No second chances in golf

2012-07-20 00:00

THE Wimbledon tennis championships for this year have come and gone. Of all the racquet sports, tennis is the only one that allows two serves. Why is the server given a second chance? If you think about it, it would be far more interesting and probably good for the game of tennis to allow only one serve. It’s the same for every player, and the server would have to make a decision on how hard to hit each serve. The grass surface at Wimbledon favours the players with big serves. Often there are big-serving players hitting many aces and while it’s satisfying for the player, from a neutral spectator’s point of view, it’s no fun watching an ace. The receiving player doesn’t hit it back and it’s gone in a flash. A one-serve rule would place even more emphasis on the need for accuracy, guile, swerve and top spin.

In golf we don’t have two chances off the tee. We have one chance to put the ball into play and depending on the circumstances and the width of the fairway, a decision must be made on whether to go for a big drive or to play for accuracy.

What if tennis rules applied to golf? Can you imagine hitting your first tee shot into the bush and declaring that it’s only the first drive and then hitting another ball for no penalty? The game wouldn’t be the same. The Americans, typically, have devised what they call a Mulligan where a shot can be replayed without penalty, but it is used in social golf and mostly for beginners. Some golf clubs, in an effort to vary the competitions and add some fun, sometimes play a Mulligan competition which makes things interesting, but that’s not the correct way to play the grand old game.

The Open Championship is currently in progress so be sure to watch the final round on Sunday. You never know, with 14 South Africans in the field, we could have another major winner.

From the 19th hole

The Navy chief noticed a new seaman on deck and barked at him: “Get over here, what’s your name sailor?”

“John,” the new seaman replied.

“Look, I don’t know what soft pansy crap they’re teaching sailors in boot camp these days, but I don’t call anyone by his first name,” the Chief scowled. “It leads to familiarity and breaks down authority and discipline. I refer to my sailors by their last names, Smith, Jones, Baker whatever. And you refer to me as Chief. Do I make myself clear?”

“Aye, aye Chief.”

“Now that we’ve got that straight, what’s your last name sailor?”

The seaman sighed: “Darling, my name is John Darling, Chief.”

“Okay John, here’s what I want you to do,” replied the Chief.

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