Why Golf.com was a good investment for Time Inc.

golf is purty.jpgEarlier this week it was reported with little fanfare that Time Inc. had purchased the URL “Golf.com” for an undisclosed sum. No biggie, right? Except when you consider (a) how popular golf publications are and (b) what other companies have golf magazines.

Over at Big & Sharp (where Kyle du Ford is quickly making himself indispensible), he lists circulation numbers for various magazines.* There are three golf-related magazines in the top ten sports mags, like so:

2. Golf Digest (1,564,885)
3. Golf Magazine (1,425,980)
9. Golf For Women (491,001)

Golf Digest is a Cond&#233 Nast magazine; Golf Magazine is from Time Inc. Pretty reasonable to assume that it will pay off to lure readers via Golf.com.

For a bit of perspective, consider these other circulation numbers:

Men’s Health (1,773,612)
GQ (824,334)
Esquire (712,503)
Details (407,168)

Interesting that Golf For Women kicks the butt of Details (of course, it barely glances in the women’s mag category; women’s mags are publishing behemoths).

NB: Time Inc. also runs GolfOnline, Sports Illustrated’s Golf Plus, and the no doubt soon-to-be-synergistic SI.com. Pretty good investment, it looks like.

Time Buys Golf.com [MediaPost]
Circulation Numbers [Big & Sharp]

*Based on ABC’s circulation averages for the six months ending June 30, 2005. Source: accessabc.com and pilfered from Big & Sharp.