The Golfer’s Journal was conceived as a vehicle to cut through the noise and allow golfers to immerse themselves in the game. It is, by design, a distraction from the tumult, anxiety, and uncertainty of the real world; indeed it is, in many ways, its antidote. This past year the Journal felt, dare I say, essential.
Thanks to you we didn’t just survive, we thrived: We were able to keep our entire staff employed and busier than any of us could have imagined. In addition to putting out what I consider to be the strongest four issues we’ve assembled so far, we revamped our website, created an entirely new digital offering, sold out events and merchandise (you are rabid!) and added subscribers at a record-setting click. As is our custom, I’m pleased to send you, our valued Member and Subscriber, our annual update.
New Avenues for Storytelling
We spent the first few months of lockdown building out TGJ digital. This component was never meant to replace or even replicate the experience of the printed book—it was largely conceived as added value to you; a way to conveniently tap into the rich veins of storytelling we pride ourselves on when your journals are out of reach, or simply too precious to wear out and dog-ear through repeated readings. This offering arrived a few years ahead of our internal schedule.
As you no doubt already know, TGJ digital hosts every article we’ve ever published as well as online exclusives and additional extras such as author readings of some of our most-beloved features. Along with the TGJ Podcast, I hope we’ve accomplished our goal of putting our storytelling first and giving you more than you signed up for.
If you haven’t yet experienced our digital offerings, our editorial team put together this list of some of their favorite pieces from 2020.
Way, way back in 2019, we began work on a mobile content studio designed to support our events and capture the American golf experience. By the time our customized Sprinter TGJ Van rolled out the shop, the idea of cramming an interview guest into a tiny enclosed studio on wheels to talk into a microphone about golf seemed quaint. Yet golf was still being played—in record numbers—and we weren’t going to miss it. So the Van rolled on, albeit with a limited and safer itinerary.
In May, TGJ Subscribers opened The Sheep Ranch at Bandon Dunes. To go from our first issue in late 2017 to enjoying some of the first tee times on the next great American golf course was surreal. That one of our members recorded the first-ever ace on the course that day seemed somehow inevitable. (It was one of three aces at TGJ events in 2020!) We went on to host events at Tobacco Road, Jeffersonville, The Ranch, Schoolhouse Nine and concluded the schedule at Ballyhack Golf Club for our annual Broken Tee 2-Man. A huge thank you to all the courses for hosting us and to all those who took part. The camaraderie, sportsmanship and sense of community—even socially distanced—is simply thrilling to experience in person.
The Van will return to the road in 2021, supporting an absolutely stacked calendar featuring events at Rams Hill, Punta Mita, The Saticoy Club, Chambers Bay, Gearhart Golf Links and Sand Valley to name a few. And that’s just the first half of the year.
In addition to your Subscriber discount on golfersjournal.com, this year we introduced the Member Locker to our suite of offerings. The locker houses special offers and discounts from TGJ and our sponsors. We’ve just restocked the lockers with Linksoul Cash ($50 for Subscribers, $100 for Premium Members) to spend on linksoul.com. You can always upgrade to a Premium Membership at any time to take advantage of bigger benefits, deeper discounts and a killer annual gift.
If you’ve made it this far into the letter, this section is probably for you: Beginning in the first quarter of 2021 we’ll unveil a revamped referral program. When you refer someone to subscribe to TGJ using your referral code, you will be rewarded with ambassador-only gear which won’t be available on golfersjournal.com. Under this new program your very first referral gets you a sleeve of custom TGJ x Titleist Pro-V1s or Pro-V1xs. The value of the rewards increase along with the number of successful referrals you make.
In addition to the rewards, a live leaderboard tracking your referrals will pit you against other Members—monthly and annual winners will receive incredible prizes including custom TGJ Scotty Cameron Putters (!!) and even free entry into our signature events.
Making the Turn
Somehow, in three short years The Golfer’s Journal has gone from hopeful startup to a brand that is revered, respected, and emulated. With you—our thriving community numbering in the tens of thousands—at our core and a cadre of the best brands in golf supporting our mission, I can’t help but feel incredibly optimistic as we make the turn into 2021.
Thank you for allowing us to continue as a vital part of your golf life on and off the course, and for trusting us to capture and preserve the game’s culture. It is both an honor and a privilege we don’t take lightly.
Publisher, The Golfer’s Journal