Last Updated on Sunday, 08 May 2011 21:40
Sunday, 08 May 2011 20:55
PGA Tour players suck. Their consistency is crazy and they pull off shots I can only dream about. And I’m not talking just a few of them. It’s all of them.
And then, just to make sure I despise them and the very air they breathe, they hit a shot that is completely and utterly and mind-numbingly sick.
Like that 218-yard 6-iron Tiger hit out of the fairway bunker at Glen Abbey to win the Canadian Open. Or that high, feathery-soft, 3-hybrid Y.E. Yang hit to beat Tiger in the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine.
Or how about that ridiculous off-the-pine needles thing Phil Mickelson hit from behind the trees on the 13th at The Masters a couple of years ago? What a jerk. You got that shot in your bag, hacker?
If only the prettiest shots in golf were the hosel fades, the skulls off the ball washer, the snap hooks off the pumphouse…then we could all be superstars.
I don’t know about you, but over the years I’ve hit some real gems. In fact, at the very first “official” amateur tournament I entered, back when I was a junior golfer in Manitoba, my opening tee shot ended up in an unplayable lie behind me.
It’s true. There was a huge popular tree about fifty yards in front of the blocks and slightly to the right of the fairway. A stupid little voice in my head told me I had no chance of avoiding it. And, lo and behold, it was a direct hit.
There were three blue-suited officials at a table behind the tee (I told you it was an “official” tournament). As soon as the ball careened off the tee and came screaming back at us the old boys scrambled for their lives.
The ball narrowly missed my head, bounced under the table, hit a chair, and ended up wedged into a flowery bush behind the tee.
I couldn’t have hit that shot again in a bazillion years. Why didn’t they applaud? They should have. In hind sight, that was a pretty cool and creative shot.
What about you? What’s your claim to fame? Ever hit someone right between the eyes? Hammered one off a Hummer? Ripped one down the ring road?
How About Blasting One Through A Window On One Of Those Course-Side Houses? We've All At Least Come Close To That
If you’ve been playing the game long enough, chances are, you’ve had a moment where your talent – or lack thereof – has resulted in something immortally idiotic.
If so, let me be the first to pat you on the back and say, dude, I get it. I’m on your side. Your creativity, your art, should be rewarded.
Sadly, moments of complete and utter failure in golf are not celebrated like they should be. Now, I get the fact that when old man Underhill whiffs for the third-straight time on the first tee we need not erupt with uncontrolled applause. I get that.
When your spouse cold-tops forty-six shots in a row we need not find unhinged hilarity. I know this.
But when something completely asinine occurs – like the time my buddy, lets just call him Shane Cundliffe from Golden - heeled a shot right between his legs on his opening drive of a pro-am – we’ve got to be able to let our hair down, pee our pants in utter bliss, and thoroughly enjoy the unique and uplifting moment.
Now I know that some of you are saying, man, that’s not nice at all. It’s just not cool to capitalize on the extreme and humiliating misfortunes of others. And, to some extent, you’ve got a point.
But, remember, we’re talking about a stupid game here, folks. We’re recreating. We’re supposed to be having fun. In a perfect world, nobody should take themselves so seriously that they can’t find a little humour in the flubs. Especially when they’re of a world-class variety.
I’ll never forget one of my first tournaments in Alberta as a pro. My entire group was, well, let’s just say, “not quite on form” that day.
On one particular tee I rattled one off someone’s garden shed, the next dude (can’t remember who) hoselled one into the lake, and our, third, the esteemed Ron Laugher from Priddis Greens, skulled one out there just shy of two-hundy.
Being the true gentleman and scholar that he is, Laugher turned to us and said “Gentleman, that right there is why we’re not on the PGA Tour.” What a perfect comment. The pressure valve was released. We laughed till our sides hurt.
So you see, I’m a huge fan of the atrocious, the appalling, and the astounding. And I hope you are too. And, for the love of our great game, I hope you see these moments as some of the prettiest shots in golf.
Because, dammit ....they just are.
By Andrew Penner
Andrew Penner is a Calgary based CPGA Professional & author. He has written for Inside Golf for the past nine years.
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