The birthdays blogdays seem to be coming fast lately. Hats off to fellow blogger and excellent golfer John Duval. John runs IntoTheGrain.com, which is now celebrating 10 years on the interwebs.
John and I have played many, many rounds of golf together including courses in Morocco, Bandon Dunes, Florida, and Utah. We’ve built up a solid friendship which I value greatly. The friends and connections I’ve made as a result of running this golf blog are fantastic.
I get a lot of exposure to IntoTheGrain because I have 3-4 dozen balls with the ITG logo on them. We did some golf gear tradesies. The ball above survived about 4-5 full 18 hole rounds before I had to send it off for retirement.
Head over to IntoTheGrain.com right now and check out some of John’s work. He’s extremely well versed on golf gear and competitive golf.
Golf Blogger is truly one of the original golf blogs, predating Hooked on Golf Blog by about six months. John has relentlessly written about every golf subject imaginable, from Tiger Woods to golf course reviews to golf equipment.
In the early days of this blog I looked up to Golf Blogger as one of the pioneers in an emerging space. Over a decade and a half Golf Blogger and HOG, John and myself, have built up a long term friendship. We often shared each others posts and linked to each other’s blogs in true original blog fashion. The blog mentality has always been that a rising tide raises all ships in the blogosphere. John and I have played many rounds of golf together, from Michigan to Bandon Dunes to Morocco. Below is a shot of us at Black Lake Golf Club in Michigan.
I’ve said dozens of times that the best part of running this golf blog hasn’t been all the “free golf equipment,” the endless hot golf babes (in yoga pants who shoot videos of themselves working out at the gym) that are attracted to golf bloggers, or all the millions of dollars the golf blogs make. Nope. The best part is the lifelong relationships and great friends I’ve made. John Retzer, the Golf Blogger, is one of the best.
Hats off to Golf Blogger, and 15 more years of great golf writing.
On December 5th, 2004 I wrote my first golf blog post. Little did I know that I’d still be at it 14+ years later. I had no idea how many great friends and associates I would make in the industry, how many of the world’s greatest golf courses I would play, how many of the worlds best golf destinations I would visit, and how many great pieces of golf gear I’d review.
People say I’m “lucky” to have these great experiences and opportunities. I disagree. Luck has nothing to do with it. It’s all about hard work and dedication.
There have been hundreds of golf blogs over the last 14 years which have come and gone. People think running a quality blog is easy. It isn’t. I work hard to produce original, quality, honest content. I take pride in capturing my own pictures for 99.9% of my features, whether it is a fantastic golf resort in the Bahamas or a bag of golf tees. I spend a lot of time testing equipment. Weeks. Months even. I don’t do the “three swings on the practice range” type of reviews.
Perhaps that’s why HOG is trusted by its patrons.
Without a doubt the best part of my 14 years of golf blogging, is the tremendous friendships I’ve made. From tour pros, course pros, equipment makers, PR people, fellow bloggers, to caddies on the Old Course in St. Andrews, I’ve got special friends all over the world I would have never met had I not started this humble blog back in 2004.
I’m anxious to see what the future holds for HOG. What new countries will I visit this year? What new world class golf course will I review? Who will I have the pleasure of getting to know next? What groundbreaking golf gear will I test out this year?
To you, my patrons (not readers… you know, like the Masters), I greatly appreciate your loyalty and patronage.
My long distance golf buddy John Duval from IntoTheGrain.com gave me some custom logo Bridgestone B330’s earlier this year. I love it when golf buddies are in town traveling and have to “leave” me great golf balls because they don’t want to pay the airline’s excessive overweight baggage fees. Thank you. Come again.
At the rate I’m using these balls they’re going to last me until 2019 though. This ball simply refuses to die, and I some how can’t find a way to lose it.
I’ve gotten a couple of these nice emails in the last couple of weeks. Yes HOG has won yet another award. My digital shelf is full of them. Glad it’s just digital. This one quoted below is very typical. I receive an unsolicited email from some person and site I’ve never heard of who has this top 10 list or top something list, and HOG is on it. I’m supposed to get all excited about it and post my award, and of course the LINK BACK to the list. That’s the key right there, the link back. This is just link trolling. I’m not a fan of links trolls, so to speak.
Hi Hooked On Golf Team,
My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.
I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Hooked On Golf Blog has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Golf Blogs on the web.
I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Golf Blog on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!
Also, you have the honor of displaying the following badge on your blog. Use the below code to display this badge proudly on your blog.
Out of curiosity I decided to look at the list. Between popups asking me for my email address I was thrilled, yeah right, to find out that I was in 31st place! I had no idea there were even 31 golf blogs in existence. A deeper look at the list had me laughing. Let’s look at a few:
#1 on the list is Golf Channel’s Golf Central Blog. To me this does not qualify as this is a major golf media outlet. Same with #3, ESPN.
#3 is Reddit? Really? That’s not a blog.
#5 is the “Rules of Golf” blog? I’ve never heard of it. They have a whopping zero facebook followers and 635 twitter followers. Impressive. And their Alexa Ranking (more on this later) is 743,000.
Golfsmith is in there. Not a blog.
My Golf Spy is in there. Not a blog. It’s a forum.
GolfNow.com is in there. Not a blog. It’s a discount tee time platform.
“Turf Diseases” comes in at #9. Yes, the widely popular blog Turf Diseases. LOL.
The Golf Channel’s YouTube channel came in at #17 with an Alexa ranking of 2. Well, that’s YouTube’s Alexa ranking but who’s counting?
Other companies in there who simply sell products but are being called blogs include Odyssey Golf, Your Golf Travel, Ben Hogan Golf Company, Northern California Golf Association, Hyde Park Golf and Country Club Grounds Department, Shipsticks…
Funny thing is that one of their criteria is Alexa ranking. Sounds great except the only computers that have Alexa on them are ones in which the user has specifically installed Alexa, and it only works on Internet Explorer, which now has roughly 1/4 of the browser market. The only reason IE has any market share at all is because Windows machines come with IE as the default browser.
Part of the criteria other than the faulty Alexa one is Twitter and Facebook followers. Well I have over 8000 followers, but they show HOG has having ZERO.
If you take away all the golf club companies, travel companies, sports entities like Golf Channel and filter out the list to true golf bloggers and filter out all the noise, HOG moves up to #1. Probably a tie with Golf Blogger really. Neck and neck.