From The Publisher's Tee

Why "How To" Matters To Advertisers

If you're a regular reader of our publications, you probably notice the words "how to" often appear on our covers. These two words do more than explain what's going on inside the magazine; they attract a specific type of reader that defines an audience–those who are self-determined and assume responsibility for improving their knowledge of a subject or a particular skill. Numerous how-to publications exist in various categories, but sports in general, and golf specifically, are perfect examples of how-to categories. The first widely available how-to publication for the golfer was an instruction book called Hints on the Game of Golf by Horace Hutchinson, originally printed in 1886. Amazingly, 120 years later, we still haven't mastered how to play this game.

With the popularization of the magazine format, several golf titles were launched using the how-to approach for the core of their content – instruction. Golfers from all levels bought and subscribed to these new titles for this self-help content.

Over the years, these publications have acquired audiences and advertisers in significant numbers.But, as time passed, the edit mix for most of these titles changed. Feature stories became the focus, causing the purity of the audience and its golf-specific group of advertisers to change as well. How to improve was no longer the edit mission. Lifestyle became the substance of the content–entertainment rather than education. The demographics of the audience became broader and the type and number of advertisers more diverse.

Today, the list of how to golf publications has become as rare as a double eagle – except for a few: Golf Tips and its three sister publications–the Golf Equipment Buyer's Guide , Golf Instruction Annual, and The Best Of Golf Tips. These are among the only magazines that remain true to the original concept of how-to in the category of golf. If you're seriously involved in marketing products or offering services that will help improve play and equipment for golfers, welcome back to audiences that want to know "how-to" find you.

Steve Werner
Publisher, Golf Tips