Un­der­cover Tour Pro

A tour of char­ac­ters, in 140 char­ac­ters

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Close Out -

fol­low other golfers on Twit­ter. It’s not that I’m in­ter­ested in how the flight is go­ing for Ian Poul­ter’s nanny, or what Michelle Wie ate for lunch, or how many ex­cla­ma­tion points Kee­gan Bradley can squeeze in af­ter a Red Sox win. Nor is it a need to get closer with my friends – those guys I’m go­ing to see on the range or in the locker room ev­ery week. I fol­low be­cause it’s my job.

Here’s the deal: I have spon­sors who are very good to me, and so I feel pres­sure to pro­mote their brands on so­cial media, which means pro­mot­ing my­self. By na­ture I’m a quiet guy. My per­son­al­ity doesn’t lend it­self to the form, so I’m al­ways try­ing to learn from the play­ers who do it well. The three golfers I

Imen­tioned might write a lot of throw­away posts, but they’re pros at shar­ing their lives with fans. For mod­ern ath­letes, that open­ness is be­com­ing just as valu­able as win­ning. At least that’s the mes­sage I’m get­ting from my agent and other busi­ness peo­ple.

Do I feel like a dork each time I post a pic­ture of my new shoes? Yes. Or a link to some con­test the re­sort that backs me is run­ning? Ab­so­lutely. There’s a real art to be­ing gen­uine and not sound­ing like a com­mer­cial, which I haven’t mas­tered yet. Hon­estly, the 140-char­ac­ter limit over­whelms me. When I can’t say ev­ery­thing, I feel like an idiot say­ing only some­thing.

Also, I have a wife and kids. When I’m with them, I want to dis­en­gage from golf com­pletely. Yet when I’m off the course is when I’m most likely to look at my phone. I don’t want to read what Jor­dan just said in the press con­fer­ence, or scan the re­ac­tion to Steve Elk­ing­ton’s latest in­sult, be­cause it just brings me back to work.And on that mat­ter, Elk’s a good dude. I think he oc­ca­sion­ally falls into the un­wise habit of tweet­ing af­ter cock­tail hour.When­ever some­one makes a mis­take and the whole world righ­teously piles on, as they did to Ted Bishop, that mob men­tal­ity both­ers me.

My favourite irony is that the play­ers who com­plain most about a lack of pri­vacy are of­ten the same ones who are most ac­tive on so­cial media.There are sev­eral “hum­ble” golfers out here who’ll tell you over a beer they just want to play the sport they love with­out be­ing a celebrity. Two days later, you’re look­ing at their selfie par­ty­ing with some ac­tor or the car they just bought.

My en­thu­si­asm for so­cial tends to wane if I’m play­ing badly. I’d be ly­ing if I said the rea­son wasn’t partly jeal­ousy. If other guys are play­ing re­ally well or tak­ing cool va­ca­tions, my first re­ac­tion is usu­ally a neg­a­tive self­com­par­i­son. If I’ve just missed three cuts, Rickie Fowler’s toes in the sand might rub me the wrong way.And I like Rick.

But if there’s one thing that brings me back, it’s go­ing to my home club af­ter a four-tour­na­ment stretch and hav­ing bud­dies come up to tell me how hard they laughed at a cer­tain tweet, or ask me a spe­cific ques­tion about another. Even though I know their butts didn’t leave the grill­room, it’s like they were with me the whole time. It’s easy to for­get that.Yes, it can be lonely as heck sit­ting in an air­port typ­ing some tweet that feels stupid, but there are a lot of good peo­ple out there who’ll read it.

Speak­ing of my club, there is this one an­noy­ing mem­ber who al­ways asks me about Rory. It’s like, Dude, I don’t have time for you to ask me about other play­ers. If you want to know what’s up, just fol­low him onTwit­ter.

– with Max Adler

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