Irish Golfer Weekly (Digital)

Wednesday 3rd May 2017

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SUBSCRIBE WEDNESDAY 3.5.17 WWW.IRISHGOLFER.IE I n the first week of June, lady Professional golfers will play the ShopRite LPGA Clas- sic presented by Acer, in Gallo- way, New Jersey. There will be 144 Pros competing for $1.5 million. As with most of these events there are sponsor invitations. The tour- nament organisers announced on Monday that they would give a slot to one of four ladies based on a Twitter vote. This is the first time a player will be selected this way. Yes, I'm being serious. Forget merit, this is all about social media popularity. How do you feel about that? Is it good for golf? Are we embracing the social media age in a positive way to help grow the game? The tournament, relying on re- search from MVPindex, identified four active professional golfers who will leverage their social me- dia following for a fan vote to de- termine which of them will be add- ed to the field. They represent four different continents with over one million followers between them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. And when they say 'four active professional golfers'… I read 'four attractive professional golfers'. Tim Erensen, Executive Direc- tor of the tournament, said: "This contest gives our fans a choice to select one of the final participants in our tournament and exposes our event to millions of new fans around the world. Not only is that great for our tournament, it's also great for professional golf." It's a clever promotional ploy, no question, but whether or not it's great for golf I'm not so sure. Does it perpetuate the belief that what you look like is as important or more important than the abilities you possess? Type any of the four names into an online search en- gine and up pop photos of these Shopping around for the most attractive female golfers signals a new low, writes Kevin Markham SHOP RIGHT

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