No golfer on the PGA tour can get a shot in without four blasted words following: “Get in the hole!” Golf crowds used to be known for their polite, prim and genteel golf clap. Leave it to loudmouths to ruin that.
“Get in the hole” accompanies every shot, even when it’s not plausible for the ball to reach the green, much less the bottom of the cup.
Maybe I’m overacting, but “get in the hole” should be a USGA offense for sheer poor taste. I’ve been hearing this for at least 10 years, but I never realized how much the phrase riled me until watching the U.S. Open last week. It accompanied every Tiger Woods swing, even on par 5s. I started to hear it in my sleep.
I wish Woods — who’s been known to scold bystanders and photographers — would go after someone with his driver the next time he hears that.
I suppose “get in the hole” guy thinks he shares some symbiotic relationship with his favorite PGA star. Golfer hits ball; fan wills it into the cup for him.
But such cheering just doesn’t fit with the temperament of golf.
This is the sport that’s more reverent, proper and civil than others.
It’s man (or woman) vs. nature. It’s a game of manners, precision, etiquette and quiet. It’s a game where announcers whisper over putts. So golf’s compelling moments – the chip close to the pin or the nice play out of the sand trap — should be accompanied by the soothing pitter-patter of the classic golf clap.
Not some blowhard yelling every time the blade meets the ball.
Only when someone drains a 60-foot put or holes-out an incredible shot, should the gallery become boisterous.
Of course, “get in the hole,” isn’t the only stupid saying golf fans introduced.
“You da man!” is another post-shot phrase that I could live without.
While it’s annoying, it’s not the finger-nail-down-the-chalk-board offense that “get in the hole” is.
But I’m fighting a losing battle on this one.
Whether I like it or not, golf seems stuck with commentary from the gallery.
If “get in the hole” isn’t going away, maybe golf fans can alter it a bit.
“Relocate rapidly toward the flag stick!”
Nah, let’s not.
Perhaps, we should all just remember one rule: We’re at a golf tournament. Keep quiet.
So, you — guy in the gallery — the next time Tiger Woods whips a tee shot down the fairway, use your hands, not your vocal chords.
His ball will “get in the hole!” soon enough.
Ben Munro is a reporter for The Madison County Journal.