Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 111: Oh Those British Open Bunkers!

Nothing strikes fear into me more than seeing my golf shot find its resting place in a big pile of sand. My confidence on the golf course on most days teeters between very little and almost none, and then you add in the stress of trying to get that little white ball out of the sand, all without ever letting your club touch the sand, and any shred of confidence that may have been present is now nowhere to be found. Yet... I continue to play.

So when I watch the professionals and their sand play, I often find myself in awe. And especially when it's British Open time. Those are some seriously effed up bunkers—evil, confidence-smashing, pot bunkers that would make me want to pick up my ball, call it a day and start drinking early. Yet, they continue to make incredible, acrobatic saves, which is why they get to do this as a day job and I don't.

One of my recent tee shots on a fairly easy par three landed in the green-side bunker. Now granted, it was scorching hot, I was hungry and exhausted, but it took me at least eight hacks to release that little ball from its sandy prison (and a lot of bad, bad words.) And then I see the shot Tiger Woods made in the second round yesterday and I just shake my head.

This year, at Muirfield in Scotland, it's almost impossible to keep yourself out of those villainous bunkers. With the rock hard fairways and greens, any ball that goes awry and manages to stay out of that knee high fescue, runs the risk of rolling and rolling and rolling and often funnels into one. I don't remember a tournament with so many bunker shots—and I've been studying them all so maybe I can learn a thing or two.

It does make me feel just a little better to see some players have problems...

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