we fix the same hacker’s slice or produce yet another top driver list comprised of drivers by companies that pay the most in advertising dollars?
If you recall, golf lost a hot WAG in Caroline Wozniacki, Rory McIlory’s now former girlfriend and fiance. You know, the hot tennis player. On March 31st 2015, now known as black Tuesday to golf magazines, Amanda Dufner and Jason Dufner announced divorce.
And now Vonn is leaving. Red alert.
Surely Golf Digest and Golf Magazine, along with many other golf media outlets who produce such classy T&A content, are holding emergency meetings as we speak. They don’t want to go the direction of Back9Network, which essentially went belly-up when easy access to photos of Amanda Dufner dried up.
I predict a new content classification from the Golf Digests and Golf Magazines of the world, “Hot FWAGS.” Ah yes I can see the intern-written non-spell-checked Instagram re-post slide shows now: Get ready for “Hot Former Wives and Girlfriends.” They might even go “Hot WWLITSCAAGCS,” hot women who live in the same city as a golf course. Perhaps HWIGWLWFNMOAGC: Hottest women in golf who live within forty nautical miles of a golf course.
I also expect to see more “in depth” coverage of the hot WAGS and hottest women in golf that are still around, like Rickie Fowler’s model girlfriend. And don’t forget the puntastic “sexy golfer Blair O’Neal hits out of a wet lie.” I get it. So smooth.
While I can’t be 100% sure about who or where the golf media outlets turn to for their hot women wives girlfriends and all that, I can guarantee we’ll see yoga pants.
My Bigger Drone for Aerial Golf Photos/Video
Over the last couple of years now I’ve gotten deep into aerial photos and videos via unmanned aerial vehicles, known by most as drones. I’ve build some aerial video/photo “ships” and am loving the angles and views I can capture of golf courses.
To me a drone is a large unmanned killing vehicle used in war. Unfortunately people who don’t know much call the little copters equate them with the bigger drones. Small copters like the ones I have have a bad wrap and there are some true boneheads doing dumb things with them. These “drones” can provide so many great functions otherwise not available. One such great one is the aerial flyovers of the holes at the Masters Tournament.
Augusta National – Masters Tournament 16th hole as seen by a drone
You may have not realized, but when the TV or online coverage does their hole tours, the flyover videos are shot by an aerial drone similar to what I use. Here’s a screen cap of a drone shot of the 16th hole above. The dramatic views and videos are absolutely awesome. Love them.
There’s an especially cool shot which starts in a bunker and rises up to show the hole. Another one the camera starts by some trees and rises straight up over them. Very cool.
The aerial coverage and how close the camera can get to the tree lines makes the great Masters broadcast even better.