RUN­DOWN

Do pros use ball-wash­ers?

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents -

We use the same clubs they do, wear the same clothes and copy their at­ti­tudes (we see you, fin­ger-wag­gers). But what about the re­verse? Are there any ways tour pros act like am­a­teurs? Our un­sci­en­tific sur­vey of PGA Tour play­ers dur­ing 2016:

USE A BALL WASHER?

Yes 33% No 67%

“I’ve never used one of those things,” Pa­trick Rodgers says dis­mis­sively. Adds Colt Knost: “I don’t think you even see them out here any­more.” The pros’ pre­ferred method is a damp cloth, ide­ally em­ployed by some­one other than them­selves. “I’ve used (the ball washer) on my golf cart,” says Martin Laird. “Some­times, when I’m play­ing at home and my cad­die isn’t there to do it for me, I will.”

USE PLAS­TIC BALL MARKER FROM THE GOLF SHOP?

Yes 9% No 91%

Course-pro­vided ball mark­ers scored the fewest “yes” votes in our sur­vey. Typ­i­cal was Jon Rahm, who used the same coin for nine years be­fore re­cently switch­ing to one from his alma mater, Ari­zona State. Ja­son Gore was among the few who have no prob­lem play­ing with plas­tic. “I prob­a­bly have one right now,” he says. “I was just in Nan­tucket last week and haven’t cleaned out my pock­ets.”

DRINK FROM THE WATER COOLER?

Yes 64% No 36%

It’s not that most play­ers re­sist stay­ing hy­drated. They just pre­fer the qual­ity and cer­tain clean­li­ness of water bot­tles – and, if pos­si­ble, car­ried by their cad­dies. “If it’s re­ally hot in the sum­mer, I’ll drink from any­thing,” Laird says.

BUY A SHIRT AT THE GOLF SHOP?

Yes 42% No 58%

Justin Thomas and Smylie Kauf­man will buy one if it’s a mem­o­rable course, but they won’t find Chez Reavie among the shirt racks. His an­swer: “No, no, no.”

GET A HOT DOG AT THE TURN?

Yes 69% No 31%

Rahm, a Spa­niard, had one once – dur­ing a US Open prac­tice round at Oak­mont last year. Rodgers al­ways has one at his home course. Martin Piller is more of a con­nois­seur, con­sid­er­ing only top-notch dogs. “De­pends on the course,” he says. “If they have good hot dogs, yes.”

WEAR SNEAK­ERS WHILE PLAY­ING?

Yes 46% No 54%

Some might laugh, but Andrew Loupe sees ben­e­fits of train­ing in train­ers. “If I’m work­ing on my bal­ance, yes,” he says. “You don’t have as much grip on the ground, so if you’re work­ing on your bal­ance, it’ll force you to swing in con­trol.”

RE­TRIEVE A BALL HIT INTO SOME­ONE’S BACK YARD?

Yes 54% No 46%

“I’ll shank one ev­ery other month,” Kauf­man says. But will he ven­ture onto some­one’s prop­erty to re­trieve it? “No, that’s a lost cause.” John­son Wag­ner doesn’t think twice about it: “I’ll walk straight in.” Adam Rain­aud will tres­pass on only the more wel­com­ing yards. “Un­less they look re­ally friendly and in­vite me in their yard, I’m stay­ing out,” he says.

Hot dog after nine? Yes. Plas­tic ball mark­ers? No.

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