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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 308
GOOD OR BAD, IT’S JUST DUMB LUCK T here are two* types of luck in golf; yours and everybody else’s. ‘Yours’ (which in this instance ironically means mine and, to every other golfer, theirs) is inevitably of the bad variety. It includes bounces that always go away from the hole, lies in bunkers that are always plugged or under the lip and, in that rare instance when one actually finds a fairway, inevitably ending in a sand-filled divot. Everybody else’s (which in this instance actually means everybody else) is the other variety; balls that bounce towards the flag, perfect lies in seemingly always shallow greenside bunkers and balls that sit up even when hit into the rough. Of course, the reality is that each of us is both of these players in exactly equal measure. The keyisinhowwelookatit. Good or bad luck is an entirely human construct. It is gravity, not luck, that dictates whether a ball bounces towards or away from a hazard or hole. But that’s not how we, as golfers, perceive it. In our world a ball that hits the ground then heads in one direction or the other has been imbued with some form of mysterious external force. And the indicator of whether said force has been good or bad will generally be dictated by who hit the shot in the first place; us or someone else. I’m sure I am not the only golfer whose ball has defied science in order to ensure a bad bounce. I once had a ball kick UP a slope of about 30 degrees just to guarantee an horrifically difficult pitch back to the hole. When I thinned the next there was a glimmer of hope as it headed for the flag but it instead deflected off line and scampered over the green. Into an horrendous lie. It’s easy to forget in all this about the off-line tee shots that catch a tree and get spit back to the fairway or the worm-burner that miraculously finds its way AROUND the front bunker to finish on the green. Sometimes near the pin. Or even just the fact that we’re playing golf at all. No matter the score or the trials and tribulations along the way, being able to get out on the course might be the greatest stroke of luck of all. I was reminded of this at the weekend when there was a spirited debate about whether the first round of our club championships should go ahead on a soaked course and in cold and wet conditions. Some were adamant it was ‘unfair’ to have to play while one suggested the game was called ‘golf, not swimming’. But an elderly member put it all in perspective when he noted that his brother, also a keen golfer, would love to be playing ‘if he hadn’t died three months ago’. That ended that discussion pretty quickly. There is at least as much good luck in golf as there is bad and that is true for all of us. Except me, of course. I am the exception that proves the rule. *(There are actually three types of luck. There is also Curtis, but he plays a game with which we mere mortals are not familiar). VIEW THE ROD MORRI is an award-winning writer and podcast presenter. He hosts The iseekgolf.com Podcast weekly. CLICK here to listen.
GA Express 307
GA Express 309