- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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I sat on the tee bench as Bill looked over the terrain, trying to decide where to tee his ball.
To guide his thinking I remarked, "There's only one question: How are you going to attack this hole? By the card it is a simple 4; by construction it can be a difficult 8. Using a few of your millions of brain cells I can maneuver the ball into the hole in five strokes."
Bill replied, "Maybe you can. But I'm playing this one all alone."
He was sweating a little when he teed the ball. He placed the ball properly on the right side of the tee. The tee shot had to be to the left because of the entrance to the hole and to take advantage of the long dimension of the green.
Bill was really getting good at the tee shots. By teeing the ball so he could let his club fly and have a big landing area for his drive he wouldn't have to try to steer the shot. That protected him against stiffening.
He got a nice, firm, flexible grip. He stayed down to the shot so his right shoulder went well under his chin before he turned his head. He stayed back of the ball, threw his right hand into the shot like a third baseman lining one across to first and kept the club in the groove adroitly with his left hand.
It was one of those shots that healed the wounds of some sorry efforts. Our opponents and I looked at Bill's drive in admiration. It went a good 220 yards to the left, just exactly where perfect play for a golfer like Bill called for a drive.
He was 120 yards from the hole. The pin was placed behind the bunker and not with any too much room between the sand and the cup.
Bill could go directly for the pin, but if he didn't hit the shot exactly right he'd be in bad shape. If he went over the green he'd be down in a wooded hollow that we call Death Valley. If he went short and a little off line he'd be in abysmal bunkers. The left bunker isn't the terror that the right one is, because you can come out of it playing the long axis of the green, but even so, you've got to play a first-class wedge shot to get out at all—and stay on the green.
I put the situation up to Bill so he'd use imagination in making his campaign and asked, "If you were playing for big money what would you do now? What club would you use?"