I like playing golf more than I like watching golf.
I don't think that's a hot take coming from any golfer. However, I've spent the overwhelming bulk of my time as a golf writer talking about other people playing golf. The professional game has only gotten deeper since I dared sit behind a microphone in a friend's basement in 2002 and start "The 19th Hole Golf Show" even before the term podcast existed. In my journey from amateur writer to somehow getting paid by someone else to do this to now paying myself to do this, I've had little opportunity to appropriately talk about the places I want to play, see and experience. Some days that I can't get out the office (read: living room) to go play, I really just want to talk about where I wish I were playing that day, the next day or whenever after that.
That's why I'm envious of Darin Bunch, Mitch Laurance, Eric Hart, Brian Oar and Jay Flemma.
Ever since a fateful round of golf in Myrtle Beach with Mitch, we've become increasingly intertwined. Golf News Net has been a platform for Darin and Mitch's groundbreaking podcast "Talking GolfGetaways," home to Eric's adventures (often with his family) to incredible destinations known and lesser-known, and a digital darkroom to showcase Brian's world-class photography and drone work. I've been able to learn more about places and courses I didn't know existed. I read through entire adventures hoping someday I'll get to experience even a sliver of them. They bring golf travel to life in a way that's accessible, thorough and different than anyone else writing or talking about golf travel right now.
However, since 2016, their work has sometimes been buried here. It hasn't been on purpose, but some days I post 20 articles here at GNN. During major weeks, I'm well into the 100-post range. Their thoughtful work couldn't shine the way that it should. So, at the end of 2018, I asked the four of them if they'd appreciate their own space under the Golf News Net banner to evangelize golf travel to the world. I'm fortunate they said yes.
After a couple of months of discussions, planning, coding, designing and building, today we're launching GolfTripX.
GolfTripX, which is short for Golf Trip Experts, will be the base for all our golf travel and architecture content moving forward. Darin will run the show as managing editor, with Mitch, Eric and Brian all heading up key facets of the presentation. Jay Flemma, who has written from major sites and some of the best golf courses in the world for Golf News Net, will be found on both sites and have a space to share his love of golf architecture and a good adventure. I'll be there, too, from time to time.
The GolfTripX website was designed with the golf traveler in mind, with big bold photography featured, an easy-to-read format for short- and long-form pieces, all serving as not only a space for our team to talk golf travel, but for you to join us. We've welcomed a number of contributors already to the GolfTripX community, and we're looking for more. Everyone experiences golf and travel differently, and we all get something a little different out of it. There should be no shortage of voices to connect with golfers who just wish they were on a golf course right now.
I'm a middle-class guy, and I feel extremely fortunate to be able to play any course. That has always guided how I experience the game, and I firmly believe that's how most golfers see it, too. That's why our point of view and guiding philosophy is that any day on the golf course is a whole better than most anything else. That means we want to explore and celebrate a wide variety of golf resorts and destinations. You already know some of the most storied and discussed resorts, courses and destinations in the United States and around the world. We'll talk about them, yes, but we'll talk about them with the appreciation and respect they deserve. And we'll talk with you with the respect you deserve, not assuming you have the checking account balance big enough to head to many of these places annually -- if not on a whim. That's not reality.
The reality is there is so much good and great golf in the United States and throughout the world that doesn't get discussed. Real talk, that's because their marketing budgets aren't that big. But hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of golfers flock to these places, year after year, because they have a great time playing and staying there. Why shouldn't they get some love, too? If we can help you discover a great new place to play that can't buy TV time or an expensive magazine ad, then we've done our job. If it's a place you can get to easily and enjoy for the rest of your life, even better.
When I began Golf News Net again in 2014, I didn't imagine getting to here. I didn't imagine meeting guys like Darin, Mitch, Eric and Brian. And I didn't imagine spinning off a totally new website, much less one centered on golf travel. But now that GolfTripX is here, I can't wait to show you what we have planned -- and to have a place where we can talk about how all we really want to do right now is play golf.