All over the world, 20 million amateur and pro golfers swing at the luscious green pastures of famous and eclectic golf courses. This number is set to increase in the coming years, as the younger generation catch up on the game. In 1985 there were roughly 17 million golfers in the U.S. playing over 414 million rounds of golf, at over 12,000 facilities.
By 2010, the numbers had climbed to over 30 million golfers playing almost half a million rounds, at almost 19,000 facilities. Because of its huge market, a freelance writer can find several magazines and trade journals covering the addictive sport of golf.
You can be a prolific golf writer/freelance writer tackling the following top 10 hot topics:
1. Junior Golf
More kids are playing golf, and many compete at local and state levels to win scholarships for college. The world-renowned American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) can attest to the growth of young golfers. You can write about kiddie tournaments, how-to play golf junior style, popular junior players, golf associations, tips on how to play golf, how to balance golf and school, or how to be a member of AJGA.
2. Beginner’s Guide
The game of golf may look simple to someone watching it on TV, but it isn’t. Golf is mental, physical, strategy and patience all working together to hit a tiny white ball. So even if many individuals are playing golf, some beginning golfers quit too soon because of frustration. You can help struggling golfers with topics aimed at helping them overcome obstacles, such as how to choose the best clubs, how to hold the club, the best way to swing without throwing out your back, and how to increase your skills with specific instructional lessons.
3. Golf Industry
Do golfers need to know about certain golf rules and regulations? What are the different golf policies all over the world? What are the trends in golfing? Who are the major players now? Anything that goes in-depth into golf can be a potential topic.
Score a feature by publishing interviews of well-known pro golfers. Share to your readers their best-kept secrets, personal lives, upcoming plans, and sentiments on their game and the industry.
5. Golf Courses
Golfers are always on the hunt for the best places to golf. Plenty of magazines, on the other hand, have come up with their own list. You can add more. Perhaps you’ve discovered a new golf course within your area. You can also talk about new features of existing golf courses.
A huge deal of golf revolves on tournaments, especially PGA. It generates millions of viewers worldwide. Your topics can be about the tournaments, player statistics and rankings, inside scoops, behind-the-scene stories, and losses and wins.
7. Coaches and Teachers
As mentioned, the sport can be tricky, and a lot are looking for great trainers. You can lead them to the best by featuring the best teachers. You can also inspire budding coaches by the successes of their predecessors.
8. Golf Equipment
Golf will never be what it is without the clubs and the ball. Over the years, manufacturers have modified the golf clubs to improve the playing dynamics of players. Revenues generated from the retail sale of golf related equipment – clubs, bags, balls etc. is enormous. The total for all equipment bought in 2000 was $2.5 billion and climbed to over $4 billion in 2010. You can talk about the innovation, new technology, types of clubs, and where to get them.
9. Club Tests and Tips
This can be related to the Equipment topic. Your article may revolve around the effectiveness of these clubs, as well as how golfers can maximize their use.
10. Pro Golf
Almost everyone who loves golf watches and keeps track of pro golf. They look up to the seasoned players, such as Tiger Woods, Kevin Na, Brendan Steele, and Gary Hallberg. You can feature the leader board, European tour, Champions Tour, or any latest news about pro golf and the players.
Who’s Your Audience?
A huge percentage of golf lovers are males, making up around 90 percent. Their age is usually over 55, but around 18 percent are below 34 years old. This means the young adults are also expressing interest in the game.
Where Should You Submit Your Work?
Golf Fitness Magazine
(http://www.golffitness-magazine.com) — Golf fitness magazine is dedicated to the sport of golf by focusing on the body & mind as the primary means to lowering handicaps, reducing injuries, and ultimately enjoying the game for a lifetime.
Golf Tips Magazine
(http://www.golftipsmag.com/) — The magazine provides instruction and tips to golfers of all levels. Articles features equipment guides, selection guides, instruction of new and old techniques and information on challenging courses.
Golf Monthly Magazine
(http://www.golf-monthly.co.uk) — Golf Monthly focuses on expert golf instruction, equipment reviews, advice on where to play and stay, plus player interviews and issues affecting every level of the game.
(http://www.golf.com) — Publishes top-caliber golf tips, equipment reviews, custom fitting opportunities for the best clubs, travel & lifestyle content, and player interviews.
(http://www.golfdigest.com) —Golf Digest is edited for golf enthusiasts at all levels of ability-from beginners to low-handicap players-to help them improve their play and enjoy the game even more. Each month, Golf Digest provides in-depth, “how-to” instruction and tips.
(http://www.golfweek.com/) — Golfweek publishes in-depth and insightful coverage of golf, from mini-tour events to the newest trends in the golf industry.
The Green Magazine Golf
(http://www.thegreenmagazine.com/) — The Green Magazine delivers the game’s rich history, how it is played today, and coverage of luxury destinations, fine dining, and wines & spirits.
(http://www.linksmagazine.com) — Links focuses on the golf lifestyle. In recent years it has introduced its readers to emerging international destinations.
What Do Editors Look For?
Know the game by heart. Even if you’re just writing a human interest story, you’ll feature a couple of golf terms. It pays to watch a few games before you write an article. As for the length, tips are usually very short and detailed, while features can be around 1,500 words or more.
How Do You Pitch Ideas?
Many of the high-circulation golf magazines do not post writer’s guidelines online, nor tell you how to propose a story idea or submit a query letter. Without this information, it is difficult to research pay rates, which departments welcome freelance submissions, whom to contact, and what upcoming topics that the editors need.
Editors assume you already know how to pitch a story idea. Simply e-mail the editor for submission guidelines; if none exist, then ask the editor if you can submit a query. It’s that simple. Because high-circulation golf magazines only work with professional freelance writers, you need to have at least 5-7+ years of related experience before an editor will spare some free time to look over your query.
Several magazines release stories that fit the season. If a golf magazine has an editorial calendar online, then research the upcoming topics, especially seasonal stories. You may want to keep tabs on tournaments and golf charity events. Have the story in mind and create a short proposal. Send the editor an email to the editor. For a higher chance of success, it is always best to write for your local golf magazine first.
How Much Do Golf Magazines Pay Freelance Writers?
High-circulation, newsstand golf magazines with readerships in the 2-6 million pay freelance writers between $1 and $2 per word, depending on the topic and for which department they are writing. Golf magazines with lower circulations, such as local golf magazines or golf trade journals, pay between .25 to .75 word.
A golf magazine should pay you extra for photos, which can pay between $50 per photo to $800 for a cover shot. These days, golf magazines prefer (or demand) to buy All Rights to your article (for print and digital media), which also may include your photos. Submit a query letter to the editor. Be sure to include as much details as possible on your idea, the proposed length of the article and the photography that you expect to provide.