Tag Archives: Southland Golf

Final Southland

19th Media: RIP Southland Golf – And What It Means For Your Golf Course

Final Southland

Southland Golf published its final issue in July. The outcome is one I’d anticipated for years and unsurprising given the decline of print media but sad nonetheless.

Southland gave me my start five years ago and I owe much of my success today and the direction of my career to those beginnings. My first Southland assignments helped further familiarize me with Southern California golf and also helped me identify the opportunity that existed in social media marketing for golf courses that is now the basis for my business today.

Additionally, I have many connections and clients that were formed from those assignments that have been invaluable in the growth and development of my career. For that especially I will always be grateful to Southland and Editor Al Petersen, who became a great colleague and friend during my days writing for the magazine. I’ll always remember Al for being relentlessly reliable to answer his phone and always taking the time for any story idea or inquiry and being eager to share in kind. Al and I discovered quickly in a our first phone call that we grew up close to each other in the Midwest and we got along swimmingly ever after.

The eulogy, however, stops here and turns to the narrative I’ve been preaching to courses for years. If this isn’t a wake-up call that it’s time to start telling your own story, I don’t know what is. Similar resources are only going to become fewer going forward as publishing continues to find success elusive in a digital environment. The majority of these publications are eventually going the way hickory clubs.

Social media is your new titanium. While the print world declines, the social media world only creates more and more tools to help you tell your story if you choose to seize the opportunity. With Facebook recently topping 2 BILLION users and Instagram on pace to hit a billion users in 2018, it’s time to face facts about where eyeballs are at these days. They’re on the Internet and particularly in their phone – and their coming directly to you. How good are you at telling your story in the digital age?

In the early days of writing for Southland, I gained interviews and appointments easily as course officials relished a visit from the “story fairy.” I appreciated the time and access as I often conducted two interviews: the first was for the story; the second was about the state of their marketing, particularly social media. Those insights proved invaluable.

Many of the first posts you read here were companion pieces to my Southland articles. They were written in part to help courses see the opportunity in creating their own content and narrative. Guess what? I worked. And it still does.

The mentality of the magazine, especially a lifestyle magazine, is the mindset required for successful social media. You have to become introspective and take yourself on as your own beat and be your course’s biggest fan. If you’re not the one MOST excited one about your course, how many can you expect anyone else to be? Lead and content creative with passion and your golfers WILL follow.

Take your club on as your own “beat,” in magazine parlance. Scour the course, the kitchen, the golf shop and your wedding, events, tournaments, members and visitors for stories and insights into your club. That’s the “magazine” every course should be seeking to create to gain readers/followers.

Golf courses will long outlast modern publishing. How successful they will be, however, depends on how well they connect to their audience in the way magazines/newspapers, etc. once did. Are you ready for your social media to read like hot-off-the-press and go to work for you? Let 19th Hole Media help you discover you inner Southland Golf and thrive.

A Little Piece of Personal Publishing History


This is the latest cover of Southland Golf, which scored me my first cover story out here, a feature on Callaway Golf Marketing VP Harry Arnett. I’ll get the articles and links posted at the end of the week when the digital issue will hopefully be available.

I started writing for Southland Golf a year ago and this was favorite issue yet for several reasons. I got to work with two of my former mentors at the Golf Academy (Senior Instructor Mike Flanagan and Mark Hayden, now the GM at Eagle Crest) and make two new connections (Harry and Susan Roll of the Carlsbad Golf Center) I’d been wanting to make for a while. 

Hope you enjoy the issue.


Update: Arrowood recorded its first hole-in-one on Just One on Jan. 6, earning the winner $2,000.

Welcome to the So. Cal Golf Blog



         Ideally this post would’ve come first, but we were doing a bit of experimenting here at the home office while getting up and running and needed some quick content, or at least things that would give you a bit of a feel for what the content mix is going to be here, so first things came first.

         This week is what we’re considering the actual launch of the blog in that there should begin to be regular updates and a compatible Twitter feed. We’ll see how it goes, but we’ve got some fun stuff planned.

         At this point you may be wondering who I am and what this all about it. If so, that would make you the first of the many astute followers I hope to have here at the Southern California Golf blog.

         In short, I’m a former sportswriter and lifestyle magazine editor from the Midwest (originally from Iowa) who moved to California a year ago to seek a career in the golf industry, or related to.  I moved to San Diego in June of 2012 and attended the Golf Academy of America (yes, I went to golf college) in Carlsbad for two semesters before re-launching myself professionally in May by doing some work freelance work for Southland Golf, a monthly golf magazine published out of Orange County that covers golf on the coast. (You can see all the work I’ve done to date for them posted on the blog and tagged under Southland Golf.)

         Besides writing, I’ve spent the summer golfing, traveling, golfing while I’m traveling and networking with those in the golf industry. For instance, I went to Las Vegas in August for the West Coast PGA Show and had a blast.

         What you’ll see here is material generated from some of those experiences that hasn’t found a home yet in my professional work. I’m experimenting here a little with my writing and what I have to say about the big, wide, wonderful world of Southern California golf … and beyond. I went to Hawaii this summer as well. (I should maybe mention here that I’m having the best golf year of my life and look forward to telling you all about it.)

         Anyway, what I’m envisioning the content being here is a mix of course reviews, offshoots of some of the stories I do about the golf industry here in Carlsbad, topics I find timely and amusing from the golf world at large (see my post about Arnold Palmer) and other musings about daily life on the links in Southern California. At its best, I hope this blog will read like banter on a tee box, just two playing partners chatting it up on the course and talking about the things golfers talk about on the course (course recommendations, playing experiences, equipment, the tour, etc.) while we’re waiting – and out here, this can be awhile – for our next shot.

         What you won’t find here, such as when I write course reviews, is negativity. This space is meant to be a celebration and exploration of the golf bounty we are blessed to enjoy every day here in So. Cal.  Despite having played here now for some 14 months, I still consider myself in a bit of a honeymoon  phase with California golf. For all I’ve done, there’s so much more to explore, enjoy and appreciate.

         That’s not to say I’m not annoyed by slow play and the other issues that impact golf here on a daily basis, but when I write a course review, for instance, I hope it generates positive discussion about the course and doesn’t devolve into dwelling on rates, course conditions, service, etc. There are plenty of places to do that on the world wide web. I’d like to build a little on-line golf community here that embraces what’s great about golf here, because there’s so much that is. And if I can introduce newcomers, or travelers, to some of what’s great here, all the better. I still feel like I’m walking a bit in those golf shoes myself and my natural curiosity about everything golf here is part of what will be fueling the content.

         If you’re wondering about my game, it’s the best it’s ever been. My time in school, continuing lessons and practice, and capable playing partners have given me a game that will play anywhere. I’m just below a 10 handicap (I’ve been as low as an 8) and have a steady short game, a long game that keeps me competitive off the tee and an iron game that … needs work. The new Mizuno’s I bought and had fitted through school have helped greatly, but I still don’t hit enough greens.

         I shot 82 (37 on the back) at The Crossings in Carlsbad recently to lower my career low by a stroke. I’m on the hunt to break 80 and will probably document some of that process here as I’ve got some tips. My other goal is to shoot par for nine holes, which I nearly did during the Crossings round.

         I don’t have a home course, per se. School, my assignments and my travels have provided me opportunities throughout the region to play a number of spectacular public and private facilities, everywhere from Torrey Pines, Maderas and Journey at Pechanga to Marbella, La Costa and Coto De Caza. And I played both Kapalua courses (Plantation and Bay) while in Maui, a trip I most definitely WILL be writing about in the future.

         To close, a few random golf tidbits about me:

         – Favorite scene from “Tin Cup”: The scene where Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner) breaks all his clubs in a dispute with his caddy – except his seven-iron.  “I never miss with the seven-iron,” he says. “It’s the only truly safe club in my bag.”

         –       First shot I ever saw in a golf tournament I covered: A hole-in-one. No kidding.     

         –       Personal number of hole-in-ones: One. Labor Day 2012, No. 3 at the Vineyard in Escondido. 

         –       First PGA Tour event I attended: the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straights, yes, the one with the infamous sand-trap penalty on Dustin Johnson. 

         –        Favorite magazine golf piece: Rick Reilly’s attempt to par the Road Hole at the Old Course, published in Sports Illustrated in 1995. This was in his long-form days. SI was my sports writing textbook and this was one of the most impactful pieces for me and probably led to what I’m doing now. More about this in a future post. 

         –        Golf motto, especially when I’m having a bad round: There are 100 ways to enjoy a round of golf.

         Make that 101. I’ll add “Reading about it” to the list and hope to give you plenty of original material here that gives you reason to agree with me.