27 Feb 2019

Is Mickelson golf’s Kardashian?

As the golfing world went mad for Rory McIlroy’s eight under par opening round in Mexico, it was Phil Mickelson who stole the limelight in Kardashian style. Not with his shambolic eight-over-round, but his impressively ripped calves. That’s right, the five-time Major champion, who is on the verge of joining the senior tour blew the minds of his younger and more athletic rivals with a pair of massively toned, baby-smooth calves.

Eddie Pepperell was quick to praise Lefty’s post, which showed Phil’s calves in full view, with a tweet saying: “Phil, they’re gorgeous calves!” Mickelson was quick to reply to the 2018 Qatar Masters Champion with a return tweet, which read: “Eddie Pepperell, and you are a handsome man!”

Since then the admiration and banter from the pros was endless. So, what has this got to do with the game, I hear you ask? Well, nothing really. But it just goes to show that social media followers of the game are longing for something a bit different – however strange and weird it may be. The European Tour’s social media department have to think outside the box to compete against the PGA Tour viewing figures and they’ve come up with some crackers, especially with the player’s ‘Content Committee’ spoof and Stenson’s ‘Monty’s Pythons’ suggestion.

 

 

Top Golf

Younger Audience 

Keith Pelly, CEO of the European Tour, is right to say that the Tour is the entertainment industry and with new fun formats such as the GolfSixes, the Belgium Knockout and the ShotClock Masters, you can’t accuse them of not thinking outside the box when it comes to trying to keep the young fans engaged.

The PGA Tour need to take a leaf out of the EuropeanTour’s book as the Golf Channel coverage of the game these days is just the same as it was 20 years ago. It focuses 100% on the tournament that week, the location and the charities involved. The Phil verus Tiger shootout wasn’t exactly fun, nor was it ever going to engage the younger audience. Maybe if Phil were to challenge Tiger to a ‘calves shootout’ the ratings would have rocketed?

It’s a huge surprise that in the country that created social media, reality TV and even musicTV, that America haven’t found a formula that makes golf TV more fun. TopGolf in the States is booming with the younger crowds, yet many of their courses are struggling to remain open.

It also doesn’t help that we’ve just had a whole new set of Rules changes to speed up the game in an attempt to make the sport more appealing. Then I watch JB Holmes meander round his final round at Riviera in five-and-a-half hours to win. How is that going to help entice viewers? And why wasn’t he put on the clock?

One thing is for certain, if Phil Mickelson’s calves can have half the impact on golf like Kim Kardashian’s rear has done for her social media rankings, things are definitely on the up for the game!

 

By Alex Gallemore

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