7 surprising social media stars of 2021
Golf fans saw plenty of players expected to shine in 2021 do just that, from Collin Morikawa to Jon Rahm. And on social media, it was much the same. Max Homa continued to lead the PGA Tour in strokes gained/comedy, Phil Mickelson kept his thumbs busy with witty retorts and Club Pro Guy brought his zany world to a whole new level. Seriously, that dude is a genius.
If golf song parodies are your thing, you were in luck because Sam Harrop kept churning out hits (we tried a couple as well). And no one dug up more interesting stories from around the pro game than Ryan French, AKA Monday Q Info, or more incredible stats than 15th Club's Justin Ray. But thankfully, our list of favorite follows grew even more throughout the year. And here are some of the fresh(er) faces who became household names in 2021. At least, on Golf Twitter.
Our Joel Beall did the deep digging into this Twitter handle @useGolfFacts that may or may not (but 99 percent may) be run by Patrick Reed’s wife, Justine. The handle has been around for two years, but it really drew attention—and followers (up to more than 21,000!)—this year as it continued to defend Reed over rules issues and even unfair tee times doled out by the PGA Tour. But nothing topped this evidence produced by an "expert forensic videographer" that took "over 180 hours" to put together:
We just hope Justine, err, we mean @useGolfFacts doesn't block us, because this stuff is too good.
Long a useful reference as an Official World Golf Ranking guru, this mysterious tweeter went mainstream in 2021 thanks to Collin Morikawa:
But seriously, golf writers should donate to this guy like people donate to Wikipedia. He’s been that helpful. So a hearty happy holidays and thank you, Nosferatu. Whoever you are.
There’s perhaps no place on the planet more secretive than Augusta National Golf Club, but even the green jackets can’t control the blue skies above. That’s where this account comes in, providing overhead photos of the grounds and often breaking news about changes—or potential changes—to the Masters venue long before chairmain Fred Ridley gives his annual April address:
OK, but seriously, what is going on at Augusta National …
Byeong Hun An
It was a tough season on the course for the 2009 U.S. Amateur champ from South Korea, who missed more cuts than he made in 29 starts and lost his PGA Tour card. On Twitter, however, he put forth his best performance with funny commentary, mocking his poor putting, engaging in Q&As and successfully campaigning to avoid more early tee times.
We hope he gets more tee times on the big tour in 2022. No matter the time.
Speaking of journeymen PGA Tour pros, this guy gained a lot of followers by hilariously declaring himself a PIP (Player Impact Program) King all season despite the fact he has about the same social following as the average golf writer:
In the end, we're guessing Hermie didn't get a piece of that $40 million bonus. But we appreciate the effort. And even amid a rough season, he still earned a lot more ($407,995) than the average golf writer.
OK, this wasn’t really much of a surprise if you were already following her, but it was still refreshing to see Korda continue to show her personality even after ascending to No. 1 in the Rolex Women's Rankings. Nelly, sorry, make that Nells, shared highlights from her brother’s blossoming tennis career, her spooky Halloween costume and photos from her sister’s wedding among other things.
If the LPGA had a PIP award, she'd be cleaning up.
Well, really, Michelle Wie’s sweatshirt. If we’re counting total impressions, it’s possible this hooded creation popped up more on timelines this year than any person on Golf Twitter.
That’s because anyone who is anyone seemed to post a photo of themselves rocking this bad boy:
Well done, Michelle. And if you're stuck searching for a last-minute Christmas present for the golfer in your life, you're welcome.