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Social Media and Your Junior Golfer, Spotlight on TaylorMade Sponsored Maverick Midthun

Maverick closing out a recent video with his signature PEACE!

In this episode, we feature the incredible journey of 13-year-old Maverick Midthun, a social media influencer and a top 20 world teen golfer from Arizona. With over 45k followers across various platforms, including an impressive 42k on TikTok, Maverick has not only captured the attention of the online community but also holds an impressive #8 USA junior golfer ranking. We sat down with Maverick and his parents to delve into the delicate balance between social media influencing, school commitments, and competitive golf. One intriguing question we explored was, 'What age is too early for social media?'

TJG: Undoubtedly, Maverick is an accomplished golfer, but what sparked his journey into the world of social media?

Sarah: It all began like any other parent, proudly sharing a picture of our son Maverick on Instagram after a notable tournament win when he was around 9 years old. Back then, it was just about posting pictures. Little did we know that Maverick's journey into the world of video content would take a surprising turn at the age of 12, completely by accident.

9 yr old Maverick and his first ever social media post (Instagram)

TJG: What do you mean by accident?

Barry: Taking advantage of our homeschooling setup, the idea struck to blend public speaking with Maverick's passion for golf. We decided to film Maverick playing a hole on the golf course while explaining each shot – a concept we coined as 'Come Play a Hole with Me!' The video showcased Maverick's impressive golf skills, but it also became an unexpected lesson in public speaking. While his shots on the hole were flawless, articulating them posed a challenge. Numerous retakes were needed, emphasizing the potential of this activity not only as a golf exercise but also as a valuable tool for honing public speaking skills. It turned out to be a cool and rewarding endeavor, a true win-win for Maverick's golf game and personal development.

Sarah: Upon reviewing the video they brought home, I was genuinely impressed.

Barry: She didn’t see the pain it took to make!

Sarah: I suggested putting the video on social media, and so we did. Little did we anticipate the incredible response. By the next morning, the video had garnered over 100k views on TikTok, and from that moment, the rest became history. The viewers resonated with watching a junior golfer intricately describe each shot while playing a hole. That very video, to this day, boasts almost 1 million views, with another close second at 886K views. Every installment of 'Come Play a Hole with Me' continues to attract thousands of views. Needless to say, we all became hooked on this unexpected journey into the world of social media success!

Maverick hits 5 balls off the tee, making 1, then drains a long putt. 885K views on (TikTok).

Barry: It became evident, as we delved into the world of social media with Maverick's golf videos, that there is a significant void in this space for junior golf content. Reading through the comments on each post, it's apparent that viewers are genuinely amazed by Maverick's golfing skill and his ability to articulate each shot with clarity. Scanning through other social media platforms, it's noticeable that there are not many juniors showcasing videos of their golf games, particularly when we started a year ago. Today, there is a growing trend, and some are even adopting the 'Come Play a Hole with Me' concept. It's exciting to witness the positive impact we've had on filling this void in the junior golf social media landscape.”

Maverick and his signature, "Come play a hole with me." (930K views on TikTok).

TJG: Determining the right time to introduce a junior golfer to social media involves a thoughtful consideration of various factors. What did you consider?

Sarah: It varies for each family. In our case, the motivation was to enhance Maverick's public speaking skills, making any age appropriate for that purpose. However, when to start posting these videos involves a thoughtful family decision. From the beginning, we've taken an active role in managing Maverick's social media accounts, with him actively participating and enjoying engaging with followers. As he's now 13, we've granted him access to Instagram, but TikTok remains a different story. The bottom line is that it's a family decision, requiring careful consideration of various factors, and being aware of the rules and age requirements for each social media platform is essential.

Barry: In our family, teamwork is the backbone of Maverick's social media journey. Maverick's role involves taking the shots and articulating his thoughts, while I handle most of the video shooting, and Sarah takes charge of the production and prepares the content for various platforms. The process requires a significant amount of time and effort, as anyone who has tried it would understand. The collaborative effort and dedication from each family member contribute to the success of Maverick's social media presence.

TJG: Maverick, what are your thoughts on being so active on social media?

Maverick: I really enjoy making the videos and responding back to the questions that people ask in the post. Some of the videos were with my friends or my brother which were fun to make. We did a lot of laughing trying to make them. Describing shots for the video also helps me understand the shot more. It has also made me more comfortable talking to adults and kids that recognize me from my videos.

TJG: Does making videos cut into your practice time?

Maverick: Yes, but a lot of the videos are done closer to sunset for better lighting. By then, I have typically gotten my practice time in.

TJG: I think I know the answer to this, but if you had to do it all over again, would you put Maverick on social media so early?

Both: Absolutely!

Sarah: Maintaining a safe online environment for our kids involves continuous engagement and having 24/7 access to their social media accounts. Regularly monitoring their content and the individuals they interact with is crucial. Even just a few minutes each day can provide valuable insights into the content they are exposed to and the connections they are forming. It's a proactive approach to ensure a secure and positive online experience for our children.

Barry: Maverick's TaylorMade and Adidas sponsorships were secured before we really started his social media, so it wasn't the driving force behind those partnerships. The primary goal has never been to gain an edge through social media, but the platform has proven invaluable in unexpected ways. It has significantly contributed to Maverick's growth as a public speaker, and the connections made with other young individuals have been an enriching aspect of the journey.

Sarah: We take immense pride in Maverick's blossoming confidence, evident in his ability to engage with fellow junior golfers and followers. At tournaments, he's become a source of inspiration, with other young golf enthusiasts approaching him for questions, and pictures. A heartwarming example is when a local Special Olympics Coach, one of Maverick's followers, reached out to us. This led to a fantastic opportunity for Maverick to contribute, and he eagerly accepted. Maverick, alongside his golf buddies, now dedicates time weekly to work with the Special Olympic kids at our home golf course. It's a truly amazing experience for all involved.

Barry: Golf has been a tremendous blessing for our entire family, and Maverick has particularly thrived with the continuous opening of 'opportunity doors' in the golfing world. Sarah's examples beautifully illustrate this. However, it's important to acknowledge that the social media aspect may not be suitable for everyone or every family. Successfully navigating social media requires a dedicated 'entire family' effort – truly a team endeavor!

TJG: Let’s talk school.

Maverick: This is my 3rd year being home-schooled. It has worked out great so far. I like the free time. I know if I put my 2-3 hours in a day of school, the rest of the day is mine.

Maverick's home-school desk

TJG: What is your favorite class and what do you do with the extra time?

Maverick: My favorite class right now is Spanish. We live a block off the course so I am back and forth, sometimes 2-3 times a day for short range work-outs and to play golf.

Maverick on the range doing shot shaping

TJG: Do you play a lot of tournaments?

Maverick: Yes. I play a lot of US Kids one day tournaments, all of which are here in the Phoenix area. I also play an occasional JGAA two-day tournament in the Phoenix area. I probably travel 3-4 times a year for bigger tournaments like Regionals, Nationals, and Worlds. Over-all I have played 216 junior golf tournaments in my career.

Maverick with his dad and brother (caddy) at the 2023 US Kids Teen Worlds in Pinehurst, NC

TJG: When is your next tournament?

Maverick: The Notay Begay III (NB3) National Championship, November 4-6 in Louisiana. To get there I had to win the Regional NB3 Qualifier this summer in Arizona. The National Championship is aired on the Golf Channel, this is my 2nd straight year going. I finished top 10 last year. Charlie Woods was also there last year with Tiger on his bag. Charlie qualified again this year so it will be cool to see them.

TJG: How did you get Maverick started in golf?

Barry: In the early days when Maverick wasn't initially fond of golf, I found a creative way to make the experience enjoyable. Almost every night, while Sarah was preparing dinner, I would take Maverick (and sometimes all four kids) to the putting range for a fun 30-minute putting game. This routine, I believe, played a crucial role in shaping Maverick into the great putter he is today. To foster his love for the sport, I added a sweet incentive – a visit to the Circle K gas station for a slushy after each golf session. It didn't take long for Maverick to associate golf with the joy of slushies, turning a simple routine into a delightful and cherished tradition.

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As the sun goes down, Maverick is usually finishing his day where he started, on the putting green.

Rapid Fire:

How far do you carry your driver: 220 yds.

What ball do you use: TaylorMade TP5X (yellow).

Why a yellow ball: I've used it since I was very young and so my mom can tell which ball is mine.

Best part of your game: Lag putting.

Biggest goal in golf: Division I Collegiate golf, national championship then professional.

Favorite golfer(s): Jordan Spieth.

What’s in your bag: TaylorMade P770 irons, MG4 Wedges, Stealth 2 fairways and driver. Scotty Cameron putter.

Maverick doing a recent, "What's in the bag" video

Typical day: Golf, school, lunch, golf, school, golf, dinner, golf, bed, repeat!

Tournament day breakfast: I don't eat breakfast.

Tournament snack: Turkey pepperoni, Pay-Day bars.

Favorite go-to shot: Baby cut.

Line on your ball for putting: Yes

Cross hand putter or regular: Regular

Started playing golf: 5 yrs. old. Plastic clubs from Walgreens.

Young Maverick upstairs at home working on his swing with Jordan Spieth looking on.

Do you remember your first golf tournament: Yes. I won my first ever tournament, it was a US Kids local tournament when I was 5 yrs old at Seville Golf and Country Club.

5 yr old Maverick won his first ever golf tournament played (Seville Golf and Country Club)

Do you attend the Waste Management Open each year: Yes, we have been going for 8 Straight years! We try to go all the days. It's a huge highlight. I get a lot of autographs, golf balls and pictures. In fact, I have a 3-yr. streak going of taking a picture with Jordan Spieth’s wife (Annie). She is always very nice.

Maverick and Annie Spieth - 3 years in a row!

Hole-in-ones: Just one, when I was 5 yrs. old. 78 yd par 3 with a driver.

Mavericks 1st hole-in-one (over 420K views on TikTok).

Who inspired you to play golf: My dad.

Exercises you do for golf: Strength, speed and monkey bars (hand grip).

Work-Out Part 1

Work-Out Part 2

--Work-Out Part 3 on Instagram (Click Here).

Short Videos (1 min) on YouTube:

--Maverick talking about his new "blade" club (Click Here).

--Maverick talking about how he hits a "cut shot" (Click Here).

--Maverick talking about how he hits a "draw shot" (Click Here).

--Maverick Dice Stacking (Click Here).

--Maverick on the Monkey Bars (Click Here).

--Maverick doing a basketball trick shot (Click Here).

Role model(s): My parents.

Favorite actor: Kevin Hart

Favorite singer: Niall Horan

Favorite movie: Jumanji - Next Level

Favorite NFL quarterback: Aaron Rogers

Maverick and his mom Sarah with Aaron Rogers at the 2021 Waste Management Golf Tournament

Other sports: Now I just play golf. I used to play flag football, basketball, karate and baseball.

Pet: Dog - Stella

Who is Maverick Midthun: A good kid who works hard.

Player Profile:

Name: Maverick Midthun 

Age: 13

Grade: 7th

State: AZ

Social Media Followers: 45K

Sponsors: TaylorMade. Adidas.

Total Junior Wins: 115

USA Jr Golf Scoreboard rank: 8th (class of 2029).

US Kids Teen Worlds rank: 18th (2023).

Name of golf tour(s): US Kids, JGAA.

Where can we find you on social media: FB, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube