Claire Rogers took a major turn in her career path, going from aspiring child psychologist to running social media for a golf outlet. Along the way, she has emerged as one of the golf community’s most entertaining voices.
It took a bit of bravery from the psychology major out of Boston College to contact the magazine she had been a fan of for years, Golf Digest. Now at Golf.com, she’s working one of the most creative, fulfilling jobs she could ask for, traveling to golf tournaments and meeting people from all over the world.
Like most kids, Rogers wasn’t hooked on golf right away.
“We had junior golf every Tuesday morning growing up. I would walk to the course right across the street, and I hated it because we had to be there at 8 a.m,” Rogers recalled with a laugh.
Not to mention, the male-to-female ratio was skewed.
“It was a pretty big program for Rhode Island,” said Rogers, referring to her home state. “I would say 40 kids showed up and it was probably 28 guys and 12 girls.”
Golf continued to play a role in the Rogers household when Claire’s parents started hosting golfers for the Northeast Amateur, a men’s amateur event held every year at their home course of Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, Rhode Island. Claire was skeptical when one of the players they hosted suggested they come out and watch.
“I was like, ‘Why would I want to go follow 18 holes? That sounds horrible,’ ” Rogers recalled.
But after watching a few rounds of the tournament, she started inching her way toward what is now a deep love for the game.
“It was fun to watch the trajectory of someone who would win at this local course and then see them on TV years later,” she said.
In 2006, the Roger family would host a golfer that would make national television for many years to come. Dustin Johnson walked into their home wearing workout clothes, flip flops and frosted tips in his hair. Johnson didn’t win that year but would go on to win two years later in 2008.
Regardless of his tournament success, Johnson developed a special familial bond with Claire, her parents and Claire’s three siblings, who were all between 5 and 14 years old at the time.
The two-time major champion gave Claire’s dad and older brother, Tim, Masters tickets in 2011. When they showed up to the range, Johnson saw them and walked over to catch up.
“He has always remembered my family and it’s been so fun to see him succeed over the years,” said Rogers. “To be working in the golf space now makes it even better.”
In addition to following Johnson’s career through social media, Rogers found herself gravitating towards Instagram and other media outlets to follow professional golfers.
“I remember when Rickie Fowler got Instagram and it was cool because you’re learning the personal side about these people who you see on TV,” she said. “In high school, I would spend weekends watching golf with my dad. All throughout college, I followed golf extremely closely just because I really liked it.”
A renewed love for golf began to influence her career decisions by junior year of college. Rogers was a dedicated Golf Digest reader, which ended up being the first and only company she reached out to in hopes of working there.
“I just emailed the people at Golf Digest and asked, ‘How can I work for you?’ I didn’t even know their emails,” Rogers said. “I just kind of guessed that it was probably first name-dot-last name at GolfDigest.com, and it worked.
“In the beginning, all of this felt like brain surgery. … I think it was really hard at the beginning to kind of feel confident, but the more you travel or the more you do anything, you just get more confident.” – Claire Rogers
“It wasn’t like I had a goal of getting into golf social media, because that’s so specific. But I interned there for two years and was just doing whatever they needed. Then when I graduated, Hally Leadbetter and I, who was also working for Golf Digest, got in touch when they were hiring a social person. So it was just perfect, and I worked there for about two years.”
Rogers went from editorial researcher at Golf Digest in 2016 to social media coordinator in 2018. Two years later, she transitioned to Golf.com to work as their social media manager. Rogers was just recently promoted in April as their senior social media manager.
“I’ve transitioned to overseeing the day-to-day stuff of scheduling of articles, working with writers and our social media accounts,” she said. “I remind myself that it’s not like I’m performing brain surgery. I’ve definitely improved in the graphic space and writing and things like that, but it wasn’t what I went to school for. So I think it was really hard at the beginning to kind of feel confident, but the more you travel or the more you do anything, you just get more confident. The positive feedback from bosses or critiques from bosses about how we can do better has been very helpful.”
The “Golf Twitter” community has taken particular notice of Rogers, who has nearly 47,000 followers on the platform. Earlier this year, while standing on the 16th tee during a practice round during the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Rory McIlroy sought her out in the crowd and introduced himself out of the blue.
“I like your work. It’s very funny,” McIlroy said.
“Thank you! I like your golf,” Rogers said back, hardly able to contain her excitement.
That sums up the place Rogers has in golf’s social media ecosystem. She travels about two weeks each month to all the biggest golf events, including majors, to create written and video content for Golf.com, often creating viral tweets along the way. She has started a series called “The Scoop” where she interviews players and caddies while Rogers and her guest eat ice cream.
“I am an ice cream gal,” Rogers said. “I have a ranking list on my phone of golf courses with ice cream. I have probably 30 spots. I had this idea about interviewing players over ice cream and couldn’t tell if it was a dumb idea or not, so I just messaged my boss. He was on board and thought it would be really fun.”
On “The Scoop,” Rogers has interviewed Justin Thomas’ caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, and LPGA rookie Rose Zhang at the Mizuho Open, where she ended up winning her LPGA debut. She recently interviewed Fred Couples and Xander Schauffele.
“My co-worker came up with the name ‘The Scoop’, which I think was perfect,” Rogers said. “I like it because it’s different from a walk-and-talk, and eating ice cream is a really relaxed setting. I just wanted to create a space where I would ask a question and then the person who I was interviewing would speak 90 percent of the time.”
This interview format gets to the heart of why Rogers loves her industry. The people she’s met along the way are inspiring and fun. She probably would have never met them if it wasn’t for golf.
“I met Amanda Renner at the Genesis last year,” said Rogers, referring to CBS’s golf reporter. “I still remember her interview with Dustin Johnson when he won the fall Masters in 2020 and he got all choked up. She really waited for him until he was ready to speak instead of trying to fill the silence. I’ve learned so much from her about what a good question looks like and how to be OK with silence. Kira K. Dixon has always been so helpful. Hally Leadbetter got me my first job in golf. The social team at the PGA Tour are some of my favorite people to get dinner with when I’m on the road.”
And to think, she didn’t study journalism in school. But she loved golf, was a good writer and was willing to learn something new.
“I feel so lucky because I think for a lot of people, your social circles start to shrink a little bit as you get older,” Rogers said. “In golf, we have all these friends from all ages and backgrounds, but we have this similar interest in golf. When I get to a tournament and walk into the media center, it feels like recess at school where you’re with all your friends and hang out all day.
“I think that’s the best part. Meeting these really interesting people in golf who have totally different stories, whether they’re designing shoes for Adidas, or are a player, a caddie or journalist.”
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