Are Hoodies Part Of The Problem? - Ryder Cup Bad Behaviour

Among all the incredible golf some of the behaviour on and off the course has been cretinous.

Bryson, Brooks and Beers US Verdict
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Among all the incredible golf some of the behaviour on and off the course has been cretinous.

The hoodie is part of our everyday lives; our children wear hoodies, we wear hoodies and some of our parents even wear them.

We like to boast about how we own one, they’re multi-functional, they make us feel cool and, if any sport could do with a helping hand in cool, it’s golf.

When Tyrrell Hatton won the PGA at Wentworth his donning of a hoodie all week simultaneously moved golf forward a decade and then back two by the reaction of some.

You were seen as forward-thinking and open-minded if you gave it a thumbs up or an old-fashioned fogey if you weren’t keen.

We’ve now seen them at Augusta, we’ve seen them at all the majors and now we’ve seen them at a Ryder Cup.

Golf doesn’t have a problem with fans but, every two years, this question pops up and we’re talking about more than just the birdies and bogeys.

This isn’t some sort of stuffy British attitude which bleats when home fans pull for home teams and then bleat even louder when things aren’t going well, this is when players and captains get roundly booed onto the 1st tee, misses are repeatedly cheered and the behaviour is boorish.

Related: "Pathetic" - Chamblee on Americans' Ryder Cup behaviour

The skill to all this is to ignore it all and crack on but, when you’re out there for 10 hours and these things are going on at 8am and well before the Miller Lites have been cracked open, it can get a little wearing.

On Friday morning every European tee shot was played to a backdrop of 'get in the water' at the short 3rd.

Shane Lowry, when asked what he made of how the home fans were treating them, replied: “Not much.”

Tyrrell Hatton tried to jump in and smooth things over but, as he continued, we got more of an impression of what’s going on.

“We are the away team so they are behind their guys. It's to be expected," he said.

"And yeah, obviously they are cheering for them.

"The majority of the fans have been great, to be fair. I think they have been calling out some of the guys that have been chanting some, or using some interesting words, should we say, and it's just unfortunate that a few of them do silly things like opening cans at the top of your backswing,” Hatton explained.

“It's a little bit unnecessary. Obviously you want to play a fair game, and rightly so, they are supporting their guys.

"And it's the same for us in Europe. We get the support when we are at home. So we expected a hostile atmosphere, and that's what we've got so far this week.”

The great thing is that this is the minority, there are 40,000 fans on the property and we’re talking about a very select few.

But this is golf’s grandest stage, it’s every two years, and we need to be doing this right.

And in among all the incredible golf, the vast majority being played by the home superstars, some of the behaviour on and off the course has been cretinous.

We want this week to be an absolute showcase of the sport, by all means chuck birdies and fist pumps at one another for three days solid but don’t start f’ing at referees and lying your putter down like a pampered prima donna when someone asks you to knock in a putt.

If it's possible to 'dress yourself happy' then it's also quite possible to dress yourself into a different type of mindset.

Justin Thomas is one of the most thoughtful speakers and impressive characters in the sport, he’s popular, fun and he gets an awful lot of things right.

But, to watch him, pump up the crowds in between sessions was embarrassing.

If he looks back on that in 10 years’ time and thinks fair enough, then fine, but you’d think that it won’t age too well in his head.

Daniel Berger, with his hood up over a six-footer on Saturday morning, looked more like he was sporting a monumental hangover rather than competing in his first Ryder Cup.

He doesn't need to dress like Ben Hogan, and obviously fashions change, but this can't be the best look that Team USA and Ralph Lauren can go for?   

Leave the hoodies at home for one week.

The US hoodies are retailing at something like $300 so this isn’t anything to do with golf becoming more accessible and part of the people, it’s a failed attempt to make the game look casual when it least needs it.

Save it for the regular weeks on tour, save it for when the weather turns a little chilly.

We’re so lucky with golf in that it’s generally played the right way and it is the envy of many.

Yes, there can be too many rules and regulations and dos and don’ts but it teaches you a lot of the good stuff about yourself and how to behave the right way.

Golf wise, the 2021 Ryder Cup couldn't have been more impressive, behaviour wise there's still plenty of work to be done.

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