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Celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary!

Today marks the 10-year anniversary that intothegrain.com went live on the interwebs! No, this isn’t another April Fools joke. I can’t believe how time has flown by in 10 years. While the domain and website were being prepared as far back as November of 2008, we officially went live with our first post entitled “Tiger Wins at Bay Hill – Again” on April 1, 2009 and the rest, as they say, is history!

History

The original idea for the site was born from a dispute I had with the editor of another website of which I was a contributing writer. To make a long story short, the micro-managing editor took his job a little too literally by repeatedly omitting or changing to large portions of my articles to suit his personal taste. When I asked him why the published work didn’t look anything like the work I originally submitted, he responded with “It’s my website, and I just wanted to make the article better.” With that, I not-so-politely told him that he could write the [bleep] articles himself! A few days after that, I started planning to launch my own golf blog.

I really should thank the editor of that website I worked for, because without his heavy-handedness and boorish attitude, intothegrain.com may never have existed! I tried to look up that old website and its editor but, to my bitter disappointment (sarcasm), it no longer exists.

Looking Back

Reflecting on 10 years as a golf blogger, this journey has been amazing and I’ve been through a lot. I’ve made many friends in the golf industry, traveled all over the world, played with the latest technology and been humbled to share my experiences with our readers along the way.

WAGC 2017 - Malaysia
Playing for Team USA at the 2017 WAGC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Over the last decade, I’ve enlisted the help of many friends and family as advisors to bounce ideas off, test products and even help me deal with a lazy golf pro plagiarizing my work. I haven’t been the most prolific golf blogger, nor does this website get the most traffic or make the most money, but it’s my little corner of the web and I’m proud of it. It was never a goal of mine to make a living with this website because if that was the case I probably would have gone broke years ago! The meager ad revenue we generate is enough to pay for hosting and administrative costs, and that’s just fine with me.

Giving Thanks

There are many people that deserve my sincere gratitude and there’s no way for me to single out everyone that has helped me in the past decade, but there are some that stand out and deserve special recognition:

My Parents – Mom has always been there in our family as the calming influence and voice of reason. She has supported me every step of the way and is the strongest woman I’ve ever met. My Dad never got to see my website. He passed away a few months before intothegrain.com began, but he was and continues to be my greatest role model and inspiration in life.

Mom & Dad at Club de Golf Inverness in Lac Brome, Quebec

My Fellow Blogger Bretheren – I learned early on that the golf blog community is small but welcoming and supportive. I was welcomed into the community with open arms and will continue to benefit from the leadership and example they’ve set for me.

  • Dave Lair was the first golf blogger I befriended here in central Florida, and while his blogging days are mostly behind him, he’s still a trusted friend and my favorite Google employee of all time. He now lives in Chicago for some crazy reason.
  • Tony Korologos and I met through our mutual friend Dave at the PGA Show. He’s one of the first golf bloggers, a solid golfer, professional drone pilot and a killer web developer. We’ve traveled to some fantastic golf destinations together, and I’ve learned a lot from TK.
  • John Retzer is arguably THE original golf blogger, having just celebrated his website’s 15th anniversary. I followed his website and social media feeds for years until we finally got to know each other a few years ago on a life-changing golf trip to Morocco.
  • Rob Hayashida is another semi-retired Chicago golf blogger. While his website is no longer active, the legend of Rob lives on through his social media channels. Our “Battle of the Blogs” competitions of yesteryear were some of the best times I’ve had at the PGA Show. Rob’s skill with a camera is only offset by his horrible timing. Not in my backswing Rob!!
  • Bill Cuevas (aka Captain America, aka The GolfFather) is another member of #TeamFL and part of the #GolfBlogWorldTour along with John, Tony and I. Bill is a retired superhero and is all over the place in support of the Folds of Honor Foundation, which is a passion of his and a very worthwhile cause.
Clockwise from left: Tony K, John D, John R, Bill C at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Golf Industry & Media Friends – I’ve met so many awesome people in the golf industry, I can’t possibly mention them all. The wonderful people I’ve met over the years that work for golf manufacturers, PR agencies, media outlets, and golf destinations are truly some of the most fun people I’ve ever met. Special thanks to Keith Patterson, Jared Kelowitz, Anders Bengtson, Joanne Miller, Joe Wieczorek, Mary Beth Lacy, Sherry Major, Mike Jamison, Jeff Gilder, Brian Stefan, the great teams from Kemper Sports and Buffalo Agency.

The Club Builder – More special thanks go to my club builder extraordinaire Glen Belden, who has patiently and consistently cranked out great performing golf clubs from the pieces and parts I’ve delivered to his shop for over 20 years. I’m not an easy golfer to fit, but he’s ensured that all the clubs I’ve tested over the years have performed as well as they could have.

So, What’s Next?

Like most other golf bloggers, I don’t do this full time, but it does consume far more time than most people know. One of the questions I get the most from people I meet is “What do I have to do to start my own golf website?” A few years back I published an article describing what it takes to start a blog, and I realized that I never followed up with subsequent posts.

This summer I’ll finish what I started and write a series of posts that chronicle a typical day in the life of a golf blogger, what goes into a good article, how to handle rich media (Videos and pictures), miscellaneous duties and tasks I have and some of the various perks & drawbacks of being a golf blogger.

To-Blog-or-Not-To-Blog-That-is-the-Q

I’ve also decided to up my video game, in several ways: First, I’ll be shooting lots more impromptu videos showing off new products and destinations via Facebook Live & Instagram. Second, I’ll be uploading more videos to our YouTube channel with product reviews, tips and video diaries of my golf travel adventures. Finally, I’m partnering with my good buddies at The Golf Director in Myrtle Beach to produce Intothegrain TV which will air a couple of times a month on our Facebook page with replays on the website.

So, here’s to 10 awesome years of intothegrain.com. I can’t wait to make the next 10 years even better!

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