The Old Man's Sport No More

By
Golf is a sport of tedious details and strict rulings. These rulings are not only enforced on the players but also onto the fans as well. Fans should have the opportunity to go to a PGA tour event and enjoy themselves. To be able to sit in a chair with an ice cold brew relaxing in the sun. Watching the latest and greatest professional golfer stoke his putt for the low round and see the ball bounding ever so softly along the bent grass green. Fans should be able to enjoy the climax of this moment: the moment where you know the ball is going to find the bottom of the cup. You see it fall in and you jump and yell jubilantly in the stands as a fan and as an enthusiast of the great game of golf. Very rarely does this get to happen in golf as most of the time golf is filled with silent whispers and golf claps. This proves that the normality at a professional event is quiet and reserved fans which proves my point that the PGA is too strict on these patrons.

A fan not being able to roar and applaud as if they were at a pro football game takes away from the love and spirit of the game. Like every sport, golf thrives on momentum and with the fans behind the players it propels them forward. Over the eleven years that I have been playing golf and the forty or fifty events I have competed in I’ve learned that fans have been trained to give the golf clap and the occasional “ooh” when a putt falls. Having to be quiet when a pro is lining up a putt, going through his pre-shot routine, even when he is walking to his ball is what keeps golf in the shadows of all the major sports; where the fans are interactive with the athletes, the calls, and the plays. If the PGA tour cared about the growth of the sport they would allow fans to be more flamboyant. Now it may be tradition to be calm and collected as a fan but sports have evolved. Football went from being leather helmets with 100 people at the super bowl into hard hits, loud people, and the super bowl being one of the largest events in America. Golf needs to follow suit if it doesn’t want to be lost in the big scheme of things.

The PGA tour players have to make a concerted effort as well. The players are a key point in helping to allow fans to be fans and not just spectators. During a competitive round, Tiger Woods was about to hit a shot when a camera flashed. Tiger stopped and his caddie Stevie Williams took the camera from the photographer and kept it. When players are so strict on what can happen on the course golf doesn’t become fun. If the PGA tour can incorporate everyone, players, fans, and officials alike, they will bring in more money and more recognition. Then maybe golf can become a premier sport like that of football or basketball. All this derives from the tour allowing fans to show their emotions and feelings on every shot.





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