Golf Pianist Parodist Sam Harrop Launches a Career as a Live Musician

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Although he may rank within a few pegs of winning a major, receiving the parody treatment of the Sam Harrop song has become something of a badge of honor among DP World, Korn Ferry and PGA Tour players.

Golf’s response to Weird Al Yankovic burst onto the social media scene in early 2020 with “When will Tony Finau win again?” The moving ballad, full of name checks for escaped tournament heads, is set to the tune of the REO Speedwagon classic “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” Finau, who was shocked when he heard the song, retweeted the track and also plugged it into Sky Sports, causing the song to go viral and creating a new sideline for the amateur pianist based in Dorset, England, with a predilection for watching pro hours. golf coverage week after week.

When Harrop isn’t creating clever golf parodies, he works in marketing for the print-on-demand arm of Hal Leonard Corp, a sheet music publishing giant that produces digital and softcover songbooks. on everything from the soundtrack to Disney’s Encanto to Adele’s latest Liberation.

Shortly after his first song dropped, pandemic lockdowns hit the UK, giving Harrop plenty of time and space to write and record dozens more good-natured player roasts, including a Finau’s sequel after the golfer ended his drought at the Northern Trust last year. In addition to the player-centric songs, Harrop’s humorous takes also aim for the golf zeitgeist. In “Growing the Game”, he reflects on the Saudi Golf League saga against the backdrop of American “Horse With No Name”. The first verse begins with the pithy line: “I was watching my earnings, questioning my whole life, held captive by a vapid tour that robs you of your media rights.”

Harrop admits he was channeling his inner Phil Mickelson when he came up with the song’s lyrics. “Absolutely. I had the initial idea for this song a few months before releasing it and I was going to release it before the Saudi international tournament, but I didn’t have time to record it,” Harrop recalls .

Still, it wasn’t easy for Harrop to put pen to paper, in part because he had been a big supporter of Phil for years. But Mickelson’s antics over the past few months, including blocking dozens of fans on Twitter, himself included, have left Harrop challenging his childhood left-handed allegiances.

Mickelson’s explosive comments, where the six-time major winner acknowledged Saudi Arabia’s abysmal human rights record, called their government ‘scary’ and admitted to not having used the SGL only to exert leverage on the PGA Tour. making his satire even more relevant.

Harrop takes great care to be fair in his songs, which is why his lyrical takedowns tend to be tongue-in-cheek. He was preparing a Matt Kuchar ditty that chronicled the golfer’s pay dispute scandal with a replacement caddy at Mayokoba, but ultimately decided to drop the song altogether because he felt it contained too many low blows.

“It was too much of a character assassination, and I want to evoke positivity with my songs. Obviously, I want to laugh at people’s expense to some degree, but I don’t want it to be mean,” says Harrop.

Harrop has had several contacts with touring players since he rose to C-list fame. The most memorable cameo when Byeong Hun An, another subject of one of his parodies, accepted a mini-golf challenge . While his song Benny An pokes fun at the Korean pro’s flatstick prowess, the Korn Ferry Tour player had no trouble beating Harrop 3-and-1.

“There was no money at stake. It would be foolhardy for me to bet against a tour player, even if he has a weakness in his putt,” Harrop jokes.

In recent months, the singing satirist of golf has been taking his ivory tickle number on the road. Harrop has booked gigs to entertain the United States Golf Association as well as a large industry crowd at the PGA Merchandise Show. He is currently in talks to bring his live show to touring stages, including some of this year’s upcoming majors.

Although Harrop doesn’t disclose his birthday party booking fees (he wrote a song at the request of retired Welsh pro Garry Houston’s 50th birthdayand) or corporate events, he’ll hint that it’s in the ballpark of $2,000.

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