Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

February 28, 2004

“You da man!”

Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 6:52 pm

What is it that makes a man (always a man) make an ass of himself by yelling something like that at a golf tournament?

Almost every golfer talks to the ball when playing. “Get outa there!” and “Don’t go in the water!” are plaintive cries heard every day on every course. Some players do it incessantly. I’ve played with guys sporting a 30 handicap who whine with every shot. I want to grab them by the throat and shake them violently. “When most of your shots are decent, then you can complain about bad ones!”

Darren Clarke is standing over a putt that can put away Davis Love III. Just as he hits the ball, some idiot yells, at the top of his voice “GO IN THE HOLE!”

I’m all for encouraging golfers on the course. The Tours are some of the few remaining venues in sport where fans can really interact with players. And from my experience, the players appreciate this. Once the ball is on its way, though, what does this fool hope he can do to help a player?

Nothing. He simply wants attention.

Golf was once the last refuge for fans who restrained their passion for the game. I went to the Crosby Tournament (as it was called then) when I lived in Monterey. There were ropes only to direct fans along paths and keep them from falling off cliffs. There were none to restrain or restrict access to most of Pebble Beach. We all understood the game, and yielded space where space was needed. It was phenomenal. We could walk alongside players and celebrities, and converse with them as if we were part of their weekend foursome. Of course, people knew when it was time to step away and let the player do the job.

Today’s galleries are a boon to the players in the amount of money now generated, but a bane to the sport as a whole. When Tiger first came on the scene, much was said about how his arrival was good for the game because it brought many new people into the sport. I always felt it was good for the business of golf, but bad for the game. Business boomed for a while, but an awful lot of new players showed up on course with no concept of golf etiquette.

This was magnified at tour stops. Golf became the “in thing” for corporattions wanting to do a little entertaining. Lots of people wandering the course with plenty of vocal cord lubricant and no respect for the game is the result.

It makes me sad. I cringe when someone wants to scream so his voice gets on television. Isn’t that pathetic?

What’s worse, I wonder if that scream was just a little early, and actually caused Clarke to miss. As I write this, Love beat Clarke after 21 holes. It might have all ended 3 three holes earlier in Clarke’s favor.

1 Comment

  1. My high school boyfriend got in big trouble by his coach and our school at a tournament when he overshot the hole on a chip and yelled a bit too loudly “SUCK BACK!” Those who didn’t understand the golf meaning of his rage thought it sounded quite profane.

    Comment by Sarah — February 29, 2004 @ 2:44 am

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