Like practically every subject matter, golf media has moved swiftly away from print and onto computers, tablets and phones in the last decade-plus, and there are no indications that that will abate anytime soon. Which is a-okay; the Internet's ubiquity democratizes content in a way we had never dreamed of back when four TV stations was considered a maddeningly high amount. That same paradigm enables me to make a living writing about this great game. Long may it continue.
But I will always have a soft spot for print, too. Niche print publications in golf have made inroads in the last few years as they experiment with approaches to content, layout and business model that march in line with the current popularity of "artisanal" and "craft" products and brands. The Golfer's Journal is a large-format, freewheeling quarterly with an eclectic mix of photography and essays, including several longform items. McKellar, just three issues into its own run, is smaller in stature but likewise full of solid writing. Since 2019, there's a third player in that space: Winnipeg-based Catalogue 18, a photography-heavy, coffee-table-chunky annual(ish) profusion of ground-level and drone photographs of golf courses across the world.
Publisher Guy Nicholson sent me Catalogue 18's first two editions which, at $60 apiece, are not small investments in your golf library. But they are built to last, with solid binding holding in hundreds of pages of photos, interspersed with cheeky black-and-white golf quotes and other prose. Putting my phone down and thumbing through one of them takes me back to when I was six or seven years old, just getting into the game, marveling at the green landscapes that were out there, somewhere, in the world. It's refreshing to go analog for a little while before the digital world creeps in again.