The world's favourite word may also create issues for society.
After 10 glorious years, the curtains have inevitably come down for this publication.
Being with the magazine for nearly 10 years, the Blu Inc Media Sdn. Bhd. team and I have truly enjoyed every moment of producing the biggest golf magazine in the world to Malaysian golfers.
This final issue marks the end of a glorious run, not because we want to, but the current poor economic climate has forced us to make a commercial decision.
Furthermore, consumers have embraced the digital media revolution. Social media is the new rage, with consumers absorbing news, fake or otherwise, on their digital devices.
I would like to thank all our loyal subscribers and advertisers for believing in us for all these wonderful years.
While the wrath of the poor economy is forcing many magazines and newspapers to close in Malaysia, bad habits in the golf business are also part of the cause.
Since I joined the golf business in the year 2000, nothing much has changed in the way business is conducted by some in the industry.
Most, if not all, have always asked for free publicity from the media. Even when publications accommodated with discounted advertising rates, there will be some throw of a selfish dice to gain more F.O.C. editorial write-ups.
Yes, the word 'free' is not used openly, but many of the industry leaders have articulated their own special ways to “acquire” free publicity.
Arm-twisiting had become an artform.
“Business is very bad,” is a common statement given by retailers and distributors yearly.
But a few months later, a miracle brings them blessings in the form of a brand new Porsche Cayenne or Lexus SUV vehicle.
Many years ago, I forewarned a dear friend from a big retail company, “If you guys continue to force the magazines to give massive discounts on advertising rates and cut insertion orders, more publications are going to close down and you guys will not have anymore credible platforms to tell your brand stories.”
No one listened. Selfishly, they just wanted their 'free' publicity.
It was a preferred S.O.P. and a new form of KPI.
This habit was cultivated by publications that were forced to sell their souls to achieve their advertisement quotas. Some of these publications soon collapsed and have long ceased operations.
The suicidal “buy-onefree-one” advertising package practice was born many years ago just to beat the competition.
And, this is not just confined to golf publications.
Apart from the 'free publicity' habit, there was a Singaporean GM of a retail company that always asked for marketing and event management concept ideas without paying a single sen.
Obviously, his brands did not sell well.
Professional golf events too suffer from this desire or habit of getting things for free.
Every year, most of us in the golf business will get telephone calls one or two weeks before a big professional event.
We are often asked by the minority, “brother, do you have hospitality suite passes for the tournament?”
It seems, paying to watch some of the world's best golfers play in Malaysia is a cardinal sin.
While I leave you with this food for thought, my humble wish is for golfers to continue playing and enjoying the hallowed game, and to pass the magic on to new golfers.
Learn and observe the etiquette of the game. Keep encouraging family and friends to play the game.
After all, it is the greatest game ever played.
Farewell for now and I will see you all on the golf course soon.