Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

“Dear Willard, truly intelligent people do not have to use words like this to express themselves. Please show the world that you’re as smart as we think you are.” 

It was a short note that inadvertently sparked the most unlikely beef in music history.

The “Willard” in question? Will Smith. Rapper, actor, slapper.  

The handwritten plea was from his grandmother to a 12-year-old Smith asking him to cut out the profanity in his rhymes.

The Fresh Prince took heed and, 20 years later, he was onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards accepting a gong for his smash hit single Miami, which edged out Eminem’s My Name Is for Best Male Video. 

“I never killed anybody in none of my records,” Smith told the audience. “I never used no profanity in none of my records, and I still managed to get up here.” 

His rival took that to heart.

“I used to respect Will Smith [but] he’s dissed the whole genre of rap,” he said. “He dissed gangsta rap music. And that is one of the most influential musics out there. I respect him for saying his opinion, but not everybody is as happy as Will Smith. Not everybody sees life as happy and as positive as he sees it.” 

A year later Eminem – as he so often does – ploughed his frustration into his lyrics.  

“Will Smith don’t gotta cuss in his raps to sell records,” he sang in multi platinum-selling smash The Real Slim Shady. “Well I do, so f**k him, and f**k you too.” 

liv golf swearing
Eminem – real name Marshall Mathers – did not care for Will Smith’s awards dig. (Credit: Getty Images)

It’s something I think about on at least a weekly basis anyway – and, of course, it’s a tale made far funnier by Smith’s “keep my wife’s name out your f**king mouth” Oscars rant – but, as someone who spends way to much time thinking about golf, it becomes much more pertinent whenever a LIV event rolls into town.

The so-called “hot mics” at LIV Golf events have offered a myriad of wonderful insights into the minds of the Saudi-funded league’s players. It also seems they are collectively trying to break the record for the number of F-bombs in a single sporting event. And, in the last few days in Nashville, that has been taken up a notch.

A couple of weeks ago, Ian Poulter was filmed telling a fan to “f**k off”, and the same player was caught in the broadcast this week referring to himself as a “f**king prick” not once but twice in the space of seven seconds after a particularly poor approach shot.

And, of course, taking a lead role in this foul-mouthed charade are Legion XIII team-mates Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton.

Now, we know both are famed for their questionable temperaments. Even in their PGA Tour days, either player looked like they were about to explode at any given time. But it was somewhat diluted – bottled, even – and almost always came across as funny rather than aggressive. Think Hatton’s regular middle-finger salutes to the golf course, for example. 

This time it was the weather feeling the wrath of Englishman’s tongue.  

“F**k you, wind!” he said, before uttering another expletive which is drowned out by a quip from analyst David Feherty. “Two in a row it’s absolutely f**ked me.” 

I’m no prude. Anyone who listens to The bunkered Podcast will have heard me drop an F-bomb or two – sometimes to emphasise a point, sometimes because one of the other two has annoyed me, and sometimes because swearing is actually just pretty cool – but this an intriguing development.

Largely because it seems like it’s almost deliberate.

Players on other tours are fined if they breach the rules regarding conduct – including swearing – and Hatton himself recently said he’d been stumped for “a lot of money” for his outbursts on the DP World and PGA Tours.  

So, have they been told to do it? Or, more specifically, have they not been told not to do it? If you catch my drift.

The subject of Rahm’s ire in Nashville was a drone hovering near him as he lined up a shot. 

“Every tournament,” he bellowed after double-crossing one into the drink. “It’s f**king incredible. Right on my backswing. These f**king drones every time.” 

But Jon, this is “Golf, But Louder”, remember? Or, as my colleague Bryce Ritchie put it: “Annoyed by drones but not by Drake.”  

You need to get over it, Jon. And I can think of 450 million reasons why.  


Of course, I had to look up which films contain the most uses of the word “f**k”. A flick called Swearnet tops the list with 935 in 112 minutes at a rate of 8.35 fpm – that’s f**ks-per-minute, obviously – while The Wolf of Wall Street is second, and the highest-placed mainstream movie, with 569 in three hours at a rate of 3.16 a minute.  

Incidentally – and topically – Straight Outta Compton is tenth with 392 (2.35fpm) and Bad Boys II, starring our old friend Willard, is also listed as having 153 (1.04fpm). 

His granny will be furious.

Red flag

I don’t care about the swearing, by the way.

I do care, though, when LIV golfers whine about not being taken seriously then we get clips of the literal CEO doing this…

But nothing – NOTHING – will beat this…

What’s he doing with his hand?! I just cringed myself inside out.

Scheffler rolls on

Scottie Scheffler won again at the weekend. That’s six in his last ten starts now. (Boring!)

Who do you reckon the last player to win six PGA Tour titles before the calendar ticked over into July was?

That’s right!

Wait, who were you thinking?

Yes, Scheffler’s season is so ludicrously good that even Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods didn’t do what he’s managed to do in the first six months of 2024.

And the world No.1 should remember who he needs to thank…

Also, the prize money from those six wins alone would be enough to put Scheffler in 75th in the PGA Tour’s all-time career money list – above, notably, Fred Couples, Shane Lowry, Tom Lehman, Rocco Mediate, Mark O’Meara, Paul Azinger, and some bloke called Greg Norman.

And finally…

As always, I end with some bits and bobs I really liked from my colleagues in recent days.

I haven’t spoken to Michael McEwan about the US Open yet, but he definitely rolled his eyes at my suggestion in last week’s column that Harry Diamond should portion some of the flack for the Northern Irishman’s Pinehurst meltdown. After all, if it was any other player-caddie combo, we’d be saying the same thing. But Rory’s No 1 fan scribbled his own views on the situation at the end of last week while I was trekking round the country watching my favourite bands and he hits the nail on the head. McIlroy has come back from worse. And he will again.

Elsewhere, Ben Parsons absolutely loves an ‘X players to X’ piece, and with the Olympics fast approaching, he’s focused on those not heading to Paris, while John Turnbull is the best in the biz at snooping out quirky stories like Charley Hull’s latest travel nightmare. Love it.

And if you’re like me and suffer from a chronic “power fade”, you absolutely need to watch James Tait’s review of the GEM training aid, which promises to fix your slice or your money back! (Disclaimer: I don’t have the authority to offer refunds on any of GEM’s products.)

Also, our 152nd Open preview issue (as in our preview of the 152nd Open, not our 152nd issue previewing The Open) is on sale now in all good newsagents. You should buy it, so I can keep doing this.

author headshot

Alex Perry is the Associate Editor of bunkered. A journalist for more than 20 years, he has been a golf industry stalwart for the majority of his career and, in a five-year spell at ESPN, covered every sporting event you can think of. He completed his own Grand Slam at the 2023 Masters, having fallen in love with the sport at his hometown club of Okehampton and on the links of nearby Bude & North Cornwall.

Associate Editor

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses