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House on the Hill: Following @LafayetteGolf

March 31, 2014

The Lafayette golf team stands at midfield of AT&T Stadium during its spring break trip to Dallas.

Lafayette's golf team spends hours on picturesque courses surrounded by gorgeous scenery. The players entertain each other with fun-filled conversations, many of which they'll remember for a lifetime. And the time they spend analyzing greens, pin placements and wind speeds would shock most people.

Recently, the Leopards savored trips to Dallas, Texas, and Bacon Raton, Fla. Never before have they enjoyed their social media presence so much.

Members of the team pose in front of the lockers of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. 

“On Twitter when we were in Dallas, we got a lot of feedback and activity, partially from the picture (in which) we posed in front of the Cowboys cheerleaders,” said Mike Zausmer, a junior from Michigan majoring in film and media studies. “I think we got 27 retweets and 45 favorites. I've never had that personally on my account. It was cool for everybody.”

It seems only fitting that Lafayette's golf team is getting to relish the fun moments that they're sharing with the world. It's exactly what the golfers were hoping for when they launched their Twitter account nearly a year ago.

The idea stemmed from some junior class members who are active in social media. They tossed around the idea of starting a Twitter account and decided only good things could come of it.

“I spoke with coach [Jim Hutnik] and said, 'Listen, I know we have a Facebook page,'” Zausmer recalled. “'We'd like to take it over and make it active and let people know who we are and how we're playing and let them experience things through our eyes. We really appreciate how we're treated and where we go and we want to tell people about that.”

“It's great having alumni tweet at us and ask us about the conditions and the course and the winds. I think it lets people know we're serious and we are part of the amazing athletics that Lafayette has to offer.” 

At least so far, Zausmer, 21, is the only one who actually posts on the team's Twitter feed. But he insists each and every tweet, whether it be simply a picture or an in-depth description of that day's course, it's a team effort.

Zausmer wouldn't want it any other way.

“Garrett Sweeney reminded me when we were in the cart recently, 'Hey, did Lafayette golf tweet today?'” Zausmer said.

“It's never been a burden. I enjoy doing it. I like getting feedback. I like when alumni give us a little flack for leaving the course when the sun is still up. It's been great for all of us. It's good to have people recognize what we do.”

As popular as Twitter has gotten, especially with those interested in athletics, it's not without its problems and challenges. Far too many times people, including athletes, have gotten themselves and/or their teammates in hot water for the verbiage in a tweet or just its overall content.

Zausmer works hard to make sure he and his teammates won't fall victim to that.

“We definitely make sure our parents would read it,” Zausmer said. “We're not putting anything out there that would be wrong to say. I don't think we need to report to our followers on our mishaps. We try to keep it light and humorous. We know that if we keep it a little lively, it's how you get more activity. That's really who our team is. We're not super serious. We enjoy each other's company and like joking around.

“We like to keep it respectful. We're not going to trash talk other golf teams. This is just a good group of guys trying to display our stories through an incredible opportunity that is all of our dreams.”

As of Monday, Lafayette's golf team had 87 followers. Although they don't have a set number of followers they'd like to obtain by the end of the season, they can't help but have their eyes on the century mark.

“Once we break 100,” Zausmer said, “I think retweets will happen a little more and we'll be more active on more feeds and that could exponentially increase our followers.”

You can keep pace with the Leopards, track their moments of hitting around that little while ball and the enjoyable times that accompany their time on the course by following them on Twitter @LafayetteGolf.

By Mandy Housenick | House on the Hill