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golf writing: easy street

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by henryhenry, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    this is what i plan to do in retirement - or in heaven

  2. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Randy's a great guy -- I know you weren't disparaging him, at least I don't think so -- and works pretty damn hard. There are a lot of good things about being a golf writer, but it ain't always just sitting around on the veranda.
  3. satchmo

    satchmo Member

    Just figured out who I want to be when I grow up.
  4. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    I love ya, SF, but I totally disagree.

    And, yes, Randy, whom I have met a couple times, is a very nice man.
  5. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    "Cote was very good – he discovered a Miami journalism student by the name of Dan LeBatard – Dan became Greg's personal assistant and would fill in on Greg's days off. He knew all the football players and he was talented even at that young age."


    Boy does these 44 words explain a LOT about ... someone.
  6. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Not as much as these 41 words explain about someone else:

    Augusta has the famous lottery – they pick 24 people out of 300 or 400. I got picked my first year, which enraged our columnist, Mike Mayo, who had been there 10 years and never was picked. He just glared at me.

    I have no idea who the hell Mike Mayo is but, if that anecdote is true, he must be a real prick.
  7. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Golf writing can be real easy if you just sit in the press room and regurgitate the hand-fed quotes from the press conferences. But who the hell wants to read that? You get out on the course, talk to as many people as possible and get better stories. Not all golf writers are lazy oafs, Columbo.
  8. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I didn't bother reading this. However, I've covered a few big college tournaments this fall, and I've found that it's pretty easy stuff. Essentially, you can watch the scoring from the clubhouse and grab some good quotes after the players finish. If you're just doing 10-15 inches, that's all that you'll be able to use.

    I feel a little guilty about this, and I've tried to hit the course and get more of a first-hand look at the play. But the logistics are nearly impossible. Particularly at smaller tournaments, silence reigns supreme on the course. That pretty much eliminates any discussion. You certainly can't interrupt the players until they're finished. There were no scoreboards on the course at any of the tournaments I covered. The only way you could get a feel for how all of the players were performing would be to memorize the leaderboard at the clubhouse and take that knowledge with you to the course. Even then, you may not be able to distinguish the golfers, particularly when they're not as prominent as a Tiger Woods or some other pro sensation. The best-case scenario would be to bring a laptop with you in the cart and then follow the live leaderboard online. Even that doesn't tell you much. If you're on the green at No. 18, you have no clue how the players hit the ball off the tee.

    So, it can be easy stuff, but it's tough if you're trying to cover every aspect. I mean, if one player punches another on hole No. 10, the only way you're going to hear about it is through word of mouth.
  9. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    what exactly do you get being "on the course" that you don't get in the media center? oh, you can talk to the fans. does that pass as "tenacious" journalism among golf writers?
  10. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Color, facts, scene-setting, all of which makes the writing better. I'm not talking about interviewing fans. Not to mention that at most tournaments, they only bring in a select few participants to the interview room, and those interviews are all transcripted, so there's no need to actually be there when you can go out and get interviews with other players.

    I'm not saying it's "tenacious journalism," but it's not easy, lazy work either.
  11. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    How many golf beat writing jobs do you ever see on the jobs board here? It's a very, very closed shop. There's a reason for that-- not that it's easy/lazy work per se, but it is fairly tame in the world of sports nowadays. Mell said it himself- he's called the police once while covering golf. How many pro/college writers with a decade on the beat can say that?

    In my young days I had visions of someday replacing my paper's golf writer. But he had been in the gig for 15 years, had a great off-season beat (national college football, where he mostly did rankings, features and covered only the biggest games including a January trip somewhere very warm) and had enough freelance gigs in golf mags and the like to keep his bag full of Pro V1's. He worked hard and I admired him. But he knew how good he had it and had no interest to leave for an NFL beat, an editor's chair or anything else. Why would he?
  12. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    I'll agree with that.
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