As of 2012, The Sand Trap will begin participating in what we'll call "Member Reviews." These Member Reviews (or MRs) will take place within the "products" section of the site (http://thesandtrap.com/products/) and in threads within the "forum" section of the site (http://thesandtrap.com/f/). In-depth staff product reviews, published at http://thesandtrap.com/b/reviews/, will continue as well, and are not considered MRs.
Member Reviews will be conducted by carefully selected members of the forum who are a Forum Leader or Supporter of the site. These members are considered qualifying MR candidates so long as they remain in good standing, both as Forum Leaders and/or Supporters and regarding any member reviews they've written.
We wish to make one thing very clear to both our members and the companies wishing to supply items for member review: members will not be punished or rewarded based solely on the positivity or negativity of the opinions in their MRs. Our members understand that "free equipment" does not guarantee "a positive review." The members we choose will be instructed to be honest, and to back all opinions, so that any opinion, positive or negative, is fully explained.
Similar to our staff review policy (http://thesandtrap.com/b/site_news/review_policy), our Member Review Policy is as follows:
Members chosen to review equipment, courses, or services will:
- Thoroughly, fairly, and properly review all products on the appropriate product page. The Sand Trap owners and/or moderators will choose the member(s) most appropriate for the review: a 20-handicapper won't likely review blade irons and a scratch golfer likely won't review the latest in super-game-improvement irons.
- Entertain but may not follow subjective, non-factual corrections and suggestions to the review.
- Keep for the reviewer's personal use any review equipment unless previously agreed upon.
Failure of a member to write an authentic, thorough, and unbiased review will result in their temporary or permanent removal from the MR program. To remain in good standing in the MR program, all qualifying members must:
- Write thorough review(s) that details, explains, and qualifies all opinions, positive or negative.
- Complete review(s) within a timely manner.
- Write free of reasonable bias.
- Represent themselves accurately in the selection process so that appropriate members can be chosen.
Providers of review items (equipment, courses, services, etc.) shall:
- Provide the items free of charge.
- Answer reasonable questions asked by reviewers about the product(s).
- Be allowed to comment on specific items mentioned by the reviewers in follow-up comments.