On the evening of January 29th in the year of our Lord 2018, at precisely 8:29 pm, a website named Outside The Cut was born. There were no wise men, frankincense or mirth that night in the West 76th Street Equinox [I once saw Tim Tebow there so it’s possible there was a virgin, but I digress.] On that cold and dreary winter day a new voice came into the world destined to deliver takes and deliver takes it has.
As OTC crosses over the one year mark I wanted to reflect on the last 12 months and offer some personal thoughts on my experience thus far. The intent of this is to be genuine, so hopefully I can keep the snarky commentary to a minimum but won’t commit to that.
Creating this content “brand”, if you can even call it that, wasn’t something I’d been thinking about or planning. It happened to cross my mind as I sat in a lounge chair at the gym and I decided to do it on a whim. I spent a lot of time sitting in that chair, nearly every day in fact. At the time I had been laid off from my job in hospital administration and was forced to resign from my golf club. It was the middle of winter in Manhattan. I was unemployed living in a moderately sized shoe box which offered limited sunlight and a view of a brick wall. I would spend my days in that black leather chair at Equinox endlessly applying to jobs and tinkering with my resume. Sometimes I wouldn’t even bother to workout. I’d go there just to get out of the apartment and remind myself that there were other people out there. Dark times.
The job application routine quickly grew tedious and tiresome. My decision to start the site was in many ways born out of boredom and the lack of a creative outlet. I didn’t know what it would become, how long I might stick with it or what the hell I was doing. There was no plan and for a while I didn’t tell anyone OTC existed for fear that people might make fun of it or question my commitment to finding a new job. When I finally told my closest friend about starting a golf blog, he sent me a GIF of John Oliver hysterically laughing. I should’ve known this was a very positive sign because anytime he’s doubted my ability to succeed at something unconventional, he’s almost always wrong.
The site slowly started to garner a limited amount of attention and I made sure to thank those who took interest. Sending personal messages to every new Twitter follower up to about #500 was burdensome but ultimately proved to be a worthwhile endeavor. Some of the early traction I found is also likely attributed to my shameful strategy of sprinkling blog links into The Refuge from time to time. I knew it wasn’t the most virtuous practice and eventually I’d get busted. It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission, right?
The day of reckoning finally came and Soly shot me a note politely asking me to essentially cease and desist. Given that NLU was a large part of my inspiration to start the site, I begged his mercy like the disgraced thief I was and showered him with a bunch of well-deserved praise. When I asked him if he had any advice on getting the ball rolling with my site/account he responded in part by saying… “If you do good shit, people will notice eventually.”
Fast forward a year later and I’d like to think that I’ve produced at least a small amount of “good shit” which a few of you are starting to notice and hopefully enjoy. One thing I’ve have been astounded by over the course of this brief journey is the willingness of people in the world of golf and content creation community to offer their guidance, perspective and time to a relative nobody. I’ve had the opportunity to talk at length and meet with a lot of well-known individuals in the industry who have helped me out and encouraged me thus far. To all of you, I say thank you. Even if OTC remains still just a speck on the radar, your support and selflessness
Having no expectations or plan when I set out may have worked to my advantage. I couldn’t be more surprised with how the site has grown in the last 365 days thanks to all of you. Within the first month I scratched out some goals to reach by today which were based on absolutely nothing. I set my Twitter goal at 750 followers, @OutsideTheCut is now approaching 2,300. I used to measure my blog views in two digits and now I count them in four. Getting OTC to where it is has been far more work than I anticipated but unquestionably worth it. Despite not earning a single dollar on this site the experiences I’ve had and new friendships I’ve developed over the last year have quickly paid me back many times over.
Ultimately all of the readers, followers and supporters deserve the biggest thank you of all. If nobody was interested in reading what I had to say or engaging with my mildly witty and typically stupid tweets I would’ve quit doing this a long time ago. I hope 2019 is another great year in the world of golf and content. I’m happy to be a part of it and thank you all for embracing Outside The Cut. You da real MVPs.