The controversy swirling around the famed Masters golf tournament at Augusta National in Georgia this weekend doesn’t involve the players, their equipment, the grounds — or even the classic game itself.
The controversy involves the fans — specifically, the words or phrases they might utter that could earn them a swift escort off the manicured grounds by the tournament’s security guards.
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According to an article published Wednesday afternoon on Golf.com, talk of a supposed list of words banned at the Masters began surfacing Monday following a report by Bryce Ritchie of Bunkered Online. Among the words and phrases included on the alleged list was “dilly dilly.”
Golf.com was not alone. Even Sports Illustrated reported the dire warning to its readership yesterday. Its headline read, “Report: Yelling ‘Dilly Dilly!’ Will Get You Kicked Out of The Masters.”
The only problem is — no such list exists, at least according to a Yahoo!Sports investigation. Late Wednesday afternoon, writers Dan Wetzel and Jay Busbee reported, “There is no specific list of phrases that, if shouted, will get a fan thrown out of the tournament this weekend.”
The original and apparently subpar reporting that the (fictitious) list included the phrase “dilly dilly” led to the unfolding of a humorous feud led by the originators of the “dilly dilly” phrase, Anheuser-Busch, for its Bud Light.
The beverage company is famous, of course, for its over-the-top, good-natured responses to the use — or here the (fictitious) banned use — of its trademarked phrase.
Late last year, for example, the folks at Bud Light sent a fully costumed “town crier” to a small Minneapolis pub that had named one of its craft beers Dilly Dilly. The crier, armed with a scroll, informed the owners they needed to discontinue use of the phrase, but did so in a hilarious way, softening the blow by offering the owners two “thrones” at the city’s 2018 Super Bowl.
On Tuesday, the “king” of Bud Light weighed in on the now-debunked banning of the phrase at the Masters. Via a tweeted graphic of a medieval-looking parchment, the company issued the below proclamation.
Our King weighs in on the Dilly Dilly ban. pic.twitter.com/rVxrD5dsNf
— Bud Light (@budlight) April 3, 2018
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The venerable rulers of the Anheuser-Busch realm said they were sending 1,000 shirts to Augusta emblazoned with the “dilly dilly” phrase in time for this weekend’s event. Noting they were “against tyranny in all forms,” the creators of the officially signed parchment indicated, “For if thou cannot say Dilly Dilly, thou can still wear Dilly Dilly.”
It was signed, “Yours in friendship and beer, King John Barley IV.”
Will anyone dare don a “dilly dilly” shirt beneath his or her green jacket (if only!) at this weekend’s Masters? Time will tell.
Until then — dilly dilly!
So let me get this straight… Golf fans can get ejected at Augusta National for yelling “DILLY DILLY” but 22 years ago fans could take a club from a pros bag, bend it right in front of the pro’s face, mock him and it result in ZERO consequences? Got it.
— Shooter McGavin (@ShooterMcGavin_) April 4, 2018
It’s not clear if Augusta has banned patrons from screaming “Dilly Dilly” at the Masters, but Bud Light has of course taken the opportunity to “fix” the issue. https://t.co/AkkuXPHnjO
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 3, 2018
— Matt O'Donnell (@matt_odonnell) April 4, 2018
Sorry, fans of cheap beer and bad jokes. Yelling “Dilly Dilly” will reportedly get you kicked out of Augusta https://t.co/iqOESHZ2xW
— SI Extra Mustard (@SI_ExtraMustard) April 3, 2018
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.