So you’ve got your clubs out of the trunk, and you’re sitting in the cart, recovering from the dizzy spell you had while lacing up your golf shoes. You are filled to the gizzard with good intentions: Hit a few on the range, chip for a while, a couple-dozen bunker shots, 10 minutes of putting, and then you’re going to bring this links to its knees. Of course, what happens next is entirely different. After a collection of duffs, scrapes, clanks, and whizzers on the practice tee, you realize that your chances of hitting a green in regulation out there are rather slender.
Now, here’s my beef: Instead of going to the practice green and fiddling around with the clubs that might actually help you recover from the aforementioned shots, you spend the rest of your warm-up trying to hit towering, majestic draws with a driver that looks like an oil filter on a stick. Oh, I can hear you whining, “I practice my short game…a bit.” Yeah, sure you do. And McCord isn’t certifiable, he’s just really, really nervous.
Granted, it helps to hit the ball a long way, but when I played golf for a living, there was never anything more satisfying than imposing my will on that rotund little runt after it had disobeyed me from the fairway. Watching it squirm to a halt near the hole, I frequently had to stifle a laugh, as if I had won perhaps not the war, but at least one of the little battles that would eventually lead me into broadcasting.
Now that I am here, it seems more and more players are designing their short games around Mr. Sarazen’s invention, the sand wedge. Actually, most pros carry two, as should you — a 56- and 60-degree. Here are a handful of the shots I see them playing.