It's not easy being Bryson DeChambeau, though no one would argue that a measure of that difficulty has come from some of the 27-year-old major champion's own decisions and public pronouncements.
Citing a potential shortage as an excuse for declining the COVID-19 vaccine? Strange move.
Continuing to neglect to yell "Fore!" on his errant drives, even after being called out by fellow pros? Rough look.
Publicly complaining about the performance characteristics of the driver that his sponsor has spent countless hours fine-tuning? Tough scene.
And that's all in the last month.
The platform on which all of these recent episodes rest, though, is DeChambeau's ongoing tiff with Brooks Koepka. Who started it, said what or did what is a useless question at this point. What matters is that the beef has transcended its home environment of social media and begun to have real-world consequences. And that is unacceptable.
Or, at least, it has been deemed unacceptable for golf's centuries-long history up to this point.
In the aftermath of Sunday's disastrous WGC-FedEx Championship finish for both DeChambeau and 54-hole leader Harris English, Golf Digest's Shane Ryan, who walked with the ill-fated final group, called the experience "one of the ugliest nine holes you can witness on the PGA Tour," observing that in addition to the discomfort of being put on the clock for slow play (another source of criticism against DeChambeau), the pair had to deal with constant chants of "Brooksy," a reference to the aforementioned outside-the-ropes hijinks.
"On the surface, this may sound ridiculous, minor, and even funny," Ryan wrote. "In reality, when you follow DeChambeau for even half a round, and you see the faces of the people taunting him for a mean little thrill, it looks crueler and more intense than would come across on TV or in written reports."
Hecklers pop up in all sports - including golf - but they tend to be sideshows or isolated incidents. The overwhelming majority of golf tournament spectators have known almost instinctively to be respectful and quiet, except when acknowledging an excellent shot they have just seen. In essence, golf's proud history of self-policing standards of conduct among its players extends to fans as well.
The picture Ryan paints - nasty sideline goons intentionally trying to spoil the performance of one specific player - is something new and disturbingly ugly.
Because of his own slow approach to free-throw shooting, Milwaukee Bucks' star Giannis Antetokounmpo had to deal with opposing teams' fans counting out loud and in unison while he prepared to shoot throughout the 2021 NBA Playoffs. That Antetokounmpo ultimately triumphed, his team winning the championship, may seem like an excuse to argue that DeChambeau should simply learn to deal with his own jeering section. But that argument breaks down both because of golf's individual nature and its long history of gentler fan decorum, the occasional and relatively innocuous shouts of "Mashed potatoes!" and "Baba Booey!" aside.
It is entirely fair to have an opinion about Bryson DeChambeau - everyone does - and to be critical of his antics and statements. But is even the most severe reading of DeChambeau's behavior worth destroying one of the hallmarks of golf fandom?
Do we want to add malicious bullying to the list of things golf tournament spectators can get away with? That's for fans, tournament organizers and the major tours to decide. The moral standing of the game is at stake.