Debate: Is it a good idea for athletes to tweet?

By Randall MellOctober 15, 2012, 3:21 pm

Brittany Lincicome and Christina Kim got into a tweeting argument this past week. If you were advising athletes, would you recommend that they go ahead and tweet or steer clear of it? Our writers chime in with their thoughts.


Pros, keep tweeting until you develop carpal tunnel.

Just learn from your more reckless peers.

Last month, Luke Donald called architect Gil Hanse an unprintable word on Twitter and had to issue an apology, and then, over the weekend, Christina Kim and Brittany Lincicome engaged in a squabble that never should have gone public.

The takeaway from those blunders is obvious: Take five seconds to review the tweet before you click send. Double-check. That could have saved Donald, in particular – his message was intended to be private.

As for the LPGAers? Well, that was just embarrassing – for the players themselves. They came off as catty and childish. The back-and-forth was reminiscent of a schoolyard scuffle, each clique growing in numbers, the name-calling becoming more and more vicious … until the teacher breaks it up, and everyone is sent into timeout, humiliated. If I’m LPGA commish Mike Whan, I fine them not just for conduct unbecoming of a professional, but for conduct unbecoming of an adult.

Instead of reaching their combined 70,000-follower audience, why could they not settle their beef through a text message, or an email? Remember those other methods of communication? I know, I know. So 2010. But every thought doesn’t need to be 140 characters or less. Sometimes, ideas need to be expanded upon. Crazy, I know.

So, young tweeters, when in doubt, dust off the ol’ laptop, fire off an email. Close Twitter, use that message icon.

You’ll spare yourself the embarrassment.


Seriously? Are we really asking this? This is 2012, isn’t it? OK, I thought so.

Yes, of course athletes should tweet. Depending on their personality, these 140-character bursts can be anything from revealing studies of the inner machinations of their personalities to free advertising for corporate sponsors through supportive shoutouts. Either way, tweets bring the athlete closer to his or her fans and the fans closer to their favorite athletes. It’s a win-win scenario on so many different levels.

If I were offering advice to an athlete on how, what, when and why to make their thoughts public, it would probably mirror the advice my dad gave me on prom night: Don’t be an idiot.

More than ever, it’s easy for an athlete – or anyone else, for that matter – to get himself into hot water on a 24/7 basis. No longer must any of them be summoned to a podium in the interview room or stationed in front of awaiting microphones to have their words travel around the world. It can now happen right from the confines of the living room couch, a simple screen tap of the thumbs causing major headlines.

The advantages of tweeting – and other social media adventures – far outweigh the negatives. Like everything in life, though, tweets must be accompanied by a measure of intelligence and caution to avoid those negative situations.


Twitter feels like a more intimate way to communicate directly with your audience, but there’s nothing intimate about it.

Tweets are public property.

Ultimately, there’s no difference between what you tweet and what you say into a microphone in a TV or radio interview or to a reporter holding a digital recorder. In fact, if you’re going to tweet, treat it just like you would a live interview. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to a reporter, because Twitter is actually less protected than talking to a reporter. Nothing is off the record on Twitter. There is no such thing as `deep background.' What you tweet today can be a headline in newspapers across the world tomorrow.

Twitter is a terrific tool, an effective way to help build rapport and relationships with your audience, but it’s not much different than calling a news conference.

So if you’re going to tweet beyond the game you play, if you’re going to take stands on politics and religion, don’t feign surprise if it becomes a big deal. You are, after all, practically calling a news conference every time you tweet. You might argue differently, but good luck with that.


In the emerging world of new media the rule of thumb suggests that as a journalist you should never tweet anything you wouldn’t write either in a news story or column, an apropos guide considering this weekend’s public dustup between Christina Kim and Brittany Lincicome.

The LPGA duo went toe-to-toe in 140 characters or less with a healthy portion of tweet-dom watching, and as much as officials would have preferred the two keep their row private neither player tweeted anything that they wouldn’t have said in front of a camera or open microphone.

Therein lies the appeal of Twitter – an unfiltered glimpse (at least in theory) into an athlete’s persona free from media bias and the inherent limitations of our sound-bite society.

Why Kim and Lincicome were sideways really doesn’t matter so much as how they settled their differences, with nothing lost in translation or taken out of context. It was social media at its most enlightening, if not entertaining.

Twitter has facilitated a better understanding of players like Ian Poulter, Stewart Cink and, yes, Kim, that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. You may not always like the message, but you can’t criticize the medium.

Let them tweet.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.