New Column: Three Off The Tee at Sympatico/MSN

cp16rtThis summer will see some changes in my golf writing. Well, maybe not so much in my writing as to where it will find its home.

This summer would have marked a decade that I had spent writing for the National Post. I say would have because I’m not returning to the paper. As anyone who watches the media is aware, the National Post, and parent company Canwest, have struggled mightily to keep afloat and out of bankruptcy protection. The problems at the Post reach much further back than the media company’s recent problems, but last year budgets were so tight at the Post that it was difficult for me to get space in the paper to write. Further cutbacks last fall meant there was little space for a golf columnist on a staff that was already hit hard by buyouts and layoffs.

I figured I’d spend the year just writing golf regularly on the blog when I received a call from an unexpected source — a web producer at Bell Canada’s Sympatico/MSN. Would I want to write a year-round golf column for the site? I jumped on the idea of heading back to the web to write, especially given Sympatico/MSN’s extensive reach in Canada and that as a working journalist I, well, like to get a pay cheque. It didn’t hurt that the new gig would be year round while the job  at the Post was only about half the year, and golf is surely a 12-month sport. Covering golf at the Post was like picking up baseball in July and ending just before the World Series.

So this Thursday will kick off the first of my weekly Sympatico/MSN golf columns. The focus will be the PGA Tour, but I have some latitude to cover other areas of the sport as well. Frankly I’m just looking forward to writing regularly once again.

The Sympatico gig isn’t the only change. With the dissolution at Travel and Leisure Golf, I lost a contributing editor position, which was disappointing. However, I’m now “Senior Writer,” on the masthead of ScoreGolf. I mentioned to the lads there that I’m not yet 40 and have no intention of collecting CPP or cashing in my RRSPs any time soon, but Senior Writer it is! You can find their online Masters issue on their site now.

The next few weeks will see some travel coverage on the site as well as gearing up for the Masters. Next week I’m off to Bandon Dunes in Oregon to see the latest course in its incredible rota — Old Macdonald. A few weeks later I’m off to London, England for an anniversary trip with my lovely wife. At the end of that trip she has to do some work in the UK and I’m heading to play golf at Royal St. George’s, Sunningdale and Woking.

g4gcoverLastly the paper back version of my book, “Going for the Green: On the Links with Canada’s Business and Political Elite.” There’s a new cover and a nice new endorsement from Mike Weir. The paperback is out on April 5 and frankly it is cheaper than the hard cover that came out last year, but entirely as relevant. Buy it so I can pay my mortgage or at least a beer at the ballgame.

So I’ll keep writing if you’ll keep reading, and remember, in Canada golf is only a few weeks away.

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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.

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