Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

Interview with Debert Cook, publisher, African American Golfer’s Digest

Published

on

This interview took more than a while to consolidate.

Have a look at the timeline:

  • Sometime in February: I send an email to Debert Cook
  • April 23rd: Debert responds that she would like to participate
  • June 2nd: I finally get the questions to Ms. Cook
  • Today: our interview goes live

As one who initiated a smallish golf publication/website in the early 2000s (BuffaloGolfer.Com) I can relate to the steps and stumbles that Ms. Cook has endured along the way.

A publication that speaks for a people and a culture is especially important to golf, and this is what makes Debert Cook such a worthy personage for this introspective.

Time to step out of the way and let the light shine on Ms. Debert Cook.

1. You are Debert (pronounced DAY-bear or DUh-bear) Cook, the publisher of African American Golfer’s Digest. Please tell us a bit about yourself, outside of the story of AAGD (we will get to that story, we promise!)

DC: I am the grand-daughter of a West Virginia coal miner who lost both of his legs in a mining accident at age 22. In our home, two pictures hung on the wall: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and President John F. Kennedy. I worked my way through college playing trumpet and alto saxophone in a R&B band and auditioned at Detroit’s Motown. Love to travel: I’ve traveled to six continents, nine African countries, met 5 African Heads of State and will be in Antarctica in Nov. 2021.

2. Now it’s time for the story of African American Golfer’s Digest. The magazine is 17 years old. What compelled you to start a magazine in 2003, and what was the beginning like?

DC: I opened my company, Event Planners Plus NA Inc. in 1998, after working 20-years in corporate America as a meeting planner, and started receiving invitations to charity golf outings. Recalling how my previous bosses had received some of these same invites and returned with hands-full of business cards (for me to input into their sales databases), I decided that attending may also be good for my new business and help me to get business leads.

So, I signed up for six weeks of beginner golf lessons at Chelsea Piers in New York City. After learning the basics, buying a set of ladies right-hand clubs, glove and balls at K-Mart, I packed up my gear and headed off to a Meeting Professionals International Golf Tournament in Las Vegas. There, I had a great time, met some nice people and yes, returned to my office with a stack full of business cards! Making calls, some of those new contacts turned into advertisers in my magazine.

It was thrilling to learn this new game, because I have always been active in sports like tennis, softball, basketball and even won third place in our city track meet at South High School (Youngstown, Ohio, 1976) for discus…my golf instructor told me that this is one reason my long drive wins at many tournaments.

3. Is publishing a magazine in 2020 at all similar to what it was like in 2003?

DC: Heck no! Digital is king (queen) nowadays. In 2003 everything was paper, print, paste-up, copy, fax. These days, none of that is a part of our business operations. Yet, my readership, which skews older (70% age 50+) are adjusting to the digital landscape, and to our digital platform—yet still calling me to renew their print subscriptions at $48/annually (previously $18).

4. Define your audience for us. It is too simple to look at the title and restrict your readership. Let us know more about whom African American Golfers Digest seeks out.

DC: Yep, it 89% African American readers. Others are either Hispanics, Asians, or curiosity seekers.

5. At what point did AAGD get into the internet game?

DC: We launched our website in 2003, about four months before the first magazine was even printed. I knew there was going to be demand, because subscription started coming in as soon as the website went live.

6. What have been the greatest success stories of African American Golfer’s Digest?

DC: No. 1: I count being a PGA of America Diverse Supplier as one of our greatest achievements.

Second…Our Diversity Pavilion that exhibited for six years at the PGA Merchandise Show & Convention in Orlando, Fla. It attracted over 300 visitors daily and helped connect and network like-minded individuals, from that, the PGA started holding “diversity roundtables” and featuring a diversity and inclusion component in the annual Show. I guess I showed them, “Look, there is an overlooked audience in the midst of this now $84 billion industry.”

Third, good success has been seen for our annual group destination travel programs which have taken over 400 people across the globe for golf, culture, and enjoyment, to places such as Ghana, South Africa, Cuba, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Alaska, Panama, Martha’s Vineyard.

 

Stay tuned for part 2 of our interview with Debert Cook!

Your Reaction?
  • 21
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW2
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK5

Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Brandon

    Jun 8, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    Good read…thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: A discussion of swingweight (Part 1: History)

Published

on

Image via Golfworks

For the twenty-five plus years, I’ve been in the equipment business, one of the most commonly-asked-about subjects is that of swingweight. It mostly comes up when a golfer is requesting over-length clubs or is contemplating changing to graphite shafts. So, I’m going to direct a discussion of this topic. Please chime in to let me know your thoughts and input.

The concept of swingweight was developed by custom clubmaker Kenneth Smith about 60 years ago. He was trying to figure out how to “match” clubs, and settled on balance point as a way to do so. His swingweight scale had a “hook” to hold the grip end of the club, and a fulcrum 14 inches from the butt. He created an arbitrary scale of measure that consisted of letters A-F, each letter divided into ten segments, i.e. D1, D2, D3, etc. When he measured the clubs of the day, he found most of them to be in the D2 range, so that became recognized as the “standard” for men’s woods and irons.

The golf club industry quickly adopted this method of “matching” clubs…well, because they had no other way! Because the longer the shaft, the heavier the head feels, clubheads increase in weight as the shaft gets shorter, so that the swingweight will stay the same. The theory then, and now, is that if the swingweight is the same, the clubs will feel essentially the same in the golfer’s hands.

But let’s look at what has happened since Kenneth Smith invented the swingweight scale.

  • Shafts have gotten longer by at least an inch. In the 1940s, a “standard” driver was only 42-43” long – now most are 45” if not more.
  • Shafts have gotten much lighter. Those old steel shafts weighed 150 grams or more, compared to modern graphite driver shafts in the 55-75 gram range.
  • Golfers have gotten stronger while clubs have gotten much lighter overall, but swingweights have always adhered to that D2 “standard.”

You must understand two very important factors about swingweight.

First, a “point” of swingweight–such as D2 to D3–is NOT a unit of measure like an ounce or gram. It takes much less weight to shift a driver one point, for example, than it does a wedge, because the shaft length is such an influence on this measure. Generally, the weight of a single dollar bill is a swingweight point on a driver—not much, huh?

And secondly, the overall weight of the club is at least as important as swingweight. Jack Nicklaus was noted for playing a driver in his prime that was 13.25 oz in overall weight–very heavy even for that time (most are about 10.5 oz now!), while his swingweight was only C9, considered very light. S

Swingweight by itself is a rather worthless piece of information!

So, that should get this discussion going. I’ll give you a few days to toss out your questions and comments on this subject, and then I’ll begin to address my own theories on swingweight for YOUR clubs.

Sound off, readers!

Your Reaction?
  • 37
  • LEGIT7
  • WOW2
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP3
  • OB0
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

Podcasts

TG2: Review of the new ShotScope V3 GPS & shot tracking watch, Vessel VLX Stand Bag!

Published

on

I get the new ShotScope V3 GPS and shot tracking watch on my wrist for a few rounds and love the data. ShotScope V3 offers accurate GPS distances while seamlessly tracking your club data.

Vessel Bag’s new VLX stand bag is a high end, lightweight, luxury bag for golfers who love to walk. Walking with the VLX was actually more comfortable than my pushcart!

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: How to never miss another putt

Published

on

Learn how your own anatomy is designed to roll the golf ball in the direction you want to start the putt without any interference or assistance on your behalf.

All you need is a system of predictions that will help you confirm that your putting stroke is pointed in the right direction. This is how you become a witness to gravity sinking the putt for you. This will become clear after you listen to the podcast and give this a try at a golf course near you!

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

Your Reaction?
  • 2
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK5

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending