A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 17, 2010
Golf Clap (moderate applause/enthusiasm)

A “golf clap” occurs after a professional golfer hits the ball and it lands on the green. It is a respectful clapping from the crowd (less loud than the clapping after an amazing shot, such as a hole-in-one).

A politician who receives a “golf clap” before or after a speech hasn’t been enthusiastically received. A “golf clap” is often given sarcastically.

The term “golf clap” has been cited in print since at least 1984, but became popular by about 1993.


Wiktionary: golf clap
Noun
golf clap (plural golf claps)
1. A sarcastic form of applause performed by lightly and rapidly clapping the fingers of one hand against the palm of the other, used to show indifference or disdain.

Answers.com
Slang Dictionary: golf-clap
n. a quiet kind of “patting” applause like that made in golf tournaments. (One hand quietly claps against the back of the other hand.) The audience sat there throughout. Not even a little golf-clap. I think our act is washed up.

wiseGEEK
What is a Golf Clap?
The gesture known as a “golf clap” fits in with a number of other rude or sarcastic expressions, such as the slow clap, Bronx cheer, raspberry or cat call. A golf clap is performed by lightly tapping the fingertips of one hand against the palm of the other hand, thereby creating the effect of spectators clapping silently during a golf game. The golf clap is usually considered a form of sarcasm, delivered after a disastrous moment or embarrassing incident has just occurred.

Urban Dictionary
golf clap
An exaggeratedly quiet clapping intended as a show of sarcastic support or disdain. c.f. the quiet clapping sound heard on televised golf tournament coverage. Due to the distance between the microphone and the crowd, the golf clap sounds like a nearby crowd of people clapping at minimal volume.
1. He dropped his fully-loaded cafeteria tray, breaking all the dishes. Naturally, we gave him a golf clap.
2. We cheered Sue as she crossed the marathon’s finish line 8 days later with a hearty golf clap.

by Joan Touzet Feb 13, 2004

golf clap
Originally, “golf clap” was used to mean a sarcastic applause, for example the kind of applause that is given when someone drops their food tray in a cafeteria. However, it is increasingly being used to mean a sincere show of appreciation, especially on FARK.COM.
“That is a great link! Golf clap to the person who submitted it.”
by webgrunt May 25, 2005

Google News Archive
28 June 1984, Schenectady (NY) Gazette, “Passing Shots” by Bill Buell, pg. 31, col. 1:
Perhaps the American press corp should be given a polite golf clap for its professionalism.

Google Groups: soc.culture.canada
Newsgroups: soc.culture.canada
From: (Kevin F. Speichts)
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1993 20:36:58 GMT
Local: Tues, Feb 9 1993 3:36 pm
Subject: Re: Unemployment Insurance

And I applaud the government (more like a golf clap) for taking action on the matter.

Google Groups: alt.cyberspace
Newsgroups: alt.cyberspace
From:
Date: 7 Oct 93 12:55:06 EDT
Local: Thurs, Oct 7 1993 11:55 am
Subject: RE: Golf Clap to Wanna-be’s

Bravo,

Google Groups: alt.gothic
Newsgroups: alt.gothic
From: (rage)
Date: 27 Feb 1995 23:42:52 GMT
Local: Mon, Feb 27 1995 6:42 pm
Subject: Re: A Favourite Teaser:

>What the hell is a golf clap? Is that some kind of sports related
>injury or something?

Let me just begin by saying, *no*, I am not interested in sports!!!  That said...You’ve never heard of a golf clap?  It’s a terribly polite, virtually inaudible clap - the kind one hears at golf tournaments because one wouldn’t want to disturb those hard-working golfers, would one?

Google Books
Backspin
By Harlan Coben
New York, NY: Dell Books
1996
Pg. 196:
The gallery did that polite golf-clap thing.

Google Books
A Concise Collection of College Students’ Slang
By Xin-An Lu and David W. Graf Jr.
New York, NY: iUniverse
2004
Pg. 35:
Golf-Clap (n): a quiet clap. Whoa, that A on your test deserves a golf-clap!

CNNMoney.com - Tech Biz
A golf clap for Bush’s broadband plan
The president announces a proposal to boost broadband adoption, and experts yawn.

April 28, 2004: 4:30 PM EDT
By Eric Hellweg, CNN/Money contributing columnist

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Friday, September 17, 2010 • Permalink