Amateur Golfer's Scorecards are Laughable
Every sport has an objective. In golf, it is to putt the little white ball into the cup which is inside a hole dug into every green on a golf course.
In football, you must carry the ball across the goal line. If at first you do not succeed, then you must try again even if only inches from the goal line. So, what if a player on your local football team decided that "close counts" and just picks up the ball at the one yard line and gives his team six points?
Well, that is basically what happens with probably 95% of the world's amateur golfers. Then, when finished, they start bragging about breaking 90! Now, mind you they do not simply pick up their ball if it is one inch from the cup. They pick up within three feet of the cup and some even more than that.
The one's I love are the guys that stroke their putter too hard and their ball starts flying by the hole and while it is still moving they reach over across the cup with their putter and stop it and retrieve it. The ball probably would have been further from the hole than when first putted.
Think about this....the one foot putt is just as important as the 250 yard drive you made (not 300 yards as you told your pals over beer in the clubhouse). The one foot putt was worth one stroke and the drive was also worth one stroke. So, where do these golfers (I use that term loosely) get off thinking they should just pick up their ball before putting it into the cup?
How about this? A guy doesn't like to hit his driver. Just take a Gimmie Drive from the tee and go down to the fairway and hit your approach shot to the green? That tee shot was only worth one stroke just as the one foot putt is worth one stroke, so what is the difference? Now, that may be a little absurd, but then so is the gimmie putt.
In 1989, PGA player, Scott Hoch missed a two foot putt to lose the Masters Championship to Nick Faldo. In another major on the LPGA, I.K. Kim missed a one foot putt to give the championship to Sun Yoo. Yes, the pro's can miss the short putts and so can we. The short putt can literally be the hardest part of the game. Then, how would most of you know since you never attempt to make them?
When someone tells you they scored 82, they probably would have scored a 91 if they put the ball into the cup on every hole along with not improving their lie on the fairway and even off the fairway.
The author of the Little Red Book, Harvey Penick, once said that 99% of the world's amateur golfers would not break 100 if they played strictly by U.S.G.A. rules. Are we just not up to the challenge? Has everything become so easy for us with cell phones, computers, I-Pads, etc. that we just can not bring ourselves to reaching for the best we have? Are you going to blame it on the need to speed up play? No way. I can score 100 and play in a timely manner. It is all about being ready when it is your turn.
Don't Be Intimidated
I personally play by the book. When I score a low round, I am truly proud because it was done with no help from my lack of playing by the rules that govern golf. I will not play with the men at my club because they barely play anything resembling golf as I know it. I also tend to irritate my golfing friends by preaching the rules of golf. For awhile, when playing with a standard group at my club, I would allow myself to fall into their trap and play with their guidelines. The guilt started coming and soon I was back to playing as the game was meant to be played and when they compared their scores with mine at game's end, it was laughable because they had picked up short putts all day and I had not.
One day recently, I shot a terrible score while playing with someone that I had not played with in quite awhile. From the first fairway, he asked if he could improve his lie. That got my mind off my game. Now, I was thinking about how silly that question was from a person who is a pretty decent golfer. On the third green, he asked if a two foot putt was good. When I said he could play his game and I would stick to mine, he got upset and then missed his putt. On the very next hole, he had a one foot putt and made a remark about having to putt it as he walked up to the ball and again missed it! What does that tell you guys and gals? There were two strokes added to his card in two straight holes. See how important the short putt is? He actually said that it was not justifiable for him to have to putt the short putts because he did not get to play very often. So, what about the driver and the approach shot and the pitch and the chip? Why is it that only the short putt falls victim to his absence from the course?
Come on, guys and gals..........get back to the real game of golf! Otherwise, give that game you play another name. And, if you are not going to putt the ball into the hole, do not keep your score because you did not finish the hole.