Sunday, June 24

Two Golf Bloggers Meet in LA, Eat Hot Dogs

BOB SMILEY IS A TALENTED TV WRITER, author and golf blogger who knows a great spot to grab a gourmet hot dog (or burger) in Los Angeles. Bob and I met for lunch on Thursday at The Stand on Ventura Boulevard. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention him before I fly home to Virginia.

(A brief digression: I’m so pleased that the US Airways terminal at LAX has free wireless, which will greatly help me pass the next three hours as I wait to board my red-eye flight to Charlotte.)

Strange and wonderful things can happen when you start a golf blog.

Bob has enjoyed the heady success of writing for popular TV shows and Hollywood projects. He also has experienced times during which he wondered when his next paycheck (or any check) would land in his bank account.

A few years ago, Bob started a golf blog that led to columns for ESPN.com that led to his first book, FOLLOW THE ROAR: Trailing Tiger for All 604 Holes of His Most Spectacular Season. And now his second book is out, an excellent political novel titled Don’t Mess With Travis. Whatever your political leanings, this book is razor-sharp funny and highly entertaining. I’m 98 percent certain that Bob is the cleverest person I know.

I, too, started a golf blog many years ago, and a virtual introduction was made when Bob was making the rounds with FOLLOW THE ROAR. Later, as I pitched and wrote my first golf book, Bob penned a blurb for me. If you have any idea how hard it is to land a book deal these days, then you also might have some idea how much that meant to me. As far as I’m concerned, Bob and I are friends for life.

So, the takeaway is that golf blogging, besides being fun in itself, can lead to surprising opportunities and friendships. If you keep writing and writing and writing, good things can happen and great connections can be made. For some crazy reason, Bob and I both started golf blogs, and now, between us, have written three books. We’re even with the same publisher, Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press.

We’ve now also eaten gourmet hot dogs together on Ventura Boulevard in Encino. That, I’m thinking, creates an even stronger bond (and perhaps a bit of shared indigestion). And, yes, we both had fries with that. I’m glad Bob Smiley is my friend.

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