Jamie Kennedy, a former Lothians Boys Order of Merit winner, had aspirations to be play in the professional ranks himself when he was at college in the US with Russell Knox.
But he’s carved out an alternative career in golf, his success as the European Tour’s social media manager having earned him a dream opportunity in the States.
Kennedy has been snapped up to take on the role of director of social media and digital content for Discovery and GolfTV, with his duties set to include working with Woods on his exclusive content deal with the channel.
“I wasn’t looking for a change and could see myself continuing to shape the image of the European Tour for years to come, but Discovery/GolfTV came knocking.” Kennedy told the Edinburgh Evening News.
“The energy and level of investment they have brought to the game is unlike anything the sport has seen in years, if not decades. I see them becoming the Netflix of golf, producing content fans want to see and showcasing the game on a global level, all in a modern way.
“They told me quite simply, they wanted to hire me. It was tricky as I had just moved back to Edinburgh and had a newborn on the way. They understood and made it work and I start in April.
“I’ll be continuing to create entertaining content for golf fans everywhere, working specifically with the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour and Tiger Woods. Tiger has an exclusive content deal with GolfTV, so I’ll be challenged with agreeing some ideas with him that we can share online.
“It’s a proud time in my career as it feels like a lot of my passion, hard work and dedication have paid off and the next chapter should be a very exciting period in my life.”
Kennedy, who was a Mortonhall member as junior but now plays his golf at Royal Burgess, is leaving the European Tour with a heavy heart.
“Five years ago a friend in the golf industry sent me a job posting from the European Tour for social media manager, saying that should be right up my street,” he added. “My street until that point had taken many bends, a few u-turns and the occasional bump in the road, but the job did seem perfect. Two years earlier, I gave up a job in commerical property in Florida, that paid very well, to follow my passion in golf.
“I got the job at the Tour and began creating and moulding the Tour’s digital image and content. The Tour started in 1972 and no doubt they were behind the times when it came to the fast-moving world of social media and online content.
“Luckily for me, this was everything I was interested in and passionate about. I set about creating a voice and an image for the Tour to a) showcase the players and events b) reach a younger audience and c) be a little more entertaining and fun. From clips from live play, to off-course interviews with players, to viral videos like the Fastest Hole or Mannequin Challenge, we came a long way in five years.
“My first event was the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. I probably slept five hours all week and worked my ass off producing content for the European team and showing off the event. It helped that they won. Over the next five years, I probably covered close to 200 European Tour events, travelled to 20 different countries and became Content Director at the Tour and Ryder Cup Europe.
“My last main project was the Ryder Cup in France, a nice bookend to my career at Wentworth. I worked with Thomas Bjorn, the team and the team at the Tour to showcase the event, go behind the scenes and feed the fan frenzy around the event.
“Again, the team won and safe to say we won the online battle, too, thanks to thousands of fans, a postbox costume and, of course, Francesco Molinari in bed with Tommy Fleetwood!”