Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Never Concede the Putt That Beats You

John David Lipson is 73 years old now. He first won the club championship at Picton when he was 18 years old. Those were the days when the club championship was match play and the final was a 36 hole affair. John David went on to win five of them in quick succession. He was a terrific player.

He now suffers from the yips and sports a 20 handicap. It's strange how it's generally the really good players who seem to get the yips. I've tried to get John David to try putting looking at the hole, but he's having none of it. He's afraid he'll miss the ball if he does. So, we'll see if he can find another way to deal with his atrocious putting. His ball striking is still good.

John David and I had a match against Ken and Robert yesterday. John David and Robert also played an individual match against eachother. Both matches came down to the last hole. Ken and Robert beat us thanks to a great up-and-down for par by Ken.

In Robert's match with John David they were all square going into the last hole. John David had fought his way back from three down. John David had a putt of about two and a half feet to halve the eighteenth. He yipped it and Robert won.

When we were having drinks afterwards, Robert announced that his match with John David was his very first experience at match play. He asked us whether he had comported himself properly, expressing some concern about not giving John David that last putt on eighteen.

John David was quick to respond that Robert had been a fine opponent and was perfectly correct in making John David putt that two-footer. I added that Sam Snead had once said that you should never concede the putt that beats you. Granted, John David's putt was for a half, but I felt certain Sam's advice would certainly apply there as well. I also suggested to Robert that he had been lucky to play his first match against a gentleman like John David. He'll likely never play a finer, more gentlemanly, opponent. 

Congratulations to Ken and Robert on their fine play. As for John David, I still wish he'd try putting looking at the hole. It might help. And, even if it doesn't, it couldn't hurt. It's a shame to see such a fine player suffering on the greens like that.