Beating Golf Digest to Frenchman's Creek not just a rich reader's service
There are few moral dilemmas in golf writing. Tell the truth about the golf courses you play - especially their condition - and the destinations you visit, always keep your readers, the regular golfers who will be putting their hard-earned money down for those greens fees, in mind.
It’s pretty simple. And the fact that TravelGolf.com is considered unique because it has a staff that does this is more damning on the general state of travel writing than deserving of a slap on the back. We simply tell the truths that all golf publications should tell.
Still even here, you occasionally come across a quandary. I went through one with a recent scoop.
We were the first golf publication to be let inside the gates of the private ultra luxury community Frenchman’s Creek to play its renovated Frenchman’s North Course. Golf Digest is set to follow TravelGolf.com to see Jim Fazio’s work, but they’ll be second.
“You really have an exclusive,” said NewsMark Public Relations president Mark Hopkinson, who represents Frenchman’s.
Normally, I’d annoyingly shout this from the rooftops. Or at the very least, hit up my Castle Baron Boss - who rumor has it recently built his own personal golf course right below his castle estate and now mocks the peasants as he bombs away with his solid gold golf clubs - for a raise or a daily caviar allowance.
But the nature of the Frenchman’s course made me think. Is it almost mocking readers to tell them all about the water wonders and greener-than-green fairways of a course that 99 percent of them will never have a chance to play?
(What can I say, I’m a man of the people. Unlike the guys at Golf Digest who just wanted to be first. Corporate monsters!)
Then, a few truths sunk in. 1). Shouldn’t rich guys - even rich guys as far removed from the common man as my boss (he gargles with Dom Perignon) - have stories written for them too. Even multimillionaires deserve to have honest reports about clubs they’re thinking of joining. Those entry fees are no throwaway buy like say … a Ferrari. 2). Travel writing is supposed to take you where you’ve never been and often will never get to go. That’s what the best travel writing has been about since the beginning. The fact that much of the profession has lost sight of that is due to the fact that too many shills rather than reporters have moved in.
So no apologies for the Frenchman’s scoop. When more rich guys are crazy enough to let me in, I’ll let you know how they live and play golf too.
And next time I cannot sleep, you’ll hear about it here.
Sometimes it’s more fun being a commoner anyways. Like when Duke loses in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
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