Getting the Hook: Practice Ranges Dangerous in Wake of Bubba Victory

        You know that scene from the movie Tin Cup where the Kevin Costner character, Roy McAvoy, almost takes out half the field on the practice range at the U.S. Open when he has a bad case of the shanks.  Practice ranges across America will be equally dangerous places today as many of us try to teach ourselves how to hook a wedge shot 40 yards.  Unless you worked the second shift on Sunday without access to a TV, you know that Bubba Watson did just that to win The Masters on Sunday.  He hit an impossible shot from an impossible position on pine straw and in the woods, a high hook that landed at the front of the 10th green and did a jig to the right that would make St. Vitus proud.

        High school and a few college golf coaches are going to have their hands full today, trying to restrain their impressionable young players from treating their clubs like a rolling pin, stretching their

Even the most rank amateur among us could have done better than Mickelson on that par 3.

wrists to the breaking point in an attempt to hit it like Bubba.  Golf is that rare game in which, on any given hole, we can all play like the pros, even better with a little luck.  Who among us doesn’t think we could have bunted the ball down the fairway three times to the green on the 10th and made bogey, as the game but ill-fated Louis Oosthuizen did on the ultimate hole?  Oh, and how about that par 3 4th?  We all would have taken Mickelson to the cleaners on that one, right?  Golf is like no other sport in that we can dream about playing like the pros, at least for one hole.  Contemplate trying to hit a Justin Verlander rising fastball.

        For more than 99% of us who play golf, our dream round would include the ability to hit the ball straight on every shot.  Do that, and you will probably break 80 every time, even if your putting is a little iffy.  Yet it will likely be a matter of just a few weeks before we start seeing golf club ads -– and maybe some golf ball ads –- that promote easier ways to hook and slice the ball. That shot of Bubba’s will live on for years, not only in memory but also in the kind of game played by some junior golfers we haven’t heard of yet.

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