One of the many HOG World Tour stops, Black Mesa Golf Club in New Mexico
As of today Hooked On Golf Blog is 10 years old. TEN YEARS. Back on December 5th, 2004 I posted my first golf blog, “You can only understand if you golf.” It was certainly not award winning material. I’d give it a D+ today, but I’m sure Tiger Woods didn’t hit his best shots when he first picked up a club.
I started blogging at the suggestion of my best friend Alan Nelson. Back in 2004 he told me blogging would be big, the next big craze on the internet. Alan is a wise man and when he has a suggestion I take it to heart. This was before Facebook or Twitter. When I asked what I should blog about, he said “something you love.” I had to choose between rock & roll, strippers, pizza, and golf. I chose golf, though I think if I chose strippers I’d probably be a millionaire by now. Thanks to Alan’s suggestion, HOG exists.
The 10 years I’ve been running this blog have been amazing. I’ve worked hard to build up about 5000 golf articles, over 20,000 golf photos, hundreds of videos, several other golf sites and associated social networks. I’ve played some of the world’s most amazing golf courses, many which had not even opened to the public yet. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing much of the world’s best golf equipment, golf apparel, and golf accessories.
At about 2-3 million hits per month by anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 unique visitors per day, it’s hard to count how many millions of hits and visitors the site has seen in the past decade. Rough guess I’d say the site has seen 100 million hits, and probably 15-20 million unique visitors.
The HOG Photo Gallery is now at 20,381. The HOG Twitter @HOGGOLFBLOG has 2,798 followers while my personal twitter @TheGolfSpace has 4,003 followers. The HOG Facebook is at 1,587 followers. My Google+ page has 415 followers and 742,996 views. On Google+ the HOG page is at 311 followers and 74,152 views. The HOG YouTube features 438 videos, 631 subscribers, and has 5,333,049 views.
In short, I have a reach to a large audience.
You can tell Miss Universe digs me. Just look in her eyes.
Because of this golf blog I’ve met some of the coolest people on the planet. A few notables include Jack Nicklaus, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Robert Duval (yes the Academy Award winning actor) and Miss Universe, Stefania Fernandez. Miss Universe is a lot better looking than Chi Chi, though not as entertaining. I’ve met many stars in golf and business, but the real people in the industry are the ones who have had the biggest impact on me. I’m talking about the people who run other golf sites, work at golf courses, design golf courses, work for golf manufacturers, work in PR firms, and even caddie. These people are the heart and soul of this industry and the game. I’m thrilled to have established so many relationships and friendships. I plan to mention many of you in my people post.
I had intended to recap the last 10 years in this 10 year anniversary post, but I’ve spent a good hour on just calendar year 2005. So I’m going to break it up a bit and post some look-back posts for the last 10 years.
Next up, the birth and first years of HOG. Look for the next post.
Please be sure to tune in here for a very special announcement about this golf blog.
Drool alert! I try to be as unbiased and objective as I can with my product reviews in the hopes that my readers can trust my opinions. That said, I’m as excited to review these beautiful Mizuno irons as I’ve been for just about any product review I’ve done. Just look at them…
Mizuno JPX850 Forged Irons (no lame photo filters needed) – click to see more
Two Saturdays ago I had a Mizuno fitting which produced the data for what is hopefully the holy grail of clubs for me. Now my Mizuno JPX850 Forged Irons are here, custom fit for my amazing dual chicken wing granny over the top swing. I begin testing at noon today, rain or shine..sun or snow. Nothing is going to stop me from hitting these as soon as possible.
Mizuno JPX850 Forged Set (4-iron to gap wedge) – click for more images
One round will certainly not be enough to evaluate and write a review since I don’t do flyby reviews or “hit it once on the range” reviews like other golf sites. Stay tuned for my review in what I hope is a short while. I plan to get in as many rounds as the snow will allow and when it does snow, I’ll be heading south to St. George, Mesquite, and/or Vegas to complete the testing. Yeah, tough gig.
For now you can enjoy more Mizuno JPX850 Forged Irons pictures.
I’ll be posting a full review of the Fairmont Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland soon. In preparation for that review, I’ve processed a gallery of Fairmont Hotel Scotland photos and posted in the Hooked On Golf Blog photo gallery. Click the photo below to see the full gallery.
Fairmont Hotel – St. Andrews, Scotland – As seen from the Torrance Course – click to see full gallery
The Fairmont is quite a place. Very large. The rooms are so much bigger at the Fairmont than the tiny rooms at the hotels close to the Old Course. In fact, I’d guess that my room at the Ardgowan last time was the same square footage as the bathroom in my suite at the Fairmont.
Stay tuned for my Fairmont Hotel St. Andrews review coming soon.
Every year around Thanksgiving I post at least one golf holiday gift guide covering all sorts of unique golf equipment, golf apparel, golf accessories, and other items which would make great Christmas (yes, I said that) gifts. I receive a lot of inquiries about how to get a product listed so for the first time I thought I would do a blog post as a response.
First and foremost I only post products to the HOG golf holiday gift guide which I’ve reviewed in the past year or so. In the gift guide, I do a short paragraph about the product with a single image, and link to the full review. From the full review the reader can get the complete story.
If you’ve already had a product reviewed here in the last year, I will automatically be considering it for the gift guide. If you have not had a product reviewed here in the last year or so, time is running out. I don’t do fly-by reviews and will need time to test and evaluate the product.
You can reach me in several ways to submit a product. The best place to go for review submission guidelines and shipping info is the HOG reviews page. You can also reach HOG on Twitter @HOGGOLFBLOG or Facebook @HookedOnGolfBlog.
To get the idea, here are a couple of gift guides from last year:
2013 golf accessories holiday gift guide
2013 golf apparel holiday gift guide