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19th Hole

GolfWRX members share their first PGA Tour tournament memories



GolfWRX’s forums are filled with singular enthusiasts for the game. Often, we focus on WRXers vast equipment knowledge and perspectives, but it’s worth remembering that many in the forums have been watching the professional game since moppy hair and flared pants were common sights on the PGA Tour’s fairways.

Thus, it’s interesting to hear what GolfWRX members have to say about their first experiences at PGA Tour events.

Thread-starter Rayley001 told this tale of his first tourney.

“Thinking about this the other day and my dad took me to see the Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic back in 1974. The winner was Leonard Thompson and the first place check was 52,000 dollars. We went into the main dining room for breakfast and saw Flip Wilson and George Kirby who signed my golf program. We also saw Jackie and Bob Hope play together. Great time for a 14 year old kid. Also saw Ben Crenshaw hit a great drive that seemed to go a long way! Those were the days!”

Bbedell had a close encounter with a large feline

“The Fry’s at Corde Valle in San Martin CA. First time was the only year that Tiger played the tourney. Got a fist bump from him as he walked onto the first tee. So weird…he walks down the walkway with his head down, not acknowledging anyone. I yell “let’s go Eldrick!” and he looks up and makes eye contact, so I instinctively hold my fist out and BOOM. Everyone (including my wife who is in love with Tiger) looks at me like I just shook hands with Jesus.”

Handfull says

“1997 western open at cog hill. The crowds following Tiger were insane. Saw him hit an iron approach that was 230+ yards to a severely protected green and remember thinking I could never pull off that shot no matter how many tries I got. Also remember how terrible slow play was even back then.”

Drewtaylor21 says

“The first professional tournament I walked was the Tri Cities Open on the Nike Tour, back in 1994 I believe. One of my cousins, John Connelly, was playing the Tour back then and the event was just over an hour from my hometown of Yakima, WA, so we drove over to watch him play. I had only hit a few balls around a park and played a tiny par 3 course at the time, but was just starting to get interested in golf and it was pretty cool to see a relative playing at a high level, even though I had no idea what was going on! He shot 66 that day and made it look very easy. I remember meeting him after the round at the range and he let me hit a few balls with his 7 iron. I remember it feeling like the heaviest club I’d ever picked up (probably x100’s hard stepped lol), but I got a few airborn and that was a success at the time! One cool note was that 7 years later I would get to play the same (private) course as a part of our high school district tournament. I got into a 4-for-1 playoff for the last spot to State. I birdied the first playoff hole, then went par-bogey to be 1st alternate. Never got in, but traveled with my teammate who qualified and eventually watched Ryan Moore go on to win.”

Vaca22 says

“Mine was the 1994 Canon GHO, now currently known as the Travelers Championship. At that time I believe it was the most attended tournament on the PGA tour for many years, now only surpassed by the WM Phoenix Open.

Some neat things I remember:

  • Nice Price arguing with Squeaky Medlin over a 2 yard difference of opinion into a par 4
  • A group of fans following Greg Norman with shark fin hats
  • Harbor Bars, a vanilla-filled chocolate chip ice cream sandwich dipped in chocolate.
  • The champion, David Frost, won a cool $216,000 check as top prize.”

This is a truly excellent thread that you’ll want to check out. Some special, special memories and unique reflections.

Read what GolfWRX members have to say and share your recollections of your first tournament experience.


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19th Hole

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



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



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



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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19th Hole