Is the Ryder Cup bad for golf behavior?
By mustang6560 on 10/3/12
The Ryder Cup is truly a unique golf experience.

Unlike traditional golf tournaments where loud, obnoxious behavior is frowned upon, at the Ryder Cup, if you're not yelling unusual phrases liked "Mashed Potatoes" and cheering like you're watching your favorite football team trying to stop your rival football team on fourth and one, then you're considered a traitor.

But, is that behavior bad for golf? Michael Bamberger filed a post-Ryder Cup piece asking that very question. In his column, he uses Bubba Watson's and Ian Poulter's enthusiasm as example.
At a Ryder Cup, you wind up hearing more golf than you see. For every 60-year-old man out there with binoculars around his neck and a pairing sheet in his back pocket, a guy who can actually tell you how Match 2 stands and knows what AS stands for, there are a half-dozen twentysomethings wearing war paint like they're playing some arrested-adolescent version of Cowboys & Indians, yelling some ridiculous thing a split second after ball and club make contact.

It's sort of like when you're a teenager, just learning to drive, and you think that instant when the light turns green is your invitation to floor it. As you get older, you start to worry about other things, like speeding tickets and gas conservation. But the problem with youth, as the man said, is that it's wasted on the young.
If the first golf tournament a sports fan attends is the Ryder Cup, then s/he may get the wrong impression about golf. However, the majority of fans who attend the Ryder Cup are golf fans first, sports fans second, so letting them act a fool for one golf tournament a year is not going to ruin golf. Sure, we're moving full speed ahead into a time and place where poor behave is more and more tolerated (which is not a good thing), but I don't think we need to try curtail the spirit of the Ryder Cup because it may lead to fans to become more vocal at The Masters or any other professional golf tournament.

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Image via Flickr, TourProGolfClubs

[ comments ]
legitimatebeef says:
It's just a sign of the times. Self-esteem overload.
Tim Horan says:
The problem is every tolerance erodes the accepted level of behaviour and the next one pushes the line a little further and before you know it you have no control at all. It is like children seeing how far they can push parents before getting a clipped ear. If the clipped ear doesn't come they push harder next time.
SpaceMaNy0 says:
I hope the guy that kept yelling "Get in the water" to the Europeans shots got ear clipped.
[ post comment ]
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