McDonald on Golf Digest/Tour Deal

Tim McDonald at writes about the new media partnership between Golf Digest and the PGA Tour, and wonders if this will water down Golf Digest's coverage. sum up, we know what the corporate partners, the PGA Tour and the magazine (not to mention its sister publications in the Conde Nast family: GolfWorld, Golf For Women, GolfWorld Business, etc.) get out of this new marketing agreement. What do we readers get out of it? Well, I can tell you what we probably will not get out of it: any negative coverage of the PGA Tour, and maybe not even the whole story. That isn't what partners do.

Thanks to reader Stu for passing along the Travelgolf newsletter where managing editor Mark Nessmith slams me and other bloggers (including his own Travelgolf blogs) for not looking harder at this deal and questioning Golf Digest's integrity (guess he didn't see my recent Golfobserver column).

Nessmith suggests that I'm a "contributor" to the publication, which theoretically explains why the story was not posted here (actually, I didn't think it was news...these relationships are standard in golf):

A few reported the deal when it went down, some even dutifully posting the press release. But none - not one - thought to expound on the ramifications of such a cozy "partnership." Not engolfed, not Brent Kelley, not Geoff Shackelford (go figure, since Shack  is a contributor to Golf Digest  among others), not Golf Fore Golfers, not Going For The Green (go figure, since Robert Thompson is a contributor to and a course rater for Golf Digest), not Just-For-Golf  ... and none of the bloggers either. I couldn't find anyone who thought to stick up his or her hand and ask: Hey, aren't journalists supposed to offer critical coverage of what's going on, not just sanitized pap that their "partner" has vetted!? Not even the Rebel Blogger could be roused from his (welcome) silence of late to take on the Big Boys.

I'd email Nessmith to find out where my contributor's check has been going all these years, since it was six years ago that I last appeared in the pages of Golf Digest. But for some curious reason all of the Travelgolf people don't want to be contacted (it does help cut down on the emails when you can't get your facts straight).