GottaGoGolf: New Online Magazine Tees Up for Women Who Love the Game

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Publisher teams with veteran journalists on new venture described as "Oprah meets Golf Digest," unabashedly chiding the golf industry and traditional golf media for ignoring potentially powerful market

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Cover of the premiere issue of GottaGoGolf

"The golf industry is suffering because it has completely missed the boat on a huge potential market of 5 million women who have played the game and many more who might like to."

A new golf magazine has stepped up to the tee to speak to – and for – a category of golfers it claims is underserved and disdained by the golf industry and traditional golf media: Women.

GottaGoGolf, the online magazine for women who love the game, premiered Oct. 1 with a free, 61-page issue within the website http://www.gottagogolf.com. Published by Susan Fornoff, an ex-newspaper writer and editor experienced at covering professional golf and golf travel, the magazine features professional journalists.

Fornoff says she is already receiving messages from readers who missed Golf For Women, which folded in 2008, and welcome a magazine that advocates for them.

“The golf industry is suffering today because it has completely missed the boat on a huge potential market of 5 million women who have played the game and many more who might like to,” Fornoff said. “The traditional men’s golf magazines add to the golf industry’s misery by glorifying difficult, expensive courses and touting resorts that cater to men. They also completely ignore the reality of women’s lives – we are busy, we shop smart, and we want a social experience free of stress and embarrassment.”

The premiere issue, described for Fornoff as “Oprah meets Golf Digest,” compares Bandon Dunes, the Oregon golf destination deified in men’s magazines, and The Boulders, an Arizona golf resort that markets to women. It nominates the “sexiest pros in golf,” explores wine and food in the “19th Hole,” and features a Bandon Dunes caddie modeling fashions.

“We are staying away from tips and lessons,” Fornoff said. “The men’s magazines do that ad nauseum, and ‘Ladies Links Fore Golf’ focuses on technique for women. We’re more about talking golf and helping the golf consumer get her due. For instance, we have a series planned for next year chronicling a mid-life woman’s efforts to take up the game – but we’ll focus on her experience rather than mechanics.”

GottaGoGolf’s ad-free premiere issue will remain on the virtual newsstand through 2010 to build buzz with sponsors and readers. An annual cycle of 10 monthly issues Feb.-Nov. is planned, with an annual print edition if requested by readers.

“We have ad space both on the web site where readers log in and also within the pages of the magazine,” said Fornoff, who has not ruled out paid subscriptions. “And we’re creating another revenue stream with Women Welcome, a golf course evaluation and certification program that can bolster the industry’s female-appeal.”

Fornoff said she has partnered on Women Welcome with Cori Brett, an Arizona golf writer with whom she wrote the book “Northern California Golf Getaways.” They have just concluded their alpha test, she said, and Women Welcome will be accepting clients shortly.

“This is another way GottaGoGolf can serve golf-loving readers,” Fornoff said. “While I’m happy to take on the golf industry for ignoring women, I’d much rather heap a bunch of praise on the courses and companies that deserve our business.”

For more information on GottaGoGolf or Women Welcome, visit http://www.gottagogolf.com.

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Susan Fornoff

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