John Retzer has blogged live from Michigan since 2004! GolfBlogger, his site, has over 6,000 posts and is a daily golf blog with opinion, news and reviews. He reveals all to Leaderboard Golf, including the fact that his first pair of clubs were completely self built!
How did you get into golf?
I started playing golf at age 30 because all of my friends were playing golf. I was invited to outings on several occasions, but always begged off because I had no idea how to play. Finally, I built a set of clubs (yes, you read that right. I built a set before I took my first swing), took a few lessons and basically spent a year going to a driving range three times a week. The next spring, I accepted an invitation to play with a friend. That was my first time on the course and I was instantly hooked.
If you had to name one thing you love the most about golf, what would it be?
There actually are two things that keep me coming back to golf. The first is the constant challenge. Every shot presents a new problem to solve, both physically and intellectually. The second is the solitude. I really like being alone, and even when playing in a group, in golf, you're alone on every shot.What has been your favourite golfing moment personally?
My favourite golfing moments are always in trying out a new course. I love the feeling of exploration, of seeing for the first time what each hole has to reveal.
What has been your favourite professional golfing moment?
I assume you mean as a spectator? I really enjoyed going to the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, which is just down the road from GolfBlogger world headquarters.
How did you get into blogging?
I launched GolfBlogger in March 2004, when the general blogging craze was just starting. I love to write, and I love golf, so I thought I'd combine the two and see what this blogging thing was all about. I didn't think anyone would be interested in what I had to say, but it turns out I was wrong. My audience continues to grow.Which other golf blogs or news sites do you read?
I have hundreds of golf blogs and other news sites (covering everything from politics to sports to technology) in my RSS reader. I've always been a voracious consumer of news and information. One I can recommend, however, is the Hooked On Golf Blog.
What makes a good golf blog?
A good golf blog, in my mind, offers a unique perspective and voice. There were just two or three golf bloggers when I started (the fact that I own GolfBlogger tells you I was way ahead of the curve); now there are perhaps thousands. Too many are cookie-cutter sites, indistinguishable except in their colours and graphics. The worst simply steal the RSS feeds of others (I've been the victim of several of those scoundrels). Most don't last. Do you follow any golfers / golf fanatics on Twitter?
No. It's too congested and too many tweets are ill considered for my tastes.
Do you think the golfing industry is using social media well?
I'm not terribly impressed with social media. Too much of it seems an exercise in impulsive narcissism.
Do you think golf courses could benefit by using the internet and social media?
I get most of my information about which courses to play via word of mouth or mention in another golf blog. I use the internet to check tee times, prices and directions.
Do you buy golfing equipment online? What are some of your favourite places?
When I buy golf equipment, it's generally from a local retailer. The ones here in Michigan generally will match the prices of anyone, anywhere. I do, however, shop at my local GolfSmith, which has an online presence.
Do you watch golf tutorials online? If so, where? What is great about them?
For the last several years, I've made the conscious effort to avoid golf tutorials and the golf advice in magazines. I rely on a trusted local pro to analyse my swing and give me specific advice. I think the more general sort of swing tips often do more harm than good.
What are your golfing and blogging goals for 2011?
My golfing goal is to break 80 twice. My blogging goal is to continue as I have over the last seven years, writing about golf on a daily basis. Since 2004, I've written more than 6,000 posts for GolfBlogger.com.
To visit John Retzer's site, GolfBlogger, go to www.golfblogger.com