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Home of Woods vs. Nicklaus – Golf's Greatest Rivalry

Suspense = Excitement for golf fans

August 16th, 2012 · No Comments

When Tiger hits a driver that’s fun. Where will the ball go? A bomb down the gut? A good lie in the first cut? Wide right into the trees? Uncertainty is fun for the viewer.

When Phil Mickelson pulls his 64 degree wedge for a short side recovery shot, our anticipation level soars because we know we could be in store for his unique brand of short game wizardry.

Woods’ drives, Mickelson’s flops, and McIroy’s towering iron shots into the green are exciting because they promise so much, but there is no guarantee of success. Suspense = excitement.

Short putts should be exciting too, and they were back in the Nicklaus Era when 3 footers were far from the gimmes. Today, pool table smooth greens, customized putters, and perfectly balanced balls have turned the pros into robots on putts that used to offer such a suspenseful moment for the fans – the kind that made us wonder if the player will choke, or not.

Consider Webb Simpson’s four footer to win on the 72nd hole at the U.S. Open. Thanks to his belly putter he was able to roll it home like it was practice putt. Simpson’s casual approach to his putt is the polar opposite of Doug Sanders’ approach to that famous three footer that he missed on the 72nd green of the 1970 British Open to fall into a playoff with Jack Nicklaus.

Through the PGA, Simpson has made 138 of 157 putts from 3-5 feet, or about 7 of every 8. It is fair to assume that he makes more from 3-4 feet than he does from 4-5 feet. I am guessing that, he makes at least 11 of 12 from that distance. Goodbye to suspense – hello to boredom.

Unless anchoring is banned from the game, more and more players will be use the anti choke belly putters, a day will come when six feet becomes the new three feet, and all of the suspense will have been wrung out of what used to be one the game’s most exciting moments.

Tags: The Game

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