Sean Weir is a recreational golfer with a writing background who passionately created and successfully launched PutterZone.com (PZC) three years ago.
PutterZone.com is dedicated to helping the average golfer improve his putting game through heightened awareness of putter purchasing options, putter fitting factors, and putting fundamentals.
The site features the latest news and reviews of the best putters, sometimes before they have been released to the market. PZC also features interviews with putter industry insiders, as well as putting drills from top instructors.
Its stories have been linked to by USA Today and the Chicago Sun Times, among others. PZC has also been recognized as a top golf blog by Rankmark Golf, Golf Digest, World Golf and others. It was one of the first golf sites chosen to be featured on the Amazon Kindle.
I have seen Sean’s passion since 2007 when we first worked on SeeMore Putter Co. projects, and recently caught up with him about PutterZone.com.
How did you decide to start PutterZone.com?
I was searching for a new putter in early 2007, and I went to my local golf chain store. The clerk wasn’t very helpful, and he couldn’t really answer my questions. My wife calls me a “tire kicker,” because I tend to do a lot of research on things before handing over my credit card. So I left the store, went home and hopped on the web. I was looking for a centralized resource, a place where I could get comprehensive information on putters, communicated in a way that the average recreational golfer could understand and apply. But I couldn’t find that resource. That’s when the idea for PutterZone.com came to me. I have a degree and background in journalism, and I figured if I was going to start an educational journey into the world of putters, I might as well report on that journey, share what I was learning and ultimately create the type of resource that I’d been looking for. Subconsciously, I might have also been seeking a good excuse to spend more time on the practice green!
How are you feeling about PZC and its progress to date?
I feel great about the progress of PutterZone.com. It really is a journey, and it’s a labor of love. I’ve made a lot of friends in the industry along the way, and I’ve learned a lot, too. It’s particularly gratifying to get feedback from readers who say that the site has helped them. I view myself as the average PutterZone.com reader—I’m a recreational golfer with a busy family life who loves the game of golf, and who wants to play the game better when I do have a chance to get out on the course. If PutterZone.com can help someone grow their enjoyment of the game, that’s the ultimate reward.
What has been your most memorable moment to date?
Two moments stand out to me. The first is my original interview with putter designer Robert Bettinardi. The site was just a few weeks old at the time, and it had no track record whatsoever. And here was this legend in the industry, taking time out of his busy schedule to participate. It showed me that if I knocked, doors would open. The other happened just a few weeks ago, when I woke up on Tuesday morning and learned that Tiger Woods had switched putters at the British Open. It was huge breaking news, at least in the putter world, and I ended up producing a whole series of related stories that week. It was a real adrenaline moment. I didn’t just want to rehash what was already being reported. I wanted to add to the story, and to provide context and perspective.
What will viewers get exclusively from PZ?
You’ll get comprehensive and exclusive original content dedicated to the world of putters, including product reviews, news, interviews and tips from leading instructors. If you have a question about putters, you’ll likely find your answer on PutterZone.com.
How do you think digital publications are affecting golf?
Digital publications are the engine behind what I would call the “niche era” of content consumption. You no longer have to wait a month for your favorite golf magazine to arrive, hoping that it might have a feature on the latest putters. You can just go to PutterZone.com. So I think that digital publications will increasingly play an energizing role in the game of golf. Nothing fuels a hobby like good information, and with the advent of digital media, good information has never been easier to find
A recent National Golf Foundation report says more golfers are getting brands news from emails, what trends are you seeing in digital golf marketing?
What I see is an evolution, not a revolution, when it comes to digital marketing. Every time some new digital marketing tool comes along, we hear that it’s going to change everything overnight. First it was web sites, then it was email campaigns, then it was blogs, then it was video, and now its social media. I think that people are starting to realize that there is no “magic tool.” I think it’s more about stocking your toolbox, and using all of these tools effectively and synergistically. And no matter what tool you’re using, compelling content will never go out of style. That’s a rule that goes all the way back to the printing press and the Gutenberg Bible. Content still rules.
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