Social Media

Golf is trying to shed its image as an old man's sport and is luring bloggers to push that message

Key Points
  • The PGA Tour is working with social media influencers to promote the sport.
  • At the Northern Trust tournament, fashion writers, mommy bloggers and foodies will blog about their experiences.
  • Athletes are being encouraged to connect with fans on social media.
Jordan Spieth of the United States hits his tee shot on the ninth hole during the first round of the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston on March 31, 2016 in Humble, Texas.
Getty Images

Alexandra Dieck is known for touting the latest fashion trends on her blog Lexicon of Style. Later this week, she'll be tackling a rather unexpected subject: golf.

Dieck, 26, is among a handful of social media influencers hired by the PGA Tour to tout the sport to younger audiences during the Northern Trust tournament this week. Dieck's social media peers will include other fashion writers, foodies and mommy bloggers.

"We are creating a totally new experience in addition to great golf that is inherently more social and fun, and we want more people to know about it," said Julie Tyson, PGA Tour's senior vice president of championship management. "We are widening our circle of storytellers to include influencers we know our fans already look to for insights and information."

While golf is not traditionally thought of as a sport for youngsters, 26 percent of those who play are between the ages of 18 and 34 years, and they collectively spend about $5 billion on the sport, according to a study by the National Golf Foundation.

Millennials are showing their interest in golf in other ways, which is clear by the popularity of gaming company Topgolf and the PGA Tour Superstore. But for the sport to grow, it needs overcome the image that it's only for rich, white men.

"We're in the business of golf," said Preston McClellan, senior manager of digital communications at the PGA Tour. "It's an everyman sport. It's not an elite sport. It's not something you have to go to a country club to enjoy."

On the pro circuit, youth is winning. Of the top 10 golfers in the world, eight are under age 35, according to the official world golf ranking. Fans are getting used to the names Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama.

"Whether it's thanking folks for coming out to an event or just sharing parts of my day, it's really cool knowing we can interact with fans anytime, anywhere," Spieth said in an e-mail. "It always amazes me watching fans engage when we share things. In a lot of ways, I feel like social media has become a 'modern day autograph' for us."

In addition to just golf, the Northern Trust will feature handcrafted cocktails from Grey Goose, a Taste NY Marketplace with dishes from chefs like Marc Forgione and David Chang, and fashion from Kendra Scott. Many of the events will be directed towards attracting female fans.

"Growing the female fanbase is extremely important to the PGA Tour, but it is also important to me personally," said Tyson. "The Northern Trust is going to do everything to ensure that women come out and experience the event, and leave with an indelibly positive memory of that experience."

For Dieck, golf isn't just another subject matter. She grew up watching her dad play on Sundays and earned a scholarship to compete for the University of Houston. However, it's remained a hobby for her.

The PGA Tour social media team discovered Dieck's passion for the sport after she posted a few Instagram pictures from the Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas, which she regularly attends for fun with her friends and family.

"People always get super surprised when I play," she said. "I'm not really good at golf – but I can hit under 100."

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