Golf is a very interesting sport. Most people typically associate the sport with older white men that are rich. Many general sports fans do not like golf; they believe that the sport is very boring and lacks diversity and entertainment. Personally, I beg to differ. I like to play golf as well, but I find golf a very fascinating sport to watch. A contested back nine on a Sunday at a big tournament, brings some of the greatest bits of drama in all of sports. As much of a golf supporter that I am, I do understand how many people would feel that too many of the athletes appear to be the same, and lack unique identities. That as why I have found the emergence of the “Golf 4” so refreshing and awesome. In all sports, especially individual sports, athletes that show a bit of their off-the-field life, immediately become more likable. Watching a group of professional athletes act like normal dudes and have a good time, instantly enables the fan to connect with the athlete.
In April, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, and Smylie Kaufman, all went on a trip to the Bahamas. The 4 golfers (especially Fowler and Thomas) extensively documented their shenanigans on Snapchat. Their days mostly consisted of shirtless golf rounds, drinking beers, and listening to, “Jordan Belfort.” Really it came down to a group of bros screwing around and acting like normal young kids on Spring Break. While this adventure only added to the already immense likability and fandom towards two of golfs biggest stars, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, it also allowed for two other young players to make a name for themselves. While I was only briefly familiar and felt neutrally towards Thomas and Kaufman before the trip, I soon became fans of them as their journey progressed. Especially the hysterical and energetic Kaufman, both of these players established themselves as awesome dudes. In recent tournaments since, #SB2k16, I have found myself passionately rooting for both Smylie and JT to have success. While I would not have cared how these players faired in events, before their trip, now I am actively supporting them, and am on the forefront of the campaign for Thomas to make the US Ryder Cup team. The “Golf 4” have continued to spend time together and record their experiences together on Snapchat. They have established their own signature traditions including, “Konica Minolta Swing Vision Camera”, “Jordan Belfort”, and “Balldog.”
A lesson to all athletes (I’m looking at you Mr. Watt): Show a little bit of your true character outside of competition. It only makes you appear to be a human being, instead of a robot, and gives someone a unique inspiration to cheer for a specific athlete.