ARMCHAIR GOLF BLOG: Divots Eloquence at Royal Birkdale

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Poetry and pitching – you’d never have guessed, would you?

Here’s a quick little post from the Armchair Golf Blog, citing the little ditty to be found at Royal Birkdale encouraging golfers to replace the divots they churn up as they make their way around its golf course, rapidly approaching 125 years standing.

Like the armchair golf blog, I rarely get out on to the fairways and greens – it’s these confounded hips, you know?

In the spirit of adding rhyme where reason seems deplete, I thought I’d compose my own little passage to sum up the good and bad of being confined to a recliner, watching the world of golf slowly flit through a 21.5″ HD Benq monitor every day, rather than get out there on the course and spend as long, if not longer, in the 19th…

Title: Hip-flask to hip surgery

E’en ‘fore my op the green and tee

Often quite eluded me;

Now I sit and write, for succour

No more curse I that little…golf ball

Read, share, enjoy…

…TTFN, Thet Watson. x

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Daniel Volunteer Abroad in Cusco, Peru Volunteers Abroad Reviews and Feedbacks

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What was your favorite memory of this trip? The people I met while in Peru What was the most difficult thing you experienced? A 7 hour lay over in Lima airport I was surprised that….

The lengths some people will go to for non-profit leaves you humbled, sometimes.

This guy is so active in social media to promote the message from volunteers abroad – missionaries, really – it makes you wonder what we could do if we all put our heads together…

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European Ryder Cup Team Announced

Ryder Cup displayed at the 2008 PGA Show

Ryder Cup, CC wikipedia

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Poulter & Colsaerts make the cut

Next month sees Medinah host the 2012 Ryder Cup with Team Europe looking to defend the title they won so valiantly at Celtic Manor in 2010 on American soil…

And so, Olazábal names the final squad.

If you’ve followed my golfing commentary recently, I’ve been writing off Team USA’s chances, stating that there’s only one winner, and that’s us.

Why, then, when the final Team Europe selection is down in front of us in black and white, do I not have that self-same confidence that echoed across the blogosphere only 48 hours hence…

…can we do it?  What do YOU think?

I’d love to hear your opinions…

…TTFN, Thet Watson. x

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Win a Limited Edition Sergio-inspired adidas Golf Staff Bag!

Sergio Adidias Staff Bag

Sergio Adidias Staff Bag

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Just a very quick one, today folks –

Adidias/TaylorMade bring you the chance to win a Sergio Garcia-inspired staff-bag in honour of the Spaniard’s recent run of hot form.

Following up his victory @ Wyndham last week he looked like he was going for back-to-back victories, but failed at the last hurdle at Gleneagles, yesterday allowing home-soil golfer Paul Lawrie to take the Johnnie Walker.

Still, with RoMac’s domination of the US PGA, Garcia last week on US soil and Lawrie yesterday in Scotland (Paul, not Peter, the Irish fella), it would be a brave fellow indeed to back against Europe retainng the Ryder Cup in Medinah later this year.

Ryder Cup displayed at the 2008 PGA Show

The Ryder Cup, CC 2.0 Wikipedia

That’s enough waxing lyrical about the state of European golf – you want to know about this competition, right?

The question is relative to the bumph, I swear:

By how many strokes did Garcia win the Wyndham @ Greensboro, North Carolina, last week?

Was it: one, TWO or three?

I know – it’s just TWO easy, like starting up a TWO-stroke engine scooter on a downhill run. Got it?

Okay, good! Here’s the t & c stuff:

Closing date for entries is 5.00pm on the 31st August 2012.

TWO be in with a chance of winning this prize, they’re going to need your first and last name and email address and the answer TWO the question.

Not TWO tasking, is it?

Oh, one more thing: have you’ve picked up your copy this week’s edition of UK Golf? It’s a cracker this week. With some very special offers for the American golf circuit, too!  Get it now and share it with all of your golfing buddies – it’s free, no subscription required.  Share the golfing love!

If you’re reading this directly on Scoop.It/UK Golf, the link to the competition’s through the the title.

If you’re on Get Thet Go or It Drives Like A Golf, the link’s here: T-mag Competitions/Garcia Golf Bag

Okay – that’s it for today.

Have a very happy Monday,

Thet Watson. xxx

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Blogging – page-rank versus quality

Who would have thought that writing every day would be such tasking work?

Not just opening up the lap-top and hoping that a topic of interest will transmigrate from brain via fingers to blog-post.  If it were simply the case of plain, creative writing, the problem would be how to staunch the flow, not unplugging the dam.

No, I’m talking about writing for the same niche, day-in, day-out and keeping it fresh. Since I’ve been writing for Golf,, I’ve come to realise how challenging it can be to report ‘news’ in the sense of ‘look what’s new in our neck-of-the-woods’ articles, regularly.

Time is, as ever, an issue; application, subsequently, suffer. My issue is that there are hundreds of blogs in the niche (and many others) pumping out re-hashed ‘how-to-perfect-your-golf-swing’ guidelines and ‘ten-top-tips-for-golfing-UK’ articles.

Although the posts to which I refer can hardly be considered ‘news’, and in a very real sense, many can neither be considered English, due to their population with all the right SEO tactics and keywords (used however inappropriately), they shine in page-rank statistics, even in this post-Penguin world.

These are so obviously ‘spun’ articles: great swathes of transcript simply copied from a legitimate writer’s work, dumped into a spinner and then churned out by the freelance mills as ‘articles’. This practise really ought to be addressed by the digital copyright companies and the creators of the software that allows ‘writers’ to re-hash what was probably an informative artle in the first instance, charged with intent.

In an attempt not to be dragged down to that level, I’m constantly trying to find ways of picking through the headlines or reading between other lines that allow me to craft posts, which:

  • don’t drive readers away as soon as they open the article by adding an opinion (or at least a human voice),
  • maintain integrity to the post/language and look at each one from a different angle, and
  • draw potential golfers to the site to provide quality, comprehensible information that resolves an issue that they may have but scarce appears online in intelligible transcript.

The task is not helped by online freelancer agencies who permit their clients’ jobs to be posted categorically stating the need for ‘spun’ material.  It is obvious that they are not intended for reading, only to confuse the spiders that crawl the web-pages looking for ‘content’ that isn’t plagiarised.  Since Penguin slapped a few arses, there has been, at least, a drop off in the number of ‘BMR (build my rank) job requests, where clients want 150-300 word articles in volume and are willing to pay only $0.50/article and no more.

Okay, the pay is so poor a genuine writer would not envisage bidding for the project, but that surely raises another point: what protection do freelance writers get with relation to minimum pay?

There must be a minimum rate per 100 words for original content set, across the globe!  Or at least factored in by the freelance agencies in relation to the country from which the writer operates.  That way, a client can decide to pay low wages for crap content or pay a liveable Western World wage for quality content.

The fact that some writers work for peanuts depreciates the market for other, more talented, writers; employers get used to paying a below-value price and almost take it as an insult when you suggest a rate of $4/100 words.  If a client isn’t prepared to pay $20 for a 500-word article, they neither have interest in their audience nor developing trust with writers for the long term.

No, something needs to be done – urgently!

If you agree, share this article if you know someone with whom it may hold sway.

There are countless other writers who feel the same but with how large some of these online freelance agencies have become (I’ll not name them – actually, yes I will – & – but I won’t give them the satisfaction of unnecessary links) that they are unwilling to voice their opinion for fear of being struck off.  I know this fear is real for sure as the oDesk group on LinkedIn has tried to cut me off three times for voicing an opinion about the state of the market, without any comments made directly at them.

Thanks in advance, Zebedeerox.

oDesk Certified Management Skills Manager oDesk Certified Online Article and Blog Writer

DarrellSuper6 – Results Week 2

Well, next Saturday being the first of September, we’ve already got our first Manager of the Month in the DarrellSuper6 league.  As with last year, Ken gets off to a flyer, helped by correctly predicting that his beloved West Brom would get a point in a 1-1 draw at Spurs.  And, like last season for the first four months, Micky D finished the month runner-up, just a point behind.

Pat got her first prediction of the season correct today, also predicting the Spurs/West Brom draw, putting her in third position in the league after week 2 with 7 points.  Jase and Les are next, level on four points; both are yet to guess a correct score, although they have had two correct results in each of the first two weeks.  Jordan’s got it all to do, lagging behind on three points; if he’d not guessed the golden goal in the first week last, he’d have scored a duck and been even further behind – as it is, he’s just a point of the two above him on three.

DarrellSuper6 Week 2

DarrellSuper6 Week 2

To download as a pdf., the above table is available here: Week 2 results

Next week is the first round of the cup; I’ve not done the fixtures, yet, but they will be exactly the same as they were last year, which you can find on our old site.  Therefore, the first round of the cup will see:

  • Jase play Les, husband and wife, head to head;
  • Jord take on Pat – ooh, the moaning by the eventual loser…, and
  • the battle of the Granddads, Ken vs Mick.
    • I was going to say ‘old bastards’, but changed my mind…

Last season, after the first qualifying round robin, Micky D was unstoppable. It didn’t matter who he’d have faced any week, he seemed to save the best performances of the season for the first week of every month and waltzed to the final, where a point for the Golden Goal eventually saw him edge out Pat 7-6 on the first Saturday in May to take the trophy.  Let’s see what this year’s cup brings.

We’ll finish off by saying congratulations to Ken for guaranteeing himself a medal and a share of the pot next May so soon after this season’s kick off with the first manager of the month award.

For Week 3 fixtures and entry form (registered players only), go to the entry form page.