The 60-year-old man sitting on his back porch in Boca Raton, Florida who has been playing golf since the early ’70s (basically my dad) is going to hate this article but times are changing folks. It is a nightmare for old school golfers, but golf heckling is finally coming back to life on the PGA Tour. I got wind of some of the madness that takes place at The Waste Management Open in Pheonix and could not help but think that maybe rowdy crowds/fans are the best possible thing for golf. Two years ago, I set out on a mission to discover it myself.
I always felt there was a fine line to golf heckling and that you need to do a really good job of not crossing it. There are certain things, like talking in a backswing or on the putting green, that you just simply can not and should not do. But there is nothing wrong with creating a little bit of an atmosphere and poking fun at the players. It gives the sport a competitive edge and weeds out the players who don’t have the impeccable mental focus that other pros do.
I spent two years going back to tournaments since my heckling video went viral in 2018 and was pleased to see a much bigger crowd in attendance than prior tournaments. There is a certain buzz around the course when you have a heckler or two that are providing the fans with some grade-a heckling without being obnoxious.
The game of golf is a beautiful one, even when you’re finding yourself in the triple digits like I tend to do on the scorecard. There are younger players such as Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas that are soon going to take the torch from Tiger Woods when he is all set and done. With that being said, a younger fan base is needed to revamp ratings, viewers and the game in general. Always have respect for your elders and their love of the game, but don’t be surprised to see some rowdy crowds start to make their way into the gallery.