Golf Tips - A Small Box of Some Value

By Uncle Duffer

PGA Tour player Payne Stewart once said about learning to play golf: "There are a few simple fundamentals you need to learn. After that, you have to figure it out for yourself." I follow now with my own unique observations and moral tale that might be summarized as saying much the same thought as spoken by Payne Stewart.

It was during a certain part of a certain year during the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s. I can tell you that much because the years relate to my own age and the years when I was most concerned with development of my golf technique. To be more precise would be a detriment to my efforts to conceal the essential truths of this tale regarding golf tips.

The box Most of what I have acquired in the way of certain knowledge about the intricacies of golfing technique comes from a small box of wisdom. I kept this box under my bed for fourteen years. During these years I referred to the contents of the box on occasions too numerous to mention.

The box once was the property of a dear friend of mine who collected scraps of paper upon which he had notated paraphrases of advice from various golf magazines. The reason the advice was rewritten and kept in the form of scraps of paper will become clear at the conclusion of this tale.

Actually it can be made partially clear now because there is no vital necessity to prolong the suspense. One essential aspect of the essence is that the collection of the golf wisdom was left-handed and thus, as far as I am concerned, hopelessly skewed.

I may be giving too much by mentioning the name of my old friend, but some diligence should be paid to the elusive pursuit of truth or no doubt a degree of falsity might result.

His name was "Scrap". That is what he was known as at the small, rural country club where he maintained the greens and occasionally snookered members and their guests with astonishing exhibitions of his putting skills. His exhibitions were accomplished with a non-descript putter having a warped heel which he utilized as the tool's face in a left-handed hunching manner.

"Hunching" is an old term dating to the prebuscent days of Ben Hogan. "Hunching" implies a "getting ahead" of the arc of the right wrist a millisecond before contact with the ball. It is the "hunching", I think, that enabled Scrap to pile up a fine collection of $2 and $5 gratuities, for these were were the amounts he often received from bedazzled observers who thought they were learning the secret of his success.

Actually, the secret of "hunching" was described on one of the hundreds of scraps of paper that was in the box.

Scrap was an inveterate collector of golf tips, as you may have concluded by now. He was not at all above foisting off on the club members and guests his translations or interpretations of serious advice that had been propounded by well-meaning professionals and perhaps even some insincere charlatans.

During the fourteen years I had possession of the box I determined that Scrap had marked the scraps with a code that I eventually began to understand.

During the last six months of my possession of the box I was able to see how the golf tips could be interpolated as to specific height, weight, degree of muscalature and elliptical kern of the hunch of any serious student of the game.

I was preparing to offer my acquired wisdom from the box to the golfing public for the reasonable fee of $1,000 per analysis, but it was on the occasion of my last birthday that I discovered all of my efforts toward mastering golf by way of Scrap's box had come to naught. Alas, wisdom comes at last to he who stumbles upon it.

I do hope I am not revealing too much, but the truth is that Scrap had a specially-crafted steel shunt in the area of his right knee cap. This was the result of a wound he suffered during his service to his country during the Great War. Scrap's specially-crafted steel shunt caused a unique degree angle in his "hunch", and thus made his codified and annotated tips from the golf magazines unique to Scrap alone and of no earthly use whatsoever to any other living soul. I came upon this knowledge by hearing about it from another friend who had heard it from Scrap himself.

It was with no regret that I disposed of the box, which at one time was a repository of Lifebouy soap, by placing it in the recycle bin along with some other household trash.

I now conclude that the best tips for successful golf simply cannot be accurately interpolated.

As for putting, it probably would be just as well that during the last moment of contact with the ball that the serious student should simply nudge it toward the hole, or give it a nice little "pop" if the distance is 25 feet or more. And the face of the putter should probably be used, not the heel.

MORAL: Some tips work for all golfers, some work for some golfers, and a few might work for you alone - but all tips don't work for all golfers.

GOLF TIP: Learn the fundamentals well, know yourself, and be selective in which tips might actually benefit your particular game. And practice, practice, practice. *

"Uncle Duffer"


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