On Friday, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee published a piece on GolfChannel.com arguing that Twitter has no place in golf.

Perhaps you’re wondering what in the world that means. Well, have a read:

I’m thinking that golf should ban Twitter, not because it is interfering with the practice of the game but because it is interfering with the civility of it. Twitter may have originally been a burst of inconsequential information but it has turned into 140 characters of kindling, burning civility to a fine crisp.

I can understand the discord involving politics, religion and war but what is there to argue about in golf, I mean besides the fact I am still paid to talk about it for a living?

Okay, so that’s a nice bit of self-deprecation at the end from Brandel, but the post as a whole reads as a man yelling at a virtual cloud. Let’s go back to the beginning for a bit of context, as Chamblee’s thesis is that Twitter’s superficiality is harmful to our modern society:

“A short burst of inconsequential information.” That’s how Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey originally defined the social networking service that he and three others created, but what has come to define the narrative so often of this generation is far more facile than that.

Somewhere between the bottle of wine your neighbor opened last night and the Arab Spring movement, Twitter is the most narcissism-inducing, vanity-vomiting, muckraking scourge of harmony and aggregate source of everything one needs to know, time-suck in history.

He really sugarcoated that one. Also, points for the “this generation” reference. I have no idea what it means in this context. Surely he’s not suggesting that young to youngish people today are dragging down what could otherwise be a civilized platform? Because if he is, there are quite a few very visible counterpoints to that argument.

The irony, of course, is that Brandel has made his post-golf career out of being a Golf Channel analyst willing to fire off takes left and right. His brand of on-air behavior is in many ways a precursor to the type of online sports discourse he’s now lamenting. Chamblee railing against a lack of civilized discussion on Twitter is a bit like Henry Ford complaining about traffic congestion.

Perhaps Chamblee is just tired of dealing with being called out on his own critiques or insights. By his own estimation, he’s blocked tens of thousands of people on Twitter, after all:

I can smell rudeness a par-5 away. Hence, I block on average about 10 people a day, which means I have blocked around 20,000 people in my six-plus years on Twitter.

In fairness to Brandel, there are a lot of idiots on Twitter. And his rules for sussing out potential problem Tweeters have merit!

He lists tweets written in ALL CAPS and the use of multiple exclamation points, for example. Normally a solid rule! He does include usage of the word “Dude” as well, and it’s hard to argue too much with it.

That wouldn’t have filtered out Rory McIlroy, of course, when Rory took umbrage with some of Chamblee’s swing analysis (on whether pros should be hitting up or down with drivers) being out of date:

Brandel Chamblee, in his blog post, comes across as someone who is very comfortable lobbing bombs from the confines of a studio, and very uncomfortable now that people keep tabs on those opinions, check them for accuracy, and have an easy conduit with which to inform him he’s wrong.

And while it’s true that there are idiots on Twitter who just criticize to criticize, and while it’s also true that some elements of social media have devolved (or were always) a cesspool of vitriol and stupidity, the answer for golf as a sport isn’t to ban Twitter. Twitter is great for golf! Look at yesterday’s running commentary on Phil Mickelson’s roller coaster round, for example.

The PGA Tour knows this, and knows the importance of getting different eyes on golf. Hence their current partnership to stream exclusive coverage through Twitter early in tournaments. Chamblee’s supporting a position in opposition to the growth of the sport, seemingly because he’s tired of people telling him he’s wrong online.

Maybe he could try forming better opinions, taking more care with his own words, and being less focused on contrarianism solely for the sake of contrarianism.

He’s right about that ALL CAPS rule, though. Those people are the worst.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.

  • Longtime_Geek

    I realize there are a lot of people who find Brandel to be irritating/obnoxious/stupid/whatever, but many of his detractors come across as no better. Using hyperbole like “worst announcer ever” or referring to him with childish and petulant names like “Braindead Chamblee” might make you feel better for a moment, but it doesn’t do anything else.

    Articles like this, which make reasoned arguments, are worthwhile. Letters to NBC/Universal calmly stating why Mr. Chamblee bothers you (no ranting allowed) might accomplish something, but that’s not near as much fun as insulting someone who disagrees with you, is it?

    “He’s right about that ALL CAPS rule, though. Those people are the worst.”

    BINGO!!! (Oops! I meant to say “Absolutely!”)

  • thedingo8

    Has chamblisome ever gone 3 minutes without fawning over tiger 15 Times?

    • chaz

      You obviously don’t follow Chamblee since he has basically made his living ripping Tiger.

    • bill budd

      He’s the only one who doesn’t fawn over Tiger. We need more like him.