So, I hit a few balls yesterday. Just a few. It felt like the appropriate way to kick off Masters week. And to that end, happy Masters Week everyone. The Masters means it is time for the most exclusive and spectacular sports pool in the business (which I cannot go into detail about), but it also means it’s time to kick-start your own golf season. Even with the warm winter, it can take a monumental event like the Masters to get a practice-phobe like myself over to the range. The driving range is like an old friend, though. You never miss a beat. You can stay away for a while, try a new location, but no matter what you’re walking into the same world. A world with its own dialog.
What shocks me most about going to a driving range is that people take advice on their golf swings from people who have absolutely no qualification to give advice on the golf swing. Why would you want tips from a 18-handicap? Would you seek advice on tossing pizza dough from a guy who eats DiGiorno? Would you let a guy who still has an oil-change sticker from 2007 on his windshield take a look under your hood? I don’t think so, but when it comes to golf, people love opinions and they’ll listen to them all. It all contributes to the vast driving range glossary. Ten of my Favorites…
Watch This–Generally means someone is about to swing very hard. Almost always said after a good shot, the expectation being it is repeatable, but it is not.
There it Is–Appropriate after most balls in the air without a pronounced curve. Said immediately before “Watch This.”
Where Am I Aiming?–Always a valid question. The answer? Usually toward the center of the range where the mat is pointing you.
I Just Hit the 150 Sign–I hit a ball in the general area of the 150 sign and since no one is paying attention they cannot prove I didn’t hit the sign.
Are those Signs Right?–Why am I hitting 9-iron 105?
Pretend like–This is the foundation for all driving range tips. Yesterday I heard, “Pretend like you’re only swinging with your right arm.” What? But there are dozens of these. Pretend like the ball isn’t there is my personal favorite, and I’ve actually said that to people.
You Can Live With That–A common refrain of the range pro to try to convince you that you’re making improvements.
Better–A relative term. Better than the one you just shanked off the partition? Yes.
There You Go–Good shot…for you.
That went over the net–I lost sight of that before it landed 50 yards short of the net
Final Four Interlude:
Games were OK on Saturday? Decent. I suppose you’d have a different opinion if you were a Ohio St. fan. It still feels like we’re in the middle of a coronation for Kentucky. The line for the championship game tells me it’s nothing but a foregone conclusion.
Kentucky (-7) over Kansas.
I thought that was a valiant effort by Louisville on Saturday night, but they just didn’t have enough firepower. Kentucky appears to be able to kick it into a higher gear when they need to and that will be pitted against Kansas just pulling wins out of nowhere. They’ve been great late in games, but the question is whether they’ll even be within distance down the stretch in this one. I’m afraid they might not be. I think Coach Cal gets his first title in relatively easy fashion. Will he still have it a few years from now? Probably 50:50.
Three Putt Territory Pool:
We’re down to two scenarios. If Kentucky wins, “Cara’s Mom,” will take home the crown, just edging Lawrence Moten. I’d say this will still be the pinnacle of Moten’s career. If Kansas wins, “Da Dawg,” will complete a massive comeback (20 of 32 in Rd 1) and snag the title leaving “Jessica Nixon’s Bracket” in 2nd place. Good luck to both combatants. A lot of pride on the line.