Article Courtesy of Duramed FUTURES Tour
Today's "social media" is a hot topic and everybody's talking about how such mediums as "Twitter" and "Facebook" have become common forms of communication among the young, as well as technologically savvy Baby Boomers.
But for Tour member NICOLE HAGE of Coral Springs, Fla., who started "tweeting" three months ago, the 140-character micro-blogging tool has become the first thing she does every morning and the last thing she does each day before she turns off the lights. She's not sure how many "tweets" a day she types into her cell phone, but she says it's "a lot," even though she's certain she's not up to fellow tweeter and Duramed FUTURES Tour alumna CHRISTINA KIM's rate of an estimated 300 tweets per day.
"It's addicting and becomes like a habit," said Hage, who is also an LPGA Tour member. "I write what's on my mind. It's like a very short, open blog."
When flying to last week's tournament in Decatur, Ill., Hage was stuck on a runway tarmac in a plane for five hours while weather delays hampered travel. She estimates that she fired off "about 100" tweets while she was stuck on the plane. Her fellow Twitter followers tweeted back.
"It made the time go by faster," said Hage. "And they learned that life's not always so glamorous for us when it comes to travel."
Hage decided to become a Twitter user when she went on LPGA player Morgan Pressel's Facebook page and read that Pressel had started tweeting. So Hage signed up for the free social media tool and within the first day, she had 1,000 individuals signed up to tweet with her. She now has more than 1,400 followers who read Hage's thoughts and have the option to respond. Hage's Twitter page is listed on LPGA.com, and fellow tweeters can go to her page and sign up to communicate directly with the second-year professional.
"It's a good way to talk to fans and it's a great way to get people involved," she said. "I have five to six fans in Ohio who are coming out to watch me play because we tweeted and they went on the Duramed FUTURES Tour's Web site and saw that we have an Ohio tournament."
Not only has Hage found kinship in the cyber world, but she also has found two new sponsors through her use of Twitter. Zensah, a company that makes workout apparel, contacted her through Twitter and now ships the touring professional fitness gear. New York's famous Black & White Cookie Company also now ships her individually wrapped cookies with Hage's picture on the package.
"It's great because I can hand them out to pro-am partners and my private housing hosts each week at tournaments," she said. "It's something different and both of these companies found me because of Twitter."
So, other than getting cookies and workout clothes, what has been her biggest surprise by adding Twitter to her daily routine?
"I guess that people care what I say," she said. "They're interested in me and they want to learn about golf and about our tour."
And is there a downside?
"Well, yes," laughed Hage. "My mom follows me on Twitter and this is how she knows what I'm doing all day. Like, sometimes when I'm supposed to be somewhere else and she knows I'm really at the mall."