Last month I embarked on a 30-day social media cleanse. You have got to try this. No Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin for me (Snap, TikTok, and Instagram aren’t in my current lexicon). With no golf to play on the weekends, I found myself watching oodles of sports without my smartphone as my couch potato technology-enhanced mindless spewing companion, and have emerged unplugged, refreshed, and feeling victorious.
I learned that I didn’t need to Tweet after every bad play or missed call. I also observed that golf had the lowest reliance on technology and automation, which aligns well to my enjoyment level. Golf is just the player and their caddy against the field and the course. The competitors created their own breaks, owned their mistakes, didn’t benefit or suffer costs from bad officiating, and play wasn’t stopped once for instant reply. Totally awesome.
Are there distractions in golf? The PGA Tour’s $40M social media Player Impact Program and the Twitter war between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau are small blip distractions that have very little impact on the competitive integrity, other than some brief unsportsmanlike behavior by a few fans directed at DeChambeau. Outside of that there’s the odd Twitter spat to generate bogus interest. I’m sure the players also have some technical points on their minds like spin rates, launch angles, and some other gibberish, that could distract them, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. You need to strike the ball solid and sink putts to stay relevant. That has never changed and never will, and I Iove it.
Are you like me when you’re on the course? I throw my phone in the bag and it’s out of sight and out of mind for four hours which allows me to clear my head for the same reasons. Do you feel sorry for the poor hacks who are making calls between shots, texting their friends, blasting their music, and just not paying attention to their game? I do.
Sports are inherently played and officiated by humans. As artificial intelligence, data science, and automation advance, the human element yields. With it goes a lot of the passion that drew us there in the first place. Thank goodness golf is holding the line. Because of the human requirements of the game, I can’t see this changing, can you?