Welcome to the Social 7, where Tim Reilly or Rachel Bleier of GOLF’s social media team will dive into the good, bad, crazy, insane, viral, hilarious — well, you get the picture — of the past week on social media.
1. Golf isn’t the type of sport you’d usually expect to be filled with off-the-course drama, but this week, two European tour players got into a full-blown Twitter feud. It all started when Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño called out fellow pro Simon Dyson for tapping down spike marks in 2013 before the rules allowed for such fixes on the green. Dyson shot back at Fernandez-Castaño, calling him a “sad little man.” Apparently, some people have a hard time letting go.
2. Imagine playing a round of golf with President Barack Obama AND making a hole-in-one in front of the former Commander in Chief. Well, Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald did just that — and of course, the once-in-a-lifetime event quickly caught social media fire.
3. Among the biggest news in the world of golf social media this week was the launch of the redesigned GOLF magazine (but you can call us biased). The new magazine is bigger and better in every way, from the thickness and size of the paper to the layouts, design and photography. The new GOLF is here to change the face of golf media.
4. Matt Kuchar, who won the Sony last weekend, was accused, tried and sentenced after reports surfaced that he may have stiffed his local looper at the Mayakoba Classic. The original report on Twitter claimed that on a $1.3 million prize, Kuchar only paid El Túcan $3,000. Despite the fact that the claim was unsubstantiated, Twitter turned viciously on Kuchar, one of the most liked pros on Tour.
5. Of all the rules changes that have gone into effect in 2019, the one getting a fun twist is the double-hit rule. For those of you who don’t know, there is no longer a penalty if you accidentally double-hit your ball, but social media has warped this rule into the “double-hit challenge.” In advance of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, pros including Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Henrik Stenson and Tommy Fleetwood attempted to double-hit a golf ball onto the green in a closest-to-the-pin contest.
6. Social media loves a good flub. And plenty of pros have flubbed the new drop from knee height in the first few tournaments of 2019, including Phil Mickelson. Phil was caught on camera attempting to take a drop from shoulder height when rules official Slugger White stepped in to correct the longtime pro. Phil was actually caught on camera telling White that he doesn’t know the new rules and later admitted in a press conference “I don’t know them well enough.”
7. Remember the last shot Happy Gilmore has to make to beat Shooter McGavin at the end of the movie? Well, Jerry Kelly made a Gilmore-esque shot at the PGA Tour Champions’ Mitsubishi Electric Championship on Saturday. Kelly was playing his second shot at the par-5 7th hole at Hualalai Golf Club in Hawaii. He sliced it to the right, but rather than landing in the lava rocks, the ball took two bounces off the cart path then rolled onto the green to set up an eagle.