Golf Twitter, what club are you pulling?

Mark McGowan
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A view of the 18th hole at Oak Hill Country Club (Photo by Gary Kellner/PGA of America).

When it comes to social media, I’m a conflicted person. I had a Bebo account back when it was all the rage and moved on to Facebook shortly after. I didn’t exactly know why, but sure everybody else was doing it, so like a sheep, I followed.

I quickly tired of seeing people posting pictures of their breakfast and letting me know that they’d just purchased a new tractor on Farmville, so I moved on to Twitter. My Bebo account is obviously long gone – the site’s owners quickly realised that Mark Zuckerburg’s behemoth was steamrolling them and ran for the hills – and I toyed with the idea of deleting Facebook for years, before finally pulling the plug.

Twitter, though, I’m kind of sorry to say, still has me in its claws. I’m a consumer, rather than a provider, but my reflex action when picking up my phone in search of distraction is to tap on the blue icon with the white bird. It’s my main source of news these days, and I follow a wide range of accounts; some serious, some light, some left, some right, some that annoy me, some that delight – [I didn’t actually mean to break into rhyme there, but I sort of chuckled at the coincidence so it’s staying in].

Naturally, I follow a lot of golf-related accounts, most of whom can be categorised in one of the above classes.

I’m not sure if the dreaded Elon Musk takeover has somehow altered the algorithms used to select what tweets I see, but there’s been a somewhat alarming rise in the number of ‘blue ticked’ accounts – this doesn’t quite have the power it once did – posting a picture of a distant green with a caption such as, “You’ve got 135 into the green on the 18th at Oak Hill… What club are you pulling?”

That was from the PGA Championship official account, by the way, and while I don’t particularly blame them for sticking the likes of this out there – and they’re far from the only ones – to increase engagement, what really tickles me are the people who post serious replies. One user, who shall remain anonymous, replied with “9 iron, baby draw starting right of the flag at the left edge of the white roof to stay on the right side of the pin and avoid the drop off left.”

Another said “I carry my 50 degree around 130, my PW around 145. So, depends on pin placement and where the danger is. Most likely going with a flighted PW.”

In what world do these people think that anybody really cares about what shot they’d hit. I’m aware of the irony that has me writing an article about it, but come on, seriously?

It’s safe to say that while I don’t blame the likes of the PGA Championship for posting such content, it does get under my skin a little, which may not be that hard in fairness, but it’s become a go-to type post for that many golf accounts – if you follow as many as I do, you’ll have seen the like countless times over the past few weeks alone. But, and this is one of the reasons that I genuinely love it, the ‘Twitterverse’ always provides balance.

Whilst scrolling in bed the other night, I actually laughed-out-loud in the old-fashioned way when I came across a tweet from Christopher Powers, an American staff writer at Golf Digest, who obviously follows many of the same accounts I do.

In his tweet, Powers posted a close-up picture of a ball at the edge of a cup, with the text “Your ball is 1 inch out. What club are you using?”

Whilst clearly a piss-take, and 99 percent of the replies reflected that, some people still took it seriously. Everybody’s different, I guess, and that’s the beauty of social media……

I think…..

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