I was rather fascinated to see Bryson Dechambeau, the miracle man with the 198 mph Ferrari golf swing, top his ball a hundred yards into the drink at the Players Championship. As well as this, that chap Brendon Todd managed to pull-off a complete shank. But for Dechambeau, that was surely a seriously expensive top, given the first prize of 2.7 million dollars, as it cost him a double-bogey and he eventually finished two behind. Ouch!
Now I don’t want to glee too much over this, but isn’t it good for us amateurs to know that these golfing gods can hit some howlers too? In fact, I’m surprised that we don’t see more shots like these at this level of the game, given the major championship pressure that these guys are under. Because as everyone knows, there is a very small margin for error in the hitting of a golf ball. It’s a huge feat of coordination and timing to correctly connect with that tiny thing. So much can go wrong. As poor Bryson Dechambeau found out yesterday.
However I’m sorry, but it’s good to see that these guys can do what we amateurs habitually do. It’s just that Bryson old boy, please don’t do it when I’ve got money on you.
In my first St Andrews Club medal of the year, I ceremoniously topped my drive off the first tee of the New, the ball travelling just fifty yards and settling a few feet short of the gorse. My ‘playing to the gallery’ shot. Miraculously I saved the day though, with a chop-out recovery and a pretty good wedge to two feet. A par four! Not pretty. But I’m not pretty.
Also, as I said, I had a complete shank plus a few impressive thins and one completely fluffed chip. All part of the amateur’s arsenal of course. And to this end I love Jack Nicklaus’s revelation that he reckoned he only hit one shot per round as he absolutely intended. So I suppose golf then is all just about the degree of the mishit.
In the end, I actually got it round in 80, which wasn’t too bad on a fresh and windy March morn over the New. In fact, I managed to scoop first position in my handicap division and secure a place in the medal finals over the Old.
The journey continues. Shanks, Dechambeau tops and all.
Fare forward passengers.