PGA Goes Big With Social Media at Golf’s Final Major

Screen grab of the PGA's Social Caddy page. Credit: PGA

We’ll have a separate Watching Golf this Week post tomorrow with all the details as usual, but I think it’s worth taking a quick look today at how the PGA is going big with social media for the year’s last major, the PGA Championship, which starts tomorrow.

Aside from the usual flurry of tweets and posts from the tour, it appears that the PGA is leaving no social media stone unturned this week. Starting with something they are calling the Social Caddy — a catch-all portal page with a bunch of links to things like Twitter streams and Instagram photos — the tour also has people roaming around grabbing fun, pointless little Viddy videos like this near-worthless “inside” meetup with World No. 1 Luke Donald.

There’s other stuff too, like assigning a writer to capture the predictions of fans from the PGA’s Facebook page. Pretty neat. But I’m not sure where I stand on the whole Social Caddy page idea — one thing I hear from a lot of people is that they are at the social media exhaustion level, and the idea of having to monitor or join one more place to share is not very appealing. But that may just be the media/golf insider thing. It may very well be that there are a lot of golf fans who are new to things like Twitter and need a helping hand to find Twitter handles for players, golf writers and other interesting folks who might have something worthwhile to say. (It looks like a lot of self-promoters and golf advertisers have found the PGA’s “fans” column on the Social Caddy Twitter feed so I am not sure how worthwhile that stream will be going forward)

So far it also looks like most of the “social” content is being generated by PGA.com types, which can be amusing (there is a Viddy clip of someone standing at the back of the driving range, challenging players to hit him) but will probably get stale soon. It would be much better if the PGA’s Instagram page, for example, had Instagram pix from the players themselves — as we’ve learned from Kevin Love and the Olympics some of that real-insider stuff can be pretty good and bring us a lot closer to the athletes than ever before.

Though golfers are notorious for being cell phone addicts — like Rickie Fowler, who tweets from his private plane — I also seem to see that most of them shut down the streams when the tournament starts. And it’s really not so hard to assemble your own golfing social caddy, by just finding and following people who are interesting in your main Twitter feed. And, I am guessing a lot of this effort is going to be lost anyway due to the atttention conflict with the last weekend of the Olympics. But when it comes to social media, clearly the PGA is trying hard.

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