13 Years and 960 posts later, my presence on FreeGolfInfo.com is coming to an unceremonious end. Well, not just me; but everyone. On October 6th, FreeGolfInfo.com will shut its servers down.
That’s it! A golf site is shutting down! The demise of golf in eminent.
Okay, not really. There are plenty of places you can get your golf discussion fix. GolfWRX is doing just fine, I think. Still, FGI was one of the first golf sites I gravitated to. And in the days after rec. groups on IRC, but before social media, these sites were where people went to talk about golf.
I joined FGI in 2003. I started taking golf serious in the summer of 2002. FGI was critical to my knowledge and understanding of golf equipment. Before FGI, I had no idea that about component golf clubs and custom fitting. I just thought everything that wasn’t OEM name-brand was a knock-off. I had no idea that one of these guys, Tom Wishon, had fitted clubs for Payne Stewart; i.e., he knew his shit.
Through FGI, I got to meet up with many people passionate about golf equipment. We played everywhere from The Fort, Heritage Hill, Sultan’s Run, Windy Knoll, Shaker Run, Yankee Trace, Apple Valley, Mohican Hills, Cool Lake, Eaglesticks… and those are just the ones I attended! In fact, I met one of my best golf friends, Bill Weitzel of Conquest Custom Golf through FGI. Bill and I are still good friends to this date.
I’m not quite sure what sparked me not visiting the site as much. I did have a pretty good spat with some people after the 2005 Bengals vs. Steelers playoff game. You know, the Carson’s knee play? Other parts were my deeper attraction to golf course architecture, and sites like Golf Club Atlas. And some of it was I just wasn’t as interested in the equipment side as much. You can only hear about a dude hitting a new driver 300 yards with an X flex so many times.
I’m not exactly sure what was the ultimate cause of their demise. Lack of sponsors? Movement from a phpBB style forum format to Discourse (which I like much, much better)? In fighting between members and moderators? Explosion of sites like GolfWRX.com? Social media being more prevalent?
FGI will continue to live on in some format through the site Golfbuzz.com. I understand a lot of former FGI regulars have made the shift over there. I know the infamous “FGI Desert Storm Open” event will continue to live on.
Are you or were you a part of a golf forum that is dying or dead? Another one I visited, Golf Kentucky Links, is pretty much on its death bed. The previous owners of the site transitioned the site to another person. New content on the site is non-existent. Also, now that the explosion of new golf courses in Kentucky throughout the aughts is complete, there really isn’t that much to talk about other than current course conditions; a topic that can be discussed on many different formats.
It’s just strange to think about how much time you spent on some of these sites, only for them to fade to 404 into the empty internet abyss.
So, pour out some alcohol this Friday and remember FreeGolfInfo.com. RIP FGI. It’s been real.