The ten worst shots in your bag

Goodness gracious! The bad and the ugly...

Bob Warters's picture
Bob Warters
Fri, 12 Apr 2013

It occurred to me during a rain-sodden day on the golf course that everyone suffers gremlins in their game – but which are the worst?

Are they the ones that cost you a shot or three or merely those that cause acute embarrassment and make you the talk of the clubhouse.

An instant survey was required among my playing partners and those lurking around the bar.

So here are the ten worst shots in a golfer’s repertoire. See if you recognise them. Maybe you would like to add a few more to the horror list on The Forum.

No.10 – The sky-er

Usually with a driver or fairway wood off a tee peg. The deep-faced clubhead slides under the ball, sending it high and nowhere.

Good news – it usually goes straight.
Bad-news – look for an indellible ‘roof’ mark on top of your beautiful club.

No.9 – The top

The ball scurries and scuttles along the ground for 10 to 50 yards.

Good news – it normally goes straight and keeps out of trouble. 
Bad news – completion of the follow through is normally followed by burying the clubhead in the ground in one uninterrupted movement.

No.8 – Duffed chip (US version: Flub)

Clubhead makes ‘fat’ contact with the ball after turf – bumbles forward a few feet.

Good news – you can often use a putter for your next shot.
Bad news – your confidence around the green is completely shot from now on.

No.7 - Thinned pitch (Worm burner)

Ball comes off the leading edge of the club at the speed, trajectory and penetration of an Exocet missile, preventing warning to other players in its path.

Good news – it tends to go straight and might hit the flagstick and drop in the hole. 
Bad news – trouble is inevitably thicker, deeper and wetter behind the green.

No.6 – Duck hook

Violent pull to the left (for right-hander), the ball flying in a low, destructive arc, invariably into heather or woodland – with top spin, tending to penetrate deep into undergrowth.

Good news – can’t think of any, actually! 
Bad news – it invariably happens on the first tee with a new ball.

No.5 – Smothered bunker shot

Sand struck firmly six inches behind the ball which merely topples forward, then usually back into its own divot having travelled agonisingly up the bunker face

Good news – you can usually find it. 
Bad news – you have to play it again.

No.4 – The slice

Struck at 100mph the ball is carved viciously to the right on a high arcing flight with an open clubface, followed by the pained cry ‘Where’d it go?’

Good news – you learn quickly to aim left for the next shot. 
Bad news – most deaths on a golf course occur when a player is on the receiving end of such a shot.



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