Category Archives: Golf

The Yips

Parallel parking is easy when practiced in front of your house with cones and trash cans. It does, however, become infinitely more difficult when attempted in front of a swanky restaurant in between a BMW 7-Series and a Maserati with outdoor diners picking apart your every mistake. Soon, passerby begin to gravitate just to watch you take the wrong angle and start over for the umpteenth time. Put enough pressure on yourself while allowing the situation power over you, and you’ll fail more at parallel parking than Meadow Soprano.

Meadow can't park...

If you’re the type who’ll park three blocks away and pay $10 to avoid parallel parking in front of everyone, then you may have a case of the yips.

The yips are dangerous. Powerful enough to end careers and contagious enough to shun those afflicted, the yips are that little anxiety monster that grows and grows and eventually takes over in pressure situations.

In the athletic arena, it could look like Chuck Knoblauch launching short throws from second base into the stands, or Jean Van de Velde scattering golf shots all over the last hole to lose the British Open, or Mark Wohlers unable to find the strikezone, or LeBron James disappearing in the fourth quarter in the NBA Finals, or any Florida State kicker when trying beat the University of Miami. Those are just a few examples but the list is miles long of athletes who can do their task without trouble when no one is watching only to fail miserably when the lights burn brightest.

Some call it ‘white line’ syndrome. Step on the playing surface between the white lines of the football field, basketball court, baseball field, or parking space and the athlete can begin to over-think the most mundane of tasks. Short field goals become tricky, free throws are impossible, throwing strikes are out of the question, and parallel parking is calamitous.

Yours truly even yipped a stop sign some years ago. You know, those big, red octagonal warnings that have stop written across? I had a date in the passenger’s seat and my mind was preoccupied and sure enough, whoop-whoop! The policeman lectured me on paying more attention (no ticket!) and did understand that the sign was behind a large banyan tree. But had I been driving alone I certainly would have been locked in on the stop sign. The circumstances of my date and trying to think about saying all the right things led me to completely yip a stop sign!

Fortunately, no one was hurt and I have since learned from that experience. I have yet to miss a stop sign since! The yips can drive those afflicted one of two ways: Learn from them and improve, or, succumb to them and wash out.

When Rory McIlroy yipped away the Master’s many thought he would struggle in future similar situations. But he learned from the experience and won the very next major tournament convincingly. The aforementioned Van de Velde never came close to winning another major tournament ever again.

From champion to wading in muck: The Yips

So fear not. You may have badly screwed up that last date when you spilled all that wine on his smartphone and white Brooks Brothers shirt. Now you know you have to concentrate a little more when pouring wine. But don’t avoid that same situation; that would be succumbing to the yips. And don’t avoid parallel parking either. Find a teensy-weensy spot during happy hour between a Bentley and a Mercedes and yell “Take notes!” as you put on a show one-timing the parking job and saying “You’re welcome,” to the group ready to pounce on your smallest mistake.

No one really knows how to defeat the yips, but apprehension certainly isn’t the cure. Might as well be aggressive…

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Filed under Baseball, Basketball, Dating, Football, Golf, Yips

A club (or shoe) for every occasion

So you are going to the beach. Or dancing. Or shopping. Or running. Or man-hunting. Or whatever.

Do you wear the same shoe for all the aforementioned situations? Of course not. Each situation calls for a special shoe so you can walk on the beach sand, dance your troubles away, shop ’til you drop, run off calories, or catch some wanted attention.

The wrong shoe can have disastrous results. Imagine wearing heels to the beach or trying to attract a man in hiking boots. Not. Gonna. Happen.

The same holds true for golf clubs. All those golf clubs in the bag aren’t just for show or a “wasteful” way for your husband, brother, dad, boy friend, guy friend etc. to spend money. Each club has a specific purpose that allows the golfer to complete the hole in as few strokes as possible.

First off, the wedges (the shortest clubs with the most loft) are designed to pop the ball high into the air for a short distance. Why is a high trajectory good? The higher the ball flight, the softer the ball will land which reduces roll. The wedges are used from about 150 yards and closer and probably can best be compared to your everyday shoes because you will use your wedges on every hole. The classic sandal can not only be worn at the beach, but also with many different outfits. The sand wedge, while meant to be used in sand traps, works beautifully on the grass much like how sandals can complement any summer dress.

The irons range from the nine iron (the shortest iron with the most loft) all the way to the one iron (longest iron with the least loft). Short irons (7 iron, 8 iron, 9 iron) can be used from 150 yards to about 175 yards away from the hole. Mid irons (5 iron, 6 iron) can be used from about 180 yard to about 210 yards and long irons (1 iron, 2 iron, 3 iron) can be used from 215 yard to a little more than 250 yards. High loft means shorter distance and higher ball flight, low loft means more distance and lower ball flight. Depending on the conditions (wind, grass length, water hazards, sand traps) each iron has a specific purpose to best help you achieve your objective; whether it is shooting a low score on a troublesome dog-leg with water on all sides or beating out that little hussy for the last pair of manolos on sale (use the golf club on the golf hole, not to scare away the hussy in the department store. I don’t want my readers going to jail for attempted assault).

The large, mallet-shaped clubs known as “woods” have one purpose and one purpose only. To hit the ball far. Real far.

The driver can hit the ball more than 300 yards, but the trouble with the woods are that they are arguably the most difficult club in the bag to hit. Any golfer can remember confidently striding to the first tee with everyone watching only to hit the ball no more than a couple of feet. It is one of the most embarrassing moments any human can endure. Kinda like falling down in heels. Much like high heels, the driver has a severe risk/reward element. Confidently glide in heels and any man will go ga-ga over you. Fall, and the hex is lifted. Drive the golf ball a country mile down the fairway, and my playing partners will bow to my superiority. Knock the ball 10 feet, and my playing partners will question my masculinity.

Finally, there is the putter. The putter is used on every hole and yet, most amateur golfers never practice with it. They don’t acknowledge the fact that every putt (even though putts are measured in feet, not yards) count just the same as a booming 330 yard drive. The putter is a lot like your running shoes. You don’t give them a whole lot of credit and you probably would not show them off if MTV Cribs took place in your room, but do you think Angelina Jolie or Kate Beckinsale would look the way they do if they didn’t use their workout/running shoes? Your running shoes are your foundation just like the putter. Neglect your putter and you are in effect neglecting your running shoes, and we all know the severity of that decision (bigger jeans).

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Taking a Mulligan

“Pardon me miss, I seem to have lost my phone number, could I borrow yours?”

“Baby, I’m no Fred Flintstone, but I can make your Bedrock!”

“Did you clean your pants with Windex? I can practically see myself in them.”

Ladies, ever hear one of these lame pick-up lines? These ones are all so stupid that they are actually pretty funny. However, being the classy ladies that you are, these lines did not work. Right? You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.

Anyway, after you totally rejected the dude who tried one of these fine examples of flattery that would do William Shakespeare proud, that guy was probably feeling pretty low. He probably wanted another chance to impress you. In other words, he wants a mulligan.

A mulligan is a golf term used to describe a second shot after a particularly poor previous shot. Not allowed in the official rules of golf, mulligans are used by just about every amateur golfer in just about every round of golf. For instance, a golfer steps up to the tee box (where you hit the ball) and proceeds to try and hit a glorious shot. Instead, he takes a violent swing, hits the ground far too hard, barely hits the ball, and ends up hitting the ball shorter than he could throw it. Now, this is embarrassing (as embarrassing as getting turned down at a bar) so the golfer wants to atone for his weak, pansy shot by taking another shot.

This shot is struck perfectly, far surpassing the previous attempt leaving the golfer in position to shoot a desirable score. In the golfer’s head, the previous shot doesn’t exist and he won’t count it on his scorecard. The mulligan wipes the slate clean and gives the golfer a second chance. So the next time you are at a bar and a guy sidles up to you and says, “Do you have a quarter? My mother told me to call home when I met the girl of my dreams,” reply, “Sorry champ, I don’t have a quarter, and for a line like that, I am not allowing you a mulligan either!”

Try this out! Try using “mulligan” whenever a situation calls for a do-over. For example: You order something and you change your mind, say, “Can I get a mulligan on that order? I will have the caesar salad instead.”

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Filed under Dating, Golf