The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

Well, it’s been a slow start to the golf season, for various reasons.  On the first Sunday in March, I picked up a horrible flu bug in California, which then developed into a more horrible chest cold, which lasted for a good two weeks. I am feeling much better now, thank you, but it really had me down and out for awhile.

But even more of a problem, has been the miserable weather.  It’s either cold or wet, or cold and wet, or snow and cold.  In the beginning of all this, it really did not make much difference, because I was sick,  but the bad weather has never really let up, and there is no true end in sight.  I have managed to play 7 rounds, so far this year. This time last year I had played 15 rounds.  I have played lousy for the same reasons, being ill and the playing conditions have not been that great.  No rounds below 80, and just muddling through, until this weather pattern will hopefully break.

Since things are on such a stagnate level on the local level, I have decided to write about the Masters, which I rarely do.  It will be the hot topic of the week, and everybody is making their predictions, and I have no idea who might win, but this looks like it is shaping up to be one of the most competitive Masters of all time. How this will affect the outcome, I don’t really know, but what kind of Masters will we see.  In the long history of the Masters, the winning score has ranged from one over par 289 to 18 under par 270. In fact the only 2 scores not to win the Masters is one under par 287 and 15 under par 273. Three of Jack Nicklaus’s six Master wins have come under the tough conditions, where he finished even once and 2 under twice to win the green jacket.  Naturally, the weather does play a factor in affecting the scores, but there is no question that the way the Augusta Golf Committee sets up the course plays a huge factor.  The pin placements on those severely slope very fast bent greens can play havoc with any score card.  I am sure moving the pin just a few inches in any direction can have a major impact on how difficult it is to putt, and get close to pin on the approach shot. Is anybody really going to notice such a small movement of the pin. I think not.  In recent years the Masters at times has had more of a U. S. Open feel, rather than the typical Masters tournament. I don’t think there is any rhyme or reason for the way the Committee sets up the course, but I think that every year they have a score in mind that they want to win.  What I find interesting this year is that there are so many players playing so well, and then to see which Masters we will be watching.  One where there will be lot’s eagle attempts and going for those par 5’s in two and a winning score in the mid 270’s.  Or will we see a Masters where it will be a struggle for everyone and will see a survivor tournament winner, with a winning score in the mid 280’s. Oh, the power of the Masters Golf Committee.

With the way the weather is shaping up for this week I will be probably watching more than I really want.  So reluctantly I will make a couple of predictions.  The scores will be high with a winning score of 283, and someone not named Rory will win their first Masters.


The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

THE MASTERS, THE MASTERS, THE MASTERS, the talk of the town after the great Spieth collapse. After reading a cajillion articles about the subject, I still feel there were some things that were missed, and/or not emphasized enough in the reporting of the event and the aftermath.

First the event. I think the key spot, which led to the 12th hole debacle is what happened on the 11th hole and immediately afterward. After bogeying the 10th, he hits his drive in the trees, hits a smart recovery shot and then an absolutely brilliant wedge about 8 feet to a very dangerous pin. This is the type of putt he had been making the whole tournament to save many a par. He missed this one. Now walking to the 12th tee, I think he had to feel he still had a 3 shot lead at the worst. The big scoreboard right behind the 12th tee showed his lead had suddenly and I do mean suddenly been cut to 2 shots, when not to long ago he had a 5 shot lead. All of a sudden it was a golf tournament again and I think this threw him off just enough to butcher the 12th hole.

Second the SHOCK. Everybody expressed shock and disbelief. If we were paying attention should we have been that stunned. When Jordan Spieth walked off the 9th green on Sunday did I think he would win the Masters, absolutely, but I added, I bet he will make it interesting. Well, he made it a lot more than interesting, he lost the tournament. Why did I think he would make it interesting. He did the same thing on Friday and Saturday. Twice he could have taken this tournament by the throat and each time stumbled down the stretch. If he would have parred the last three holes on Friday and Saturday, he would have had anywhere from a 6 to 8 shot lead going into Sunday, and it would not have made any difference, if he had hit it in the water on 12 His double bogey on 18 on Saturday was particularly UG-UG-UGLY.

Third will he be able to recover from this collapse. Most people feel that he will come back and win as much, just as if he had won the Masters. They write about he’s young, he’s mentally tough and he’s a great player period. I think it’s a flip of the coin and it may not even be that good if two things don’t change. The first one is just a mental thing. He has got to get out of this we mode.   It sounds gracious when you win but when you lose it sounds a little weird. What was more disturbing was when he said that we will prove that we can close the deal on a tournament. What are you talking about? You have already shown you can do that. Two major wins last year and numerous other victories. It would have been more appropriate to say I had a bad day and I will learn from it. Your the boss man. There is one thing that Jordan Spieth will have to change about his game. He doesn’t get much flak about this from the media and Faldo touched upon ever so briefly, but the bottom line is this, Jordan Spieth is SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW, OH SO SLOOOOOOOW. On Friday his group got put on the clock and despite the fact that Rory was hitting shots almost before Spieth’s ball stopped rolling on Saturday,  walking off the 17th tee they were the only group on the course. From taking forever to make some decisions and backing off short putts one two or even three times you wonder how long his nerves will last. Lets face it, every time he makes a 3 footer, it’s like he’s making it 2 or 3 times. Let’s hope he does come back, because Jordan Spieth is great for the game of golf, but some re-evaluation is in order.