Fans who shout certain phrases at golfers during the Masters will be removed from the premises. An employee working security detail at Augusta National Golf Club told bunkered.co.uk that staff members were handed a sheet containing banned words and phrases and were told to escort offending patrons immediately off-site.
The crackdown on hecklers started early in the season as several well-known players have had run-ins with spectators. In February, Justin Thomas booted a fan out of the Honda Classic for telling him to “get in the bunker,” and a heckler was removed after targeting Sergio Garcia at the WGC-Dell Match Play. In March, Rory McIlroy was also subjected to heckling by a spectator.
“There was one guy out there who kept yelling my wife’s name,” McIlroy, told CBS Sports, after the Arnold Palmer Invitational. “I was going to go over and have a chat with him. I don’t know, I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think that they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.”
Rickie Fowler noted in February following the Waste Management Phoenix Open, “I may be somewhat of a fan favourite, but they weren’t holding back. The normal boos for missing a green, that’s fine, but leave the heckling to a minimum and make it fun.”
Alcohol does seem to play a role in at least some of the spectators’ rowdy behaviour.
One of the phrases that patrons will not be allowed to say at the Masters is “Dilly Dilly.” The term went viral last year when it was featured in a Bud Light commercial and became so popular it’s used in merchandising for the brand.
In response to the news, the beer company said in a statement it will “make 1,000 Dilly Dilly shirts that shall be delivered to Georgia in time for the festivities.”
It added, “For if thou cannot say Dilly Dilly, thou can still wear Dilly Dilly.”