THE CHEAP SEATS with STEVE CAMERON: Slow golf is for the goofy

Print Article

If you play the sport...

If you hack and slash and mutter your way through 18 holes from time to time, you probably have a favorite golfer.

Today’s message is for everyone, but particularly those of you who fancy the young and charismatic Bryson DeChambeau.

The five-time winner is unquestionably one of the coming stars on the PGA Tour, but he needs someone to give him a piece of advice about how he approaches each shot.

What Bryson needs to hear is simple...

“HIT THE DAMN BALL!”

Fellow pros are normally very forgiving about their competitors’ little quirks.

If it’s some irritating move, like Sergio Garcia waggling his club a couple dozen times before starting his backswing, players in the same group just look away.

But there’s no escaping a slow, slow player – and DeChambeau is taking leisure to a new level.

He was a physics major in college, so DeChambeau claims he needs time to factor analytics (even air density) into each shot.

A COUPLE of weeks ago at the Northern Trust tournament, DeChambeau took two and a half minutes to stroke a dead-straight 8-foot putt – and missed.

LPGA player Christina Kim tweeted that as a physics expert, DeChambeau should have known that in all the time he studied that putt, the Earth had moved slightly on its axis and changed the gravitational pull on the ball.

Yes, she was poking fun at him.

DeChambeau also walked all the way to the green and back (so slowly he risked paralysis) before addressing a 70-yard wedge shot.

Playing partner Justin Thomas looked so bored that you half-expected him to lie down for a wee nap.

All of Bryson’s antics have angered Brooks Koepka, who ranks No. 1 in the world and is known for wanting to get around at a fairly brisk pace.

Koepka is one of several Tour members who have roasted DeChambeau on social media.

In particular, Koepka suggested the Tour should enforce its own rules – especially when its time limits are being abused.

Koepka pointed out that Tour players are allowed 40 seconds to take a shot once they’re in position to hit, and that when someone goes over that time constantly, perhaps a penalty should be in order.

Slow play is an issue at every level of golf.

Even big-name stars have been guilty, including two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer.

After a round in which Langer was paired with Lee Trevino at the 1993 U.S. Open, Trevino was asked about the pace of play and said: “(Langer) has a nice full beard. When we teed off, he was clean-shaven.”

A CRUCIAL problem with slow play on the Tour is that most amateur players – right down to 22-handicappers at your local municipal course – tend to imitate the pros in every way possible.

If some successful Tour player points his club at the target before addressing the ball, whole mobs of weekenders will try it.

Guaranteed.

Which would be fine if they just kept moving.

I lived in Scotland for a few years, and if a player dawdled endlessly before a shot over there, some bloke might crack him on the foot with a 7-iron.

I’m kidding about the physical violence, but Scots will indeed insult you for standing too long over a shot. They want to get on with things, and they’re right.

They invented the sport, after all.

SERIOUSLY, almost everyone plays better golf if there is a nice pace to the round.

On the other hand, it’s maddening to wait forever as Joe Shank prepares to top a ball into the water – or worse, standing around all day as the group in front of you studies and measures putts as though it’s No. 18 at Augusta.

The result of all this nonsense is that 5 1/2-hour rounds have become common.

That’s just way, way too long to play 18 holes of golf.

Besides not making it home for dinner, you can’t possibly play as well going that slowly.

Here’s a rule to follow...

Find your ball, pick a club, line up the target and hit the thing.

You’ll be surprised at how much more fun you have.

And you might like those lower numbers on your card, too.

So c’mon...

Just hit it.

***

Steve Cameron’s “Cheap Seats” columns for The Press appear on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Steve also contributes the “Zags Tracker” package on Gonzaga basketball once monthly during the offseason.

Email: scameron@cdapress.com

Print Article

Read More Sports

NIC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Off to enjoy his blessings ... Chris Carlson, women’s basketball coach at North Idaho College, leaving after 16 seasons

February 26, 2020 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Basketball has been good to Chris Carlson and his family. He’s built a career in the sport, first as a player at Truman State University in Missouri, then as a coach starting in 1988 with various st...

Comments

Read More

All-league girls basketball teams

February 26, 2020 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press ALL-5A INLAND EMPIRE LEAGUE GIRLS BASKETBALL Coach of the Year — Nicole Symons, Coeur d’Alene Co-Players of the Year — Brooklyn Rewers, jr., Lake City; Madison Symons, fr., Coeur d’Alene All-leag...

Comments

Read More

THE CHEAP SEATS WITH STEVE CAMERON: One thing counts, HOF voters

February 26, 2020 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press It happens every time I mention someone like Barry Bonds. Or Pete Rose. It takes me about 45 minutes the next morning to sift through all the emails from readers who want to scream: “They don’t bel...

Comments

Read More

PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: St. Maries captures sixth straight district title

February 26, 2020 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press TROY — On Monday, St. Maries couldn’t get anything going offensively in its 2A District 1-2 best-of-3 championship series opener at Troy High. That wasn’t the case on Tuesday. Junior guard Brett ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2020 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X