The Golden Ferret has awoken from its hibernation, poked his head out from his burrow, and did not see his shadow, heralding the early arrival of spring.
For those of you savvy to the Mustelidae family of mammals, you might be saying, “Hey, wait a second, ferrets don’t hibernate! And it’s groundhogs, not ferrets. This is just silly.” And you would be correct. Like the site’s tagline, it’s a silly analogy to start a serious post.
On January 6th of 2020, I published the first post on this site, already gearing up for what promised to be the busiest month in the golf industry and certainly the site’s busiest as well. One of the cornerstones of TGF is the goal to cover the PGA Merchandise Show unlike any other site had done in the past, and that’s just what we did. I was very proud of the work we did covering the 2020 show, and I was excited about TGF’s future.
Unfortunately, it turned out that 2020 was not the year any of us expected it to be.1
As early as January — at the trade show, in fact — the news of a very contagious virus made me nervous about being surrounded by 40,000 other people. As we moved into March, the situation had progressed enough that the PGA was canceling tournaments. By May, it was apparent that this wasn’t going to end anytime soon, and the PGA Fashion Show was canceled and replaced with a smaller, virtual event.
That’s just related to the golf world. Lockdowns, job losses, shortages of basic necessities, and the worst — the loss of life — affected not just myself, my community, or my country, but the entire world. These abnormal events gave rise to what were increasingly normal emotions of depression, anxiety, and stress. Even for somebody as relatively untouched as myself, these emotions would start to dominate my very existence. I count myself incredibly lucky. My loved ones and I have remained healthy. I was able to retain my job and work from home full time while unemployment skyrocketed and essential workers were forced to go into their places of work. I was even in an area of the country that allowed some fairly normal things, like golf, to continue throughout the entire year, where other states and countries have forced courses to close during lockdowns.
On better days I just felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, experiencing the same day over and over being stuck at home. On worse days it was an oppressing feeling of doom. It all started to take its mental toll on me, and I know I’m not alone in that experience. More specifically to the site, it created a sheer lack of motivation to continue covering an industry that had also seemed to go into hibernation until the latter part of 2020.
Now that’s not to say that golf itself floundered. In fact, 2020 was a record year for golf in many areas that kept their courses open. An outdoor activity that naturally allowed social distancing protocols to be observed caused a boom in tee time bookings that hasn’t been seen since Tiger Woods became a household name two decades ago. A previously lazy Sunday afternoon round is now a pace-of-play-breaking slog, sandwiched between foursomes or moresomes. Who knew that a worldwide pandemic would be a massive boon to a stagnating industry.
But back to The Golden Ferret. Where does the site stand, and what are our plans?
Despite not posting since May of last year, I’ve continued to golf regularly. In doing so, I’ve ended up doing a lot of long-term testing on many different products that I’ll be posting reviews of. There are many golf-related stories and musings to tell in the form of blog posts. The PGA tour has returned to a normal schedule, and there is news to post about that. In short, while TGF was on hiatus, golf itself was not.
So there is plenty to do, and since this Golden Ferret has finally awoken from his slumber, he is ready to get back to posting about all things golf.
My full-time job has always been in the IT world, but I’ve also spent the better part of a decade writing product reviews and helping cover large industry-only trade shows. It was only in the latter part of 2019 that I put two and two together and realized I should be doing the same thing for something I’ve loved my whole life — golf. This is the culmination of a hobby that started as a child, a hobby that turned into a passion as an adult, and finally a passion that turned into The Golden Ferret.