These posts remind me of a story I read a long time ago that may be apocryphal. In my mind "apocryphal" translates to, "if it's not true, it oughta be!" According to the story Joe Dimaggio and Sam Snead were at some event where they got into a discussion about the difficulties of their sports. After a lengthy dissertation by Dimaggio about how hitting a baseball was the hardest thing in sport Snead had a reply. He said, something like, "Everything you say is true Joe, but you don't have to climb up in the stands and play your foul balls!"
No doubt, some of these young buck baseballers can hit the ball a long way, But that's basically all they do. Try to hit it hard and "put the ball in play". In a field of play that's about as wide as ten fairways in golf. When it comes to finesse and touch, they have nothing!
There have been quite a few ex-pro baseball and football players who have becomes quite good at golf. But, how many of them have really threatened joining the pro ranks? That tells you right there. Each sport is it's own endeavor, and ALL the skills don't necessarily translate.
So excited that I broke 90 for the first time today. I shot an 89 on Bethpage Blue (my best score to date!). My short game was on fire and I really felt like I was playing golf the way it was meant to be played. Got a little nervous at the end once I realized I might break 90 and ended up with a double on 18, but thank goodness it was still enough to put me under!
So today at a USKG event (18 holes, 5000 yards, 12-14 girls) a gal I won't name was playing in "our" threesome (my daughter and I).
On the tee this girl, I'll call her Jane, hits one way right through some trees toward another fairway, but it didn't seem to hit anything solid. I said, because Jane was already slow, that she might want to hit a provisional.
She did, and hit it down the middle with a little draw.
Natalie had popped her drive up so we went to play hers. She hit a 3W to the right side of the fairway near the green (we thought) and by then Jane and her dad had been looking for awhile. I said "I think it's back this way a bit" and they gave up shortly thereafter, not finding it. They went to find their provisional.
Natalie and I looked for her ball. We were nearly at the four minute mark when Jane dropped to the left of the fairway near a cart path and a small cliff that, by the tee, was a lateral but up here was unmarked with any stakes or lines at all. I assumed she found her ball and was taking a drop from the cart path. She hit her ball over the back of the green and I saw another ball there. I went and found that it was Natalie's (whew! Somehow it went an extra 50 yards?).
At this point things got weird.
While walking around the left back side of the green, Jane says "here's my ball!" (her provisional). The dad asked the mom of the third competitor "what do we do now?" She said something like "I don't know, ask him" (me). The dad said "just pick it up and we'll play that one."
She chipped on and two-putted.
Long story short, the guy asked what he should write down for the hole. Because it's USKG, the highest score they can take on any hole is a 10, and I was tempted to say "10" and leave it at that. I mean, the girl violated several rules, but… how would you score it?
I said "okay, she hit the ball six times. Twice off the tee, once to the back of the green, one on the green, and two putts. She got a stroke and distance penalty for the provisional that ended up being the ball you used, and why did you drop over there? Was it a lateral hazard?" He said "no, we dropped because we lost her ball."
In the end, the guy wrote down an 8 for his daughter (my daughter had his card). Now, there's no real way that she got only an 8, but the girl finished in last place anyway, so whatever. And yet… despite being assessed only two penalty strokes for this, the dad acted like a huge jerk the rest of the round to Natalie. She hit a shot from 75 yards to six feet over water, and nothing. Oh, he was plenty chipper with the third girl, giving her plenty of "good shot"s and "nice putt"s, but didn't say a word to Natalie the rest of the round.
Never mind the fact that the guy would stand on the line of his daughter's play every now and then, the guy and his daughter would pick up or roll their ball slightly to "identify" it and put it back close to but never quite where it was… and a few other things here and there.
And yet, I'm certain in that dad's eyes, I'm the jerk. He said something like "I think she had enough penalty strokes on that hole." And "Next time I don't care how long they have to wait we're going to find your ball." After that comment I told him about the five minute rule. Nobody was rushing him - we were 60 yards away trying to find Natalie's ball. We were about 1/2 or 3/4 of a hole behind, but any pressure to rush things came from him. I also told him that you can't drop for a lost ball - it's always stroke and distance.
But no matter. He wasn't hearing any of it.
Did I handle things as well as I could? Probably not. My obligation is to Natalie, not to make sure he's not violating rules left and right. Goodness knows what he should have actually scored for the hole, but 8 is a gift, really. And clearly the guy doesn't know the Rules very well at all… so, what, I could have pulled out the Rules book and shown him things? I felt that would just tick him off more.
Jane stood with her shadow over the hole and we had to ask her to move twice. Once she was standing 15 feet away from the hole on Natalie's line from 30 feet. They were slow. On the 18th hole, Jane dunked her third in the water hazard (yellow) and he asked me what to do: I told him that last year there was a drop zone and that he should go see if it was still there, and when he came back, he was pissed - again - that she had to play from behind the hazard. When she dropped she just rolled the ball out of her hand at her waist level and played it from there, about two or three yards right of the line I'd indicated (she chose the "drop on the line from the hole through where it last crossed the margin").
The moral of this lousy tale? If you're gonna enter your kid into a golf tournament, know the basic rules. If you screw up, don't be a jerk and treat the other kid badly. Identify your ball without picking it up or rolling it around. Learn what you do when you hit it in a hazard or lose your ball. Know the basic stuff. And be a fucking adult, man.
I know how to use a level, but I haven't done aimpoint. I'm usually more interested in using it to find the general fall line across a hole location. I think a 3' span might actually be more quickly informative (1.5 feet above and below the hole) than a single location or doing multiple locations.
But I haven't tried that kludge yet. Thanks for being consistently snarky.