Golf Heckler: Ass

Pardon the French headline, but an embarrassing and ugly reality in pro golf are the guys (rarely are they women) who heckle players. Oh, the stupid things players must hear — and how well they handle it! Rory McIlroy handled it pretty well at the British Open, immediately turning and having a heckler tossed. Right on, Rory!

After hearing, once again, some leather-lung loser let loose his loudmouth, foul-mouth fit, there’s gotta be times when a cerebral pro golfer like Padraig Harrington turns to his playing partner and says something like, “You’d tink that evolution would take care of these guys, eh?”

Most of the humanity that huddles behind the ropes is good, but even good people can do bad things. It starts with a callus comment that may actually be funny and draws nervous laughter. But it degrades to dumb-ass stuff and reveals that hecklers have issues, primarily with rage and alcohol, and believe the best therapy is to blast rich athletes.

“Hecklers have issues, primarily with rage and alcohol.”

In response, golfers are amazingly polite and tolerant, typically turning away and trying to hit the ball. (Go ahead, try hitting a ball for money while someone is shouting nasty stuff during your backswing.) Tiger Woods should write a book about all that he’s seen and heard from the gallery — including being the recipient of rants from a heckler whom police handcuffed during the 1999 Phoenix Open at the TPC of Scottsdale, Arizona (see picture). The heckler was carrying a concealed handgun.

Rory Turns on Heckler

You have to love Rory McIlroy’s response to a heckler on Hoylake’s 16th tee during the British Open. For several holes, the heckler had been spouting off at every shot McIlroy made. But with the tournament on the line, McIlroy had had enough after his tee shot on the 16th. He calmly but immediately turned and used his driver shaft to point at the heckler, who was escorted away by security.

This should be done more often, and maybe it is and we just don’t know about it. But for those who have cringed and winced far too many times while hecklers harangued and ruined a wonderful — and sometimes historic scene — on the golf course, this was a “Right on!” moment.

Have you ever said anything to quiet a heckler or witnessed a heckler being removed by security?

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