Becoming a Pro: A TV Slacker’s Guide to Learning to Watch Golf

The ability to play professional sports isn’t for everyone.  I get that.  However, everyone has enough talent to watch and understand sports on TV.  But you can’t just run in all willy nilly and watch while expecting to know exactly what’s going on.  Try that and you’re liable to pull an eye-muscle.  Even worse, you could embarrass yourself in front of your friends/cats by demonstrating an abhorrent lack of sports knowledge.  To combat the risk of injury and/or public shaming, I’ve decided to create a series of guides for learning to watching sports on TV like a pro.  You may be asking why I would do such a thing.  To that I say, “Shut up.  This is the internet and I can do whatever the damn I want.”  Besides, if you live in real ‘Murica, you need to know how to talk sports.  Sports are what you talk about to someone you really don’t know but still don’t mind talking to.  And ladies, you want to demonstrate value to a guy you just met?  Know what you’re talking about when it comes to sports.  Swear to God, being able to explain the infield fly rule is the equivalent of telling a guy that you want to invite one of your lady friends into the bedroom.  And guys, know your sports.  I shouldn’t have to explain this shit to you.  First sport?  The greatest game ever played.  Golf.

Truly this is the sport of kings.

Let me start by saying that most people I know don’t like watching golf…ever.  They claim it’s slow and not entertaining enough.  Well I say that they’re wrong.  And you’re wrong for agreeing with them.  Golf is great.  And watching golf is great.  And you’re still wrong.  So very, very wrong.  And I’m going to show you how to like it.  Or at least how to feign interest long enough to get through a conversation at a bar.  Golf is mos def a talking sport now.  Thanks to Tiger Woods and Nike, golf is growing into one of the biggest sports in the world and it’s not slowing down.  The common people understand it now and so should you.  Let’s get to the basics of playing so you kinda know what the hell is going on.

Soon we will buy you as well.

The Mission: Your objective is to use various clubs to hit a ball into a small hole located a few hundred yards away in as few strokes (hits) as possible.  You normally do this 18 times and add up your total at the end.  The lower the total, the better you did.  Still with me?  Didn’t think so.  Let’s move on and maybe you’ll pick up more as we go.


The Equipment: You get a set of sticks that are usually made of metal.  For our purposes, we’ll refer to these sticks as “golf clubs”.  Additionally, you get a little ball made of rubber that’s wrapped in a magical shell of plastic.  We’ll call that a “golf ball”.  That’s all you need.  There rest is fluff. 

The Fluff:  There are hundreds of things that fall in this category.  Some of them are vital to the enjoyment of golf.  Some aren’t.  However, all experts agree that the most important addition to any round of golf is booze.  Yes my friend.  Drinking is not only allowed while playing golf, it’s encouraged.  In fact, hot girls will drive around in carts and bring you booze while you’re playing and pretend to like you so you’ll pay them more money like it’s a damn mobile Hooters.  Some would say that those girls have an easy profession.  Others would say they have the oldest profession.  But if you’re a guy and what I just said didn’t make you want to start playing golf right the damn now, I’m sure we can find you a cart guy too. Either way, start drinking.

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t done the same thing once.

 The basics of golf sound easy enough right?  It’s really easy to learn.  Of course it’s very hard to be good at playing golf. But we’re not worried about being good.  We’re worried about watching people that are good on TV.  Let’s keep this party train movin.

If you don’t already have an appreciation for golf, it can be hard to start watching it right away.  The common man may find it boring.  And that’s why golf has spiced that shit up.  If you’re going to start watching golf on television, you absolutely must start with the Ryder Cup.  What is the Ryder cup you say?  It’s only the most entertaining sporting event this side of the Super Bowl.  The Ryder cup pits American and European golfers against each other in a scene of xenophobic glory.  Every two years, the best golfers in the world put aside there differences and unite to hate everyone that lives on the other side of the ocean.  It’s beautiful really.  And the networks know it.  Every time the Ryder Cup nears its return, NBC stirs up enough patriotic hate to reignite the Revolutionary War.  It’s that awesome.  The crowds are into it.  The announcers are into it.  You’ll be into it….two years from now…when the next one is held.  This post is nothing if not timely.  But if you’re going to talk golf with someone, always bring up the Ryder Cup.  And tell them you cheered for the U.S.  Or be a dick and say that you rooted for the Euros.  I don’t really care.

I cheer for Merica, cause I’m Mercan.

The other key part of learning to watch golf on TV is to pick a favorite golfer.  Golf isn’t just a sport full of stuffy white guys that all look the same anymore.  That’s only like 60% of them now.  A really important part of looking like you know what you’re talking about is to pick a favorite golfer and learn some cool details about them.  “Did you hear about golfer’s – rape/drunk driving/hate crime acquittal?  Man that was crazy!  I wonder if he’ll play this weekend.”  To save you some time, here’s a list of some of the more popular golfers and the type of person that might like them.  Feel free to mix and match your favorites based on the person you’re speaking to/ethnic makeup of the room.

Tiger Woods – The Easy Pick – Liking Tiger Woods is really the same as liking the New York Yankees.  Nobody will argue that you shouldn’t like them.  It’s a generic pick sure.  But it’s a solid pick too.  Without Tiger, most people are going to tune out on Sundays.  He’s probably the single biggest reason golf is where it is today and he’ll stay the big draw until he retires.  Tiger is the choice for front runners everywhere.  If Tiger is your pick, your other favorite teams likely include the 90’s Cowboys, Lakers, Yankees, Heat, and Red Wings.  Sure they’re good, but unless you liked them before they were huge, most people think that you’re probably a poser.  But now Tiger has developed a bit of an edge.  A massively publicized affair followed by a messy divorce can do that.  Tiger is now the comeback kid for the PGA and is in the middle of his redemption phase.  Hop on the bandwagon before it’s too late. 

Bitch you already get half my stuff

 Rory McIlroy – The Up & Comer – Rory is quickly becoming the heir apparent to the golf throne.  This young Irish upstart has been picking up wins left and right this year and is the proud owner of the highest paid endorsement contract in Nike’s history.  Sports networks are hard at work creating a massive rivalry for him with Tiger Woods.  Don’t expect Rory to fade from the scene any time soon.  By taking McIlroy as your fav, you’re telling the world that you refuse to conform and go with the big crowd.  You’re going with the slightly smaller crowd instead in the hopes that it eventually turns into the big crowd.  Fans of Rory will probably also like the Red Sox, Knicks, or Patriots.  He’s not the most popular player in the sport, but you’re not exactly taking a risk by picking him as your #1.  Caution:  Being an Irishman, some “America only” fans may get bitter when you side with Rory.  Girls have been known to swoon over his accent.

Why yes, I was in Billy Elliot

Phil Mickelson – The Wild Card – Phil Mickelson is never a bad choice for your top golfer.  He’s kind of a member of the old guard of golf.  Pick him and people will nod their head like they understand exactly why he’s your fav.  You don’t even have to give a reason.  Just say that you’ve always been a Phil fan.  Mickelson has always been kind of a dick.  However, growing a bit older seems to have mellowed him out some.  Now he’s a really likeable dick.  Now he’s a fan favorite known for his risk taking and fearless play.  But it’s still golf, so it can’t be all that fearless.  He’s a high risk/reward type of player that you can almost always count on to melt down at some point.  White people love him because he’s not so threatening like that dark skinned fellow but still an American.  Fans of Phil tend to like to root for the underdog.  They also probably really like the Cubs.  I’m telling you, this is their year!

Awww fuck! At least I still have millions of dollars.

John Daly – The Drinkin Buddy – John Daly is a bit of an outlier these days.  He’s still around, but never really a threat to win it big.  If you’re new to golf, chances are you’ve never heard of him.  But in his day, Daly was the car wreck that you slowly drove past while hoping to see a head laying on the ground  A fat alcoholic cokehead with a batshit crazy wife and all the talent in the world, this Arkansas Razorback took ‘Murica by storm in the 90’s.  Not many guys could go on a coke binge, get in a fight with his wife, call the cops, and then make it to your tour event the next day with deep scratches all over his face.  Daly could.  If you play golf and have a problem with substance abuse, you have probably liked Daly at some point as well.  Die hard fans of John Daly like football and NASCAR…in that order…no exceptions.

Stay classy John

Bubba Watson – The Psycho – Bubba Watson is the new Kentucky Fried Golfer.  This Georgia native made it big this year by winning the Masters.  He’s so hot right now.  Bubba is currently the longest driver on the tour. (he can hit the ball real far)  He’s also a risk taker that loves to act lest his brain get in the way.  When Watson melts down, this fan favorite melts down big.  And really, when was the last time you met a Bubba that wasn’t changing your tire or raping kayakers that accidentally rowed into his neck o’ the woods.  Bubba is probably my favorite golfer on the tour.  Fans of Watson probably don’t mind a little crazy in their sports heroes.  Did I mention he’s crazy?  Yeah he’s crazy.  And he bought the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazard at an auction.

Bought this bitch straight cash!

There’s your golf watching starter kit.  If you like sports, go in with an open mind and I’m sure you’ll get hooked.  You gotta trust me on this one.  It’s worth it.  And since this is the internets, here’s your obligatory cat pic.


– Josh


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