Course marshals at Honda Classic golf tournament handle noise, crowds to keep players focused

Marshals rely on paddles to silence rowdy fans

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Concentration is a big part of the reason players at the Honda Classic are able to achieve such low scores. Occasionally, however, fans get in the way of players zoning in for that key shot.

Outside of Hole 18, where it often comes down to the line, fans tend to yell, scream or talk on their cell phones while players are trying to focus on a big finish.

The only element in place to deal with the noise are two words written across a white paddle - "QUIET please."

Those two words are sometimes all it takes to calm down an excited crowd.

"It's a power thing. Look, my wife doesn't listen to me, my children don't listen to me, my grandchildren don't listen to me. I can tell people what to do out here and I love it," said Paul Singer, a Honda Classic course marshal.

Singer is just one of many course marshals who volunteer at the Honda Classic for the pure satisfaction of keeping order.

"It's tough when Tiger (Woods) is here because everyone thinks they're going to sit in the front row. You have to be pleasant all day," said Emily Singer, a course marshal,

But sometimes it is the spectators who are not so nice, according to course marshals.

"95% of them are very nice and very understanding. One or two, (have) attitude," said Howard Abrams, a course marshal.

When that happens, the marshals go for the one thing available to them - the paddle in their hands.

"They are paddles, that's the point of them," said Emily Singer.

The marshals said it never comes down to calling the police or escalating the situation. Usually,  two magic words - "quiet please" - do the trick.

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