While the results of the survey that went out with issue 121 will not be collated for several weeks yet, when it comes to the question of the format in which you prefer to receive and digest Golf International, the message is loud and clear: good old-fashioned print is the runaway winner. It’s not even close. (We whisper this in certain circles, but the digital world is perhaps not all it’s cracked up to be – at least not for golfers who enjoy reading about golf.)
Of the thousand or so responses filed to date, less than 5% of you have indicated that you would rather go online to download Gi to a tablet, a mobile or a laptop, and enjoy the benefits so doing has to offer – clarity of images, ease of navigation, direct links to websites, video content and so on (all of which are readily available on our own dedicated platform via iTunes). Which just doesn’t add up. Because all we seem to talk about in the magazine business these days is...erm...how numbered those days are when it comes to the paper product. Stacked against the financial benefits of publishing online, the limitations of a traditional magazine – yes, even one lovingly crafted on 80gsm stock and 300gsm covers – seem insurmountable.
To add to the misery of chasing ever-dwindling advertising coffers ring-fenced for newsstand copy, chirpy PR and advertising types take delight in lathering you with ‘click-through’ numbers, ‘stickiness’ and ‘dwell time’, evidently the new currency in this virtual marketplace.
Except that one of the other things I’ve noticed, flicking through the completed surveys, is that the majority of you say you spend at least two hours reading each issue of Gi. Not only is that satisfying to the Gi team, but significant. The experience is not a fleeting one; to offer ‘Essential Reading From the Best in the Game’ has always been our goal – and it’s reassuring to know that you embrace those values.
Prepare, then, for a thoroughly entertaining read as we kick off 2014 just as we intend to go on, with 164 pages crammed full of unmissable content – a good deal of it aimed at helping you play better golf this season.
We are delighted to welcome back Jean Jacques Rivet, head of the European Tour Performance Institute (ETPI), who provides a fascinating insight into the way leading players are turning to the science of biomechanics to optimise performance, and the theory is backed up by Gi’s Jonathan Yarwood, who presents a masterclass in ‘quick fixes’ that will give you plenty to go out and work on at the start of this new season.
Turning to the Masters and other issues in world golf today, Tom Cox fulfilled a lifelong ambition when he interviewed Peter Alliss, finding the ‘Voice of Golf’ in typically ebullient mood, and John Hopkins profiles one of the most colourful characters in the game, Miguel Angel Jimenez, who will be looking to build on a strong record at Augusta. On the travel front we applaud Clive Agran on one of his most hair-raising adventures to date, cycling the South-West’s Atlantic Links from Trevose to Burnham & Berrow, while equipment editor Dominic Pedler turns the spotlight on the R&D wizardry behind a raft of fantastic new gear unveiled for 2014.
Celebrating all that is great in golf is essentially what Gi is about – and we’re delighted to have you along for the ride. Oh, and here’s a thought: to guarantee that you continue to receive your out-moded paper copy, why not subscribe?
Tradition, eh. In this game, you can’t beat it.
Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine
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