Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sand Traps Own You (Are You A Bad Golfer, Volume 1)

I generally think that if you are a bad know it. Now, you may be in denial. You may be overly optimistic. But on some level, deep down, you know.

But just in case you don't know it, can't see it, or are slow in admitting it, this series of posts is designed to help you tell whether or not you are a bad golfer:

You’re horrible out of the sand traps.

I don’t know a single non-professional golfer who can even remotely handle a sand trap. My friend Dave practically hyperventilates every time his ball lands in one, shaking violently and murmuring “Mommy!” over and over again.

See, only a professional can look at a hazard and say, “I will practice hitting shots out of this hazard until I have mastered it.” And that’s what they do, which is why the sand shot is one of the easiest shots possible for the pros. I once heard an announcer talking about how Tiger Woods had actually aimed his shot at the bunker, because a bunker shot was easier for him than any other approach option available to him. (Side note: it’s bad enough that we can’t hit out of the bunker, now these pros are actually AIMING at them. Show-offs).

A bad golfer (a hacker, a duffer, etc.) looks at hazards and says, “Man, it’ll take forever for me to get good at hitting shots from there, so instead of practicing I’ll just avoid these hazards by aiming away from them.” Of course, bad golfers aren’t typically as much in control of their shots aim as they’d like to believe, so from time to time every bad golfer finds a trap.

Apparently the trick is to hit behind the ball, letting the sand push the ball out and up, but I wouldn’t know because my eyes are always closed to keep the annoying (and painful) grains of sand out of my eye.

And you can always tell when a bad golfer has visited a sand trap before you. Aside from the obvious un-raked footprints, there will usually be three to seven divots in one place, indicating the bad golfer’s many attempts to clear the hazard.

Bad Golfers can’t hit out of the sand. Period. If you somehow can miraculously hit out of the sand trap with consistency and yet still fail to break 90…you are the exception to the rule, my friend. And I’d be aiming for the traps if I were you. You gotta showcase your strengths.

The rest of us will just have to continue to suffer.