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Smylie Kaufman: Social media “sucks.” How much should pros tweet?

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Aptly named, affable, natural fit as a Natural Light pitchman, Smylie Kaufman quickly became a popular and promising talent on the PGA Tour.

As we know, however, the past year has been awful for Kaufman: he’s made only two cuts this season and is a routine fixture on the bottom of leaderboards. Owing to an inflamed left elbow and wrist issues, the LSU alum has filed for a medical extension and is shutting it down for the season.

This is unfortunate, certainly, but Kaufman’s remarks (as told to Golf Digest) about social media were particularly interesting.

With respect to negative comments and all out roasts on social media, keyboard warriors likely either assume players aren’t checking their mentions or hope they are so that a sparring match might ensue.

From the sound of it, Smylie Kaufman is keeping up on his notifications…and it’s just upsetting him.

“Social media doesn’t help,” Kaufman told Golf Digest. “That place sucks. It was so great for me for so long, but it was never anything good the last six months. When I go to Twitter, it’s like reading the newspaper for me. Well, I don’t wanna see Tom or Joe telling me how bad I suck when I read the newspaper.”

Kaufman pointed out the reality of social media for athletes and celebrities: sponsors and agents encourage them to be on it…however, it doesn’t do anything positive for their core competency (playing sports).

“A lot of things about social media are great. I love that I can interact with fans and other players. It’s the way things are moving and a way that you can market yourself. But I need to focus on my golf.”

Clearly, there’s a balancing act for public figures with respect to how much time and energy they ought to spend on social media. And clearly some trolling is to be expected. That said, if you get 100 notifications and 99 of them are people telling you you’re garbage (and you probably feel like garbage at said moment), that’s going to have an effect.

Kaufman was a very active user of Twitter and Instagram, and after taking a break, he’s back on a limited basis. This is probably the right move. There are diminishing returns on anything beyond a minimal presence for established athletes, aren’t there? That said, regular posting is the key to audience growth and allows the insertion of occasional sponsored messages.

So, all of his begs the question, how much should professional athletes use social media? Is this different for elite athletes (whose futures are secure and bank accounts are filled), versus, say, a journeyman on the PGA Tour?

Let us know what you think, GolfWRX Members.

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5 Comments

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  1. Boyo

    Aug 9, 2018 at 4:42 am

    Say it to his face or don’t say it at all. Twit, an apt description. Dumb phones are a blight on mankind.

  2. Tommy

    Aug 7, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    It’s probably pretty frustrating to get constant personal criticism from losers who aren’t good enough to carry your bag. It’s hard to defend yourself against a moron who can’t even reason for himself. I don’t blame him. Get a clean restart, mind and swing, and go win again Smiley. The guy’s a PGA Tour winner…you?

  3. Noo

    Aug 6, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    Yeah it sucks to be butt hurt

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19th Hole

Stephen Curry sponsors the creation of golf program at Howard University

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NBA star and avid golfer Stephen Curry has donated a seven-figure sum to Howard University in a move that will see men’s and women’s golf teams at the school for at least the next six years.

As the Washington Post reported on Monday, this will be the first time the school will compete at the Division I level in the sport, and the university plans to have the teams ready to compete for the 2020/21 academic year.

Curry’s donation was partly inspired by Howard senior and golfer Otis Ferguson IV, and speaking on bringing golf back to Howard, the 31-year-old stated

“Golf is a sport that has changed my life in ways that are less tangible, but just as impactful. It’s a discipline that challenges your mental wherewithal from patience to focus, and is impossible to truly master, so when you hear about these passionate student athletes who have the talent but don’t have a fair shot at the game, it’s tough. I feel really honored to play a small role in the rich history of Howard University.”

Howard University’s previous collegiate golf team competed in Division II before disbanding three decades ago, and Curry’s donation is set to be paid out over six years in order for the golf team to become self-sustainable.

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19th Hole

Here is where each player will start the Tour Championship

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Justin Thomas’ win at last week’s BMW Championship now gives him the lead in the FedEx Cup playoff race heading to the revamped Tour finale. The 26-year-old will start the Tour Championship at 10-under par, with his closest challenger Patrick Cantlay beginning the event two strokes further back at eight-under par.

Here are the starting positions for the 30 players at this week’s Tour Championship.

  • -10: Thomas
  • -8: Patrick Cantlay
  • -7: Brooks Koepka
  • -6: Patrick Reed
  • -5: Rory McIlroy
  • -4: Jon Rahm, Matt Kuchar, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Abraham Ancer
  • -3: Gary Woodland, Tony Finau, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama
  • -2: Paul Casey, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner
  • -1: Marc Leishman, Tommy Fleetwood, Corey Conners, Sungjae Im, Chez Reavie
  • Even Par: Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen, Charles Howell III, Lucas Glover, Jason Kokrak

The Tour Championship takes begins on August 22 from East Lake GC in Atlanta, GA, with the winner receiving $15 million.

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19th Hole

How much each player won at the 2019 BMW Championship

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Justin Thomas produced a masterclass at Medinah Country Club to take home the BMW Championship title and with it claim the winner’s check worth just over $1.6 million. In what was a crucial week in the FedEx Cup race, Patrick Cantlay who finished runner-up to Thomas collects a check for just under $1 million and will head to Atlanta for the Tour Championship one place back of the 26-year-old.

With players battling for a place at East Lake and no cut in place, here’s a look at what the 69 players in action earned at last week’s BMW Championship.

1: Justin Thomas $1,665,000.00

2 Patrick Cantlay 999,000.00

3 Hideki Matsuyama 629,000.00

4 Tony Finau 444,000.00

T5 Jon Rahm 351,500.00

T5 Brandt Snedeker 351,500.00

T7 Corey Conners 298,312.50

T7 Lucas Glover 298,312.50

T9 Kevin Kisner 259,000.00

T9 Adam Scott 259,000.00

T11 Tommy Fleetwood 196,100.00

T11 Rickie Fowler 196,100.00

T11 Sungjae Im 196,100.00

T11 Louis Oosthuizen 196,100.00

T11 Kevin Tway 196,100.00

T16 J.T. Poston 148,000.00

T16 Rory Sabbatini 148,000.00

T16 Vaughn Taylor 148,000.00

T19 Jason Kokrak 112,110.00

T19 Marc Leishman 112,110.00

T19 Rory McIlroy 112,110.00

T19 Patrick Reed 112,110.00

T19 Xander Schauffele 112,110.00

T24 Paul Casey 78,856.25

T24 Joel Dahmen 78,856.25

T24 Brooks Koepka 78,856.25

T24 Webb Simpson 78,856.25

T28 Byeong Hun An 65,675.00

T28 Abraham Ancer 65,675.00

T28 Si Woo Kim 65,675.00

T31 Wyndham Clark 53,650.00

T31 Emiliano Grillo 53,650.00

T31 Joaquin Niemann 53,650.00

T31 C.T. Pan 53,650.00

T31 Ian Poulter 53,650.00

T31 Gary Woodland 53,650.00

T37 Billy Horschel 40,700.00

T37 Charles Howell III 40,700.00

T37 Ryan Moore 40,700.00

T37 Scott Piercy 40,700.00

T37 Jordan Spieth 40,700.00

T37 Tiger Woods 40,700.00

T43 Keegan Bradley 30,525.00

T43 Adam Hadwin 30,525.00

T43 Troy Merritt 30,525.00

T43 Ryan Palmer 30,525.00

T43 Andrew Putnam 30,525.00

T48 Bryson DeChambeau 23,865.00

T48 Shane Lowry 23,865.00

T48 Phil Mickelson 23,865.00

T48 Collin Morikawa 23,865.00

T52 Jason Day 21,571.00

T52 Dylan Frittelli 21,571.00

T52 Matt Kuchar 21,571.00

T52 Keith Mitchell 21,571.00

T52 Justin Rose 21,571.00

T57 Jim Furyk 20,627.50

T57 Dustin Johnson 20,627.50

T57 Graeme McDowell 20,627.50

T57 Chez Reavie 20,627.50

T61 Max Homa 20,072.50

T61 Francesco Molinari 20,072.50

T63 Rafa Cabrera Bello 19,702.50

T63 Sung Kang 19,702.50

T65 Cameron Champ 19,240.00

T65 J.B. Holmes 19,240.00

T65 Adam Long 19,240.00

68 Harold Varner III 18,870.00

69 Nate Lashley 18,685.00

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