When Arnold Palmer, arguably the first household name in golf, and media wizard Joseph Gibbs formed the world’s first cable channel devoted entirely to golf in 1995, who knew they would also create one of the most comprehensive and informative websites devoted to golf? The site serves as a supplement to the television network with such detail that The Golf Channel UK’s website redirects most of its links back to its American counterpart.
It may look simplistic in style, but the website provides everything from daily golf headlines to point-by-point tournament information to a “What’s in the Bag?” section which highlights celebrity golfer equipment to a detailed history of the sport. Regular access to the video player requires a free subscription, but it includes a lengthy assortment of instructional videos (like a complex assessment of Lee Trevino’s swing), news and features (like Tiger’s outlook for 2007), and entertainment videos (like Natalie Gulbis relaxing by a pool in a bikini) that are searchable by date and popularity. Comprehensive scores and statistics are broken down by tournament. A paid subscription will let you gain access to the Video Vault, where previous segments are stored. Discussion is greatly encouraged on the site’s lively message boards. There are two online stores, one for the channel’s own products and one for affiliate site The Golf Warehouse, which sells gear at discount prices. The site even offers a variety of online instruction guides for the Sunday golfer. There are links to suggested golf travel excursions, lists of tee times, golf schools, college tours, a fantasy golf game, and everything else you could ever associate with the word golf.
If you’re a true golf fetishist, the “What’s in the Bag?” feature should be particularly fun for you. Over a hundred star players’ equipment bags are categorized by tournament and extensively itemized for trivia’s sake.