(UPDATED below.)

On Friday at the Players Championship, bevisored rising talent Keith Mitchell went viral.

When athletes go viral for a competitive moment, that usually means one of two things:

  • They’ve done something impossibly cool.
  • Something absurd has occurred.

In Mitchell’s case, it was the latter. Here’s where we’d normally include the video, but unfortunately for anyone interested in seeing a viral moment from PGA Tour coverage this weekend, the PGA Tour has decided that, no, that’s not good for business.

Yep! In yet another example of the PGA Tour’s long-running policy of spiting themselves for no reason, they submitted a takedown notice for the clip. Which means we’re here writing about this side of things, and how backwards-thinking their entire policy is.

Less than a month ago we wrote about this exact topic:

We do a lot of ManningCast clips, for example, and it’s never been an issue because ESPN and the NFL understand that generating social media buzz for an event without having to pay for placement is very much a net positive for them. The PGA Tour takes an opposite approach, which is a wild choice for a sport that is so clearly and thirstily desperate for a younger audience, as evidenced by their partnership with Netflix on the just-released Full Swing.

That conflict in strategy is the sign of a rudderless ship, which should be much, much more concerning to the people in charge at Tour HQ than unaffiliated Twitter accounts providing free signal boosts.

It’s back at the forefront this weekend once again, all because of a video featuring a tee shot being blasted into the water a split-second before the horn sounded to end play. It was funny. It would be great to show you here.

I’m struggling to imagine a more relatable feeling than “seeing tee shot sailing out over water and wanting to slam club on ground.” Honestly, that’s one of golf’s biggest connective points with fans and viewers; it’s one of the (seemingly) more approachable sports, albeit with plenty of access issues. I’ll never dunk a basketball, but I’ve dunked a 7-iron from 150 yards for an ace before.

I’ve also sent plenty of drives way too far to the right, and while I haven’t slammed a club in years, I can still certainly appreciate the surreal comedy of hearing that horn blow as soon as a shot was struck poorly.

Plus it had been viewed millions of times already. There’s no putting that club back in the bag. It lives on in lesser-viewed copycat tweets, even, and will continue to forever because you can’t truly scrub everything, and taking it down just makes people want to find it more.

At least TRY to pretend that your fans matter sometimes.

UPDATE: Keith Mitchell himself brought the video back, sort of. Kudos for quote tweeting the initial tweet, too.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.