Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

So you wanna work in golf media…

Published

on

I get this question all the time: “So, how does someone get a job in golf media?”

Hmm…I could give you a bunch of tips, ideas, resume suggestions, etc. I’m not going to. All I know is how I got here. It’s a story of passion, initiative, blind luck, God, and desperation.

I feel like in the telling of how I got here you will see a path but not the only path.

My story—condensed into the point golf gear took over my life.

It’s 1993, and I’m a sophomore in high school at John F. Kennedy Memorial in Burien, Washington. I was a baseball player my whole life, and for whatever reason that summer, I decided it wasn’t for me anymore, and I wanted to go scrub clubs, pick balls and have the occasional lung dart with my buddies at the local country club. At that time, golf was something to me just shy of an afterthought. I had played the occasional short 9 as a kid, went to a camp or two, but in all honesty, it was just another game.

Fast forward to my first week working at Rainier G&CC—the second assistant was a guy named Mike Montegomery (DOG at Glendale CC now), and he took me to the range to help pick balls and hit some into the net. After about 30 mins of pounding balls, I was hooked. Hook, line, and sinker.

I’m an obsessive person by nature, so when I get into something, it becomes a bit scary—I want to know everything. That’s when the equipment junkie revealed himself, and it all started with a trip to the dentist and an issue of Golf Digest.

This one…

Golf Digest, February issue, 1993

This magazine started the whole thing. No, it wasn’t the fact that Phil Mickelson graced the cover, it was the advertisements. The color codes of Ping, the black and gold of Cobra, Titleist Tour Balata, Founders Club, and on and on. Everything looked just so damn awesome. I wanted to try, see, touch and feel everything I could. And I did. From that point, until even today, golf and golf gear dominate a good chunk of my thoughts every day.

Lesson #1: To do this job well….you have to obsessed.

Now we are in 2005. I’m working in Irvine, California, for LendingTree slanging equity loans to the A paper client,s and in the search engine, I type David Duval golf clubs…

Before I go further it must be acknowledged that my good friend Nico Bollini and I used to spend HOURS on Getty images and at the local Wajamaya scouring pictures of players bags in Golf Classic magazine and any close-ups Getty would catch. Instead of going to parties and chasing girls as normal people do, we were trying to see what shaft Ray Floyd had in his Bridgestone J’s driver.

Back to DD. I type in “David Duval golf clubs,” and I land on this weird forum thing called BombSquad Golf. It was a site that not only talked gear in-depth like Nico and I did, but they had some dude taking pics at tour events. It was golf porn. I was in. Eventually, BSG became nothing, and Richard Audi and GolfWRX.com took over. That story is very well told, so I won’t go into it.

That fueled my golf junkie for a long time. It wasn’t until 2012 and the urging from my then-girlfriend that I began writing for WRX. Since I was on the site so much and had so many opinions, she jokingly said, “You should write for them,” to which I replied, “I should.”

This is where luck comes in. I found the contact info at the bottom of the site and ended emailing Zak, the editor at the time.

“Hi Zak,

My name is John Wunder and I am extremely excited and interested in writing for Golfwrx! I have been a member of this site for over 6 years now and I have always admired the professionalism and in-depth coverage that your site provides. I am what they would call in the golfing streets a “Junky”. Tour news, college news, equipment trends, companies, in the bag info, history, etc. You name it, I know it. I’m a lifer and the only thing I have left to do to get my fix is either learn how to putt and play the mini-tours or start writing. Unfortunately, even the belly putter was of no use to me so writing it is! As writing goes my experience is limited with the exception of the occasional Facebook comment but my knowledge of the game and its culture is undeniable.  I’m dying to be apart of this thing and if I had not been scrolling to the bottom of the page I would not have noticed the link to you. Maybe it’s a sign from the Golfing Gods, you never know. Any information you can give would be much appreciated.  I Look forward to hearing from you.”

Lesson #2: You won’t know what’s possible until you ask.

Eventually, Zak gave me a shot and from 2012 to 2018 I wrote roughly 30-40 articles for WRX. For fun, for free, for the love of the game. I wrote opinion pieces, did some video articles, reviews, tournament recaps, etc. Every time they asked, I said HELL YES. Why not? Golf content is what I think about all day anyway. It requires no real study or extra work to execute. It’s something I can just sit down and do, sometimes quickly.

Now we find ourselves in 2018. It’s late January. My son Seve had just been born and my main source of income at the time (film/tv) was slow and unpredictable. I had two months of savings left, no consistent income coming in to speak of, and with two kids and my girl that I am supporting. Things got scary. Desperate is a better word. In that desperation, a decision was made. I wanted to finally do the thing I’ve always wanted to do. Work in the golf business.

I sat down and mapped out my plan…

Lesson #3: Don’t be afraid of desperation. God can be found there.

But how? What can I bring to the table?

Remember obsession? Remember the power of asking?

I knew my knowledge of the tour and golf equipment was abnormal, to say the least. It still is. I knew that I had a Rolodex to choke a horse, and I had the email of someone at WRX that I could plead my case to. The editor at the time, Andrew Tursky. My email to him was very similar to my email to Zak. I plainly told what I wanted to do, why they needed me, and left it at that.

The term the squeaky wheel gets the grease is so true in my case—every job I have ever chased, there were two things I made sure were in place…

  1. I knew my passion equaled my knowledge
  2. I was willing to hear NO multiple times until the right YES came along.

Lesson #4: Know where you want to go (and tell people).

That email turned into a face-to-face with the GolfWRX brass, to a “yes we will hire you,” to getting a job doing what I love.

The job I was hired for has mutated into something way different. Every person at GolfWRX.com does multiple jobs—there is really no definitive titles or boxes we fit in. It’s a passionate, nimble crew and to a person, everyone is a golf junkie degenerate, including the owner, Rich. That was the deciding factor of going down this path. Yes, I wanted the job, but after meeting Richard Audi and discovering he was just as crazy as I am, I knew I had to work for that man.

The moral of the story is this: Golf media is not a box anymore. You don’t need a degree in journalism or your doctorate in Bill Shakespeare.  It’s the time of the hustler. So, if you have something to say, say it, something to show, show it, and most importantly if you want to get in, ASK. ASK. ASK. Someone will say yes eventually and when they do, what you do with that YES is up to you.

Hope this gives you a hint that like anything else, there is not one door, there are multiple. Knock, scream, kick, and do it with some fire.

Lesson #5: ANYTHING is possible if you want it bad enough

 

 

Your Reaction?
  • 16
  • LEGIT3
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Gianni Sucks

    Aug 7, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    More “Original content” that just sucks. You didn’t write an article about wanting to work in golf media, you just told your story.

    A real article would have talked to everyone at Golf WRX and found out how everyone got started cause no one’s path is the same as someone else’s. But that would be too hard for yall based on the content you churn out.

    • John Wunder

      Aug 7, 2020 at 11:43 pm

      There he is!!!! It wouldn’t be an article without my boy G$$ chiming in. DM @johnny_wunder on IG if you like. Would love to hear about how you think our content could get better. Im asuming you arent a Gianni fan either….just based on what im seeing. LOL

      • Bill

        Aug 9, 2020 at 10:30 pm

        JW, easy there. He did tell you about how he thinks your content could get better. Please tell the story about how everyone at GolfWRX got started. You told your entire golf story. How about just the part where you decided to work in golf media with more depth?

        • John Wunder

          Aug 10, 2020 at 4:58 pm

          The guy chimes in on everything we write Bill. We get to respond as well. All I can speak to is my experience and my path (which is unorthodox vs traditional ways in) which it clearly states multiple times in the article. This anonymous poster chimes in on every post and trust me its never anything constructive.

          “A real (whats a REAL article?) article would have talked to everyone at Golf WRX and found out how everyone got started cause no one’s path is the same as someone else’s (he literally hammers home the point of the article, this was how I got here but there are a thousand ways in, If Ryan, Ben or BK care to share their stories, they will). But that would be too hard for yall based on the content you churn out.”

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.

Podcasts

TG2: My Vokey SM8 wedge experience

Published

on

My custom Vokey SM8 wedges are in and have been on the course for a few weeks now. I talk through the whole experience of starting with a Vokey fitting on a Titleist Thursday, custom ordering my wedges on the WedgeWorks website, and playing the wedges out on the course.

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

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: Has the game changed forever…or just “theirs”?

Published

on

I’m betting no one saw this coming through all the build up of how Winged Foot was going to be a “true” U.S. Open test – narrow fairways, deep rough and firm, fast conditions. I’ll bet very few had Bryson DeChambeau in their list of “most likely to”, even if you are an ardent fan of the young man.

No, I’m thinking most of us never saw it coming…I know I certainly did not. As I watched this year’s edition of our national championship unfold, I was struck by a number of oddities and acceptances.

First of all, with fairways “as narrow as 30 yards”, I thought surely these tour professionals would respect the gnarly rough and display an atypical set of shotmaking talents and skills, showing us finally that they can hit accurate drives when they have to.

Boy was I wrong. Did you notice how many were missing fairways even when they hit fairway woods and irons from the tee? That really shocked me, to be honest. I just believe that PGA Tour professionals would be able to navigate tee shots into 30-yard-wide fairways at a much higher percentage that we witnessed. The field average was closer to 25% than 50. But they proved that their strength and power can muscle the ball out of even that kind of rough with enough control to “tame” an otherwise beast of a golf course.

The other “acceptance” we all need to realize is that these guys are simply amazing around and on the greens. Their exquisite talents and skills allow them to hit a remarkable variety of recovery shots – chips, pitches, bunker shots, run-ups . . . Their talents are borderline mystical. And their putting skills are just as impressive. These guys (and their caddies) read greens with astounding accuracy and just do not seem to hit very many bad putts. Their misses more often look like the ball “wanted” to go in, but it just wasn’t to be.

So, what can we “mere mortal” golfers learn from all this?

I believe the first takeaway is that we play a totally different game than they do. Very few of us recreational golfers have the strength to continually muscle the ball out of even “normal” rough to put it in a position to successfully finish out the hole with a par or better. For most of us, I have no doubt that our best scores come when we hit the fewest shots from the rough. I challenge all of you to keep track of your “strokes lost” when your tee shot does not leave you in the fairway with a clean lie and open shot to the green.

Secondly, we do not have anything close to their skills around the greens. If you miss greens, you are more likely to make bogey or worse than to save par. Leaving the distance thing out of the equation, this is the largest chasm between the skills of tour player and regular amateurs. Day in and day out, these elite players get up and down more than 50% of the time, and very few amateurs approach 30% from my research. What’s the moral of that story? Spend more time practicing your creativity and execution on the shortest of shots…that is, IF you really want to lower your scores.

Finally, these guys are so darn good with the putter in their hands…It certainly doesn’t hurt that they putt on pool-table-perfect greens most of the time. Or that they have a great caddy to help them get an accurate read on most every putt. Or that they focus on positioning their approach shots and recoveries to give themselves the best look at the hole. But also realize that they practice incessantly on this part of the game.

Your Reaction?
  • 29
  • LEGIT3
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Podcasts

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: How to properly predict the outcome of your golf shots

Published

on

If you are standing over your golf ball and you feel uncomfortable, this podcast is for you. And if you stand over your golf ball and don’t know where the golf ball is going, this is for you.

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending