I had the pleasure of volunteering at the Sr. PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville this weekend. It was a great experience working on the Caddie Committee. The duties were pretty straight forward in managing the bag room, ensuring the caddy bibs were in order and generally helping out the caddies with everything from Gatorade to lead tape.
The best part of the experience was the scorer’s area was next door to us and all players/caddies walked by us during the event. They were very cordial, professional and pleasant to be around. They appreciated what we were doing and made us feel at home. Very cool.
The one event that really sticks out involved the eventual champion Tom Watson. Coming down to the end of regulation play in the tournament, Watson missed a putt to win outright on the 18th hole. He finished up, walked into the staging area right in front of me and straight into the scorer’s room. Standing outside the room was his caddie, the official scorer for the group and the standard bearer, a sweet young woman who carried around the scoreboard for Watson and his playing partner all day. All were worn out, disheveled, from the intense heat and humidity of the day.
Watson emerged from the door of the scorer’s room a short time later and immediately engaged the young woman. “So I hear you’re going to Georgetown College in the Fall”, he chimed. He proceeded to chat with her for a good minute or so until finally a PGA Official who’d been standing there watching the situation added, “Mr. Watson, we’re ready to take you to the 18th tee”. It was such a cool moment. Here’s Tom Watson getting ready to walk into a playoff for the Sr. PGA Championship and he’s making it a priority to thank this girl for walking with them all day. He signed a ball, handed it to her and off he went to win a few moments later.
The special thing about the setting was that it was so genuine. Watson meant every word he said, as if he and the standard bearer were the only people at Valhalla.
It shows not only how much of a class act Watson is, it’s a testament to his success as a player and more importantly his character as a person.
Congratulations Tom Watson on being a champion in so many ways.
I know this blog is intended to talk social media design and strategy and I warned you about me and golf in advance. There is a story here for what you’re doing in social. I can’t stress enough how important it is to be genuine in your efforts in building communities and engaging in social business. People can smell a rat a mile away and trying to fake anything will do more damage. Be genuine. It’s a simple idea for social media strategy, life and golf. It’s why social media is changing the face of companies from small business to the Fortune 500. Those organizations that know themselves best and can be true to their consumers, be genuine in their dialogue and show a commitment to value and values will succeed in the long run.
Who do you think is doing a good job of being genuine in the social media experiences today?