Ever since men started cutting grass, golf had been regarded as the true Gentleman’s game. A sport that’s rooted in patience and technique, it’s a true one-off when it comes to competition, presumably why it attracts the older, more mature crowd with a bug-zapper-like effect. In our fathers day and age, it was just patience and technique, perhaps a cigar and maybe even a Stella, but the vices always appeased to etiquette. It was a good walk spoiled by poor play, as is for all of us duffers. Now that millennials have picked up the club though, fare play has truly found a new meaning. “The Feeds” have alerted the course marshal of the neo-cultures anarchy and the caddie master will tell you that in the hands of todays gosh darn youth, decades of the sports progress will be erased. Of course, I’m not the fun police, as the addition of a Beats Pill and 12 pack certainly does add a much needed X factor, the retrofitting of golf to fit todays frat boy culture has officially ventured into a social grey area that at the least, raises an eyebrow.
I’ll ask Instagram to shoulder the blame today, as social media and the other hype machines are really the main catalyst for the reformation. The on-course debauchery glamorized by the aforementioned Feeds stands tall, offering a trophy specimen for our future therapists to analyze in the giant social media case study. It’s become blatant that the thirst for a perfect drop shot or 200 yard beaut down the fairway may not be as important as capturing shareable content of the days escapades. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll have arrived at the driving range, and has stolen the pride that stellar play used to provide. Today, we aim for ‘likes,’ not the green and we take more pictures than we do mulligans. If the game of golf were to stand on trial, a decision that would dictate the future of a full 18, the prosecution need only present Barstool Sports new subsidiary, ForePlay, the page where the fairways roadkill can find eternal glory. While the videos are hilarious of course, the laughter I have begun to draw from the slew of vehicular manslaughter is more of a nervous laugh than slap stick humor. Seriously, how is this our newest viral trend? We needed one video of the carnage, a behind the scenes glimpse at the true cost of InstaFame to set us straight. Unfortunately for buddy boy here, the shot heard round the world will be this compound fracture.
The new viral charade unveils the real moral hazard in the “Do it for the Vine” mentality. What has quickly moved from a light hearted dare to a die hard culture, the thirst for clicks and page impressions has become insatiable, and the golf cart calamity is only the newest notch on the the bedpost for viral trends gone moronic. The kamikaze missions are comedic stupidity so low brow that it’s hard to imagine how these kids can even be trusted with cell phones in the first place. I empathize though, as most InstaSnapBookers can…sometimes it takes a flare for the dramatic to really resonate during someones morning scroll…but, the golf cart thing is really next level. It’s not the first time one of our viral sensations forced us to trade ‘likes’ for braincells. Wildly enough, it’s a barter that a not so small sample size can stomach with ease, and to their credit, some Polo clad grace as well.
Once upon a time, perhaps before Bill Gates graced the Earth with his internet machine, an impressionable youth might aspire to be a Doctor or perhaps a fireman. Now, one of the most sought after career paths is to be Instafamous, a profession that the high committee of elders has since titled: Influencer. For the antiquated, the pay out isn’t apparent. For the click-happy millennial, making it on the web is more than just desirable, it’s enviable and breaking through is honestly a pretty remarkable display of marketing finesse and savvy. At the end of the day, pages that gain traction for their consumer content become a digital billboard of sort, essentially giving the principal of the account some pretty significant signage in the eCommerce world. Like magic, your golf cart prank on your douchebag brother in law has transformed you into your own personal brand. Your posts have since gifted you with sponsorship suitors from Nike and Adidas, as your follower base of 1.2M golfers offers advertisers a pretty efficient entry point to their products main buyers. Your clout in the golf world quickly rivals most of the traditional, Golfers Digest forms of advertising, and the marketing budget Callaway was approved of has your name all over it. Like the Bitcoin market, a users ability to gain a following is an Influencers own personal cryptocurrency, digital dollars worth their weight in corporate gold.
The examples of this computer generated dream are plentiful, just ask Logan Paul if you can catch up to him in his brand new lambo. @GaryVee my personal favorite, my sisters pack leader @WeWoreWhat, and the countless big breasted, scantily clothed “models” and their FirstPhorm preworkout supplements can all attest to the rent money that can be cornered from the Insta-potential. At the end of the day, it makes sense…and more importantly, it pays dividends. For that reason, the sacrifice we are seeing on the golf course and in the bounty of other body-abusing online trends is equatable to going to Law School or working the mail room. One must pay their dues for certification. The school that these Influencers choose to send their tuition checks to is the University of Hard Knocks, a no holds barred curriculum that punishes the body for the sake of good content. In the case of our golf cart buddies, the cost of content may make “your first swing in two years, bro,” your untimely last.
The golf cart challenge has become the summer fixation. The benign love tap has become a full speed truck stick and finally, the destruction is surfacing as we find videos that go past our allotted 60 seconds. As we continue to one-up the video that was posted before ours, perhaps it’s best we file this one in our all too frequently visited ‘bad idea cabinet.’ The fact that I quiver as I line up for my approach in fear of a rogue cart is too much for the fragile game of golf. While the epic crash film may land you as the 4th spot in Kyle Rudolphs charity outing, with Prez, MJ, and Tom Brady, I wouldn’t count on it. We understand that sacrifice is necessary on the climb to the top, but dying during the ascent is never worth the view from the summit.