Drew (and everyone, really), I appreciate and welcome the feedback. Most of you are day-one guys so we value your involvement and level of concern. Here’s the reader’s digest version of my response: 1) We’re working on more tour-related stuff - tbh still ramping up on the full-time front, getting more writers involved, getting Randy down here, etc. 2) The course reviews aren’t going anywhere but we can and will do a much better job highlighting hidden gems and courses that are simply fun to play, regardless of architectural pedigree. We’re also conscientious to not throw it in people’s faces - read it or don’t, both are fine. @2trickpony you nailed it on this front. 3) We’re trying to write up the more exotic locales with reviews in a more travel-focused vein rather than architecture. 4) Expect more involvement from Randy and Neil.
For those who are interested, here are some further thoughts: That Friday Feels column was the first architecture-focused piece I’ve written since last August, so I did feel the comment about “pretension-oozing takes about biarritz greens and black and white photos of old scruffy golf holes” was unwarranted. Soly did document a lot of his travels from Q4 '17 on the site but we made it a point to not overpublicize those pieces and not hit people over the head too hard. And on those I don’t think many of them made reference to any golden age stuff - it was more “here’s what it was like.” There is a large market for the course review content and they are some of the most evergreen pieces we post. They are an ancillary part of what we do. So while I appreciate and agree with your assertion that this isn’t, and shouldn’t be, an architecture blog, I think some of the examples are exaggerated. Some of the criticism feels like guilt by association too - Andy, Zac and others are friends, and it feels like some of the stuff they talk about reflects on us, regardless of our involvement. But I hear you - @ANTIFAldo made a good point about the idiosyncratic nature of architecture twitter and how it’s a blood relative of gearhead twitter did put it in perspective for me as well. I’d be fucking PISSED if my favorite site shifted gears and got deep into equipment.
Again, it’s not our intent to turn this into an architecture site and get away from our bread and butter. As @ANTIFAldo (which is the best handle I’ve ever seen) noted, that’s still the red meat and we’re more conscious than ever to not stray from that and I appreciate him noting the volume of content we’ve been churning out of late. I made it a point in the most recent Friday Feels piece to note that I’m not an architecture expert, but wanted to have a go at Augusta National for what I feel are missed details, hypocrisy regarding history, and people confusing familiarity with greatness. I still feel I gave my two cents in a fair, if hypercritical, manner and then moved on to the remainder of the column, which was about the same length as the architecture/experience rant and talked exclusively about the tournament. In all of the weekly briefings this year I’ve made it a point to focus on the action. But it can’t be ignored that often that action is predicated upon the course that these guys are playing ( The reality is that the tour plays a lot of bad courses, and that influences the outcome, who has their tour card, what types of skills are valued, etc. so it’s essential to understanding the action on course). It’s also something that I’m passionate about, plain and simple.
To @3wiggle your anecdote about Torrey Pines resonated with me (I don’t even hate that course because of architecture - I just think it’s a low-key boring tournament to watch on an awesome piece of land), as it’s not my intent to tell you what courses you can/can’t enjoy while playing. Heck some of the courses I love the most are probably architectural disasters, but there a hundred other reasons to love a place. To each his own. That bummed me out to hear I played a part in putting a damper on what should’ve been a really cool surprise.
At NLU where we specialize is in shining a light on storylines and observations that the establishment media can’t/won’t talk about, either due to bandwidth, political correctness or a host of other challenges that befall media this day in age. On the written content front we really struggle during major weeks because everyone is writing about the same stuff and it’s infinitely harder to have a unique column on things, and by the time the next round starts that stuff is mostly irrelevant. We don’t really do gamers - there are a hundred other outlets you can get those from, and it’s always been like that. The twitter stuff is time consuming and where our passion still lies during tournament rounds - it’s tough to do that, extrapolate that stuff out into longer form pieces, and then prep for/tape the live show that we did after all four rounds. So I’d encourage you to look at our stuff holistically - twitter, podcast, written website content, produced video, live show, etc. As weird as it sounds it’s a lot easier to find good stuff to write about during a week when the Euro and Web tours are going and there’s a less maniacally-covered PGA Tour event. I will level with you and say that it’s imperative that we get more written content on the website and that’s been a focus over the past three months and will increase further in the coming three months as Randy comes on full time. Thanks for your patience on that front and know that it’s a #process.
Getting more Neil and Randy content on site will help with this as well. Neil appreciates architecture without really giving a fuck about it, which is a great place to be in.
Again, appreciate everyone’s feedback - means a lot that you all give a shit and support us through thick and thin. And to @GeneParmesan I’ll try to be funnier
Lastly, @drew_224 please know that my disdain wasn’t for the egg salad sando (which remains the best thing in golf), but rather the lady unwittingly hitting me over the head with a hammer of corny bullshit about a sando that’s so obviously a Masters tradition. I understand the need to welcome and educate new attendees, but that felt like being inculcated in a cult.