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Trolls are a sad fact of social media

THERE are many reasons on a personal level why I enjoy social media – Facebook is great for keeping in the loop with old college friends, Twitter I love to use as my daily news feed and for keeping an eye on what interests me, along with following the path of fellow golfers, and then I also use Instagram for keeping up to date with things of interest.

I know there is so much trash, lies, fake news, and forced marketing etc in the social world, and you really can portray whatever you want, but if it wasn’t for these platforms we would miss out on so many of the amazing, motivational, hilarious and inspiring videos that are filmed around the world.

So, you take it with a pinch of salt I guess, as you can’t have the best of both worlds. The only thing I don’t understand, and never will, is why people use it as a platform to belittle people, upset others, and troll people. I’ve had my fair share of trolling over the years; I understand that in this day and age it’s now part of what comes with the job for those times you do manage to play your way into the public eye, but why?

I remember in Sicily missing the cut for the second week in a row by bogeying the last, then five minutes after signing my card receiving a nasty twitter message for again messing up a finish and a tournament. It’s pretty awful to read, and I’m certainly someone who takes it to heart, as you’ve got to be bullet proof not to.

Does it really make people that happy? Are some people really so unhappy with their lives that they have to openly laugh at someone else’s failure?

It’s a pretty sad world if this is the case – I can’t remember the last time I took pleasure in a friend losing a job, underperforming at work, or just waiting for them to fail in the hope that they crawl back to you saying ‘you were right’ – maybe because I never have.

Thankfully the amount of support and good wishes I do receive drowns out most of the crap that I also receive, so thanks as ever for the continued support.

I dread to think how much abuse the top players and celebrities get. I know at one point, through a source, that Ian Poulter was finding it tough to deal with the trolling when he was so active on social media.

I guess the best way, like many players, is to not use social media, or have somebody control it for you. It’s a tough call and maybe my days on social media are numbered.

Sorry for the rant above, it’s certainly a bit off topic from my normal life on tour updates, but spending a good bit of time on your own means you have a lot of things to think about. Maybe mental health in golf and state of mind is also an area of our amazing sport that is slowly getting some coverage after Chris Lloyd, James Morrison and Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston bravely spoke on camera about their personal struggles off the course.

So, it’s now coming to the back end of the year, and it’s obvious my Challenge Tour campaign hasn’t gone to plan, not that you can ever really plan for how an Order of Merit will go; but you can hope!

Following the Hopps Open de Provence in France two weeks ago, and pretty much give or take a few places, I had to be inside the top 53 on the OOM to qualify for the two big money events China. After making the cut in Portugal and finishing T36th I moved up to 64th in the rankings, but a missed cut in France meant I wouldn’t be heading out to the Far East.

As it worked out, I probably needed to win approximately 5k euros so would have needed a top 6/7 finish anyway in France so with no China for me this year, what is left?

I decided against Morocco on the CT as it looked promising for me to get into the Spanish Open in Madrid on the European Tour. But I’m sure people will have their online opinions on that call – remember though, it’s my decision not yours!

I will play in the last Challenge Tour event, the Stone Irish Challenge at Headfort, then start preparations with my team for the European Tour Qualifying School, which starts in November at Stage Two in Spain, an event I’m excited to line up in again.

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