Wednesday, October 27

5 Flat Out Scary Golf Shots

(From the ARMCHAIR GOLF archives.)

HALLOWEEN IS AROUND THE CORNER. But if you’re a golfer—especially a tour pro who plays the game for a living—it’s Halloween every day you tee it up. Because ghosts, goblins, haunted houses and Freddy Krueger are kid stuff compared to golf. Golf is sheer terror, a gruesome monster that will eat you alive.

Following are five of golf’s scariest shots. (Note: The fright factor is on a scale of 1 to 10.)

The opening tee shot
Butterflies are common on the first tee, even for tour pros. That’s why you see hooks, blocks and all manner of tee shots until the jitters wear off. (If they do.)
Fright factor: 7
(9 if it’s the Ryder Cup)

OB right
Right-handed golfers who play a natural draw can somehow hit a push-fade when there are OB stakes down the right-hand side of the fairway.
Fright factor: 7

Any shot over water
This one always amazes me. I think, “They’re pros. No problem.” Then splash. Last year I saw a journeyman dump a wedge shot in the drink while leading the Memorial. And it happens every year at the Masters. Someone hits it in the water when you least expect it.
Fright factor: 7
(10 if you’re leading in the final round of the Masters)

The three-footer
I have a theory: The more you hate three-footers, the more three-footers you’ll have. Actually, it’s probably a law. Careers are made or destroyed by the short putt. Sam Snead. Doug Sanders. Scott Hoch.
Fright factor: 8
(10 if it’s to win your first major)

The shank
“I think he shanked it.” You don’t want Johnny Miller saying that on TV after you hit a 4-iron from a perfect lie in the middle of the fairway. Once it happens, it’s in the back of your mind on every shot the rest of the way. Even on putts.
Fright factor: 10

BONUS: AN EVENT

Q-School
Is there anything scarier than playing for your golf life?
Fright factor: 10

−The Armchair Golfer

(Image: Ungaio/Flickr)

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