The Fist Pump and Golf

I check out your site every week, love the game and watch it on TV regularly but I don’t like to see pro golfers and even some amateurs doing an extreme “fist pump” on the green whenever they sink a putt, especially in Match Play. I don’t feel it has a place in golf. When Valerie quoted from the “Spirit of the Game” in the Rules Book a couple of weeks ago, it doesn’t seem as if the wording in that encourages the fist pump either.

I wonder if you would share your opinion with us on this topic?

I am pleased you are enjoying the site and thanks for your support and sharing our passion for the game.

In the Etiquette section of the Rules of Golf it provides guidelines on the manner in which the game of golf should be played and in essence how we should conduct ourselves. This needs to be revisited by golfers from time to time.

In “ The Spirit of the Game” section , it not only explains that the game of golf is one that relies on integrity of those who participate and for the most part is played without supervision of a referee or umpire. It goes on to say, that golfers are expected to conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be.

Bob, I believe the excessive pumping of the fist – not only by the player but his caddie –during the round whenever the golfer sinks a crucial putt, especially in Matchplay is of concern. Simply because this is how some elite golfers conduct themselves, it seems to have become acceptable. This is an expression of extreme and unbridled competitiveness.

Let’s not take away from an outward expression of an internal thrill of victory, be it a hole-in-one on Saturday morning with our buddies, or winning the US Open. However, I agree that a defiant fist-pump challenging the world, is not endearing, and a little over the top. Too much may be too much.


In your opinion, does the fist pump have a place in golf? Share your thoughts below with us and other Frankly Friends…

12 thoughts on “The Fist Pump and Golf

  1. there will NEVER be a place in the game of golf for a fist pump…did we ever see arnold palmer or jack nicklaus act like that ? too bad eldrick never got it ! now the young kids think it’s o.k. it’s a gentlemen’s game…hope we get back to that.

  2. It is probably similar to showing emotion after being dealt cards in poker. Sometimes it can help you and sometimes it can hurt you so know your situation before losing your cool, right? Rules book about fist pumping though? Are you guys going to stop the long putter too?

  3. During a friendly recreational league match, where your opponent and the other 2 players all cheer for everyone’s good shots, no problem. If the other guy(s) is a silent, unsocial curmudgeon, save it till you’ve whooped his b(leep).

  4. Over-exuberance when you have won the match may be understandable. That same display for sinking a putt, when there are still holes to be played, I consider a bit too much. We all know how quickly this game can turn on a player.

  5. I have no objection to the fist pump. I don’t believe it’s intended as a message of any sort to the competitor and is purely a show of excitement. I much rather see the fist pump than the throwing of the putter into the air with no regard for where, or on whom, it will come down as I’ve seen greats past and present do including Palmer and Nicklaus.

  6. If you look back at old tournament films,you will find that the fist pump has been around a very long time, with some very famous names. I personally do not object. Hale Irwin’s running around the green and slapping hands with the gallery was looked at as exhuberance and not one-upsmanship, and so should the fist pump.

  7. I think you need to go back a little further than ‘some elite golfers’ of today. I remember watching Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, and others from that era, and earlier, showing spontaneous elation for an on course/in match accomplishment. No matter what spin one wishes to apply, golfers are competitive athletes and human beings and, in both cases, it is normal to be excited and, in some cases exult, in a special moment of success. These displays are not, for the most part, demeaning gestures targeted at the opponent, but unrehearsed displays of exhilaration.

  8. I love the way Matt Kuchar approaches the game of golf. He seems to keep it all in the proper perspective. Phil is a good example also.
    Adam Scott is another good example for young golfers to watch. He seems to display good self control and manners.
    There are still more golfers who do it the right ways as opposed to a few who are constantly over-the-top with their demonstrations.

  9. I accept the “fist pump” as a gesture of pleasure of the golfer and I don’t believe it’s intended or directed at the competitor. Sometimes you just have to tell the “golf gods” that “I gotcha that time !”

  10. I have always thought it best to look as though you knew what you were doing and had done it before, by merely walking away. That goes for a long putt, a great drive, or a nice 25 foot jump shot. I think of the great athletes I have seen hit home runs, Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle to name a few. They tipped their caps to the crowd after reaching the dugout. Jim Brown, Bart Starr, Joe Montana scored a touchdown, and put the ball in the officials hand. They were professionals not hooligans. No the fist pump does not belong.

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