The COVID-19 pandemic already killed off two of the sports world’s spring traditions — the NCAA Basketball Tournament and Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. With the NBA playoffs now on the endangered list, the first major event of the professional golf season got out of the way this week to the chagrin of fans eager for warm weather pars and birdies.
The Masters stands as golf’s biggest kickoff event every year and remains a rite of passage for any player looking to become a legend. Due to Coronavirus concerns, the minds behind the tourney in Augusta, Ga., moved the show to November 12-15. It now falls to the online realm and the powers of social media to keep golf fans happy during The Masters weekend that isn’t.
The gates are locked at Magnolia Lane leading to the clubhouse of Augusta National as COVID-19 … [+]
The golf world obviously saw this delay coming and reached out to fans early with the #PlayingThrough project. Beginning in March as the virus pandemic first took hold, the joint effort started at Golf.com and Golf Magazine and brings together everyone from average players to pros, journalists to weekend fans. The social media feed features Twitter and Instagram videos celebrating and teaching the game.
The magazine’s CEO, Jason Adel, tells Forbes #PlayingThrough quickly became more than a social media hashtag.
“It’s a mantra,” he says. “Despite all of the uncertainty in the world right now, our love for golf hasn’t changed. What has changed are the ways we are experiencing and enjoying the game. As we navigate these times together, #PlayingThrough will be our unifying mission.”
The magazine and website will extend #PlayingThrough across all of its online and social media platforms, including podcasts, videos, GOLF.com, GOLF Magazine and others — consistently providing highlights from all of the social feeds.
The magazine’s homepage hopes to inspire, sharing stories and tips on building your own backyard golf hole, choosing golf equipment and improving fitness.
Ausgusta, GA will wait until November to host The Masters, usually the golf world’s first major … [+]
Adel explains #PlayingThrough and all of Golf’s new social media content choices are part of a fresh digital programming strategy.
“We’re driven by audience behavior and engagement insights gleaned throughout 2019,” Adel explains “We’ve reorganized our programming schedule in to three core pillars: News/Tour, Gear/Instruction and Lifestyle – each with their own mission statement and guiding principles.”
For what would have been Masters Weekend, Golf.com will serve up a club bag full of special Green Jacket content.
Fr example, Golf’s senior writers Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger are writing up The Masters that Never Was as a fun, if fictional account of what might’ve happened at Augusta National in some parallel timeline free of COVID 19.
Golf.com’s “Live from Masters Sunday” will gather the publication’s insiders, writers and special guests for a live-stream event to re-watch Tiger Woods’ comeback and epic 15th major victory last year.