Let the Big Dog Sleep?

June 7, 2018

When your golf cart pulls up to the first tee box and your adrenaline starts to kick in, the moment of truth has arrived. To be or not to be, that is the question! Now, if I leave Shakespeare out of this equation and appeal to your inner being, are you going "to be aggressive" or are you going "to be conservative," when you reach into your bag for the first shot of the day?

If you are a scratch golfer, "let the big dog eat," as Kevin Costner said in the movie Tin Cup. But if you are a mid to high handicap, "think before you reach in the bag; are you going to let the big dog sleep?" (I don't know who said that quote first in the history of golf, but I'll take credit for it.)

Before you tee it up, do you look down the fairway to check out the danger, or do you just "grip it and rip it?" (I think Costner said, "grip it and rip it" nine or ten times in Tin Cup and I highly recommend watching the movie (again), because it shows the battle between skill and ego and the inner demons we all face on the course.)

If I could hit my driver consistently off the tee, my handicap would be around ten instead of eighteen.

I usually play with guys who are eight or nine years younger than I, and to be honest I want to "grip it and rip it" along with them. (I still have a baseball mentality as my inner demon.)

But a funny thing happened recently. I was tired of carding the highest score in my foursome and having to buy lunch for the low score winner each time we played, so I teed off all day with either my three wood or five wood, depending on the fairway length and hazards. I shot an 85 and enjoyed a free lunch.

So to answer Shakespeare's eternal question, I wanted "to be" conservative off the tee, keep the ball out of the woods and water and reap the benefits. Now for the question that Shakespeare should have asked in Hamlet, instead of "to be or not to be": "If I can shoot in the mid-eighties without using a driver, why don't I consistently use a three wood off the tee?" That is the question. The answer: Pick out three letters like playing Scrabble (OGE) and make the one-word answer.

So ask yourself the same question, is it time to put your "OGE" back in the bag and grab the three wood? And one more thing to consider: When people "who let the big dog eat," but don't have a clue as to where the ball is headed, yell "fore!"

According to Kevin Dukes, an orthopedic surgeon from Oklahoma who heads up the Tulsa Bone and Joint Association, over 42% of golf injuries occur to the head and face, so protect your head first with your hands and forearms and crouch down to be smaller target.

Now Dukes did not put this in his pamphlet, so I will remind you: When the cart girl has stopped by your foursome numerous times, and later you hear someone yell fore, don't turn toward the ball, laugh and dare it to hit you.

You may go home with one of two bad things happening; a concussion or trying to explain to your wife why you will not be a loving husband for the next few months.

19th Hole Trivia

I saw a list of bumper stickers recently, which may only make sense to golfers or spouses married to golfers.

• When I’m gone, bury me on the golf course, so my husband will visit.

• My golf game is so bad, if I grew tomatoes they’d come up sliced.

• I have golfed most of my life…the rest of the time I have just wasted.

• Born to golf - Forced to work!

• My body is here, but my mind has already teed off.

• May thy ball lie in green pastures and not in still waters.

• Hit it right, it’s a slice. Hit it left, a hook. Hit it straight, it’s a miracle.

• A golfer’s diet: Live on greens and not roughage.

• Golf is a game invented by the same people who think music comes from a bagpipe.

And just for the record:

• Bobby Jones won Georgia’s amateur title at age 14.

• The Rolling Hills Country Club in Florida was the setting for the movie Caddyshack.

• According to mathematicians, it’s easier to get a hole in one than bowl a 300 game.

• Bobby Jones nickname for his putter: Calamity Jane.

• Richard Blackman was once chased off a golf course by a circus lion - and escaped.

• A club flush in poker is known as a “golf bag.”

• Putting accounts for about 43% of your strokes. So practice, practice, practice!

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