Professional golfers are extremely vigilant in separating their personal lives from their on-course personality. Most interviews, besides the occasional one from Rory, sound like customer service representatives reading from a script. The walk-up music this weekend provides us with a little bit of insight into these golfers’ minds and tastes. It’s a wild stretch to base someone’s personal life on their choice for the first twenty seconds of a song that will be played at most twice during their careers, but it’s all we got. Credit to Mike McAllister for compiling the list.
Eleven teams chose Where I’m From songs, like “Calling Baton Rouge”, “California Love”, “Shipping up to Boston”, “Africa”, “Down Under”, “Beautiful Day” and a couple patriotic anthems. These don’t give me too much insight. It shows me that the golfers want to represent where they came from. It also is an easy way to choose a song, and spending more than a few minutes on choosing a walk-up song would probably be considered a waste of time by most golfers. KJ Choi and Charle Wi’s old asses are coming out to “Gagnam Style”. I hope they make the weekend just to see them do the dance on the first tee.
Eleven teams chose classic rock / heavy metal walk-up songs, four from Metallica, two from Van Halen, and two from AC/DC. Again, these seem like easy choices to make, and understandable if teams did not care much about the song. On the other hand, if you were one of three teams to choose “Enter Sandman”, you are as unique as a Hanes cotton undershirt. Not surprising that the first names for the players that chose that song are Ryan, Johnson, Ben, Matt, Chris, and Brian.
Five teams chose popular rap songs, two of them being Drake songs. While these show more range in personality than the cardboard cut-outs above, they still aren’t very creative. It hovers somewhere between I want to play this song because I think it will make me look cool and I have to play this song because I can’t play my obscure rap. Whatever the case, just hope you’re not playing with William McGirt.
C.T. Pan and Zac Blair paid homage to Saints fans by choosing “Half Time” by the Ying Yang twins, surely to be a definite crowd pleaser. This is the small bit of research that goes a long way with fans. Throwing a little love at the home crowd will win over a lot of people. But they fall just short of Kevin Na and Ben An. Choosing Master P’s “Make em say Uhh” shows love to New Orleans home crowd while tying it back to themselves as well with the “An-Na-Na-Na” in the song. Even if they didn’t intend for it to work out that well they should never tell anyone differently, because that is perfect.
Sticking with the rap, Kisner and Scott Brown’s choice of “Slippery” by Migos is aggressively hard. If the song gets to the lyrics at the 0:15 second mark it starts with “Pop a percky just to start it / Pop two cups of purple just to warmup”.
I love it.
Gerald Garner III and Robert Garrigus choosing “Ebony and Ivory” is as funny as it is uncomfortable. Tony Finau choosing “Doo Wa Ditty” without Daniel Summerhays knowing is fantastic. And I’m sure to John Peterson’s delight, Cody Gribble chose “Careless Whisper”. When John Peterson finally hears that song and realize George Michael is not the Michael Cera character, they’re going to change their song to a David Allan Coe song.
The two most polarizing golfers this season chose songs that I think capture their personalities perfectly. Patrick Reed, obviously choosing for his team, chose “Eye of the Tiger” and Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley chose “Circle of Life” from the Lion King. Justin Thomas’ harmless pick is meant to be funny and light hearted, but it just feels like he’s trying too hard. My initial reaction, as it was when he kicked the fan out of the Honda, is to criticize the pick (sic). There are plenty of better songs that they could’ve chosen that would have fit better than “Circle of Life”. Could have even gone with “You’ve got a Friend in Me” if you wanted to stick to Disney movies. I mean I get it, the beginning of the song is “Ahhh savenya Scaramucci was fired… in eleven days” or whatever the lyrics are. But it just doesn’t seem funny to me or anyone over the age of 20. Then that’s when I remember Justin Thomas is barely over the age of 20. In fact he is only a year older than the Lion King movie itself. So in that light, I remember thinking the Lion King song was hilarious when I was around his age. But then again, I was in college and Laremy Tunsill-ing while watching Planet Earth to the Lion King soundtrack.
Patrick Reed on the completely other hand seems to be actively not trying to impress people. The expected choice for him was “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. It was almost so expected that it would have been hilarious and shocking if he chose it. But the fact he isn’t coming out to that either means he had no idea it was discussed during the Masters, or he thought it would be too predictable. So he went with “Eye of the Tiger”, the top classic pump song of all time. It was the first pump up song most of us had for our middle school team sports. Being home-schooled most of his life and, like most golfers, not being a member of an organized sports team, this could be his first opportunity for a pump-up song. So like the rest of us, his first pump up song is rightfully “Eye of the Tiger”. Or it could be that he just doesn’t give a shit about anything besides playing actual golf, Google’d best pump up song, and found the first one without having to click a link. Which would take him approximately 30 seconds depending on his internet speed. Then he could get back to golf. But I think the real reason he chose “Eye of the Tiger” is because he views himself as Rocky in Rocky IV. He thinks he is the American hope sent off to fight Ivan Drago. That he is so immersed in the Captain America persona, everything he does from now until September will be focused on the Ryder Cup. Which to me, is borderline psychotic, but I am thankful he will be on Team USA. Or Patrick Cantlay chose it.
Xinjun Zhang and Zecheng “Marty” Dou chose Zero Point Band’s “Believe in Myself”. That song does not exist.
It has not been listed but I have it on good authority that Harris and Hudson’s walk-up song will make you “wanna sing it again”.
Also if you made it all the way down here and wondering, doesn’t Nelson have anything better to do with his time than draw irrational conclusions from songs that people who hit golf balls for a living picked out? The answer is Yes. But I choose not to spend it doing anything better.