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19th Hole

GolfWRX members have plenty to say about Justin Thomas’ comments on ‘unacceptable’ fan behavior

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At last week’s Genesis Open, after two days of golf grouped with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas had seen all the boorish fan behavior he could take, and he decided to say something about it.

And GolfWRX members had a strong response to Thomas’ reponse, as it were. First, here’s what JT had to say last week.

“Yeah, it was pretty wild this first couple days. It was all right for a little bit today, but there at the end it got a little out of hand…I guess it’s a part of it now, unfortunately. I wish it wasn’t. I wish people didn’t think it was so amusing to yell and all that stuff while we’re trying to hit shots and play.”

“I don’t know – I guess they just think it’s funny,” Thomas said. “It might be funny to them, and obviously people think of it differently and I could just be overreacting. But when people are now starting to time it wrong and get in people’s swings, is just completely unacceptable really. We’re out here playing for a lot of money, a lot of points, and a lot of things can happen. And you would just hate to have, hate to see in the future something happen down the line because of something like that.”

You can almost hear the “he’s absolutely right” and “spoiled pro athlete” contingents readying their arms!

Cool Percussion is in the second squadron, and he started a thread with this venomous post.

“Is Justin Thomas justified in his complaints? On one hand, I can see how large galleries can be a distraction to golfers. (I know if I had to play in front of one it would cost me more than “a half shot per round”)

“On the other hand: POOR BABY! Aww poor little Justin is playing in front of a big-boy gallery now. Boo Hoo. Waaaaahhhhh!!! It must be so hard for you to be paired with Tiger and have to deal with the kinds of galleries that he has had to deal with FOR VIRTUALLY HIS ENTIRE CAREER! Grow-up you spoiled, whiny brat.”

“Here’s an idea, Justin: continue to play like you did this week—keep yourself off the top page of the leaderboard—and then no one will want to come see you and you won’t have to deal with large crowds anymore.”

Now, it has to be said, there’s a difference between large crowds, the Tiger Woods crowd, and idiots who yell during a golfer’s backswing. Thomas seemed mostly upset about the latter. Cool Percussion seems to be conflating all three.

Alikane responds with

“I think he has a legitimate complaint. None of the players like distractions when they are hitting shots. Distractions can alter outcomes of tournaments.”

blink 3665 defends JT in this hot take

“I don’t have a problem with his complaint. He didn’t say that a large gallery was the source of his frustration. It was the yelling and pictures while swinging. His quote seems to have a friendly, but annoyed, demeanor. If anything I think he would be in the right to voice more frustration than he did.

“Yes, the large galleries are something that groupings with TW will have to deal with, but that doesn’t give them the right to affect the games of the players by distracting during a swing.

“So why should anyone have to put up with that? Why does his stance against “loud, annoying, drunk, inconsiderate dbs” mean he is a “spoiled whiney brat”? I think that makes him normal.”

Kjboisen doesn’t agree with the percussionist

“Dislike your perspective that JT needs to get used to those larger galleries. I don’t think that is the problem. it’s the drunken morons who yell on backswings and on important putts. If there is going to be noise, make it a constant noise. If there is supposed to be relative silence, and I hear someone yell some B.S on my backstroke for an important putt, it would bother me too.”

“I don’t think the crowds bother anyone unless someone on Tour lives under a damn rock and has never played with a group of friends who will do anything to keep a match alive… conditioned to the distracts. But the other BS is unnecessary and more precaution needs to be taken in my opinion. Active crowd patrol and searching for over-rowdy individuals to remove from the situation before it becomes a problem.”

Dciccoritti points out a likely accelerant

“Remove the booze in all sporting events. If you can’t enjoy a sporting event without getting drunk and stupid, you shouldn’t be there in the first place.”

Golfandfishing draws an interesting connection

“Every week there are posts on here calling out the stupidity of people yelling scrambled eggs bababooey get in the hole woohoo and 5 pages of posts then agree it is stupid. Justin Thomas says the same thing and he’s a spoiled brat?”

The thread is currently six pages long and more than 170 replies deep. In other words, the membership has plenty to say on the topic.

What do you think? Check out the rest of the replies and join the discussion.

 

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Paul

    Feb 27, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    This is a systemic sign of where society has gotten to. Many young people have no respect for anyone, including themselves. Add alcohol and the stupid in many of them comes flowing out. You don’t see 50 yr olds yelling and heckling like the younger crowd does. Golf is not the sport for this kind of behavior. Go to a football game, drink and yell your heads off and no one will care. Don’t let these few ruin golf with this obnoxious behavior.

  2. Frank the headcover

    Feb 27, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Having a guy thrown out for rooting for a ball to get in the bunker is absurd..I have had opponents root for my ball to go bad places,,probably fans too!!..might as well ban speakers in golf carts and no tattoos or beer.
    If the guy had yelled at my ball I would have laughed!!

    As long as nobody’s swinging and its not disrespectful, let it fly!!

  3. sushiBC

    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    i really don’t understand……. most people on these forums complain about the idiocy of fans’ behaviour (like the ones that yell out something unique and stupid right as ball is hit) but then people attack JT when he complains about the same stuff they complain about.

    it’s really bizarre.

  4. JP

    Feb 26, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    People do anything for a social media likes or to be social media famous…Bar Stool Sports seems to encourage this type of behavior. Just check out some of their instagram posts on foreplaypod. Some of it’s cool and can help grow the game, some of it is drunken morons making fools of themselves…

  5. Sven Olsen

    Feb 26, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Unfortunately, the misbehavior of some golf “fans” is escalating. We experienced it during the past two Ryder Cups, and sadly, it is, admittedly a few, American fans, who seem to have no idea how to behave on a golf course.
    It is no tennis or hockey match, “dudes”! There is a certain code of conduct in golf – if you cannot accept that, stick to watching golf on TV, and stop irritating both players and other spectators.

  6. M-Herd4

    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:39 am

    He needs to start paying more attention to his own behavior. Intentionally breaking bunker cameras at the Open. Dropping the F-Bomb on national TV then acting like he had no idea there were cameras and mic’s around. He’s the one called Professional right…

    • Big Papa is in the House

      Feb 27, 2018 at 10:19 am

      And you act like either of those things really matter.

  7. Jamie

    Feb 26, 2018 at 2:43 am

    Unfortunately now golf tournaments are full of idiots, the game now is about stadium courses and booze, morons shouting get in the hole on a par 5 tee shot, or the best one, mash potatoes, yes, mash potatoes, what is that supposed to mean !!!!!
    when you watch now, just look into the stands, all you see is so called fans getting drunk
    and having a party, there not watching golf, or die hard golf fans, its no different at most big sporting events worldwide, its the culture now.
    Any pro, not only justin thomas, has a right to be pissed, its a gentlemans game, always has, always will,its not baseball, soccer, nfl, or boxing like it or not, there is no place for it, because you pay to go in the gate, does not give you the right to be a idiot !!
    Get rid of the idiot stadium holes, boos and insults because you miss a par 3 green should be at the fayre, not on a golf course,these players are making career decisions at times, life changing amounts of money, we may say so what, but if we were good enough not one of us wouldnt want to swap places with any of the pros earning a great living playing a game they love, but in the respect we do not have to act like spoilt kids in the play ground.
    Simple, ban booze, cell phones on silent, then see what happens.

  8. Speedy

    Feb 25, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    America worsened when the Russians helped win the Presidency for Trump.

    • JB

      Feb 25, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Perhaps, but it can also be argued that the Russians saved the World from WWIII had Hillary been elected President. Then Secretary of State Hillary interfered in a Russian election and the anti-Putin Russians rioted in the streets because she encouraged them to riot… and that’s a fact.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/09/world/europe/putin-accuses-clinton-of-instigating-russian-protests.html
      Putin feared POTUS Hillary would have further interfered with the Russian government and that would have led to military confrontations leading to WWIII. So Putin saved the World by supporting businessman Trump who is willing to “make a deal” with the devil. God bless Putin.

    • David

      Feb 25, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      Not relevant to the article. You’re a childish idiot and trying to spread that proven lie on a golf site shows how pathetic you are.

    • Dave

      Feb 26, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      Actually Hillary did more to make that happen than the Russian could have ever accomplished.

  9. JR

    Feb 25, 2018 at 1:35 am

    Get a set of molded silicone deep ear plugs, Justin, and that will cut the volume on the audience. You will still be able to hear your caddie close up. Problemo solved … 😎

  10. SV

    Feb 24, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Justin Thomas is right about the crowds. Another example of the coarsening of America that has taken place over the last 50 years or so and accelerated in the last 25. Also, this is the “growth” Tiger Woods brought to the game. Unfortunately he did not inspire people to play. He brought out more people to watch, but it was the football hooligan crowd, not people interested in a sport.

  11. Stephen Finley

    Feb 24, 2018 at 1:26 am

    In its quest for endlessly wider markets and more money, the PGA Tour has bought this kind of thing for itself. Golf as it’s played on tour is sometimes barely recognizable as the game it was supposed to be with the effect on character it was always supposed to have. At this point it’s become largely just another pro sport, complete with sex scandals (not many, but still), profanity on camera regardless of kids watching, social-media skirmishes, smack-talking the crowd, you name it. So of course crowds are going to be right in line with that picture. After all, they bought their ticket and their beers, and they’re part of the show, as far as they’re concerned. Civility and adult behavior and speech is for suckers and “PC” types.

    This is not good for the game. It’s great for bank accounts, but not for the game. I wonder if — and desperately hope that — there are still corners of the world where parents raise their kids on a golf course and teach them what the game is really about, how the truest version of it affects your character, how it demands absolute self-honesty, the primacy of consideration and courtesy for other players, the right perspective and behavior with regard to winning and losing, civility and self-control. I really want to believe this.

    No, the game was not literally perfect before this generation of players. There was always the odd incident, whether from players or fans (the crowd’s reaction to Nicklaus at the ’61 U.S. Open comes immediately to mind). But those incidents _were_ rare, and there was no winking at them. There was a consensus that they were wrong.

    But now, apologists for people like Woods try to convince us that this is all because he and other pros today are “just so competitive” compared to the old guard. I don’t know that there’s anything more stupid or more hilarious ever said in the game. When we’re all milling around in the hereafter, you can go talk to Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus (and Snead, Nelson, Mangrum, Watson, Trevino, Norman, Irwin, Floyd, whoever) and tell them how they were so behind the curve in competitiveness. I mean, _really_. Just knock it off.

    As to Thomas specifically, it’s too bad about the crowds, but I guarantee you I can find video of him participating in the whole tour-circus thing at least a little from time to time. So I don’t know. You benefit from it, you encourage it at times, I guess you have to take it without a lot of complaining when you get the downside. But regardless, fans at the site ought to act like adults.

  12. PJS

    Feb 23, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    They should have a sign when you walk in. “Idiots, on your i phone, switch that thing on the side so the red shows.” Bang, completely silent photos…

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19th Hole

Baba Booey for Life! Does this GolfWRX member have a point?

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Oh boy, here’s a heater. On the subject of Baba Booey-ing at golf tournaments, WRX member Stickner started a thread, writing

“For those that think nois.e while a player hits shouldn’t be allowed, you must also believe that fans should NEVER make noise.

“A player with a large gallery jars a 70 footer for eagle to take the lead. The crowd erupts! This should not be allowed.

“Why you ask? There are other golfers well within earshot of the noise. This could disrupt their game. Why does the nearby player you can see deserve the “courtesy of quiet” but the one 400 yards away that you can’t see doesn’t?

“We have all seen players back off because the crowd erupted on another hole. What happens when that eruption happens in the backswing right before the player is about to transition to the downswing? Those boisterous hooligans need to keep their traps shut as this is a gentleman’s game right?

“Being quiet while someone plays golf is silly. My guess is that the elitist snobs that played this game a century ago needed a scapegoat when hitting a bad shot and noise became their scapegoat.”

He wraps his rant in, well, the most appropriate way possible: “BABA BOOEY FOR LIFE B&^%HES!”

Now, this flies in the face of the “isolated noise during the golf swing is extremely distracting” argument that is popularly leveled in defense of silence. But let’s see what GolfWRX members think about Stickner’s comments.

MtlJeff says

“While i am not in favor of intentionally yelling during a swing, your point is an interesting one. I hadn’t really thought of it like that, the loud roars often get overlooked when it comes to the “distracting noise” narrative.”

Eagle1997 says

“Planned vs. Spontaneous. Jabroni Factor only applies to one.”

Blackngold_blood says

“I am fine with cheering for a great shot or groaning for a bad one. My problem with…bababooey and mashed potatoes is the fact that it has nothing to do with GOLF! All the person is doing is screaming “Look at me, I need attention!” Or how about the even less classy “How’s your ankle” that was shouted at Finau after he hit his last approach to 18. I get the point that these are professional athletes and golf is becoming more mainstream but the immature comments need to stop.”

Naptime says

“Background noises and distant noises can be perceived as while noise. If you play next to a highway you adapt and become less aware of it. But if a trucker blasts a horn in your swing it would startle and at least for me would probably result in a hot grounder to third base. Yelling Baba Booey or any other lame comment after a swing doesn’t startle the swinger, just make the shouter sound like a doofus who can’t hold his alcohol.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Does Stickner have a point? Should the rules of the wider sports world apply to golf, or does golf fandom require a particular understanding of when to be quiet and when to cheer?

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19th Hole

Both Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth laughed at Phil Mickelson’s 13th hole antics

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The image of 48-year-old Phil Mickelson jogging after his golf ball on the 13th green at Shinnecock, Saturday, was bizarrely comedic. Even if you condemn Mickelson in the strongest of terms, taken on its face, the scene is a silly one.

That said, it’s interesting that two of the biggest names in the game had the same response: laughter.

Speaking before the Travelers Championship, Rory McIlroy said

“I saw what happened…and honestly, I laughed. I felt there was a massive overreaction to it. Knowing Phil, he knew what he was doing, and as a player who has been in that head space before in a tournament, I can see it happening.”

Jordan Spieth voiced similar sentiments earlier in the week

“I laughed, I thought it was really funny…Phil knows the rules…There was a chance it was going to go back behind the bunker and he’s got to chip back, or he was going to play off the green anyways, so he was potentially saving himself a shot. So if that was the intent, then what’s the harm in that? He’s playing the best score he can.”

There are a couple of widely different perspectives (and plenty in-between) here.

One: Thank goodness Spieth and McIlroy aren’t uptight dogmatists when it comes to the rules, and they appreciate the humor in an absurd situation.

Two: Spieth and McIlroy, as significant figures in the game, ought to stand up for the integrity of the rules of golf, condemning Mickelson’s behavior…and perhaps question whether disqualification was in order (as Jason Day and other pros have done).

Which camp you find yourself in likely aligns with how you view the Mickelson incident: A humorous and well-deserved middle finger to the USGA or a reprehensible act for which Mickelson was not sufficiently punished?

Beneath Mickelson’s behavior and the responses of McIlroy and Spieth is the ever-growing rift between the USGA and PGA Tour players–as well as a level of annoyance with/disdain for the organization’s Rules of Golf.

Remembering how Mickelson spearheaded the overhaul of the PGA of America-run U.S. Ryder Cup team and its procedures when he called out captain Tom Watson in 2014, it was the same sort of situation: “Is this calculated, or has he lost his mind?” everyone seemed to be asking.

In the wake of those remarks, players rallied behind the veteran, and he assumed a leadership position in the reform effort. Whether we see something similar with respect to the pros and the USGA/U.S. Open, it certainly looks like the political will for change is there among Tour players, as McIlroy and Spieth’s remarks suggest.

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19th Hole

In other Phil Mickelson news…robot-delivered food

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Not an Onion story; real thing that is actually happening here. Phil Mickelson and his manager/business partner, Steve Loy have signed a deal with Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. and its flagship subsidiary, Reis & Irvy’s, to open 30 yogurt locations in San Diego.

We’ll just quote directly from the press release, because, who can paraphrase language like this?

“Reis & Irvy’s-branded signature robot characters of the same name can dispense servings of frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelatos and sorbet topped with a selection of six delicious toppings in under 60 seconds. With self-checkout touch screen ordering and payment options, video animation, music and delicious frozen dessert provided exclusively by Dannon, robot vendors meet consumer demand for convenience, entertainment and a superior quality product.”

Mickelson and Loy are reportedly keen to challenge the status quo in food retail.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of such transformative industry change,” says Mickelson. “I’ve pushed boundaries my whole career and that mindset carries over into the business world. The energy and passion from the Generation NEXT team to both deliver a quality product and disrupt food retail is exciting.”

Reis & Irvy’s has awarded $130 million in franchise and licensing contracts since its launch in 2016.

Dress shirts on course. Robo froyo. What will Phil do next, indeed.

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