News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Rub of the Green

August 5, 2012

RUB OF THE GREEN: Enjoying the game after all these years


TERRE HAUTE — • “This course is unfair!” is an often-heard lament on golf courses throughout the land. I’ve always wondered how a course can be unfair when all participants play the same fairways and greens. Don’t blame the course superintendent when something else is the culprit and that culprit is none other than “Mother Nature.”

Perhaps nowhere does that “unfair” word strike a familiar chord as it does when it applies to high school golf.

Consider this scenario, Team A is slated for an 8 a.m. tee time. They play their 18 in bright sunshine without a cloud in the sky. By 1 p.m. clouds have gathered and a steady rain beats down on the team that had the misfortune to draw the wet and soggy afternoon tee time. Golfers call this the “rub of the green.”

Some say that golf was not developed to be a “fair” contest. How about this: a flagstick is set on the left portion of the green. Your opponent hits his shot, which strikes the flagstick and drops into the cup for a birdie. Now, you hit your shot and it too hits the flagstick, but the ball bounces dead left into a pond. In tennis this situation might be called “game, set and match”, but in golf it’s just “rub of the green.”

Some have declared that golf wasn’t invented to be fair, and at times it seems that there are forces working against you. Many vow that the “breaks,” good or bad will even themselves out. I don’t know about that, but I’m sure that if you questioned Greg Norman about luck, the Shark would profess to having little or none throughout his career. I would be the first to agree with him.

• Tip of the week — When getting ready to hit a golf shot relax.  A straight left arm for right-handed players should not be “stiff as a board.” The same is true for the right arm, which will simply fold during the backswing.

Nothing ruins a golf shot like tension. The same is true when holding the golf club. Even the word “grip” should be avoided.

Do you berate yourself on the golf course with “self talk” such as this, “How on earth can you be such an idiot?” or perhaps “Why do you continue to play golf when you know you will never be any good?” or “You are a pitiful golfer.”

When a golfer can replace those negative thought with ones that are beneficial, then that player can often turn his or her game around and positive results my be achieved.

Keep your head down and your shoestrings tied. We’ll be back.

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    March 12, 2010