ASK GOLF DIGEST
Why’s it always easier to hole out after a crucial miss?
Whenever I miss an important putt, without fail I make the next one. I’m talking one-handed, with my back to the hole, while walking away. Why can’t it be that easy to make the one before? A Your partner was wondering the same thing. Especially because that miss cost him too. Get your head in the game! But back to your question: The reason it’s so easy to sink the second putt is the same reason it’s easy to hang up on a telemarketer during dinner at home – anger. “When faced with a big putt, one typically has anxiety, which can inhibit function,” says sports psychologist Dr Tom Ferraro. “If you miss a putt, the anxiety often turns to anger, and anger inhibits a reoccurrence of anxiety.The newly felt anger frees the player’s body and mind, usually in helpful ways.” Knowing this, our recommendation for future rounds is to ask your partner to sneak up on you and punch you in the shoulder right before it’s your turn to putt. Would fatter grips on all my clubs give me more distance and control? ▶ ▶▶ Coming to grips with your grips, eh? Well, we could bore you with research as to why fatter grips are no panacea for distance or feel. But why do that when we can ask two-time major champion Bubba Watson. Bubba has grips with 10 wraps of tape under his top hand and 12 under his lower hand. “It’s easier to hold onto,” he says. “It feels like my wrists aren’t going to roll over and hook it so much.” His message: Building up the grips down by the lower hand might give your game a tangible boost. It’s also really helpful to swing at 200 kilometres per hour. Are there any rules for how tee markers should be set? ▶ ▶▶ Based on an informal inspection of courses near our office, we’ve concluded greenkeepers love to orient tee markers in such a way that leads us to drive it into every trouble spot on the course. It’s payback for failing to replace divots and fix pitch marks. They can do this because there are no rules for how tee markers should be aligned.The Handicap Manual does offer advice on the position of markers in relation to daily course setup (it’s often weather dependent). It also says they should not be closer than two club-lengths to the back edge of the teeing ground. But if the markers are slightly askew in relation to the fairway, it’s up to you to notice and adjust your stance. It’s tempting to alter them during a round but that could result in disqualification (Rule 11-2).