Both players and commentators are always quick to complement the crowds at the Open for their impeccable etiquette and their knowledge of the game. There is no denying that the Open crowds know when to keep quiet and when to applaud. They also stand happily behind a single piece of rope never traversing the boundary between themselves and the players by stepping onto the course. How many other sports could bost such respectful and subservient followers. But are these fans the most knowledgable in the game? Well, we asked the public a few teasing questions to find out.
We quizzed 30 very happy members of the public as they enjoyed a beer and interestingly found that 13 of them rarely play golf. The majority of the 13 followed the professional game closely but did not play at all. Of those who did play the average handicap was a commendable 14.8. They played golf an average of 1.8 times a week ? a stat that was helped considerably by one retired gentleman who plays five times a week.
We asked them to complete a brief golf quiz on various aspects of the game and the results were extremely impressive. First of all only three people failed to name the player who last won the Open at Carnoustie. 27 answered correctly with the name Paul Lawrie while the three incorrect participants all went for Tiger Woods.
When it came to naming Open venues the fans excelled with 28 of the thirty correctly listing four courses. With last years Open fresh in the memory Hoylake was mentioned the most while Royal St Georges was only named once.
The punters were also top class when it came to the rules. 22 were able to correctly state that you are permitted to carry a maximum of 14 clubs in your bag. The fact that 13 of the 30 people asked don?t play golf made this even more notable.
The final question flummoxed some but again the majority were correct in stating that Tiger Woods? first name is Eldrick. 17 people were correct while incorrect answers included Pussycat and for some unknown reason James.
Our collection of merry fans proved that Open crowds really do know their stuff. Whether it be knowledge of the Open or the rules of golf the gatherers at the Open Arms did us proud, and can hold their heads high as the most knowledgeable crowds in all the game.