Beware the “S” Word
Watching Steve Stricker playing the second hole in the last round of the 2013 U. S. Open Championship reminded me of a concern I always have when I watch a PGA Tour tournament. Shanking a shot must surely be a golfer’s worst nightmare. Some aren’t even brave enough to say the word, fearing it might cast its cures on them. They simply refer to it as the dreaded “S” word. When Steve hit that shank-shot from the left rough and sent his ball across the fairway, I can only imagine the horror that was going through his mind. The good news is that no one was hit and injured by that wayward shot.
That brings me to my concern. How often do you see a tour professional leave a tee-shot to the right of a fairway in the rough, or area trampled by spectators, or even in pine-straw and among trees? Then the gallery rush to get the best view possible of the next shot. Now you have spectators lined up for yards, making a human ally a player must hit his/her shot through. Maybe the TV makes it appear the spectators at closer to the player’s projected line than they really are, but from what I see the line of people on the right are way too close. It’s like a serious accident waiting to happen.
As with Steve Stricker, even the very best players in the world can miss-hit a shot in a very severe way. For me it’s very scary to watch those “suicide ally” shots and I wonder if the marshals on course need better and stricter instruction regarding controlling the spectators.
What do you think? (Leave a comment…)