Hello hello, long time no speak! It will be nearly a two month break in content by the time we get to the Sentry Tournament of Champions the first week in January 2022. I could have previewed The Match, Hero World Challenge, QBE Shootout, and PNC Championship, but the only reason I chose not to is because I did not see any edge to be gained by deep diving into them. They’re all random events with questionable motivation from those playing and limited, if any, strokes gained data to pull insights from. So instead, I’ve put the keyboard aside for the last month, took a break from betting golf while casually observing events here and there, and used the time instead to (1) plan a wedding and (2) think about what the future of my content and website will look like.
The Spotify Wrapped for thepgatout.com reads something like this: In 2021, I wrote 166 articles, which tallied a total of 238,492 page views from 37,385 unique users across 17 different countries.
That is…fucking crazy. I’ve always loved both golf and writing, but I’ve never written about golf before this year. 2021 was my debut using Fantasy National, and with that came a commitment to research, write about, and bet every single golf tournament in 2021, all 44 of them. It was my first time owning and operating a website, and has been an absolute thrill along the way watching this thing I created grow from 546 unique users & 1,316 page views in January to 9,264 unique users & 54,842 page views in August. What started as a personal blog and sometimes pseudo-diary about golf as a cathartic means to show context and rationale behind the golf bets I was tweeting out, grew into so much more. The support I’ve gotten over the course of this year has been nothing short of incredible, and I can’t thank you all enough for the kind words, DMs, podcast invites, and shared victory laps together along the way. This started as an outlet to share free, hopefully entertaining, information to help as many people as possible profit off of golf, and 12 months later, that has not wavered.
In this article, I wanted to briefly look back at year #1 on thepgatout.com, touch on some things learned over my first year regularly researching, betting, and creating content around the PGA Tour, and look ahead to how that carries over into 2022, what remains the same, and what will look different. Away we go!
Looking back at 2021
Outrights (7x, +36u)
- AT&T Pro-Am: Daniel Berger (+2000)
- WGC Workday at Concession: Collin Morikawa (+4650)
- THE PLAYERS: Justin Thomas (+2200)
- Rocket Mortgage Classic: Cam Davis (+16000)
- Tokyo Olympics: Xander Schauffele (+1100)
- Wyndham Championship: Kevin Kisner (+5500)
- ZOZO Championship: Hideki Matsuyama (+1600)
FRLs (5x, +14u)
- Honda Classic: Matt Jones (+6600)
- Valspar Championship: Keegan Bradley (+8000)
- John Deere Classic: Sebastian Munoz (+7000, Chopped)
- BMW Championship: Sam Burns (+5000, Chopped)
- RSM Classic: Sebastian Munoz (+4000)
Outright Close Calls (7x)
- Harris English & Chesson Hadley co-collapse at the Palmetto Championship
- Jordan Spieth Runner Up at Charles Schwab
- Jhonattan Vegas & Charl Schwartzel T2 at the 3M Open
- Jordan Spieth Runner Up & Louis Oosthuizen T3 at The Open
- Bryson DeChambeau playoff loss at the BMW Championship
- Collin Morikawa Runner Up at the CJ Cup
- Mackenzie Hughes Runner Up at the RSM Classic
It was a daunting thought to bet every single golf tournament. It started with a hypothesis: “If I bet every single tournament and just hit 6 winners along the way (once every two months), I’ll breakeven or turn a small profit on outright bets.” That wasn’t really based on any research of hit rates or anything, it just felt like an attainable number. Looking back, I would say that 6 outrights in a year is a fair benchmark, and I’ll keep the same goal in 2022. It’s hard to hit an outright! I know plenty of people in the Twitter community who hit much more than 7 outrights this year, and I tip my cap to them on an awesome year as well.
I thought it was necessary to look back at the close calls together with the outrights, not to say “Woe is me, I should have hit 14 outrights last year”, but rather to validate that the research process was good enough to get many close sweats, and that I can more or less go back to the same well in 2022 to hopefully convert more of those close calls to wins. I also sporadically bet finishing positions and matchups throughout last season without any structure, so in 2022 I’m committed to tracking all weekly finishing position bets along with the Outrights and FRLs.
What’s In Store For 2022
As the dust settles on this off-season between the RSM Classic and Sentry Tournament of Champions, my free agency as an independent writer on this lovely website will be coming to an end.
For this next chapter starting at the top of 2022, I am excited to be taking my talents to
South Beach The Lines.
As I navigated free agency, my agent (me) only had 3 terms if we (I) were to pull the content off of thepgatout.com and move it somewhere else. It was in this order:
- No Pay Wall
- Keep the content exactly the same
- Pay Me
I would have been happy to continue writing these articles on my own, taking on the sparse dollars that came my way from the Google Ad Sense ads. This is my pastime, it’s what I like to do after my workday is over, and it’s been incredibly rewarding to be a small part of this awesome community on Twitter and to have met so many people from across the country and world who I already call friends, so I’m happy to continue putting out free content and making it accessible for everyone.
I also quickly realized that my life changed at the end of this year and now I have a wedding to plan on top of that day job and this writing thing, and that getting paid to write about golf would help me win some arguments with my fiancé about why I’m not paying attention to her as much every night. Personally I view this change as the difference between a DJ or a live band, a friend taking pictures or a professional photographer, Tito’s or Goose. This is also how I’ve explained things to my fiancé.
I talked to a number of different people these past couple months, but it became clear that the opportunity at The Lines and the people working there were a perfect fit for me. The Lines is an outlet for sports bettors at large. To date, the golf content has focused on the Majors to draw in casual bettors, so 2022 will mark a new frontier to cater to the core/obsessive golf betting crowd as well, with coverage of every single PGA Tour event, each week. It’s a really exciting opportunity to be a part of and I hope you’ll give them a follow on Twitter if you haven’t already!
What Stays The Same
The Tournament Preview Article will continue on unchanged in exactly the same format, no pay wall, and will be posted every Sunday at the conclusion of the previous week’s tournament. In the rare cases where I’m either too drunk/hungover on Sunday or Fantasy National is delayed in uploading the field, Preview Articles will post on Monday morning. I will also continue to write the Bombs & Values and Final Thoughts articles each week.
I will continue to be available to join everyone and anyone’s podcasts who are interested in having me on, anytime!
What Looks Different
My articles will now live on thelines.com instead of thepgatout.com.
I finally have an editor! So less typos and less historical inaccuracies.
I’ll be active in the The Lines’ Discord Channel to directly answer any weekly questions or just generally talk golf, and will have dedicated hours each week (likely Wednesday nights) to talk through final thoughts on the tournament ahead and answer any questions about DFS strategy, best bets, or anything in between.
I’ll be John on Twitter after today. To be honest, I’ve been wanting to update that for awhile now, but thought it would be confusing if in the middle of the season people were searching for PGA Tout’s articles and didn’t know who this John Haslbauer guy was. The @PGATout handle still isn’t going anywhere though. I’m looking forward to putting my name behind my work and being an individual who covers golf, rather than just an ambiguous brand/pseudonym I made up.
It’s exciting to join a team. It was convenient to have my own site, create my own voice, and have my own schedule to post whenever I felt like it. But it’s motivating to represent something bigger than just me, and more than anything else, I’m going to be more locked in on research to pay off my side of the bargain. Here’s to an even better year ahead, and thank you again for the support along the way. I’m looking forward to putting out better content in the new year, which hopefully leads to more profits, and at the very least, more fun for us all.