More Golf

This comparison of golf and bowling seems to be working, so I will continue on in the same vein.  Don't get me wrong.  I like bowling and watch it on TV whenever I have the opportunity. Lately they have been having trick shot competitions.  One bowler does on of his trick shots and the other bowler must then match it.  Then the other bowler gets to do one of his tricks, etc.  One bowler is pretty good at going up to the foul line and facing the pins with his fanny throws the ball through his legs.  He is really pretty good at this, the ball curves from right to left and enters the 1-3 pocket just like it should.  I have no idea if this is a legal shot, but suspect it is.  Why have a rule against it.  No serious bowler would do that in a tournament.

You must all know of Sam Snead.  A very famous golfer who in his later years developed the yips.  To overcome this he resorted to the long putter, and started putting croquette style.  It was rather effective for him and the other golfers put up a scream, and got some Scotsman to rule that putting with the putter facing the hole and straddling the line of the putt was illegal.  Sam reverted to the sidewinder style.  He still faced the hole but stroked the ball on the right side of his right foot.  It wasn't as effective as the croquette style, but he had to live with it.

Tiger Woods probably never considers his putt a lag putt, but he on occasions hits his ball within inches of the hole.  Nowadays it is legal for Tiger to putt out of turn, so rather then mark his ball and therefore slow down play, goes up to the ball and taps it in.  When doing this a part of my dear friends golf etiquette, is to not walk on the other players line of putt.  This can result in the Tiger straddling the line of putt, BUT he backhands the ball into the hole.  Hitting the ball towards himself.  I didn't consult with my son on this, but I am quite sure it is legal for him to make that stroke.

Go figure.



  1. Bruce said,

    May 5, 2006 at 1:10 am

    I understand it to be illegal. But, then, I also understand that he doesn’t actually get on the line of the putt either. He got in hot water last year for what some call-in viewers thought was a case of putt-line-straddling.(It might have been at the PGA championship). But he was exonerated on further review. You should also note that he isn’t the only one flirting with the rule there.

    Speaking of walking on the line of another player’s putt, you do know about the extended putt-line, don’t you? You must try to avoid walking on the line of a putt that goes past the hole, in case the other guy misses his and has to come back at the hole from the other side. I bet you knew that one.

  2. setty said,

    May 5, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    I know the situation your talking about but he hit the ball toward the hole with him behind the ball. I am talking about being on the opposite side of the hole from where the ball is and straddling the line and hitting the ball just the opposite of a croquette shot, hitting the ball toward yourself. I think I saw that done once and a commentator said that was OK, but I may be wrong.

  3. RubeRad said,

    May 8, 2006 at 5:47 pm

    I think that innovative techniques that improve results should not be banned. If this always happened, we would never have had the Fosbury Flop; or what about the change in Football due to that famous game where the underdog won because they figured out how to really use a passing game? It’s a shame that the NBA outlaws the zone defense. I think the Offsides rule in soccer is pointless, turning defensive laziness into a strategic option.

    On the other hand, sometimes such rules do make sense, to close a rule loophole that somebody discovers and exploits. I.e. basketball had no need of a goaltending rule until whatsisface that died last year came along and revolutionized the game because he was smacking balls away from above the rim all the time. And the infield fly rule makes complete sense; there must have been a time when the infield fly rule hadn’t been invented, and some clever guy figured out how it was to his advantage to play poorly (intentionally drop an infield fly so he could get more outs).

    But I agree with you. Sam Snead should have been allowed to putt straddle-wise. If other people are mad because he’s getting better results, why don’t they switch over too?

    What I consider to be a marginal case is the technology revolution in tennis racquets that made Bjorn Borg irrelevant. The new technology significantly shifted the game towards power, rather than finesse. Would Snead-style putting similarly change the dynamic of golfing? I think improvements in technology/technique that allow for improvements to putting would provide a welcome counterbalance to distance gains acheived by technological improvements in driver heads, club shafts, and balls. (but what do I know, I’m not a golfer!)

  4. anthony said,

    May 13, 2006 at 12:47 am

    Since the ball could go anywhere on the green they should have a rule that you must levatate while putting… or putt from the fringe with an extra long putter.

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