Golf Fans: Where Does Your Rooting Interest in the Sport Lie?

Oct 2, 2016; Chaska, MN, USA; USA fans cheer on the ninth hole during the single matches in 41st Ryder Cup Hazeltine National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2016; Chaska, MN, USA; USA fans cheer on the ninth hole during the single matches in 41st Ryder Cup Hazeltine National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

Golf fans are some of the most passionate in all of sports. With so many different ways to love the game, where does your rooting interest lie?

Golf fans are among the most passionate groups of people on earth. What is your rooting interest?

With many sports having hometown teams, it’s easy to cheer for a collective group that wears the same uniform. Golf is a little different, though, making the fan experience a lot more interesting.

Do you root for a fellow countryman or woman? Or perhaps you root for someone from your hometown.

I remember that in one of the Chicago newspapers, there was a section dedicated to how Illinois golfers were faring in each PGA Tour event. I love Chicago and always enjoy rooting for the likes of D.A. Points, Kevin Streelman or even Luke Donald, who is from England but knows Chicago very well thanks to his time at Northwestern.

However, hometown heroes isn’t where my rooting interest lies. I’ve never had a true cheering interest per se. I just love the game.

Most fans will root for the popular player, but how much weight does this still hold?

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A ton of people certainly gravitated towards Tiger Woods during his prime. But if I was ever a big fan of a player, it was Anthony Kim before he fell off the map.

The reason I enjoyed AK was not only his great play on the golf course, but his swagger off of it. Just how he wore his clothes, and how he carried himself, I thought it was so cool.

And his 11 birdies at the Masters in 2009? Ice cold.

So, if you do cheer for a certain golfer, do you get the same gear that they wear? This is similar to fans who wear the jersey of their favorite player.

When Jordan Spieth won the Masters and U.S. Open in 2015, did you run to the store to get an Under Armour hat and shirt? I think colors play an important role in fandom.

When we want to feel like we’re closer to a player or team, we get stuff to wear and paste on our walls. You especially see it all the time with college alumni, who proudly display their schools’ colors wherever they go.

Does golf really have this? That’s where the Ryder Cup comes into play.

The Ryder Cup is golf’s ultimate team event, giving us fans the opportunity to show off our national pride and team spirit.

The world-famous team event is what truly stirs the rooting interest in golf fans. European fans rock their blue colors, while American fans show off their red, white and blue threads.

This was another event that added to my love of golf. I felt the joys of team golf, and it made me have more of a rooting interest in the sport.

I love golf as an individual sport, but team events like the Ryder Cup have a way of bringing out your inner passion. Not to mention the fact that, similar to Anthony Kim, I thought the Ryder Cup was so “cool.”

Golf is known as the stereotypical quiet, rich-person sport, but that’s not all true. The Ryder Cup is a tournament that fans can enjoy by cheering for their favorite team.

There are certainly a handful of armchair architects who have something of a rooting interest in the courses being played.

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There may be some fans who root for the courses that are being played more than anything else. I always look forward to reading about these host courses, especially during major weeks.

I also enjoy the challenge they bring. A lot of fans want to see dominance from a certain player, but the most compelling thing about these courses is how they can make titans fall.

Or maybe it’s not even the challenges on the course you look for. Maybe you just want to soak in the views and design of the course, and that’s where your fandom comes out: in a quiet, serene way.

College golf brings a ton of excitement and a different energy to the sport, and gives students and alums a chance to bring out their school pride.

Then we come to the college golf scene, where fans everywhere may root for their favorite teams. With the college game getting more viewership on TV, this could reel in a new generation of golf fans.

With many college students and alumni so passionate about their teams, many will cheer at the sight of their school playing well on national TV. I’m not trying to say that you need a team to have a rooting interest, but that there a ton of unique ways to cheer in golf (minus yelling “mashed potatoes”).

The fandom in golf is just another reason why it’s such a special sport. There is no one way be a fan.

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Golf fans, you tell me: what do you root for in golf? Hometown heroes? Team USA during the Ryder Cup? What is your rooting interest? I’d love to hear it. You can let us know in the comments section or let me know on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio.