On one hand, we have the professional golf circuit in all its glory. The PGA Tour remains the most popular, having become the default television coverage destination for golf fans most weekends. The European Tour is a close second, followed by the Champions Tour and LPGA. If you're really golf-nerdy you may even follow the mini-tours. You also probably don't have a girlfriend.
On the other hand, there is the amateur golf majority. Most of us will live in this world for our entire lives, forced to make statements like "for the love of the game" or "play whenever I get away from the kids" until the day we die. Sure; we may drop a few dollars to play a TPC Course or to buy the same driver Tiger Woods is using, but that's as close as we are going to get to "pro status". And that's OK.
I tend to dabble in both worlds due to the uniqueness of my profession: golf writing. I have to pay attention to the professionals (and usually write some grade-A crap about what I see), but at my core I remain a weekend hacker like everyone else. I'll play between 20 to 30 times a season if I'm lucky. I might even take some golf lessons to keep my handicap as low as I can. Big whoop.
Despite understanding what appears to be two very distinct "worlds", one thing still pisses me off about this great game: elitism.
Golf has always maintained a sense of luxury and exclusivity. It may be unspoken, but we all know it's there. Try as we might to break down walls, to preach inclusion or to bring the game to different generations, golf still thrives on fancy, shiny things and places that cost a lot of money.
I don't have a lot of money. Chances are you don't either. But we both want to enjoy this game as much as possible.
That leads me to my opening statement: this blog needs an enema. A flushing out. A reboot. A rebranding.
ChicagoDuffer.com has gone through a number of changes in its eight year history. What started as an outlet for me to voice my opinion on what I saw on television has grown into a hub comprised of equipment reviews, press releases, longform journalism and news regurgitation. But for whom? Who is my audience? What is this blog's mission and vision?
Today, that becomes more clear. This blog will be dedicated to the only people that matter: the "rest of us".
From this point forward I will be writing with you, the reader, in mind. You are my peers. You are who I play golf with, who I drink beer with, and usually who I make fun of when you mix the two.
You may notice a few changes in my writing style in the coming months. I'm probably going to use strong language. I'm not going to be nice just for the sake of being nice. I'm going to be brutally honest about any products or services I review. Why? Because you and I would speak that way over a beer or in a pro shop.
There is a fine line between "professionalism" and "candor." I'm about to erase that line altogether.
I hope you'll enjoy what I have in store.