Big Gravy!

A call for more creativity from the gallery
It’s time for gallery members to shout something mem-orable, not “Baba Booey” or “Get in the hole.” Image by Stephen Denton
It’s time for gallery members to shout something memorable, not “Baba Booey” or “Get in the hole.”

I am here to defend the indefensible: the post-shot shout. At a time when the golf intelligentsia is screaming for an end to this madness, let’s take a longer listen. Not all post-shot yells are created equal, and I must admit to secretly yearning for a clever comment or two while watching tee balls fly. Live or on a telecast, I’m a sucker for something loud, pithy and unexpected.

Before we go any further, we must address the idiot in the room: the Baba Booey Guy. Fuck him. He’s the same schnitz at the local muni who waits for the green to clear with two groups backed up on the tee, only to top one into the hazard and reload from the same spot. He’s the same cuckold that asks Justin Thomas what Saturdays are for while he’s walking to 11 tee after a three-putt bogey on 10. He’s obviously a close relative of the Get in the Hole Guy. 

But to me, the opportunity isn’t the problem. It’s the execution. The post-shot shout is the golf spectator’s chance to go for it, and much like us amateurs gunning for a tough par 5 in two, it’s usually the wrong play. Not laying up likely costs me two to three strokes in an average round, but I deal with the snap-hook 3-woods for the off chance that I can pose in admiration of a high, lazy draw that gets me home for an eagle putt. I don’t play enough golf, nor do I play for enough money, to lay up.

I feel the same about the post-shot shout: The risk/reward of bellowing an uncommon one-liner to break the loaded silence of a sport that takes itself too seriously is worth it. A golf tournament is the only sport where the participants actually play from the stands; every fan has the chance to be courtside on any given hole. I love experiencing the consequences of this proximity, for better or worse. So I’m willing to deal with the uncreative and incessant Mashed Potatoes Guy, if it means I get one “Ten points for Gryffindor!” yell. Harry Potter reference at a golf tournament? Sign me up. 

Perhaps I’m nostalgic for the “Big Gravy!” call my brother drop-ped on No. 18 at the 2016 Players Championship after Colt Knost munched one down the middle. It was obscure, meaningful to only a handful of people, and certainly obnoxious, but I loved it. It was the golf version of Squints Palledorous kissing Wendy Peffercorn in The Sandlot. No one saw it coming, least of all Knost, yet he smiled, knowing his obscure nickname got some national TV time. I like to imagine it was the same wry grin Wendy shot Squints from her lifeguard stand. 

I dream of the day a duo gets crafty, with one shouting “Call the police!” and the other following with “That ball’s murdered!” And, selfishly, an oblique but well-timed “LPCP!” after Matt Kuchar hits another driver 280 would make my Sunday. 

Unfortunately, timing is everything and spectators are sheep, hence our familiarity with Mr. Baba Booey. But let’s hate the shouters, not the game. The opportunity for gallery greatness is always out there for us, and I will endure the Baba Booey Guy as I wait for that rare clever soul to rise to the occasion. 

Neil Schuster, aka Lil’ Merchie, is the merchandise czar for No Laying Up. His takes on golf mirror his stance on products: quality over quantity.