First thing to understand about networking in general, and golf networking is no different: being visible is everything. So as this Sunday Driver blog crept to life over the past eight months, I began shifting more and more focus to social media. I’m a sucker for pretty pictures, so I’ve spent a considerable amount of time trolling Instagram, getting to know the landscape and finding out where I fit in.
The same elements that make golf so enjoyable (fresh air, no two courses being alike) make it immensely photographable. If, like me, you sometimes need a little visual 9-to-5 pick-me-up (or a good laugh), to remind you that the course is still out there, I recommend these follows. They’re the ‘grammers I find myself liking day after day, and the pages I'm going to on my own even if new content isn't popping up in my feed:
Patrick Koenig (@pjkoenig)
I can’t remember how I discovered Koenig’s page, only that I’ve been going back frequently ever since to look for new course shots. Koenig is a self-described golfer and photographer, and he also runs a blog bearing his name. It’s often a written explanation behind some of the course shots showing up on his feed, and lately the settings have been Scotland, Ireland and Bandon Dunes. Koenig is simply a magician at capturing courses, in perfect golden light and from a unique angle. I could look at his photos all day.
Lie + Loft (@lieandloft)
Proof that golf can be art, and that it can extend far past your iphone. Here’s a company that specializes in creating golf-themed artwork for your house (still contemplating which piece becomes the first for the Sunday Driver office). This one’s a beautiful follow -- a lot of softer shots from deliberate angles. I find myself wasting a lot of time on this page.
Jones Sports Co. (@jonesgolfbags)
Jones is a smallish golf-bag manufacturer based in Oregon. So, true to the nature of their company, you’ll see a lot of golf bags. However, since Jones is devoted to the carry bag, there’s a lot of walk-and-carry shots that feel nostalgic. There’s definitely a “Jones” lifestyle portrayed through the company’s Instagram. I like the blend of rugged and outdoorsy with golf. Jones has a completely different vibe than any of the other brands I follow.
Mike Wolfe (@brerwolfe)
Wolfe’s and my paths crossed roughly five years ago at Golfweek, but I only got to cover one event with him. Now he’s freelancing and working with the PGA Tour. You can’t miss him in person -- he’s well over 6 feet tall, but he’s never afraid to get a shot. He had his GoPro hidden all over the course that week and wasn’t shy about getting right on top of his subject (that week, I remember him standing literally right on top of Hunter Mahan as he conducted a pre-tournament junior clinic). His Instagram reflects that. Seems like Wolfe is always where he needs to be, so looking at his shots is like being at an event with him. He always has an angle totally unique from, and frankly better than, other images I see from the same events.
U.S. Golf Association (@usga)
True, the USGA’s feed is generally dominated by whatever national championship it happens to be hosting that week. But USGA people and places are worth a few pictures -- the sites are always top-notch and generally historic, and the players are names I want to know if I’m following the game. It feels like my patriotic duty as a golfer to follow their story, plus the USGA is really good at one thing: capturing emotion. It’s a feel-good feed.
Swingjuice is a golf apparel company that creates weird (albeit funny) slogans for t-shirts, etc. Frankly, this one just makes me laugh. Lots of comedic value between awkward, embarrassing shots of Tour players and clearly staged weirdness.
TaylorMade equipment kind of feels like it was made to be photographed anyway, and the company’s social media account does it justice. This is my favorite (by far) of all the major equipment companies, and I don’t even play TaylorMades. The photos are exceptionally clear and artistic, and the occasional infographic is not only aesthetically pleasing but full of stats I'm actually interested in knowing. My favorite part of TaylorMade’s feed is their countdown to each of the majors.