Grouchy Golf Blog

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Yelling "Mashed Potatoes"?!

The term "polite golf clap" arose from the type of applause that golf fans traditionally showered onto golfers during a live tournament. It was a light clapping of the hands meant to show appreciation for a golfer's shot while at the same time not disrupting the quiet serenity thought to be needed for the golfers to play at their best. However, "polite golf clapping" is being increasingly drowned out by "rude golf yelling".

All the way up through the Hogan era, anything louder than a light applause was considered verboten on the golf course. With the emergence of Arnie's Army and Jack Nicklaus, respectful cheers were added to the mix. But the floodgates really opened up when Tiger Woods grabbed the torch from Jack. He seemed to attract a much broader audience and that audience brought a different element to the golf course. Words shouted from the gallery began being heard distinctly within television broadcasts. It started with words of encouragement such as "get in the hole!" and "be the ball!". Soon yelling "you da man!" became the hip thing to do after every golf shot. That remained the norm for a good decade or so.

However, over the last year, yelling utter nonsense has reigned supreme. Sometimes it's an inside joke. For example, "Baba Booey!" is a calling card for shockjock Howard Stern fans and it's often heard after Stern superfan Keegan Bradley hits a shot. But more times than not, there are yells that make no sense whatsoever. One that keeps cropping up is "mashed potatoes". WTF? Why the heck would someone yell that at a golf course, let alone anywhere for that matter? At first I thought that it must refer to some creative marketing campaign. But I looked all over the Internet and found zilch. Maybe the yeller believes he is yelling something creative, witty or funny? For the life of me I can see none of those qualities in "mashed potatoes". After thinking about it for far too long, I've concluded that the only logical reason for someone yelling "mashed potatoes" is that they are a potato farmer trying to boost demand for his crop. Nothing else makes sense! Listen to it for yourself and let us know your theories: