Golfers are not known for dramatic celebrations, but every once in awhile, we witness a celebration that really sticks in the mind.
Because golfers don’t celebrate every putt like a winning touchdown, the most dramatic celebrations often come in the biggest tournaments, when the most is at stake, and you can see just how much it means to the player to win.
For that reason, more weight has been given to celebrations that have come after winning big tournaments, and especially when there are other circumstances that have added meaning to the win. After all, aren’t those the celebrations that are the most memorable?
When James Hahn won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February of this year, he adopted one of the year’s most curious trends and danced the famous Gangnam Style dance. Although it was not a major tournament, Hahn gains honorable mention for entertainment value.
Hale Irwin 1990 U.S. Open
After sinking an amazing put on the 18th hole at the U.S. Open, Irwin forced a playoff for the championship. He celebrated by running around the green soccer-style, high-fiving members of the crowd as he went.
Seve Ballesteros Fist Pump
Few golfers have a legacy quite like Seve’s, but perhaps the defining moment came in 1984 when he won the British Open. Ballesteros could not contain his joy at winning, and celebrated with a series of fist pumps that are now forever linked with the great man.
Tiger Woods, “This is for Dad”
Shortly after the death of his father and inspiration in 2006, Tiger Woods won the British Open. Not usually emotional on the golf course, Woods could not hold back the tears as he hugged his caddy and his wife (at the time).
Ben Crenshaw Wins the Masters
Crenshaw had a similar experience to that of Woods, only his was in 1995, just days after the death of his mentor, Harvey Penick. Crenshaw was a surprise winner of the Masters that year, his second, and reacted to the winning shot with a heart-wrenching scene in which he sobbed into his hands.
Poulter Revives the Ryder Cup for Europe
There were many memorable moments in last year’s Ryder Cup, but perhaps no one capture the “spirit of Seve” better than Ian Poulter. When it seemed as though all hope was lost for the Europeans, Poulter dragged them kicking and screaming back into the tournament. His celebrations upon winning each of his matches were almost as memorable as the shots themselves.
U.S. Ryder Cup 1999
And speaking of dramatic Ryder Cup celebrations, none are more memorable than the scenes after the 1999 victory by the U.S. team. Still the most controversial celebrations to date, the team ran onto the course before Olazabal had even hit his last putt.
Tiger Woods’ Miracle Shot
Even if you have never watched a single round of golf in your life, there is a good chance that you have seen Tiger Woods’ memorable chip-in on the 16th hole. The ball seemed to enter the hole in slow motion, and the celebrations afterward where suitably wild.
Payne Stewart died tragically just months after his victory at the 1999 U.S. Open, but he will always be remembered for his one-legged fist pump celebration. The moment has been immortalised with a statue at Pinehurst, the location of the victory.
Phil Mickelson’s Masters
After years of trying, the great Phil Mickelson finally won a major at the 2004 Masters. So how do you celebrate your first major after 46 attempts? With a star jump, naturally.
Jose Maria Olazabal’s Dance
More crazy than intense, Olazabal celebrated Europe’s 1987 Ryder Cup victory with an impromptu jig.