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What Is the Future of Online Golf News?


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Golf publications and magazines around the world are struggling to survive while competing with websites that offer comparable news more quickly and without a subscription fee.

 

How can print magazine and publications maintain their profits while competing with online news?

#TruthDigest
 

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Also consider how forums like this allow golfers to share opinions/insight, get previews and photos of upcoming equipment before stores and print media can, and even be interactive - to some extent - with those in a position to make or break news. The real-time aspect of the internet is something that traditional media outlets simply can't compete with.

 

Those who make a living by selling golf products also stand to benefit by increasing their exposure to internet-based news and discussion groups when they realize that "dot com" doesn't just have to mean "online store" or "public relations." There is a wealth of FREE market research that can be acquired and is invaluable when it comes to improving one's product and services.

 

Imagine being able to one day read - and even contribute to - a more exhaustive and less biased equipment Hot List? Well that day is already here, and your "old standby" golf publications are quickly becoming just old ... and obsolete. Don't be surprised if one day they become strictly online entities or fall off the face of the earth entirely.

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I really like having golf magazines in the mailbox when I get home. New clubs and helpful tips. However, with the increased operating costs of publication it seems like the advertising in the mag gets more and more prevalent. The needs that the magazine meets can me easily met online. Maybe the iPad will not be the next big thing, but it could change the publishing landscape significantly. We would download Harry Potter-like issues of the golf mags. No longer would we need a 8 panel fold-out to see Bubba's swing. The iMag would have the video embedded. Sure we have that now, but the room where much of my magazine reading occurs does not have a computer.

 

I don't think that portable video instruction and analysis is too far off. Sorry for the tangent.

 

Mags are in trouble.

Volvo Intorqueo

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I'm a subscribed to golf digest, but I've found myself just skimming through and not really reading the articles... Not because I'm not interested, but because I've seen the same thing weeks ago online...

 

I follow a few blogs, but forums are where I spend most of my time (not only for golf)... I love the interactive aspect and immediate responses...

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I am with sactown...I love coming home and getting a golf magazine in the mail. I came home today and I had my new issue of Golf Magazine and I was like a kid in a candy store. In all reality though with the internet and ease of access to all of the articles online I can't see the paper magazine staying prevalent for that many more years.

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While i get nearly all my news online, I still subscribe to golf digest, golf magazine and golf week. For some reason I still like to actually have a magazine to read from time to time. I think all print media will continue to take a hit. There is no way for them to keep up with the speed of the web not to mention the cost.

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Personally, there's not much that excites me in golf magazines anymore. As has been pointed out, by the time a piece of equipment is in a magazine, I've already seen it and read the reviews online. Also, I have very little regard for the equipment reviews because they generally run along the lines of, "These are all great, but company X's (who also has 15 pages of ads in this magazine) is the best." In terms of the instruction sections, I feel that 90% of it is rehashed. I was at my uncle's house last summer and I flipped through his Golf Digest collection from 1995 and the instruction articles were all extremely similar to things I had seen in GD recently. My final gripe is that their travel sections are all geared towards people who spend a lot more money on golf travel than I do. IMHO, reviews of resorts with courses that cost $250/round don't really do much for the average golfer.

 

The one publication that I like more is Golf Week, because it's focused on news from the tour and gives me information that I might not get elsewhere.

 

I'm really not sure what a golf magazine could do that would cause me to subscribe. I really like the info I get from golf forums and I enjoy the interactive component of it.

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Personally, there's not much that excites me in golf magazines anymore. As has been pointed out, by the time a piece of equipment is in a magazine, I've already seen it and read the reviews online. Also, I have very little regard for the equipment reviews because they generally run along the lines of, "These are all great, but company X's (who also has 15 pages of ads in this magazine) is the best." In terms of the instruction sections, I feel that 90% of it is rehashed. I was at my uncle's house last summer and I flipped through his Golf Digest collection from 1995 and the instruction articles were all extremely similar to things I had seen in GD recently. My final gripe is that their travel sections are all geared towards people who spend a lot more money on golf travel than I do. IMHO, reviews of resorts with courses that cost $250/round don't really do much for the average golfer.

 

The one publication that I like more is Golf Week, because it's focused on news from the tour and gives me information that I might not get elsewhere.

 

I'm really not sure what a golf magazine could do that would cause me to subscribe. I really like the info I get from golf forums and I enjoy the interactive component of it.

As soon as you mentioned the high dollar slant I remembered feeling the same thing. It was either GD or Golf that had an article about golf retirement options. The money involved was crazy. Sure it is a reality for some, and I cheer for their success, but what % of the readers are they reaching with an article.

Volvo Intorqueo

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @GolfspyDave

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Golf publications and magazines around the world are struggling to survive while competing with websites that offer comparable news more quickly and without a subscription fee.

 

How can print magazine and publications maintain their profits while competing with online news?

 

simple - by shifting the focus of the advertising from "here is our product" to "go to our website and learn more about it{and while your their join our facebook page and we will keep you posted on our latest events because now we've captured your soul and we can market the heck out of you for free :lol:=) }"

 

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I miss Robinson Holloway having her site where she compiled all the days printed golf stories (think a Drudge Report, but for golf).

 

Newspapers, network TV news, and even printed magazines are all going to eventually go the way of the DoDo bird. Just can't keep up with the internet. There's nothing like having the printed paper in your hand....but it's just a matter of time...especially as computers and other technologies become smaller, more portable and advanced.

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I agree with you on one thing for certain, the reviews are worth next to nothing unless it is regarding a small upstart company without the budget to pay for their reviews.

 

Since I'm a new golfer I quickly turned to golf magazines for reviews on equipment, but I quickly learned that professional reviews and reviews of actual golfers on the course were 2 totally different things, and then, just recently that for golf equipment, reviews of any kind mean little, and you really need to buy the clubs that fit you...

My Bag:
Driver - 
:cobra-small:  King F6+

3 Wood -  :callaway-small: XR16
Hybrids -  :srixon-small:  ZH45
Irons -  :mizuno-small:  JPX 850 Pro

Wedges -  :callaway-small: Mac Daddy 2
Putter -   :taylormade-small: Spider Tour Red
Bag - Ogio Grom Stand

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As soon as you mentioned the high dollar slant I remembered feeling the same thing. It was either GD or Golf that had an article about golf retirement options. The money involved was crazy. Sure it is a reality for some, and I cheer for their success, but what % of the readers are they reaching with an article.

 

I remember that article! I was looking at it thinking, "Who lives like this?" As you said, I applaud the people who can afford it, that's wonderful for them, but seems like they're aimed at a very small group. IMO, they ought to be aiming to be a "big tent" publication.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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I love the internet, golf sites, forums, and the fast info. But nothing will replace the morning bathroom trip with Golf Magazine!! Sorry, that's the only "my time" I get with 2 kids! Sorry to sound a little crass, but seriously, I can not do with out the paper format. I am a Golf Magazine, Golf Digest and Golf Weekly subscriber. I can see them having to raise their subscription fees though to stay in the positive, which means they need to think outside the box for new content.

John Barry

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I love the internet, golf sites, forums, and the fast info. But nothing will replace the morning bathroom trip with Golf Magazine!! Sorry, that's the only "my time" I get with 2 kids! Sorry to sound a little crass, but seriously, I can not do with out the paper format. I am a Golf Magazine, Golf Digest and Golf Weekly subscriber. I can see them having to raise their subscription fees though to stay in the positive, which means they need to think outside the box for new content.

Even a little bump in cost can be deadly though. I will out myself a bit here, I used to read comic books as a kid. 35¢ each at the time. Super fancy editions could be 75¢ or $1. I took my 9 year old to the local comic book shop recently to blow some allowance on comics, like his dad used to do. $3 each was about the average. I had envisioned my son with a handful of comics but he left with just a few, and doesn't really want to go back again.

 

Kids used to be the market. A $3 comic is not priced for kids. GD can talk about expensive cars, vacations, and retirement, then raise the per issue cost until the tipping point where people make the switch to digital content. Newspapers are feeling this big time.

 

I have a couple of kids, the golf mags are in my "my time" room too. I will be sad if they go away, but they seem to be heading that way.

Volvo Intorqueo

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @GolfspyDave

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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I just got my second hand copy of Golf yesterday and I'm pretty much done with it already. Outside of the pro interviews (which I could really take or leave, but I read them) and a couple of the tips which are actually new and not about hitting it further (I know I'm in the minority, but I'm very happy with how far I hit the ball and have little desire to play with my swing for more distance), there's just not anything in there that I need. One positive: their section on Albuquerque had 4 courses and only 1 had green fees above $100.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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I just got my second hand copy of Golf yesterday and I'm pretty much done with it already. Outside of the pro interviews (which I could really take or leave, but I read them) and a couple of the tips which are actually new and not about hitting it further (I know I'm in the minority, but I'm very happy with how far I hit the ball and have little desire to play with my swing for more distance), there's just not anything in there that I need. One positive: their section on Albuquerque had 4 courses and only 1 had green fees above $100.

If that is the one with the baseball on it, my copy is still unread on the coffee table. Time to move it into the "study".

Volvo Intorqueo

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @GolfspyDave

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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I think the Big monthly mags are in trouble, but the weekly's, like golfwold ,and golfweek are hitting the right market. quick publication times, timely articles, and good insight. That being said, I still get nearly all of my news from the interwebs. I'm pretty sure it is here to stay.

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If that is the one with the baseball on it, my copy is still unread on the coffee table. Time to move it into the "study".

 

Already did that this morning. :lol:

 

I think print cannot compete with online when it comes to news - especially monthly publications. Online news outlets, social media, and golf blogs get out ahead of stories well before they can put it in print.

 

But I still think there is a place for golf print journalism. They just have to focus on where they add value. I enjoy the interviews, their advance coverage of the majors, and topics related to the pro tours. On the flip side, I think their product reviews lack depth and are too biased by advertising dollars to be credible.

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