Post written by Levi.
I remember once explaining the difference between Facebook and Twitter to a less tech-savvy coworker. “Facebook is a way to keep in touch with your friends. Post a status or photo about what’s going on in your life. Twitter is for people to tell other people they’re standing in line at Subway. I don’t care that someone’s standing in line ordering a sandwich.” I created a Twitter account on July 4 2009.
I created that account for 1 reason really. That reason, obviously, was to feed my addiction to golf. I’d heard that professional golfers were all “tweeting” and I, eternally frustrated by what I considered to be too slow of a golf news cycle on the major websites, figured following their “tweets” would keep me more informed. I set up my account, and followed anyone related to professional golf I could find. Players, writers, caddies, you name it, if it was related to the game of golf I followed. I had no intention of tweeting. In all honesty, I didn’t quite know how to use it. And, I loved it. I could see what Stewart Cink was putting on his smoker, I could see pictures of pros playing cards during rain delays, I could read what caddies did after the round, it was an all access pass into the game and lives of professional golfers. Over time, I’d add a real life friend in the mix, or a friend of a friend, or a guy I knew from golf, but it remained primarily a tool for me to see inside the world of professional golf. I’d tweet occasionally, that tweet going out to all 14 of my followers. My tweets were only about golf, Twitter was to be my online golf persona, nothing else. Over time, I gained some followers I didn’t know, presumably based on my random golf tweets.
And then, at some point, everything changed. Acquaintances turned into friends. Friends of those friends became friends of mine. But, that’s pretty much where it stopped. There was always one degree of separation between those new friends and myself. The more followers I had, the more I tweeted. I stuck to golf, primarily, because I had my Facebook account for my “real” friends. At the risk of rambling, I’m going to yadda yadda over the next year of my Twitter existence. Fast forward to about 3 months ago. I had slowly but surely stopped following golfers, writers, and generally anyone I didn’t “know”. My followers were real people, most of whom I’d never heard of and certainly never met. I followed people with whom the only connection we had was the love of golf. I’d actually started to strike up genuine friendships with strangers from all over the world.
At some point in December, I was invited to join some Twitter friends (normally I’d put “friends” in quotation marks, but these individuals have truly become friends) on a trip to Scottsdale for a golf vacation. The plan was for golf, friends, and a trip to the one and only Waste Management Phoenix Open.
I’m not going to get into the details of the trip, I don’t feel like words can do it even close to justice. One item I will share, however, is a shining example of how friendships can be created by social media. The group had rented a condo about 2 blocks from the main entrance of TPC Scottsdale. When I got to town, I had the address, and when I arrived at the condo, the door was cracked open. Did I knock? Hell no. I opened the door, barged in and the virtual friendship we’d all grown comfortable with immediately transferred to real life.
I spent 3 nights and 4 days, had thousands of laughs and created innumerable memories with the group that week. Herb (@mctwentytwo) and Courtney (@lilwolp) came from Pennsylvania, myself (@Levigolfs) from Iowa, Cody (@golfingblademan) and Tiffany (@tiffanyrn11) from Southern Arizona and Matt (@oneputtblunder) from Phoenix all welcomed each other with open arms and open hearts that week.
There is no reason on this earth that the 6 of us should have been put together for those few days in Scottsdale. But let me say this, I’m glad the earth spun its magic and made that week happen. I’d have considered every one of those individuals friends prior to that meeting at what has been dubbed #scottsdale2013, but I consider them to be lifelong friends today. I can also easily name another 10 or 15 “tweeps” that would be encouraged and welcomed to #scottsdale2014. The last I checked, there’s no such thing as too many friends.
What’s the moral of this story? I guess I haven’t really thought that far yet. The moral of this story… the most random of occurrences can have the most unexpected results. So many of us, myself being the biggest offender, focus so much of our lives on the game of golf. While I’ve known this forever, this trip reinforced my belief that golf isn’t just a game. Golf is the facilitator to the good life. Sure, I have good days and bad days. I hit more bad shots than I hit good shots. I yell at my steering wheel after another missed cut, and I might drink a little too much when I get home. But, at the end of the day, the people I’ve met because of this wretched game have become lifelong friends. So, before we all die and come back as zombies looking to feed on the fresh flesh of non-golfers, lets enjoy today and look forward to tomorrow.
Editor’s note: I’m pretty sure Levi met me before any of these people on the twitters. And that I “introduced” him to some key players, without which, this story may never have taken place. Yet, I got no mention. I’m a little put off. I should be big about this and not say anything, but I’m not. I’m bitter that I couldn’t join them on the trip due to prior obligations. Maybe he’s the bitter one. Because he can’t have really forgotten that, right? :p Anyway, the twitters have brought a lot to my life as well. And I can’t wait to meet my twitter friends in “real life” for the first time. And, in case you’re wondering, I’m @thegolfchick on the twitters. Hope to see you there!