What a great weekend for sports if you’re from New York…excuse me, Upstate New York (yes, it is markedly different from downstate New York). The PGA Championship right in The Machine’s backyard, and the Bills win and put up 44 on the Colts (hey, we know it’s preseason but this is the best time to be a Bills fan). Yes, it was a pretty awesome weekend, especially the golf, and The Machine was right there throwing back $7.50 Gennys at Oak Hill (note: the fact that Genesee Beer was listed as a “local craft beer” brought a warm smile to The Machine’s face). Anyway, after 72 holes of golf, Rochester crowned its newest major Champion, Jason Dufner. Duff Daddy is quickly becoming a household name on the tour. Although 36, he’s one of the newer, hip golfers (like Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, and Keegan Bradley) and represents a change from the old guard. Calm, cool, plays golf with a huge lipper in his mouth, and seems like a guy you could grill burgers with in the backyard over a couple of brews. Certainly different from the old guard (can you imagine throwing a few back with Tiger or Davis Love III?)
So, the big story on Monday should have been about Dufner winning his first major, and his chance at redemption following his epic collapse at the 2011 PGA Championship. Instead, we were treated to stories about people whining about the crowds.
Yes, much of the talk on Monday dealt with people complaining about the growing trend in golf where people yell things after a swing. It started out innocently enough a few years back with the “Get in the Hole” guy for putts, and, sure enough, that slippery slope brought us the “Get in the Hole” guy for regular shots, which then progressed to shouts of random phrases. Two common ones at Oak Hill over the weekend were “Mashed Potatoes” and “Baba Booey.” See below.
Now let’s get something straight. Are these things childish, sophomoric, and unnecessary? Of course. However, they’re also funny and, more importantly, harmless. People yell out stuff AFTER they swing, so it’s not affecting a player’s preparation or concentration before or during their swing. Anything said while the ball’s in the air is completely meaningless.
Well, this sort of behavior did not sit well with Ian Poulter. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Ian, he’s English, which means he has zero sense of humor (seriously, Benny Hill is not funny) and probably thinks Oasis is a real rock band. Like all sensible Englishmen, Ian took his frustration to Twitter, where he tweeted the following:
This baba boo shit & mash potato crap shouting wouldn’t happen at Augusta, The Open, nor would it happen at Wimbledon. Tazer the thrushes.
First, we’re guessing thrushes is English for douchebag. Second, really? Are you that uptight and pretentious? Is society as we know it falling apart because someone yelled “taters” after you hit? Get over yourself, thrusher. Your whining about people acting uncouth is pathetic, and totally transparent. Does anyone here think that if Poulter finished in the Top 10 on Sunday (instead of tied for 61st) he’d give a shit what people said after he hit? Of course not. Ian’s got to blame someone else for his poor play, it certainly couldn’t be his fault, or those awful fucking pants.
No, it must be those boorish Americans. Hey, for the record Brit, we don’t recall anyone streaking across the 18th green like say, they do at Wimbledon.
Look brah, I don’t know what you thought you meant to gain from your twitter rage (note: not street cred) but do you think that we’re going to stop, especially for you? Sorry homie, it doesn’t work like that. Good luck at the Wyndham Championship next week, I’m sure we’ll be quiet when you hit (note: free Machine t-shirt for anyone that yells “Tuesday Teabag” after Poulter hits).
No, what Ian probably thought to gain from his whining is to get more players on his side to pressure the PGA to change their rules to prohibit this conduct. And he’s not alone.
Cork Gaines from the Business Insider writes that the PGA should adopt a zero tolerance policy like they have at Augusta, or else “it will get worse before it gets better.” He also (unconvincingly) argues there’s a difference between the “Get in the Hole” guy and the new guys, explaining that “this new breed of golf yelling is not done out of fandom or excitement. It is simply just a look-at-me effort to get on TV and get mentions on websites and Howard Stern’s radio show in a game of who can yell the craziest word or phrase. Ultimately, it is no better than fans that run on to the field to interrupt sporting events for their own simple amusement.” He’s wrong on many levels.
First, we must note that his name is Cork and he writes for the Business Insider. Without knowing anything else about him, we’re guessing he’s white, upper middle class, well-educated, and sports a popped collar during the summertime and has at least two seersucker suits. Shocker he’s against the riff-raff that has invaded the country clubs.
Second, it’s not a “look-at-me effort to get on TV.” Did you see any cameraman pan over to one person that yelled something out? No. Not one got on TV. Sure, Stern may have played some clips on his show, but they weren’t attributed to anyone. There is no recognition to be had. And, it didn’t interrupt the game. It couldn’t be more different from the fan that runs on the field, a/k/a the creepy English streaker.
Golf is, and will always be, a sport played predominantly by white, upper class men. It’s always going to have an element of snobbery to it, even if Larry the Cable Guy is in the stands yelling “git-r-done.” Letting some dude who shelled out a few hundred bones walk around a golf course and yell “Baba Booey” while drinking $7.50 local craft beers is ok. It’s not going to ruin the 400-thread count fabric that is golf. And saying that the norm should be Augusta, which just admitted their first woman member last year and first black person in 1990, shows how out of touch with society you are.
If the PGA is smart, they will do nothing. Perhaps a subtle warning to remind fans to be on their best behavior, but that’s it. Why? Because golf is becoming more popular by the second. Which means more people golfing, which means more people at PGA events, which means more people buying PGA stuff. The PGA needs to shed its Bushwood persona if it’s going to continue to grow in popularity. Admonishing your growing fan base is not the way to go.
And Ian, if you can’t take our piggish American behavior, feel free to stay on your side of the pond and live in relative obscurity on the European Tour.
Enjoy your teabag.