In the off-season, I started a series on the best blogs on women's golf to try to draw some attention to the bloggers whose writing and perspectives I value the most. Of course, Hound Dog LPGA was at the top of my list, followed by Waggle Room and Seoul Sisters (a spin-off from the amazingly informative Seoul Sisters.com site). At a time when many fans are recycling Yellow Peril/Asian invasion discourses to put down the LPGA, finding it difficult to connect with players whose languages and cultures are different from their own, or hungering for more information about a wider range of players than the national media typically focuses on, I thought it was time to say a bit more about some of the bloggers I feature in the Mostly Harmless Golfarama sidebar.
Let's start with 2 veteran LPGA bloggers from whom I've learned a great deal.
Bill Jempty started golf blogging as the Florida Masochist and is now the editor at OTB Sports. He writes on Florida sports in general, but his passion is the LPGA. He's one of the 1st LPGA bloggers who really stood out to me back in 2007. He was one of the earliest and most trenchant critics of now-ex-LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens, is a tireless critic of gaffes by golf journalists, and one of the first golf bloggers to seek and get media credentials to cover a tournament. You may not always agree with Bill, but you're going to have to think hard about why you don't. If you like fiery, provocative, combative, but always well-informed golf blogging, then he's your guy.
Brent Kelley is About.com's golf guide, so it's no surprise that terms like thoughtful, judicious, clear, and comprehensive spring to mind to characterize his writing on golf in general and the LPGA in particular. Browse through his blog archives and you'll see what I mean. It's not that he's unwilling to take a stand, but you can be confident that he'll have explored an issue from every angle before offering his perspective. Take, for example, the Michelle Wie follies of 2008. He had the best take on her DQ at the State Farm and her absence from the Women's British Open of anyone out there. Yup, when Brent Kelley speaks, people listen. At least people with any sense do.
Now let's turn to a pair of newer writers who are finding their feet and their voices and deserve even larger audiences.
Stephanie Wei started Wei Under Par back in March and since then has distinguished herself as a blogger/vlogger with great access to players like Christina Kim, Jeehae Lee, Anna Grzebien, Paige Mackenzie, and Ryan Moore (as well as caddies) and great insight into political, economic, and cultural issues facing the LPGA. What's more, she writes with heart, humor, and style.
Brian Heard at Women's Golf Center is doing a fantastic job profiling a wide range of Korean, Taiwanese, and Japanese players on the LPGA and identifying the latest trends and tough issues on tour.
So there you have it, 7 bloggers to check in on regularly. But also worth checking out are Golf Girl, Golf Babes, and Cross-Court Birdies.
Among the player-bloggers out there, I'm enjoying Tiffany Joh, Momoko Ueda, and Louise Friberg the most. (Maybe if I could read Japanese I'd add Ai Miyazato, Shiho Oyama, and Miho Koga.) You can see which players, journalists, bloggers, and tournaments I'm following on Twitter if you're curious about how micro-blogging-meets-social-networking works.
The point is, there's actually plenty of good information and great stories out there in the golfoblogosphere. If you combine that with the kind of local coverage of LPGA events that Golf Observer follows and the international scope of Asian Golf Daily, you'll have gone from better-informed fan to women's golf expert-in-the-making!
[Update 1 (7/17/09, 3:02 pm): Please help Hound Dog celebrate his 3-year blogiversary!]