Throw in the book for a real test of skill and nerf – Nick Rodger

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HAVE YOU already read some of the material concocted by the Global Odds Index?

It’s an organization that looks at all kinds of odds in life, from winning the lottery or being struck by lightning to the odds that you understand what Dickens I’m talking about in the Tuesday column.

According to the results of the latest Global whatstheirchops study, the odds of a Brazilian man becoming a professional golfer are 1 in 7.7 million. Much the same, then, of a reader – yes, a reader like you with that increasingly glassy gaze – that gets to the bottom of that ruddy page. So, we fall for it. The odds are stacked against us. We’re going to start with some green reading books.

Watching some modern-day professionals examine the line of a putt with one of these very detailed compendiums is much like watching someone scrutinizing a particularly fearless diagram of Kama Sutra techniques.

They will study the myriad of slopes, curves and borrowings of the putting surface while contorting themselves into various positions for a better view during an elaborate and tedious process that often ends with the anti-climax sighing and rolling his eyes. short. Now there is a colorful description of a delicate 15 footer that should really be read after the turn.

The other day, the governing bodies of golf, the R&A and the USGA, unveiled a model local rule to further reduce the use of green reading gear at the highest level of competitive golf.

The MLR G-11 rule, which admittedly looks like a personalized license plate you would see on a fancy car parked outside the R&A clubhouse, will, as of January 1, 2022, allow a committee to establish an officially approved distance book for a competition. so the greens diagrams show only minimal detail.

In addition, the local rule limits the handwritten notes that players and caddies are allowed to add to the approved distance book.

The goal? “Make sure that players and caddies only use their eyes and sensations to help them read the line of play on the green. Now there is a new idea.

Making a small ball disappear into a hole has been the bane of many golfers throughout the ages. The mighty Old Tom Morris, for example, was so famous for his misfortunes, that a letter sent at the time simply addressed to “The Misser of Short Putts, Prestwick” was delivered directly to him by the postman.

And what did Tony Lema once say about the putter? “Here is an instrument of torture, designed by Tantalus and forged in the devil’s own forge.”

Putting has always been the ultimate test of nerve and skill. For those of us with an older approach, watching golfers consult some sort of Ordnance Survey map on the green while being drawn into an extravagant and tedious pre-putt routine that resembles the grouse’s complex mating rituals. sagebrush has a tendency to cringe.

In an age where craftsmanship, feel, and instinct can be sacrificed on the altar of advancement in aids and equipment, players will always use something or the other in an effort to gain an advantage if someone else is using the same something or the other.

The more it is available, the more they will be added to the arsenal. It’s in the nature of a golfer. On a slight detour, I remember spending a year at a World Hickory Open in Craigielaw and some of the up and coming Scottish pros and amateurs who were competing reveled in the opportunity to play with just five clubs. and without the aid of strokesavers, course guides or any other visual aids. The senses were awakened and they trusted the pure intuition of golf.

Amid the general jumble of thoughts and processes that can make it such an overwhelming game, sometimes less is more.

What about these green papers? “I use a green book, but I would like to get rid of it,” admitted Rory McIlroy earlier in the season. “For the good of the game, I would like them to be banned and no longer used.”

McIlroy, and others, can make their wish come true.

AND SOMETHING ELSE

Nothing better to immerse you in the spirit of Christmas than a sheet of the R&A and the European Golf Participation Report of the European Golf Association.

In a wide and varied look at the overall health of gambling in this part of the world, the report released last week showed that participation across the continent has grown from 7.9 million in 2016 to 10.6 million now.

It’s a healthy-looking scene where golf finds a silver lining amid the dark clouds of the coronavirus pandemic. There is always room for improvement, however.

Closer to home, for example, Scotland ranks among the bottom seven in the table for the number of registered golfers. This figure represents 14 percent of the golfing population, compared to 38 percent in Austria. For the juniors, the figure is nine percent with Azerbaijan in the lead with 58 percent.

Golf in the cradle of the game has been crippled by self-imposed grindstones and stifling attitudes towards juniors and women over the years. Things have changed for the better and great work is underway. The latest figures show that there is still a lot of work to be done.


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