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Year in Review and 2008 Preview: G4G and Ontgolf.ca

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Hard to imagine, looking back at it now, but there were 448 posts on G4G in 2007, covering everything from my attempt to rebuild my swing with the help of Bond Head’s super instructor Bruce McCarrol to course and equipment reviews. Oh, and lots of opinion.

Along the way, almost 450,000 pages were viewed on the blog, more than 350,000 unique visitors showed up and hundreds left comments on what they read. Kinda cool considering I started with a blogspot site and two readers in 2004. On an average day a few thousand readers showed up at Ontgolf.ca, with a total of 2.7 million over the year, many leaving reviews of the courses they played.

We added some new features to Ontgolf.ca this year, including a standalone blog on equipment that generated tens of thousands of readers each week, a site with video content, including equipment video essays from Fairway Stevie, 12 weeks of anonymous course reviews by our own Weekend Hacker, our “Old Pro”Gary Slatter in St. Andrews, and our anonymous super, the Unsung Hero.

Some of these experiments worked better than others, but I’m thrilled that everyone gave it their all. Expect to see more video reviews from Fairway Stevie, more equipment news and reviews, and the return of our Weekend Hacker team (yep, it was two guys). I’m looking for a third Weekend Hacker from the Ottawa region, so if anyone is interested….

We’re always on the lookout for new individuals interested in participating on the site, especially in equipment reviews. Please send me a note if you’re an avid player who is also a Gear Head.

This coming year won’t likely see as much travel from me, especially with a baby in the house, but I’m still planning on heading to the interior of British Columbia to see the much vaunted Tobiano project, as well as Dick Zokol’s Sagebrush. I’m also hoping to get out east to see Cabot Links, the new Rod Whitman design being created by Ben Cowan-Dewar and Bandon Dunes owner Mike Keiser that will start construction this spring.

And my latest book project, “Going for the Green: On the Links with Canada’s Business and Political Elite” will hit shelves in May. So if you are interested in what it is like to have a couple of Coors Lights with Newfoundland premier Danny Williams, lose a couple of bucks to Toronto mayor David Miller in a match, or get handed a half-eaten apple while caddying for Jim Kinnear and Jim Balsillie at the Canadian Open, well you’re just going to have to snap this one up. Of course you’ll be hearing more about the book as it gets closer to launch — its my blog and I’ll flog it if I want to.

Lastly, there will be more contests in 2008, including one in which I’ll take a G4G reader out to a cool course once a month. This was suggested to me in an e-mail in the fall, and I think it is a great idea.

Regardless of whether I’m raking in the frequent flyer miles, I’m sure to continue to put forward my opinions, and to call it as I see it. I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to stop by and read G4G or Ontgolf.ca this year and welcome you back in 2008.

Here’s hoping the New Year is full of fairways and greens.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • RT

    Where can I get an objective review of the strengths/weaknesses of various courses available for membership in the GTA?

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