A pleasant surprise appeared in my mail this week, a belated Christmas gift from son number two: The Golfer’s Journal.
I wasn’t really aware of such a publication but it’s another creation of the folks at Linksoul, the publisher of The Surfer’s Journal and a host of creative types who love golf for its soul and not its commercial viability.
John Ashworth and his crew at Linksoul do things differently and that stays true with The Golfer’s Journal. It’s more coffee table book than magazine. Printed on heavy, quality stock, it is more focused on the spiritual and philosophical aspects of the game rather than selling products and fixing your poor sand game.
This is an introduction to TGJ from Linksoul’s website:
Through diverse and gifted storytellers, photographers, and artists, TGJ captures the heart and soul of the game in ways discerning golfers will not find anywhere else.
With a fiercely independent voice and unmatched physical construction, The Golfer’s Journal will cover the game wherever it may be played, casting a sophisticated light on the culture, history, places, and characters that define the game’s unique personality and undeniable allure.
It takes courage to try something like this. First of all, golf is in trouble. Except for the millionaires on the pro tours everyone in the industry is struggling to stay profitable. And the print media… well that industry is in worse shape than golf. But Ashworth and crew have a way of tilting at windmills and winning. And they look to have another winner here.
It’s a small group of writers and photographers that contribute to TGJ and all are dedicated to a different mission from that of traditional golf magazines. There are very few ads and those ads are from their “partners” not advertisers. They tell stories, whether through their writings or their photographs. Selling golf gear, tracking Tiger Woods and the latest golf tips are left for others.
The issue I received was their first, “Summer 2017” and although it’s a bit old not one article was outdated but rather struck many a chord in my golfer’s soul. So much so that I signed up for a subscription. Now, it’s not cheap $75 bucks for four issues a year but if this is typical of the quality of their issues it is money well spent.
Thanks to my son for a great find and to Ashworth and his team for never shying away from a challenge.