Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day. Three players who in the last five years have become known to resemble the likes of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods
Each will help carry the PGA Tour into the next generation, but who’s the leader of the pack?
Let’s break it down:
- 27 Years Old. 11 PGA Tour wins including four Majors
- Two-time PGA Player of the year
- 22 Years Old
- Seven tour wins including two Majors
- 2013 Rookie of the Year
- 2015 FedEx Cup Champion
- 28 Years Old
- Nine PGA Tour wins including oneMajor
- Seven PGA Tour wins in less than two seasons
They are all great candidates, and let’s face it, they win … ALOT. Especially when it counts.
Despite their impressive resumes, the ideal man for the job actually belongs to a guy by the name of Rick Yukata Fowler. But I think he prefers if you call him Rickie.
I know what you’re thinking…
Fowler? Really? He’s got three wins, none of them are Majors! He’s a great player and all, but…
But nothing. To me, being the face of the PGA Tour is not about how many tournaments and majors you’ve won. It’s your ability to guide individuals or organizations towards success, and nobody on the PGA Tour exemplifies this more than Rickie.
The golf industry is all too familiar with a certain negative stigma. In recent years, the PGA Tour has done their best to try to push away from it, but they need help. They need to strengthen their relationship with the public eye.
In the last five years, Rickie Fowler has been slowly changing the way we view and accept professional golf. It started with his relationship with the public and how he has used social media to not only benefit himself, but the entire PGA Tour roster.
Aside from the news that Tiger could possibly return at Oakmont, most of the PGA Tour talk has been reflected upon Rickie Fowler and “SB2K16”. Rickie posted media of himself alongside PGA Tour players Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, and Smylie Kaufman on their version of spring break, better known as “SB2K16”.
What Rickie posted was the ideal golfer’s vacation. The four of them had just played through a very stressful Masters week and needed a well deserved break from reality. We got to experience and well, let’s face it, become envious of what it’s like to be on a vacation as a PGA Tour player. Their daily SB2K16 updates were covered by various media outlets, gaining praise from some legendary tour players including Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.
Now, I’ve been following Rickie on social media for quite a while. He has always been extremely interactive with his fans, whether it be on Facebook, Instagram, etc. What I find interesting is that he always tries to get his fellow PGA Tour competitors involved as well. Whether he’s posting music videos with the “Golf Boys” or giving us a behind the scenes look at PGA Tour rain delays, it’s always great to see that the other players are willing to be involved.
Rickie’s actions have begun to rub off on other players. In the past two years we have seen a strong push of players take to social media. They are making an effort to strengthen their image and better represent the PGA Tour. Billy Horschel holds interactive Q and A sessions with his fans live on Facebook. Bubba Watson is always running some sort of contest to win prizes on Twitter. The PGA Tour has even made some effort. They have become extremely interactive on Facebook and last year they launched a new social media format known as Skratch TV, with the goal to target the younger generation of golfers.
Tiger Woods was once revered as golf’s saving grace because of how successful he was on the course. His performances captivated audiences and brought more people to the game; whether it was to watch or to play. However, we now live in an era in which the public expectation for a player goes beyond winning a tournament or two. Some of the more popular players on tour haven’t won an event in years. They are just loved for their willingness to interact with golf community through social media.
Rickie Fowler might not have the same resume as Rory, Jordan or Jason. But his impact on the golf industry on a social level makes him one of the true pioneers of bringing the PGA Tour into the next generation. This rightfully makes him the true face of the PGA Tour.