I received a terse but honest email last week from my editor at Travelgolf.com. None of the usual “it’s not you, it’s us” or “we’re moving in a different direction” or even “you really should take a look at that.” The company made a decision to eliminate non-staff blogs and RonMon was on the chopping block. I read it with the fortunate grace of 47 years of acquired knowledge and wisdom. Things change, things end. We expect and want them to endure, but they don’t.
The RonMon blog was my entry into a wider audience. BuffaloGolfer (nee Buff-Golf) began in 1998 as a paper foldover, distributed to area golfing establishments by hand and on foot. It went worldwide-web a year or two later and changed names just once. In 2005, I cyber-accosted Mark Nessmith, the editor of Travelgolf and Worldgolf and petitioned a blog space on his site. He assented, offered his unwavering trust and RonMon was born.
The early days on the site were rowdy and rambunctious. The web was wild west all the way and people were flinging ideas and accusations around with aplomb and confidence. The early bloggers at Travelgolf had a way of slinging barbs at each other, chirping one another’s work and questioning each other’s mental faculties. It was locker room and street corner rolled into one. At times, we got into a bit of trouble, but we never looked back and we always learned.
As the internet aged at a quicker-than-normal pace, our writing styles evolved. Stability came to the web and I was forced to add maturity to my posts. Most days, I succeeded. The occasional fire-from-the-hip entry made its way into the live forum, but the vast majority of updates were well-researched and worded contributions.
I blogged from major championships and municipal courses. I traveled to Bandon, Koehler, Pinehurst and Myrtle. I visited Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and many other states, always on my own dime…
Oh, that’s right. I forgot to mention that the RonMon blog, being non-staff, was also non-funded. Anywhere I went, came out of my own pocket. I did it for love of the game and its courses, for adventure and awareness. I was Kerouac in a kilt, plus-fours, plaid pants, carpenter pants and compression undergarments (to ward off the cold.)
I had plans to visit Long Island for two USGA championships in 2013. I expected to be at Rochester for the PGA in August. I knew that another trip to Oregon, to see Old MacDonald and Preserve, along with Bandon Crossings and the site for the Bandon muni golf complex, would follow in 2014.
And then, the email. With that one gentle zephyr, a forum was gone, a vessel had gone to port, a portal had closed.
I’ll still make those trips. However, I’ll be writing for BuffaloGolfer 100% these times.
I tried to log into the blog, to add one more post about up-and-coming, get-out-of-my-way Lizette Salas, but I could not. The locks were changed, the windows latched and the hole in the fence was sealed.
It’s kinda funny. In my final post for the RonMon blog, I confess that my stock profile image is about 5 years out of date. I look younger, less grey, less weathered. Those moments, frozen in time, are wondrous.
Thanks, Mark. It was quite a run.