There is no better sporting event to attend in person than a professional golf tournament.
I didn’t think this really needed an explanation. I assumed it was universally accepted that golf tournaments are, without question, the best professional sporting event to experience live. But oddly enough, I had to have this argument again this weekend with a friend of mine who is, by nature, a contrarian. So I thought I would write down why I think golf tournaments are the best professional sports event on the market.
Golf tournaments are cheap as hell to attend. I flew to Charlotte this past weekend to go to the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, and a weekend ‘Grounds’ pass was no more than $25. That’s five hours of entertainment for 25 bucks — or for you math wizards, $5 an hour.
I ended up getting in two days on the same pass, because nobody was manning the ticket line on Saturday. That’s another great thing about golf tournaments. It takes very little effort to dupe the staff into letting you into a place you aren’t supposed to be. A few confident head nods can get you all the way into the clubhouse.
You can attend a golf tournament for three straight days and experience it differently each time. On Friday, I threw $30 on Justin Thomas to beat his playing partner. Watching golf with some skin in the game makes it all the more exciting.
I purposely picked a pairing that would draw minimal outside interest, so I was able to see every shot without having to push through a crowd. I walked 18 holes with a gallery of about six people and was able to get premium sports viewing for less than it would cost for a bleacher ticket at a major league baseball game. And because Thomas was off his game and hit every other shot into the gallery (he even hit one on a bar patio), I could basically stand over the ball and get an incredible view of each swing.
The only downside of the whole affair was that I lost $30. Still a great way to spend a Friday.
Weekends are a little different. The crowds are bigger. The golf is more competitive. If you want to see a lot of great golfers, you just have to post up somewhere and watch them come through. The best spots are on the greens of reachable par-fives, where you’ll see a few incredible eagles and a few devastating three putts. Both are preferable to guys playing for a safe par.
I saw Phil ‘FIGJAM’ Mickelson put it seven feet left of the pin from 250 yards out for eagle. A few groups later, I watched Rickie double and essentially lose the tournament.
Tough par-threes are great, too. You see a lot of muffled cursing and mini-tantrums on those greens. Nothing like a golfer shouting “Fuck!” next to a small child and his horrified mom on Mother’s Day.
The best thing about golf tournaments: Yelling stupid shit at golf balls. It didn’t matter if it was a putt or a chip or an approach shot, you can bet your ass I was yelling “Settle!” and “Bite!” after every swing. Another fantastic way to irritate golf fans around you is to openly suggest the golfer should “use his seven here” regardless of it being a chip or a drive.
Each course is different, but most have a signature scenic hole. When you get bored of actually watching golf — and there will be times where that happens — go buy a beer and post up at the signature hole. Even if the golf isn’t interesting enough to watch, you can still take in a beautiful afternoon on the golf course. What the hell is better than that?
Golf tournaments are just one big fucking party. It’s a bunch of friends and clients and drunk dads all getting hammered together and watching golf. By the time the end of the tournament rolls around on Sunday afternoon, nobody really cares who wins. It’s all about socializing and having a blast with your buddies.
So, to the number of you who exist only to troll and want to convince me that shit like the Kentucky Derby and the fucking NBA playoffs are more fun to attend than a professional golf tournament, I scoff at you. Golf tournaments will forever rule the world of professional sports patronage. The only people who adamantly disagree are the folks who’ve never experienced one. .
Image via YouTube