I put the problem up to Bill this way:
"Suppose you were playing this hole for a thousand dollars, what club would you use?"
Bill deliberated, then said he'd use a driver.
"With a driver you haven't got enough margin for error. Five yards off the line on either side and you are in a bunker. You lack the ability and reliability to get yourself out of the sand with only one shot, especially if you'd have to get the ball up quickly from traps like those ahead. If it's O.K. with the other fellows, you play the tee shot my way with a four-wood, then play another one your way with a driver."
The way I figured it for my partner was that with a four-wood he probably would be short and safe and would have an easy pitch or chip to get him close enough for one putt. Then he'd get the par 3 that an average golfer must make on the majority of the short holes if he is to have a decent score.
Bill took a four-wood and swung it smoothly. He didn't have to be nervous, hurried and tight. If his shot went wrong it was my fault. I had picked the club for him and he could blame me.
Logically, then, the percentage was with the four-wood. The ball smacked nicely from the club and went about 180 yards right down the middle.
"Now your way." I got his driver from his caddie and handed it to Bill.
A LITTLE TOO EAGER
He went at the assignment cautiously. Everything was going well until he got a little too eager. Before he'd actually finished his backswing he fell forward, then pushed the ball into the right bunker.