101 Golf Secrets

Golf Secrets 46 - 48: Social

Golf Digest

46 -- HOW TO LEARN FROM, AND SOMETIMES BEAT, THE BIG BOYS
BY MICHELLE WIE
Ernie Els taught me to keep the same momentum through the putting stroke, like one-two. Ernie also taught me how to pitch the ball from thick green-side rough. You hold the clubface open through impact and finish low. We played a practice round together last year at the Sony Open in Hawaii and had our own match going on the back nine. We were all square after nine holes. I just love playing PGA Tour events. They are so much fun. But I realize I have to gain a little more distance. I want to continue to compete in men's events, like the SK Telecom Open on the Asian Tour, where I made the cut in May, and to one day play in the Masters. That's my ultimate goal.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

47 -- HOW TO DRESS LIKE A GOLFER
BY MR. STYLE (MARTY HACKEL)
Dressing well has much to do with attitude. Outgoing people with strong personalities can wear bolder colors and trend-driven styles better (see Camilo Villegas). Proportion is key, so if you are tall and thin, select stripes that are thin. Bigger people should keep the colors in the same tone, so all black works well on Phil Mickelson. And remember to keep the belt color the same as your shirt or slacks, like Adam Scott (above). Nothing looks worse than a black belt with khakis and a white shirt, though if you're slim you might get away with it. Wear your trousers around your waist and avoid letting them get too low—this should de-emphasize your waist. Golf is played outdoors so wear your shirt in.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

48 -- HOW TO DEAL WITH A CHEATER
BY GUY YOCOM
Like his close cousin the rattlesnake, the cheater at golf doesn't always warn of his presence. He's a well-camouflaged individual you notice only after his fangs are embedded in your ankle, at which point it's too late to do much about it. The cheater isn't looking for field mice, either. He's a predator in search of bigger, juicier game—you and your money clip.

You deal with the cheater just like you do a real rattlesnake. Your first level of protection is avoidance. Sam Snead's watchwords were, "Never play with a stranger until he's a friend." Which is to say, don't bet with someone until you are familiar with his character and the legitimacy of his handicap. The most common form of cheating is sandbagging, and the handicap fudger can't help but give you a subtle warning ahead of time. So listen to him carefully and watch closely for dramatic movement of his Index.

The second level of protection is a club. We mean the equivalent of the caveman variety, wielded sternly to incapacitate the aggressor. This is only necessary when an on-course offense is in progress. If your adversary (a) moves the ball into a better lie; (b) violates a rule and then denies it; or (c) simply lies about the number of times he struck the ball, forceful action is necessary. You must screw up your courage and tell the individual that what he did was wrong and you have better ways to spend four hours than entertain his chicanery. At that point you either walk in or else finish the round with disinterest, declaring all bets null and void.

Finally, there is the antivenin. This is administered after you've already been bitten and can only hope to ameliorate the effect of the poison. If you've been cheated, there is no recourse but to avoid his neck of the woods, meaning don't play with him again. You should also spread the word about him—discreetly. When you're invited to join a game in which the viper is present, politely but pointedly decline. When asked why, state there was a disagreement the last time you played and that his way of playing isn't necessarily your way.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Images from top: Ben Van Hook; Jonathan Carlson