Should you be lucky enough to find yourself on the grounds at this year’s U.S. Open, or any golf tournament, here what you’re guaranteed to see, if our hundreds of hours of people-watching experience at major golf tournaments are any indication.
2. The Excitable Dad
He works 9 to 5 in a middle management job, takes out the garbage every night without fail, and drives a Kia Sorrento. Life isn’t too shabby for the Excitable Dad, but he craves more. He probably scored some tickets to the tournament this weekend for Father’s Day and he’s JACKED UP about it. Give him two Michelob Ultras and a $38 dollar souvenir hat and watch the magic unfold.
3. The Little Rickies
Ricky Fowler has yet to win a major or really come into his own as a top American golfer, but his flatbrim wearin’, shaggy-haired antics have wormed their way into the hearts of children everywhere. Every tournament now is littered with ‘Little Rickies’ just dying for a glimpse of their burnt orange hero. Be nice to them.
4. The Jingoists
Aggressively patriotic. Travel in packs. Often European. Often very intoxicated. Often wayyy more fun than American fans. Often in better shape. Often incredibly friendly. Great at bird calls.
5. Here’s one in action after Webb Simpson’s 2012 US Open win:
See what I mean about the bird calls!
6. The Fathers and Sons
Dads and kids. Good, honest American men teaching their wee children about a game they can play and love for the rest of their lives. Like Field of Dreams but with Phil Mickelson lurking somewhere nearby.
7. The Overserved Hawaiian Shirt Guy
You may not see this guy, but you’ll probably hear his scream echo through the fairways around 4 p.m. as he’s tazed by local law enforcement. Bushy sex offender mustache is optional (but highly encouraged).
9. …And Is TOTALLY PSYCHED About It!
Messed up, I know. But it’s common practice for a golfer to say “hey” to the injured spectator and give him a souvenir. Plus you most likely make it on TV (so long as you don’t die), which is kind of nice. If you go to a lot of golf tournaments you’ll slowly begin to develop this very strange desire to catch a Maxfli with your face.
10. The Assholes That Yell Right After The Tee Shot
Sure, it’s a little funny. Sometimes. But for the most part this guy is a king-sized doofus, whose favorite TV show is just watching himself saying Family Guy quotes in the mirror shirtless. Main offender: Hawaiian shirt guy (see above) three beers before getting tazed.
11. The Underdressed Fan
You will see this human within 40 seconds of walking onto the course. Don’t get me wrong, golf is an elitest sport that could stand to be taken down a peg or two when it comes to snobbery, but that doesn’t mean you should wear a tank top, sweatpants, and Crocs (I mean, really, you shouldn’t be wearing that anywhere.) If you’ve ever been to a tournament you’ll know without me saying that this DEFINITELY applies to members of both sexes.
12. The PERFECTLY Dressed Fan
You’ll know it immediately when you see them, but there’s one at every tournament. Funny, without being too flashy. Practical, but not boring. Fashion meets function. A joy to behold. Buy this man/woman/child a beer. Especially if it’s a child.
13. The Weird Periscope Crowd
Most often accompanied by a non-ironic fanny pack on someone 55 or older. Like most quirks of golf spectatorship, the periscope isn’t exactly annoying, it’s just really, really peculiar. Points if you shout a Hunt For Red October reference at them from across the course. Let them sing!
14. The Diehards
For all its joys, golf can be a real bitch to watch. Packed crowds, fickle weather, LOTS of walking. Seriously. MILES of walking. But no matter how bad it gets, this person just can’t get enough. They’ll be getting to the course when the gates open at 6 a.m. and you’ll have to drag them off at dusk. They’re any and every type of the people mentioned above and they’re what make watching golf in person great. Just don’t block their view of the green and you’ll be just fine.