Ranking the 23 most amusing moments from covering golf in 2023

Ranking the 23 most amusing moments from covering golf in 2023
Please Share

Admittedly, a lot happened this year while covering this crazy sport we call golf that frankly was just exhausting.

The ongoing Sharks-Jets battle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf – and between their supporters.

The weird day that was June 6, and all the memos and such that have come since.

Hearing Jon Rahm repeat the same lines we’ve heard a thousand times, and realizing that Rahm will rarely compete against most of those who joined him this past fall in Rome in 2024. And that Pat McAfee interview.

Sponsored content.

But as I spent the final day of 2023 scrolling through my likes from the past year on Twitter, or X (I’m a big Elon fan, but I still can’t get behind that), I was reminded that there was a lot that happened in golf in the past 12 months that made me laugh.

And so, I decided to rank not the 23 greatest moments of 2023 but the most amusing moments. Here they are:

23. Liquid? Gas?

My favorite installment from “Things Bryson DeChambeau says” in 2023:

22. F-bombs

I’m not a fan of foul language, but I did chuckle at a couple f-bombs this year. One was Rory McIlroy’s “Full Swing” clip of him saying, “F— you, Phil.” The other had McIlroy on the receiving end, when sources inside the players-only meeting in Canada recalled how McIlroy told Grayson Murray to “play better,” which prompted a “f— off” from Murray.

21. The Sphere that saved the Netflix Cup

I did not watch a lick of the Netflix Cup – and based on the reviews, I didn’t miss much. But I LOVED the image of the Las Vegas Sphere, as a smiley face emoji, keeping an eye on the action.

20. Speaking of big spheres…

It was unfortunate to see the deflation of the TGL dome – and subsequent year postponement of the tech golf league. But after months of looking at a promotional photo of the arena and thinking that it would be, you know, an actual arena, I was amused that this thing was going to be held inside a bubble resembling that scene from E.T. where scientists overtake Elliot’s house and cover it in plastic and tubing before Elliot and Co. escape with a dying E.T.

19. So bad it’s good?

As a golf writer, the USGA championships are always some of the most fun to cover – and a big reason is the communications staff, maybe the best in golf. But even John Mayer plays a wrong note every now and then, and the media gift – a hat with the word “MEDIA” emblazoned in large, white letters on the front – wasn’t the biggest of hits. Maybe the joke was on me, though, as during the U.S. Open, a group of reporters, including myself, were stalked by an overzealous security guard (and John Lithgow look-alike), who secretly took photos of us as we followed Rory McIlroy’s group. Maybe if we were wearing the hats, he wouldn’t have had an issue.

18. Everyone’s Favorite Golf Dad

Sahith Theegala broke through this past fall for his first PGA Tour victory, at the Fortinet Championship. It was a heartwarming moment to see Theegala embrace his dad, Murli, afterward on the 18th green. Murli Theegala has been a inspiringly positive presence on the sidelines throughout his son’s golf career. However, that 72nd-hole celebration wasn’t even Murli Theegala’s best performance of the year. When Allisen Corpuz, a family friend of the Theegalas, won the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach, Murli was among those mobbing Corpuz on the final green and dousing her with water. Random, yes, but as No Laying Up said, a scene that provided “unspeakable joy.”

17. CH3 2.0

I love a good doppelgänger, and this Charles Howell III look-alike is incredible. Even if this isn’t Chucky Three Sticks, this kid most certainly has been held back no less than seven times.

16. ‘Brian The Butcher’

I might not remember a shot that Brian Harman hit en route to winning the 2023 Open at Hoylake in 10 years, but I’ll never forget the obsession from the British press that week about Harman’s love for hunting. Just an amusing few days inside the interview room.

15. British press, Round 2

About a month after Harman was anointed “Brian the Butcher,” a couple Brits tried to drum up some controversy at the Walker Cup, pressing a few Americans about the meaning of the ‘W’ on their hats while insinuating that it was an arrogant move and that the ‘W’ stood for “Winner.” U.S. captain Mike McCoy had the best response when asked what the letter meant: “Uh, Walker?” The non-story became just that once the matches started, though one writer couldn’t help but offer one final anti-American, parting shot in defeat.

14. Spicy soup and bang-bang shrimp

The Masters Champions Dinner always provides for some entertaining content. Aside from Phil Mickelson hiding behind columns and conflicting reports on whether the embattled Mickelson said anything or couldn’t shut up, the big revelations from the night centered on food. The tortilla soup had some of the older champs begging for water, though Ian Woosman wasn’t fazed. “I’ve been in the Caribbean for the last four months, so I didn’t find it hot at all,” he said. Fred Couples also mended things with “nutbag” Sergio Garcia. “I was getting my bang-bang shrimp and talking to him,” Couples said of Garcia. “I love Sergio. … I call myself a clown. It’s the way I talk. … I wasn’t harping on his life or his character, I just saw what I saw.”

13. Distance per shot

The datapoint we didn’t think we needed – and 10 months into Sports Illustrated‘s new world golf ranking, we still don’t.

12. Swilcan Patio

One morning in early February, a photo surfaced showing the monstrosity that would be coined the Swilcan Patio. The outrage was immediate and understandable – and thankfully there were no aerial images, at least that I saw. Three days later, after a lengthy statement by the St. Andrews Links Trust somehow defending the decision and an expected flurry of memes, a bulldozer was tearing up the circular, stone patio. By my trip there for the Walker Cup in August, everything was back to normal.

11. Andrew Waterman

PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan teed it up in the DP World Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Links in October using the pseudonym, “Andrew Waterman.” Yes, this happened.

10. National Swing

As someone who has played many rounds on Orange County National’s Crooked Cat, I knew firsthand the absurdity of some of the world’s best players playing a tournament there, let alone a Masters tune-up. So, I just had to ask some of the LIV guys that next week at August to compare the two Nationals. Dustin Johnson’s response was the best: “I don’t think you could have those in the same sentence, other than I played there last week and I’m playing here this week.”

9. Senate sillies

There were many humorous moments from July’s Senate hearing with PGA Tour Chief Operating Officer Ron Price and board member Jimmy Dunne, including Ron Johnson appearing to be auditioning for a spot on the PAC and Josh Hawley not realizing that PGA Tour China isn’t a thing anymore. This Joel Beall tweet made me laugh more than anything (Long live Gold Boy!):

8. From Tweet of the Year to Photo of the Year…

This sums up Patrick Cantlay’s week in Rome.

7. Xander, blink twice if you need help

One of the biggest content misses for Golf Media this year was not getting Stefan Schauffele to review and comment on his son’s DraftKings promo video.

6. ‘Mori’ bad video content

We’re not going to harp on Collin Morikawa’s gift-wrapping skills here, but we are going to share perhaps a sponsored video even more cringe-worthy than Xander’s DraftKings spot. Luckily, Morikawa is really, really good at golf, so we’ll forgive him.

5. TPC Swamp Ass

I want to start by saying this is NOT a shot at the city of Memphis. The Shotgun Start’s Brendan Porath calls TPC Southwind in Memphis “TPC Initech” because of the many office complexes that border the Memphis layout. I think we needed to change that nickname to “TPC Swamp Ass.” First, Robert Garrigus. Now, Lucas Glover, who ended this year’s first FedExCup playoff event both in the winner’s circle and fully saturated.

4. Smashed

When Brooks Koepka’s Smash GC released a military-style workout video during May’s LIV event outside of Washington, D.C., I didn’t think much of it. A couple WDs, several Jason Kokrak range tops and a disgruntled Matt Wolff later, and we had this amazing story courtesy of The Shotgun Start:

3. The Euro Bus

I’m not ashamed to admit that I had “U.S. is terrified, Europe’s on fire” stuck in my head until mid-November – with occasional reprieves to sing, “Tommy! Tommy, Tommy…”

2. ‘Everybody knows the Aces’

I’m not up for debating the veracity of Bubba Watson’s grow-the-game story involving his son and the 4Aces, but there is no question that it contains perhaps the line of the year: “Everybody knows the Aces.” Yankees. Cowboys. Chiefs. Aces. Naturally.

1. Blockie-mania

It wasn’t Paul, John, George and Ringo. It was better. Michael Block captured hearts at Oak Hill, showing off his aw-shucks personality, making a hole-in-on (coupled with an incredulous reaction for the ages) and eventually finishing well enough as low club pro to punch a return PGA ticket to Valhalla. Unfortunately, he then clogged golf’s content arteries with countless podcast appearances and sponsorship activations, and an insane Rory McIlroy take – and the Blockages just kept coming all the way through Blockie’s Aussie Open appearance in December. Never has one person gone from “Love Me Do” to “Let It Be” so quickly. Not that it’s been all Blockie’s fault. In fact, most of the blame lies with the content creators and social accounts who leeched Blockie for clicks. But Blockie hasn’t seemed to be bothered. And at this point, we’ve reached the point of parody in Blockie-mania, so why not keep the Block Party going? With so much despondency in pro golf, we needed Blockie – and we may still need him.

Source link