Monday, July 21, 2014

Flashback: '14 Brooklyn Open Highlights

Well as far as I was concerned, the whole thing had been consigned to history. But no, not quite yet. Not for me at least. You see, some ne'er do well with a camera thought it would be fun or funny to put together a highlight reel of that whole sweaty day.

I don't see it as particularly fun, or funny. But here it is, you can watch it for yourselves. See if I care. At 0:23 you might spot a lanky guy attempting to punch out from under some trees. You might not actually make out where the ball went but the reaction more or less says it all.

That part kind of spoiled the whole video for me. It's a mostly nice video, nicely shot and what have you. But the bulk of it showcases sweet swings, crisp pitches, holed putts, everyone getting all frickin' high on life--all except for the poor jerkoff in the bucket hat, the lone lowlight. I'm not sure why I'm so affected by this. Maybe I feel bad for the guy, I mean he's just grinding along like everyone else, minding his own business, trying hard to make a run at his lowly amateur division title. Is it really fair to make this dude the poster boy for frustrated golf in Brooklyn?

I understand the motivation of whoever made the video. For a huge portion of the field the tournament was not at all about clean, crisp golf. It was more about fighting off unfavorable situations and bloating scores; it was about making do with with your scant ability and hanging on for dear life. So it would only be fair to show some lowlights I guess. (Still, I maintain that the ratio of quality golf to shit golf in this video downright sucks.)

Once the initial disgust wore off though I began to see the situation reflectively. Like with almost any other horrible shot there is something to be learned, that is once you are finally able to stomach the very recollection of it.

From what I know the guy was in the trees because he had hooked his second shot in there (this was a par 5). At this point he stood at one-under through four holes--an unusual start for this caliber golfer. To be frank, he was probably feeling a little too good about things. I think it's entirely possible that even great fortune can cause you to jump out of your own comfort zone a bit, maybe.

The third shot would have to be kept below head high to escape the trees, and from there he could just see a sliver of the front part of the green, maybe 40 yards away. Probably envisioning some kind of perfect low running chip out with a 3-wood, he must have gotten so fixated on that desperate little sliver of green--from where he probably assumed he'd follow up with a no-sweat two-putt for par--that he failed to really consider that tree trunk on the left, that it posed a very real threat to the shot.

I'm pretty sure most teen handicappers don't practice specialty shots in huge volume, and it wouldn't be surprising to see one make a gross alignment error, especially when attempting an unusual, improvised recovery shot with a three-wood, out of the rough. With some dude skulking around behind with a camera no less.

If I were to ever find myself in that situation going forward I'd like to think that I'd defer to cold logic and pick a way safer play than that. Find the fairway above all else. Because now, after the fact, it's all too easy to recognize that the pin that day was cruel and not to be taken lightly. It was perched on a scary little shelf, only five paces off the back, four off the right edge. Common sense dictates that I should've considered a bogey a very real possibility, from anywhere let alone from the rough behind the trees right? I mean if--and that's a very big IF--I were to pull off the best possible recovery shot, to a place where I'm looking at a probable bogey anyways, then why take the risk of making an eight or worse, right? Right.

By now I can at least understand what was going through that dude's mind in that regrettable moment. I am guessing that, buoyed by a dream start to the round, he maybe felt like he was playing with house money, and that he might as well try and keep this careening runaway under-par train rolling. If he'd only had the presence of mind to work out what is actually a very basic risk-reward equation, who knows what could've happened.


  1. Legit, The coulda woulda shoulda game, the second guessing merry-go-round is an integral part of the head game in golf and indeed in most sports. How the heck did Jean Van de Veld ever think smacking driver off of the tee made sense way back when? And we all know how that fateful shot led to another fateful shot leading to the poor sap showing the world his chicken stick legs as he gingerly stepped into the drink to...NO JEAN , NO!

    Or Phil torquing driver into the swells gathered along the left side of 18 at Winged Foot? (Can you imagine the battle raging in caddy McKay's head? Do I take away the crack pipe driver before he completely loses his mind? Or will doing so fry golfer Mic's fragile confidence rendinghim unable to hit anything? And then to follow up that shot with...HEY! Is that PHIL under that bucket hat!!?

    Maybe it is SEVE...Drawing that 3 wood out of the bag honors all that is the best about this great game; the possibility, the one -in-a-million chance that today it will "be the one"...

    And I love your footwear - the finest brand in golf...

    1. Appreciate what you're trying to do but stay out of this. Guy made a dumb decision, he needs to learn. He had it coming.

      I'm loving those FJ's.

  2. I am not understanding that club selection at all, even in the mind of trying to save par... Was it supposed to roll up to the pin from that far (i.e. a rough terrain long putt)? Personally, I would have picked an 8 or maybe a 6 iron and punch it and bounce it up there, depending on terrain and obstacles... You are right: sometimes, bogey *is* a good score! You still managed a respectable round and a T2, so there is that... and next year! :)

    1. With 3w I'm hoping to shoot it like 3-4' off the ground, tops.

    2. I hear you but if you're hitting from a less than ideal lie, an iron delofted as needed to keep the ball low can be just as effective and much easier to control. The distance left to the pin didn't appear that great so, even something like a 8 iron can do the job and keep the ball less than 4 feet high. Easily done with a 6 iron and a piece of cake with a 4 iron (I don't have one and hybrids don't work as well there IMHO). But, I am sure that there are many ways to play this and I wasn't there...

  3. That's some funny shit. You were the punch line. Relish it.

    And next time, hit a damned 4 iron.

  4. We all make stupid decisions and execute shots poorly but fortunately for most of us, they are rarely recorded for posterity. If something has been learned from this sad episode, golferdom is better off.

  5. I had to keep it really low you jerks. I still like that club. Club selection wasn't the problem. Being a douchebag was.

  6. You should have seen my attempt a recovery shot after a hooked tee hybrid on the first hole of my tournament last Sunday. Remember when Kevin Na carded the 16?

    That golf course looks really excellent!


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