That’s Golf: Learning from the Masters

“That’s golf. Sometimes you make those putts sometimes you don’t,” said Angel Cabrera when playoff rival Adam Scott sank his putt on the second extra hole after Cabrera missed by inches. The two had previously exchanged thumbs up signs when their 200-yard approach shots landed a dozen feet from the hole in driving rain.

Earlier, Guan Tianlang hit the ball 299 times but recorded a 300 thanks to a penalty for slow play. For the average golfer, 300 hits would be about three rounds not the four played by the crowd favorite and media darling. Guan Tianlang is 14 years old.

Tiger Woods made news by hitting a shot so well that it struck the flagstick rather than landing near enough to the hole to suggest a birdie. Since the flagstick is metal, the ball rocketed backward into the water costing Woods a one-stroke penalty plus the one he would have to replay.

That is where the Rules of Golf made news. Woods had three choices of what to do next. One was impossible under the circumstances; the second was disadvantageous; and, choosing the third, he misapplied another rule thus costing him two more penalty strokes. His possible three became an eight and he lost by four.

But for a recent rule change, Woods might have been disqualified for signing an incorrect score card even though neither he nor the officials knew of the second two penalty strokes when the round ended. This was brought to their attention by an anonymous television fan who saw it on his flat screen and called the club.

There are at least 537 elected officials who could learn something from the events of the weekend.

In a competition there are both winners and losers. Neither necessarily deserves the outcome.

Rules can be ridiculous especially when they become so arcane that even experts can no longer apply them consistently. (If that hamstring tightens when you are quivering over your three footer for a nine, don’t stretch it out while leaning on the ball washer or you will be disqualified. Rule 8-3.45a)

Life is not always fair.

Reactions count. None of the four players blamed anyone for anything. No outraged press conferences, no legislation introduced, no nothing.

Now, lets think about how we get those couch potato refs to focus on the misdeeds in the Congress and the White House.

Is there a number for them to call?

One Response to “That’s Golf: Learning from the Masters”

George Hill, April 17, 2013 at 7:56 am said:

I was at the Master’s tournament, and at the 15th hole, to the right and behind the bunker. I did see Tiger’s swing through my binoculars, saw the ball hitting the flagstick and going into the water, his walk to the drop zone (he chose not to use that option), his drop and the subsequent shot. My friend and I both agreed his decision was a bold statement of defiance. We both play a fair amount of golf, and neither of us saw his drop as sufficiently away from his initial hitting spot. We’re we wrong! It turns out that you can see much better from your living room on HD TV.
The lesson is to make sure you know the difference between the yellow and red stakes.

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