Monday, July 11, 2011

This is why I love golf!

I was at the Barclay's when Steve won at Westchester Country Club; it was the beginning of his triumphant return to the game. Steve was a rising star in 1996 but after winning twice and being fourth on the money list, he lost his game. Golf is like that because it is so mental, and when you lose your confidence the swing goes with it. It can take years to get it back, if ever, ask the once great Ian Baker-Finch.

Strick fell hard, losing his playing privileges and never rising higher than 151st on the money list until that win at Westchester. Strick is a solid Midwestern guy who still calls frigid Wisconsin his home when most pros wind up relocating somewhere warm like Florida, Arizona or Texas. He practices in the winter in a heated garage, banging balls into a corn field.

The game the pros play is a different animal from what the average weekend hacker can do. I play to about a 10 handicap these days, not too bad for a hack. When I'm in a fairway bunker, I'm happy just to advance the ball anywhere up the fairway. With the pressure of the match on him, no more holes left to play unless he pars, Strick has driven the ball into a left side fairway bunker. The lie is impossible, he can barely see the green, and is totally off kilter. This shot is difficult under the best circumstances! See, golf is all about balance and timing,that is why a fat, out of shape guy/gal can compete with a buff guy like Tiger. At the moment of impact if the club face is just a degree off one way or the other, your ball will fly off in a wildly incorrect trajectory/direction.

So have a look at what Strick does on the last hole after watching the leader one hole ahead of him miss a kick-in putt to bogie, opening up the door that only moments ago seemed shut.

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