10 Ways to Nicely Say ‘Shut Up!’

Golf has a quiet way of being funny: the “Silence” sign. Here’s a look at 10 ways that tournament marshals hush the hordes before the pros hit the ball.

On the walkway from the parking lot to the entrance of the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine National, officials with megaphones shouted what was tournament policy back then: no cell phones on the grounds.

That policy has been changed because it was so unpopular. No one liked the notion of – OMG! — being without a cell phone for half a day. So the tournament brass trotted out volunteers to shout reminders. The volunteers knew they could be lightning rods for static generated by patrons being rubbed the wrong way by this phone policy, so the smart ones were into distracting the discontented with humor: “Please, no cell phones on the course. Pretend that this is 1990 and you are once again living free of phone tyranny. Most of all, do not be afraid. This, too, shall pass.”

“Distracting the discontented with humor.”

That type of humor worked then, and it works today as patrons are told to be quiet on the course. No one likes to be hushed; we’re all golf fans who know when to zip it. Well, the truth is not all know, and marshals have to hush us with signs that politely and humorously say: “Shut up! Can’t you see this golfer is about to hit and thousands of dollars could be riding on this shot?”

Here’s a look at 10 ways to nicely say shut up on the golf course:


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