"Pelz: How to Hold Every Green, My Surefire Plan to Stick Wedges Close" read a cover headline on the March 2009 issue of Golf Magazine. "Full-Swing Basics" by David Leadbetter read another cover headline, this time in the March 2009 issue of Golf Digest. And my favorite, the main headline for the April 2009 issue of Golf Magazine: "Tiger: 5 Keys to His Complete Game."
If you've never played a round of golf, you might be thinking it's not that hard. Just read some magazines, get some sticks and head off to the local muni.
You'd be very, very wrong.
These types of headlines are what sell these magazines, and they're what make anyone who's ever butchered a shot laugh.
Short-game guru and PGA Tour lightning rod Dave Pelz can talk to you all day long about how to hit your 60° wedge close every time, but chances are you'll hit just as many shots that land off the green or 25 feet away as you will to within five feet of the pin.
Reigning Masters champion Trevor Immelman cannot show you his "6 Keys for Guaranteed Driving Accuracy," mainly because there is no such thing as having guaranteed driving accuracy.
You will never acquire "5 Keys to [Tiger Woods's] Complete Game." I don't care if you're a scratch golfer. You could (and would) beat me to a pulp every time we play and you might be your club champion. You might be better than anyone you've ever played against. But the reality is that Tiger Woods would bury you by the fifth hole, and so would every professional golfer on any tour worth speaking of.
Yet month after month these types of magazines, and there are boatloads of them, claim to be able to show you, the weekend duffer, how to play golf with skill.
The men and women on these covers have been playing golf since before they entered kindergarten. I'm a couple of months older than Tiger Woods, and even if I had taken to golf like a moth to a flame 25 years ago he would have had about a seven year head start on me.
It's funny to get these magazines in the mail, and think "gee, it can't be that hard. I'll just hit the green even when I miss my tee shot, and knock it stiff with my short game and I'll be tiger hunting before he knows I'm even there." Then you go out, hook your drive off the first tee, top the second shot, crush a 3-wood to forty yards, chip over the green, chip back on, and then three putt on a par five.
That was the first hole of my last round. I proceeded to hit some nice drives in steady wind, embarrass the concept of iron play throughout the day, slightly redeem myself with my wedges only to misread about every break I saw on the greens.
And I beat the guy I was playing with by about fifteen strokes.
So yeah, I'll get right on getting the "5 Keys to His Complete Game." At the current rate of practice I can put in, I should be Tiger's equal in about...never.
But keep the magazines coming. The covers are funny and the scenery can't be beat.
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