For some, buying golf equipment is a joy. Simply having a set of clubs, whatever they may be, is not good enough and we want something special to take to the course and have a round of golf when the urge takes us. Sadly, the urge seems to have dwindled in recent years and not only have we seen a decline in golf course membership but also equipment sales.
However, one man seems to be taking on the decline one handed and pushing golf equipment sales back to where they were in 2014 and beyond. Having started playing golf in January 2016, Putting Pirate has shown just how powerful social media can be for golf.
Most professional golfers have social media accounts including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and it was the latter which became of interest for Putting Pirate.
If you were asked to name two of the biggest names on the PGA Tour right now, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose would be up there with the best of them. At the time of writing, Johnson is ranked world number one and Rose is world number two.
One glance at their Instagram accounts show Johnson with close to 820K follows and Rose with just over 600k follows. Not bad, but consider this, Putting Pirate has over 950k follows on his Instagram account, hopefully breaking the 1 million barrier in the near future.
So, why is one man who started playing golf in 2016, topping the two best golfers in the world in terms of followers on social media?
Playing golf has always been about fun and the name ‘Putting Pirate’ emerged from the fact putting was always the strongest part of his game. Once the name was out there, it soon began to stick.
In his own words, Putting Pirate has what is called ‘Gear Acquisition Syndrome’ (GAS) and this had led to multiple purchases of golf equipment over the years. Beginning with a set of Callaway Big Berthas, it wasn’t long until Putting Pirate invested in a set of PXG and the results were fantastic, meaning PXG irons remained in the bag.
Nonetheless, being one who likes picking up new gear, there had to be some room for manoeuvre and it started with the shafts. As Putting Pirate began tinkering with his set-up and chronicling the journey on Instagram, so the number of followers started to increase.
It became apparent golf fans wanted to follow the process and as the number of Instagram followers swelled, so did the opportunities in the golfing world. However, Putting Pirate qualified for the British Masters Pro-Am on merit and continues to tweak his equipment, searching for the perfect set-up.
Having recently shot a 67 (let’s forget about the round the following day!) it’s clear Putting Pirate’s game is growing and the fun factor is as high as ever. Figures show the golf equipment business grew 4.1% in 2018 to $8.72bn from $8.08bn in 2017 and while that is not all down to Putting Pirate, his influence and reach in the golfing world cannot be underestimated.