Poor and difficult shots are part of the game

2012-12-21 00:00

THERE are occasions during a round when a golfer is undecided as to how to play his next shot. With every kind of golf stroke, the experts tell us that after you have made up your mind what you intend to do, you should picture the shot and commit to it. Every shot should be approached in the same positive manner, from a tricky down-hill two-metre putt and a punch between the trees, to a delicate chip over a bunker.

You often hear of players saying that the distance to the green or the hole is “between clubs”. That may be, but it has to be put out of your mind as you decide whether you would be better off being short of the green or over it. Then select the club, take dead aim and hit it with conviction. Indecision is the golfer’s enemy. The slightest doubt in your mind encourages hitting a half-hearted shot and we all know that this rarely brings a satisfactory result.

Difficult shots are not always successful, but try to enjoy the challenge of these shots and when they do come off, you will have a warm feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction which is a rare thing in golf.

Amateur golfers with mid to high handicaps hit more poor shots than good ones. The converse happens to low-handicap golfers. Hitting a poor shot happens to everyone and it is obviously disappointing to the player.

All golfers must learn to live with hitting poor shots and disappointment, but it is important to remember why we play golf week in and week out: it’s for the sheer fun of it.

Last week, Johnnie Walker died at the age of 89. Johnnie played his golf at Maritzburg Golf Club and when he was a regular active golfer, he was a member of Sages and the Senior Golfers’ Society. He was affectionately known as NFL Walker because he often said that he was an unlucky golfer. He was one of Maritzburg’s genuine golfing characters.

From the 19th hole

After a tiring day, a commuter settled down in her seat and closed her eyes.

As the train rolled out of the station, the man sitting next to her pulled out his cellphone and started talking in a loud voice.

“Hi sweetheart. It’s Eric. I’m on the train. Yes, I know it’s the 6.30 and not the 4.30, but I had a long meeting. No darling, not with that blonde from the accounts office. It was with the boss. Of course not sweetheart, you’re the only one in my life. Yes, I’m sure, cross my heart.”

Ten minutes later, he was still talking loudly.

The young woman sitting next to him had enough of this. She leant over and said into the phone: “Eric, hang up the phone and come back to bed.”

Eric doesn’t use his cellphone in public any more.

• There will be no Preferred Lies next Friday, December 28. Charles Severn’s column will resume on January 4.

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