I’ve got a new favorite way to spend Tuesday nights: #Golfchat on Twitter.
To be honest, I hate Twitter for personal use. I’m a social media marketer by trade, so by the time I get home at night, I want nothing to do with any of the social platforms. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do (and I’m good at it). But in the same way a chef wants someone else to cook for them at home, I’m fine having actual, verbal conversations instead of posting selfies for a group of people who probably don’t care.
I’m likely the only 24-year-old who DOESN’T spend her entire evening Snapchatting and Instagramming. Unless there’s something worth snapping. Like cute photos of my dog, Ryder.
But when it comes to the blue bird, not only am I not the target demographic as a rule, I tend to associate the platform strictly with my clients and their marketing. Which creates an overall aversion to Twitter chats – in my experience, they’ve only been used as a marketing tool to plug a brand or some cause beneficial to the tweeter.
#Golfchat is different, though. I hopped online a few weeks back on a whim after noticing the hashtag the week prior. I looked at the transcript (the entire list of tweets using #Golfchat) and noticed some real, substantial conversation. The questions were engaging; instead of the usual “who’s the favorite this week?” they were going back and forth about the sport overall, the women’s game, equipment, etc. And I only noticed two blatantly sexist comments and one person shamelessly plugging their business. Not a bad percentage given the dozens and dozens of tweets.
So, three weeks ago, I joined the fun. Introduced myself as a newcomer to the sport and the chat, and dove right in.
Admittedly, there are some questions that don’t apply to me. As a bandwagoner, I have minimal experience on a course – I’ve only shot par-3s up this point, and not often at that – and I don’t have a handicap. For many of the questions about the course – what would you change about the course experience, and so on – I had to sit out and read as the more seasoned golfers complained.
The majority of the questions are anyone’s game, though: what other sports help you train for golf, what’s the best golf movie, would you play a 12-hole course. Trust me, I have opinions to spare, so it was easy-going for most of the conversation.
I will say, the diversity of opinions is ASTOUNDING. There aren’t many females participating (which shouldn’t surprise me) and I would guess that I’m one of the youngest participants, but the demographic is mostly consistent. Even still, we’ve got people who DESPISE the idea of a 12-hole course while others just want to play, regardless of the number of pins. We had people hating on the FedEx Cup point system while others praised it. We had people with aces and people who assumed the aforementioned people were liars.
Between questions, entertaining side conversations pop up. People arguing over a previous question, one tweeter making fun of another (lightheartedly), or someone asking a new Twitter acquaintance what tee time works best so they can meet up and play. The transcript can be hard to keep up with since everyone is so into it, firing off tweet after tweet as their notifications pour in.
Hitting a little white ball around some grass with a stick makes for some ridiculously passionate conversation.
The whole things lasts an hour, with a question every ten minutes or so. Sometimes, the moderator (usually Zeb Welborn) will list the questions ahead of time, but I prefer to be surprised. Participants are also encouraged to submit questions, which is an awesome way to ensure people are engaged and keep the content fresh week over week.
In the three weeks I’ve been participating, I’ve doubled my tweet count and made some new friends. Through the conversation, I’ve learned more of what to expect on a course and what level of cynicism I can expect at what point in my game. I still can’t drive my ball straight, but now I have people who will sympathetically complain alongside me.
Definitely worth it.
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