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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

No Pictures on the Scorecard

There are no pictures on the scorecard.  It isn't how, it's how many. That's essentially what Bobby Jones spoke about in the first chapter of his book Bobby Jones on Golf.  This chapter was entitled The Ultimate Object, and the fact that Bobby made this the first chapter of his book was surely no coincidence.

Bobby begins by describing a shot he played at the 1926 Open at Scioto where he was in a battle with  Joe Turnesa.  In describing the difficulty of this bunker shot on the thirteenth hole, Bobby explained why the usual options available to him were either of no use, or too dangerous to play. Instead, Bobby chose to use a four iron to scuttle the ball across the sand and up the bank onto the green. The ball came to rest four feet from the hole and Bobby holed the putt.

What was the lesson for the rest of us in this story?  Bobby wrote:

    "The general tendency, I think, is to overlook the possibilities in a shot of this nature.  i admit that it does appear unworkmanlike and amateurish to run a shot through sand and out of a bunker, but it sometimes becomes necessary to disregard appearances.  A few disasters resulting from a desire to display brilliant technique are enough to harden even the most sensitive nature. To approach the hole remains the ultimate object in the game. Once the round is underway, the business in hand becomes that of getting results. Nothing else matters."