Golf Monthly has appointed three new staff writers, unveiled a rolling programme of website upgrades, and announced the launch of a newstrade marketing campaign as it gears up for golf’s return from lockdown.
In early February, Golf Monthly’s website domain name switched from golf-monthly.co.uk to golfmonthly.com to give the brand increased global visibility on search engines. It will soon relaunch on parent company Future plc’s proprietary ‘Vanilla’ platform, which offers an enhanced SEO authority, a premium user experience and a suite of new advertising formats.
The site saw 1.59 million users visit in February (a 107% increase on February 2020) and monthly pageviews rise to 3.2 million – up 32% year-on-year.
Golf Monthly, which celebrates its 110th year of publication in 2021, is benefitting from a six-figure investment by Future plc to help drive further growth and work towards realising the ambition of becoming the leading source of golf equipment buying advice in the world.
The investment is not limited to the brand’s digital platforms. The April cover-dated issue of the magazine (on sale from March 4) features an innovative paper wrapping that offers a very high-impact premium aesthetic and is more environmentally friendly than the previous poly wrapping. The premium-priced issue will be accompanied by a 116-page ‘Build A Better Swing’ bookazine to offer a compelling start-of-season package.
The issue is the first of a run of nine consecutive promoted issues that includes the UK&I Top 100 Courses Rankings (May), Editor’s Choice (June) and 116-page Shoot Lower Scores bookazine (July).
To accelerate the multi-platform content-creation process, Golf Monthly has hired three new staff writers: Dan Parker, Andrew Wright and Matt Cradock.
Parker, 23, is a recent graduate based in Solihull. He completed his undergraduate degree in American Studies at the University of Sussex, which included a year studying in Colorado. He then completed a Masters in International Journalism at the University of Sussex, where he started his own cricket podcast and website, Cow Corner. Throughout his studies, Dan worked for American Golf at branches in West Sussex and Coventry, becoming a custom-fit specialist during his two-and-a-half years with the company. Dan is a left-handed golfer who plays to a handicap of 16.
Parker said: “I can’t wait to get started with Golf Monthly. I’ve been helping golfers find the correct equipment for a number of years now, and this exciting opportunity at Golf Monthly will allow me to reach an even broader spectrum of golfers and hopefully give some good advice on their future equipment choices.”
Wright, a lifelong golfer, graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2019 with a Masters in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the instruction editor for National Club Golfer. Since May last year, he has been a prolific content creator for a variety of websites covering football, Formula 1 and golf. A member at Royal Troon, he plays to a handicap of 2.
Wright said: “I’m extremely excited to be joining such an established and respected brand as Golf Monthly and I look forward to working with the team to grow its content offering.”
Craddock, who graduated with a degree in Sports Journalism from Solent University in 2019, enjoyed a work experience placement with Golf Monthly back in 2018, when he produced content during the Ryder Cup. Now having returned, he will primarily be covering breaking news during PGA Tour and European Tour events. He took up the game aged eight and currently has a handicap of 4.
He said: “The fact I grew up reading Golf Monthly and am now producing content for it is pretty surreal. When I’m not working, I’m on the course, and to join a brand that is so established within golf is a fantastic opportunity for me.”
Speaking about the appointments, Golf Monthly editor Mike Harris said: “We had an incredible number of applications from within and outside the golf industry for these roles, but Dan, Andrew and Matt stood out early on in the process with their combination of digital skills, subject knowledge and understanding of the Golf Monthly vision to become the global number-one source of buying advice.
“What also impressed us was the fact that throughout the challenging preceding 12 months where opportunities were thin on the ground, they didn’t wait for an opportunity to come to them – they proactively sought out ways to produce top quality digital sports content.”