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Saturday, 8 August 2015

To Supinate or Not to Supinate: That is the Question

Steve credits me with taking him from a low eighties shooter to a guy who now sometimes struggles to break ninety.  If I actually was in the teaching business, which I'm not, I would definitely prefer that this particular pupil just quit school and got a job.  Actually, I suspect Steve was a low eighties man like I was a par breaking man; he shot around eighty when he was on song and the putts were dropping. He's broken eighty, and he shot 81 last week, so he can play the game.  But, suffice it to say, he definitely isn't anxious to hail me as the next Harvey Penick; which is fair enough.  

Today I played with Steve and Spiros.  I suspected it was going to be a tough day when I was driving to the course and realized, to my dismay, that I'd forgotten my morphine.  Since I was already feeling sore, I figured it would be a good day if I could just survive the round.  I had played thirty six holes a couple of days ago, and the old body was not happy about it.

As usual, I played against Steve and Spiros' best ball.  I was playing from the blues--I'd say the tips, but our course is only 6300 yards, so I wouldn't want to make it sound like it was that big a deal; it's not like I was playing Bethpage Black.  The boys were playing from the whites, which is fifty nine hundred yards.  We were having a good match because we were all playing about as badly as each other.  I missed a short par putt on sixteen and the boys went one up.  Things were not looking good, but I figured not all was lost quite yet, not by a damn sight.

Steve had arrived today and announced that he had been on YouTube and watched a segment on supination.  His plan was to supinate his way to victory.  I figured it was a fair enough plan, but, given that he had not tested this supination business out on a range, I had my doubts.  It had certainly worked nicely for Hogan. But Steve is not Ben Hogan, and he seemed to be supinating his way to another 92.

On the tee shot on seventeen, Steve hit his best drive of the day, looked at me and said, "That's it."

I had to agree with him.

As he stood over his second shot, a downhill lie about 120 yards from the pin, I said, "Focus.  Just hit the shot."

Steve hit the prettiest wedge, or nine iron--I never asked him which--to about eight feet.  He then knocked in his birdie putt to win the match.  I had to admit, as someone very invested in seeing Steve at least get back to where he was before he was unfortunate enough to fall under my spell, or tutelage, or whatever you might care to call it, I was very pleased.

We both finished with nice par threes on the last, and Steve and I were both thinking that there was indeed hope. Steve shot 88.  I'm not sure whether supinating helped him very much, but focussing on hitting the shot certainly did, at least for the last two holes.  I think there just might be a lesson in that.