New for this year and years to come will be the Hooked On Golf Blog Product of the Year Awards. I get to test so many amazing pieces of golf equipment, golf apparel, and golf accessories, that I thought I’d produce the products of the year to show what I consider the best of the best.
The current Product of the Year categories:
Best Golf Club(s)
Best Golf Course (HOG World Tour)
Best Golf Apparel Item
Best Golf Accessory
Best New Golf Product
I may do others or cut something out, but that’s the template for now. Suggestions welcomed.
To qualify for these awards, the golf product must have been featured or reviewed here at Hooked On Golf Blog in the last calendar year.
The next post will have the first 2014 Product of the Year award winner! Stay tuned.
Here’s a recap of the highlights of the last two years as part of the Hooked On Golf Blog 10 year anniversary. Many interesting stories, both personal and in the golf world, happened over the last two years.
This is the second to last look-back post celebrating the DECADE I’ve been blogging about golf here at Hooked On Golf Blog. Below are some quick comments including links to the original golf blog posts, featuring some key nuggets from the years 2010-2012.
June and into July was perhaps the most insane HOG schedule in history. In 1.5 months I played in the Salt Lake City Amateur tournament, went to St. Andrews, played the Mesquite Am, played 72 holes in one day in four states, and traveled out of town to no less than 15 golf courses.
Rory McIlroy destroys the field at the US OPEN shooting 16 under par and blowing away Tiger Woods previous US OPEN record score of -12. McIlroy set a number of records which may never be broken. I doubt Congressional will hold another major.
The blog had to go to a new dedicated server because it was melting the old shared hosting.
I visited a golf course that would forever change my world, Black Mesa Golf Club. Since going there I’ve made great friends at the course and played there dozens of times. Simply my favorite course in the USA. See pic below:
As part of the 10 year anniversary of Hooked On Golf Blog I’m going back in time to some highlights of the past.
This post will be a quick recap of the first few years in the life of Hooked On Golf Blog, 2004-2006. In those years I broke ground on many golf blog techniques and features, which many hundreds of subsequent blogs have copied in one way or another, and still do today. When I started, there were no blogs “reviewing” golf equipment, apparel, golf courses, anything else. It was the wild wild west of golf blogging.
In December 2004 I also started developing a golf community website called Web Country Club. Later WCC would die and I would create The Golf Space, which is still around and has over 6,000 members.
Jack Nicklaus and me
In January of 2005 I began ranting about sappy musicians playing golf in pro-ams, like Michael Bolton. That ranting would be a craft I would spend years perfecting and I’m still getting better at it. Kenny G? Pass the barf bag.
In the spring of 2005 I posted many opinions and results from PGA Tour events. I also posted my first few golf course photos from a golf trip to Vegas. Little did I know how many courses and photos would be coming over the next 10 years.
Around March 2005 I tried something to spruce up my then Blogger blog theme. I put a Titleist golf ball up in the corner of the website. About 15 minutes later someone from TaylorMade emailed and asked if I wanted to review some prototype golf balls, and perhaps even write about it. They also “suggested” that the Titleist golf ball didn’t look that great and should be removed. A few days later I received my first product submission, a Maxfli prototype golf ball which I really liked at the time. Shortly after receiving the balls, I played 92 consecutive holes with one.
Unfortunately some of the photos from 2004-2005 were on Flickr, and are no longer available. One of the lessons I would soon learn was to host and be in control of ALL of my content and media.
April 2005 was the first Masters month for HOG. Tiger Woods would win that Masters with the incredible chip-in on the par-3 16th, and it would be the last Masters which Jack Nicklaus would compete in, sniff sniff.
On April 9, 2005 HOG made a big move. I left the Google/Blogger.com domain and opened the site on WordPress with its own domain name, HookedOnGolfBlog.com. In hindsight I wish I would have found a shorter URL but it is waaaaay too late to worry about that now.
In June 2005 Travel Golf asked me to join them as a golf writer. I declined to focus on HOG. Years later they would be bought by Golf Channel.
In July 2005 The Golf Chick golf blog began, and I’d eventually build up a long and great friendship with Kristen Williams. She’s awesome.
Jack Nicklaus said farewell to competitive professional golf as he waved while standing on the Swilcan Bridge at the Old Course in the 2005 Open Championship. Sniff sniff. In the same tournament, Tiger Woods won his 10th major.
In July of 2005 I posted my 300th golf blog article. July 2005 also marked the departure of “MJ on Golf,” a nice blog by a very cool cat named Mike Jones. Mike was a good digital friend.
In August of 2005 I had the pleasure of meeting Jack Nicklaus. On the same day I met Billy Casper and helped him find his way.