Just like big names in every sport, well-established golfers have a sizeable following on various social media platforms. In fact, social media has become the best avenue for fans to connect with their golfing idols and keep up to date with a player’s progress on as well as off the golf course. But are all connections and interactions on social media always real?
Interested in the rise of social media in sports, specialist golfing retailer GolfSupport.com utilised SparkToro’s Fake Followers Audit tool to find out which golfer from the current top 20 in the world has the most ‘fake’ followers relative to the overall following they have on their official (i.e. verified) Twitter account.
Golfsupport.com found that 2012 US Open Champion Webb Simpson has the highest percentage of fake followers on Twitter at 42.6% meaning 90k from his total 211.4k Twitter followers are not real.
Thereafter, 2015 PGA Champion Jason Day has the next most fake followers at 39.1%.
In third place is Paul Casey with 38.3%of his Twitter followers not genuine – this equating to 70.2k from the Englishman’s total 183.2k followers being fake.
Interestingly, 36.9% (70.3k) of this year’s Open champion Shane Lowry’s 190.6k Twitter followers are not real, while 34.8% of four-time Major winner Rory McIlory’s Twitter followers are not authentic. To put that into context, an astonishing 1.1 million from the Northern Irishman’s collective 3.2m Twitter followers are fake.
Probably the most recognisable name in the game and one of the most decorated players of all time – 30.9% (2m) from 15-time Major title holder Tiger Woods’ impressive 6.5m Twitter followers are not genuine.
On the other end, 17.9% of 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott’s Twitter followers are not real. Just above, 19.3% (3.3k) from American Xander Schauffele’s 17.1k Twitter followers are fake.
Additionally, GolfSupport.com assessed the official (i.e. verified) Twitter accounts of the four Major golf championships (Master Tournament, PGA Championship, US Open and The Open Championship) to see what percentage of followers are ‘fake’ relative to the overall following they have.
From this, GolfSupport.com revealed that the US Open Twitter page has the most fake followers at 38.1% – meaning 150.2k from the overall 394.3k followers are not genuine.
Subsequently, the PGA Championship has the next biggest percentage of fake followers on Twitter at 32.4% – equating to 41.8k from the total 129.0k followers not being authentic.
We’re still not 100% sure what distinguishes a “fake” follower from a genuine follower, but according to the SparkToro website, “most Twitter accounts have significant numbers of fake followers.”
• The current top 20 male golfers in the world identified by using Official World Golf Ranking on Tuesday 6thAugust 2019
• Golfer Patrick Cantlay is currently one of the top 20 (ranking 10th) male golfers in the world as per the Official World Golf Ranking but since he did not have a Twitter account, he was replaced by Jason Day for this study – Day who presently ranks 21st in the world.
•All figures regarding Twitter followers for this research taken directly from the SparkToro Fake Followers Audit tool on Tuesday 6thAugust 2019