Twitter’s creation date was March, 2006, and over 500 million followers later—within the context of breaking news or major events—it’s impossible to imagine a world without 140-character micro-blogs consisting of analysis, facts, observations or links to the greater good.
The Masters’ first tweet was April 9, 2009:
@stewartcink is on his way to the range. Check out his Twitter feed for his take on his opening round of 69.— Masters Tournament (@The_Masters) April 9, 2009
Five years later, @The_Masters is a must follow for much more than just updates on Cink’s practice habits.
Ian Poulter, who has 1.6 million followers, sent his first tweet on April 3, 2009:
just off to the practice ground this morning to practice hitting a draw with my 3 wood for the 10th and 13th holes at the masters next week.— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) April 3, 2009
Five years later, the “Global tour golfer” is sharing “selfies” from the short grass.
Dan Jenkins, the iconic scribe, joined Twitter on June 3, 2009:
I'll have this Twitter thing figured out by the US Open, so check back as we get closer to Bethpage.— Dan Jenkins (@danjenkinsgd) June 3, 2009
It may be a Tiger-less Masters, but it won't be a Jenkins-less Masters. Tape your ankles.— Dan Jenkins (@danjenkinsgd) April 8, 2014
With ankles taped, I’ve compiled a list of my 20 favorite follows during #MastersWeek:
1. @DanJenkinsGD: The legend has covered 220 major championships for Sports Illustrated and Golf Digest. Enough said.
2. @TimRosaforte: The dogged reporter and award-winning writer for Golf World, Golf Digest and Golf Channel is one of the most respected voices covering the game.
3. @DougFerguson405: Lead golf writer for the Associated Press who’s covering his 19th Masters. He’ll be the first one in the pressroom and the last one to leave.
4. @ronsirak: Executive Editor of Golf World and Senior Writer for Golf Digest is covering his 25th Masters. Sirak’s perspective and play-by-play is an especially good follow if you’re not in front of a TV.
5. @AlanShipnuck: Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated has a relentless feed of information and wit.
6. @chambleeBrandel: The Golf Channel analyst is always prepared and opinionated.
7. @GeoffShac: Contributing writer to Golf World and Golf Digest, with frequent appearances on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive, Shackelford was aggregating and linking to relevant golf news at GeoffShackelford.com years before Twitter.
8. @AshleyKMayo: Senior Editor at Golf Digest is quickly becoming one of the most important female voices and perspectives covering the game, especially in the social space.
9. @RichLernerGC: His spiritual connection to the game and his passion for his craft is evident in every tweet.
10. @GD_MikeO: Executive Editor of Golf Digest and “Dan Jenkins’ co-conspirator/electrician on Twitter,” if O’Malley isn’t passing out historical perspective, stats or links to must-reads, he’s helping Jenkins tap out his magic.
11. @RexHoggardGC: Senior Writer for GolfChannel.com, Hoggard is also the tour insider for Golf Channel’s Morning Drive and Golf Central. He almost always has it first.
12. @KellyTilghmanGC: The matriarch of Golf Channel.
13. @EMichaelGW: Mike Johnson is a Senior Editor for Golf World with an expertise in what’s in their bag and why.
14. @ShaneBacon: Editor of Yahoo’s Devil Ball Golf, Bacon is scratch on the course and a plus-2 on Twitter.
15. @ScottMichaux: Sports columnist for The Augusta Chronicle.
16. @TweeterAlliss: It’s not the handle of Peter Alliss, but it’s everything you’d want Peter Alliss to say about anything happening in the world of golf.
17. @KylePorterCBS: Lead golf writer/blogger for CBS Sports also created a list of who to follow this week.
18. @RobertLusetich: An Aussie who’s the FoxSports Senior Golf Analyst.
19. @LukeKerrDineen: Assistant Editor at Golf Digest is part of the new regime covering the game for a 64-year-old brand.
20. @JasonSobelGC: Senior Writer for GolfChannel.com gets more than most out of 140 characters or less.
10 Big golf brands to follow:
And because sharing is at the core of why Twitter is so successful, I asked some of my favorite handles to suggest their favorite follows:
@fooch1993: Mark Fulcher, caddie for Justin Rose.
@DaveLynnDawg: You never know what this English player is going to say. On a normal week he's a hoot, and honest. He's in the field this week.
@missyjonjones: A USGA Rules Official who runs several tourneys, including NCAA Women's West Regional. No one explained Tiger's bad drop last year better.
@danjenkinsgd: As the great English actor Edmund Kean said on his death bed: "Dying is easy; comedy is hard." Dan makes hard look easy.
@dougferguson405: If news happens the AP golf writer will be there, especially if it happens at 6 a.m.
@The_Masters: only for this week because of the news feed.
@ronsirak: because of the news value
@DaveShedloski: Historical context.
@4caddie: Because of the combination of news and satire.
@danjenkinsgd. Not sure I need an explanation on this one. But Dan once said, "I don’t think I ever sold out accuracy for humor." And that describes his tweets. Which, by the way, are humorous.
@danjenkinsGD: Because he's a legend, has seen more Masters than everyone in the room and his tweets are hilarious. And spot on.
@ronsirak: Golf World Executive Editor will have a good mix of breaking news, insights and updates.
@The_Masters: Just because it'll be fun to see what the official Masters account does, now that it's finally joining the Twittersphere.
@missyjonjones: Top rules expert to follow for the inevitable rules brouhahas.
@scottmichaux: Augusta Chronicle columnist has all the good info on the tournament, players and his paper's coverage.
@danjenkinsgd: I'm partial to guys who have seen 63 previous Masters and make me laugh out loud.
@timrosaforte: Best contacts in the business. If Obama gets an Augusta National membership, Tim will have it first.
@GeoffShac: A few caustic comments balance things out when the Masters starts to feel too much like church. @wrightthompson: A talented Son of the South who looks at things a wee bit differently.
@AshleyKMayo: Golf Digest's social-media rock star. Teachers have given her an A+ in Enthusiasm since kindergarten.
@SkySportsGolf: Because I want the perspective from Great Britain.
@JohnHuggan: Because I want the best of writing from Great Britain and I love his opinions.
@bykaren: From the New York Times, because I love her writing.
@WestwoodLee: Because I think he is the smartest and funniest player on tour.
@GolfChannel: Because they cover every single story in golf.
@scottmichaux: The Augusta Chronicle's lead writer is everywhere and anywhere this week.
@danjenkinsgd: Like Big Jack, this living legend is only interested in majors. Has turned droll asides into an art form, with plenty of history mixed in.
@augustagolfgirl: This spunky local offers plenty of useful tidbits on what's happening around town.
@paulmahoneygolf: A Eurocentric perspective enlivened by a madcap sense of humor.
@si_golf. An insane amount of original content every day. Plus, ya know, I'm a good company man.
@scottmichaux: A sports columnist based in Augusta, Ga., and perhaps the most knowledgable guy about everything-Masters.
@KylePorterCBS: A funny, smart journalist who's always on top of the latest.
@jamieonsport: The king of stats, Jaime pumps out interesting nuggets of info on a consistent basis.
@WestwoodLee: He banters with other PGA Tour players and when he's not on the course, has a tendency to add intelligent commentary to the telecast.
@GolfDigestMag: A handle that's supported by three people, ensuring round-the-clock coverage of not only the news, but also intriguing analysis and instruction.
@GeoffShac: He doesn't miss much.
@JasonSobelGC: Creative, edgy and he lives for weeks like this.
@DougFerguson: The definitive voice for golf on Twitter. It's funny, for a guy that avoids opinion in his copy, he is surprisingly opinionated.
@DanJenkinsGC: Because he’s Jenkins. Guy has covered 800 majors, or something like that.
@Graeme_McDowell: Only person who has ever tweeted from Augusta National's locker room and he is as honest as they come.
More of my Golf Channel colleagues to follow:
2014 Masters on Instagram
Twitter isn’t the only club in the bag of social discourse. Here are some Instagram handles to follow:
@AshleyKMayo: All that AND a good eye?!
@HashtagChad: Head of Social Media at Callaway.
@ChristianIooss: Director of Photography at Golf Digest and Golf World
@jdcubes: J.D. Cuban is a Senior Staff Photographer for Golf Digest and Golf World.
@GolfChannel: Inside the ropes and behind the scenes at Augusta.
@IanJamesPoulter: He doesn’t just get Twitter.
@StephanieMWei: Less selfies and more course!
@CallawayGolf: A mix of historical and memorable images with interesting videos.
@TaylorMadeGolf: Not just their players with product.
@themasters: No one will have better access.
I asked Christian Iooss, Director of Photography at Golf Digest, to suggest his five favorite Instagram handles this week:
@jdcubes: A Golf Digest staff photographer, and one of the best golf action shooters around.
@donaldmiralle: Amazing sports photographer who will be shooting for the Golf Digest team this week at Augusta.
@gettysport: A highlight real of Getty Images' best sports photography. Getty will have a team of top-notch photographers at ANGC.
@themasters: Augusta’s official feed which will be populated regularly by their stable of great photographers.
@kohjiro_kinno: Golf photography with a twist. Kojo does a great job of offering a unique take on any sporting event he covers.
My tweet, last week, as I rolled by the gates of Golf Heaven:
Enjoy The Masters.