If you just tweeted about losing your $2 match on the last hole to a double-bogey, the world’s most famous golfer didn’t see your 140-character lament. Yes, Tiger Woods has finally cranked up his Twitter account (@ tigerwoods), but it’s basically a one-way street for now.
Those accustomed to glancing at account summaries as they click through the Twitter site may gasp when they see Tiger’s. The contrast between his follower count—over 500,000—and the number of accounts he follows is nothing short of astounding. Partly because he’s a Twitter newbie, though mostly because he’s Tiger, that tally is a mere 11. And even that total isn’t the whole story. Of the 11, only one is an actual person, Woods’s buddy and former Stanford teammate Notah Begay.
Begay is a PGA Tour pro and a unique figure in sports, especially golf. The only full-blooded Native American ever to qualify for PGA Tour competition, Begay has played well enough since joining the circuit in 2007 to notch four tournament victories. In 2008 he became just the third player in the history of pro golf to shoot 59 in a professional event. In 2000, he partnered with his friend Tiger in the President’s Cup matches in Virginia.
His father having served in Indian Affairs, Begay has always been mindful of addressing his community’s needs. In 2005, with the startup of the Notah Begay III Foundation, Begay began organized work addressing obesity and diabetes in the Native American youth. For his day job, the economics major owns a golf course development firm and works exclusively with Native communities to develop superior golf properties.
In fact he’s got a new one about to open this spring, part of a resort casino complex in Mayetta, Kansas. The project is called Firekeeper, and its centerpiece is a championship course co-designed by Begay and course architect Jeff Brauer. They routed the Firekeeper course through prairie expanses on the front nine and favored more rolling and heavily treed terrain for the back. This is an ambitious project all around, including the course design. Should make the traveling golfer much more inclined to travel through Topeka.