Convincing golf ball to do your will

Occasionally, I find myself needing to go comatose, so I put a golf match on television.

Only two matches – the Masters and the British Open – are of any serious interest, but sometimes on a Sunday afternoon, when I want to read but need some background noise that won’t be at all distracting, it’s golf on the tube.

Now and then, I look up from my book to see what’s going on, usually when someone has a second shot on a par-4 or par-5 hole. Drives don’t interest me, putts don’t interest me, but that second shot seems to me the hardest to execute with any consistency, so I’ll watch that.

And sometimes I’m forced to look up during a drive because some idiot has shouted:

“Get in the hole!” right after somebody has launched his, or sometimes her, drive.

Get in the hole? What is that? Helpful? That doesn’t seem reasonable. How can shouting “Get in the hole!” affect the flight of the ball one way or the other?

And on a par 3, say, what if the ball actually does go in the hole for that illusive hole-in-one, does the screamer get to take some credit?

“Yeah, Phil hit it pretty good, but there’s no WAY it was gonna go in if I hadn’t shouted ‘Get in the hole!’ right after he teed off. Hey, Phil, no need to thank me, just gimme a cut of the prize money before you lose it all in Vegas, ah, ha, ha, ha. Ain’t I funny?”

Actually, “Get in the hole!” shouters are pathetic on a par (golf reference) with people who shout, “You da man!” at any athlete.

But you know what I’ve never heard? Somebody should, “You da woman!” at Michelle Wie or Serena Williams. Why is that? Does the extra sylable flummox them?

Oh, and when I do gaze at the TV during golf and they show the gallery (golf talk for crowd), I see plenty of women watching, but I have NEVER heard one of them shout, “You da man!” or “Get in the hole!” Are they too polite or too cognizant of how desperate you have to be to shout out stuff like that in the hope of being heard on TV?

Because what other reason is there, really? C’mon, even the dumbest shouter knows that “Get in the hole!” isn’t going to affect the flight of a ball, and especially on a par-4 or 5 because nobody can hit it far enough to reach the green, so, off the tee, the ball CANNOT get in the hole.

Oh, and grammatically, the shouter should shout, “Get INTO the hole!” because you can’t actually do ANYTHING in a hole until you get into it. It’s like a swimming pool:

“Johnny, jump in the pool!”

“I can’t, Ma.”

“Come on, Johnny, jump in the pool for Mommy.”

“I can’t, Ma, because I’m not in the pool.”


“Yeah, Ma, see, in school we learned that in order to jump in the pool, you first have to be in the pool and to do that, you have to jump INTO the pool, then you can jump in the pool.”

“Johnny, it might be a good idea if you went to bed without your supper instead of correcting Mama in front of all the other mamas at the country club.”

“Or I could go jump into the lake.”

“Don’t be smart, Johnny.”

Do people at local golf courses, say, playing with three other guys or women, ever yell “Get in the hole!” when one of their number tees off?

Or turn to a fellow golfer and bellow:

“You da man!”

“Yes, I know, now shut up, you noodnik.”

The reason has to be in order to hear your voice in case ESPN replays that particular shot on Schnook Center after the match.

“Hey! You hear that? That was me! That was ME shouting ‘Get in the hole!’ My voice was on TV.”

Oh, well, get ready to sign that big contract. You can be the Golf Channel’s designated shouter.

“We take you now to the 12th tee, where Ralph, that tee’s designated shouter, is preparing for Phil’s tee shot. And there is Phil, taking his swing, and … over to you, Ralph.”


“Excellent coverage there, Ralph. Anybody see where the ball went?”


“Right, Ralph, but the ball … where’d it go?”


“Shut up, Ralph.”

And to all the Ralphs on the course …

Mike Cleveland is former editor of The Cabinet.