Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's In The ...

Hole. Yes Sir! Well almost ...

While watching the Masters today, I noticed that many professional golfers perform at such a high level that many truly expect to make nearly every putt they attempt. On the rare -- but to be expected -- occasions when they do not, the responses are quite similar

v. intr., to make assorted displays of surprise and mild indignation, especially when narrowly missing after striking a golf ball so as to make it roll along the putting green to its intended target, the hole

Examples of puttrification include
  • Bending at the knee to lament a putt's narrow miss
  • Visually scanning the crowd/caddies/fellow players for sympathetic facial expressions
  • Standing in place for several seconds with hands akimbo
  • Flipping the putter
  • Telekinetic use of body english
  • Exaggerated facial expressions (vary, stern and even sometimes sheepish)

After finally conceding that a putt is missed, it is customary for a puttrified golfer to grudgingly accept the gallery's congratulatory applause, tip his cap and resign himself to mere mortality.

"Tiger Woods walked around the 16th green and stalked the 30-foot putt from every conceivable direction. With the help of his caddie, Steve Williams, he read the contours of the green and charted the undulatation of the bentgrass with the precision of a land surveyor. Finally, after picking his line, approximating its speed and visualizing the ball's path toward the hole, Woods approached the ball and struck it firmly. The dimpled spheroid did not oblige, making its final revolution just inches short of the target. On bended knee, Woods looked puttrified at the unexpected -- and rare -- unsuccessful outcome. His feigned anger, however, was quickly sublimated by the fact that he has already accumulated nearly $4 million in Tour winnings this season."

Putting is golf's great equalizer. Many of us will never stripe 300-yard drives, master the flop shot, shape a high-arcing draw around a live oak or impart "on-a-string" backspin on an approach shot. And while physical limitations and a lack of talent may prevent us from ever experiencing these achievements, we all can putt. Even the most difficult putt could conceivably be made by an amateur, even a beginner.

1 comment:

rjm said...

"Nice par, Russ."