May 2nd, 2016
Golf is a cruel mistress
Two videos to make you rethink your course strategy
Words: Daniel Owen
There's lots of talk about percentage plays in golf. Hit the middle of the green. Lay up on par fives. Play for the fat part of the green. But we want to play like Arnold Palmer, and John Daly, or Tiger in his pomp. Grip it and rip it. No guts, no glory. But then you watch these videos, and it makes you wonder if playing golf down the middle like Fred Funk might be the better way to play?
First up is Justin Rose. Trying to make something happen, Justin Rose decided he needed to hit his driver off the deck to give his ball a chance of reaching the green at the Zurich Classic. 264 yards out from a great lie...
Justin hits a smother snap hook that barely gets off the ground. He would have been better pumping his three wood, or laying back with a hybrid. Bad choice of shot, with terrible execution.
Other than Bubba and maybe Monty in his pomp, we don't think anyone should try to hit driver off the deck. The modern drivers are just too big and not designed for it. Even with the ultra low centre of gravity of a modern driver, they just don't spin the ball enough from the fairway.
Then check out this shot from the WEB.com Tour event in Indiana, played at the Victoria National Golf Club.
Cody Gribble ended up one shot back of Seamus Power (they should be a WWE tag-team-Ed) after hitting a seemingly perfect approach shot on 18. All we could think of watching this was Tom Watson losing the 2009 Open at Turnberry, when he hit an almost too good approach shot at the 18th to only make a play off. The Open that even Stewart Cink's wife wanted him to lose. Gribble just lasered his approach to 5 ft, and saw it bounce hard and roll through the green. Golf is not fair. That was an approach shot of a champion, dashed by bad luck and misfortune.
What's the moral of the story then? Don't always take every shot on. Play safe. Position your ball. Think Bernhard Langer, not hit it longer.
Who are we kidding? Watch this shot from Bubba and play golf with the spirit of Seve! May your rounds be filled with birdies and bogies aplenty!