The Ryder Cup is coming up later this month, but most sports fans don’t realize it nor do they care, especially with college football and the NFL seasons just starting. With the downfall of Tiger Woods came the disappearance of the majority of us watching golf on the regular. I, like many of you, only watch golf during the Majors or on special events like the Ryder Cup. Throw American pride on the line with anything and I’m all about it.
The 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah was in my backyard and I was lucky enough to attend Sunday’s unfortunate epic collapse. Regardless of the outcome, my experience was fantastic. I captured the random jerseys and non-typical golf fans that were doing their thing at the Ryder Cup so that you could all experience it through my eyes.
This year’s Ryder Cup is over in Scotland and I was lucky enough to find someone who was attending and willing to send over her pictures so that we could all share in her experience. That was until she sent over a link to an article saying that the PGA of America and European Tour were banning pictures from the Ryder Cup being taken and shared on social media. Their reasoning, “in order to protect the brand.”
With this absurd logic I’d like to congratulate the PGA of America on doing what they can to stay irrelevant in the sports landscape and alienating the few fans they have. Notice that at no point I mentioned the word growth, which is a word that will be found no where near the sport of professional golf but found all over social media.
When I think of professional golf I think of Buick. When I think of Buick I think pleated khakis and lame. What about that brand image would you want to protect? I’d want to do everything possible to shed that image and instead appeal to a younger, newer demographic who is on social media and consuming as much digital content as possible.
Earlier this year our friends over at NASCAR threw us the Ultimate NASCAR Bachelor Party where we received pit road and garage passes, ended up in the winners circle taking a selfie with Jimmie Johnson, and documented the entire thing which we put on the site and social media. They get it. They want to expand their brand to new demographics that typically wouldn’t be associated with NASCAR. Can you see the PGA of America doing anything like this? Bitch please.
I was once excited for the Ryder Cup but now that’s not the case. If the PGA of America wants to act like a 70-year-old curmudgeon that doesn’t get it then so be it. They might not want the Ryder Cup to be on social media but that doesn’t mean that articles can’t be written and shared on social media talking about how lame the PGA of America is. What do you think that’ll do to “protect their image?” Probably nothing, because no one is likely to click on an article talking about golf anyways.
Excuse me while me and these Vikings fans I met at the Ryder Cup go and get excited for the NFL season.
UPDATE: the PGA of America/European Tour has changed their stance on this social media issue but the damage is already done. They never should have implemented this in the first place.