“Did you see THAT shot at the Masters last Sunday?” I must have been asked this well over 20 times from friends and colleagues over the past four days. None of them have any affiliation with the game of golf, other than there was nothing better for them to watch on terrestrial televison, THAT Sunday night.
“Do you mean Phil Mickleson’s shot? The one out of the pine needles and through the trees to five foot on the 13th?” I exclaim (wearily by the 20th attempt), as it seems I’m having a groundhog day with the same conversation, only the faces looking at me change.
“Yeah, yeah that’s the one. What a shot. I never knew golf could be so exciting to watch.”
Most of the people that have talked to me about this, one of the great shots in recent Masters history, also love football. And it seems to me that they are trying to compare it to a thundering 30-yard volley by Steven Gerrard, or as if Wayne Rooney has executed another piece of sublime skill. At least, whilst talking to me they’re reacting in a similar fashion to having seen that golf shot, as they do when I’m with them at the pub watching Messrs Gerrard and Rooney perform their tricks. Their eyes light up, as they get excited from the blood rushing from their heart and around their body.
Great shots, like that of Mickleson’s, are slowly filtering through to the masses, and this is the kind of thing that gets people into golf, as they try and replicate the greatness they’ve just seen on the box. This can only be a good thing for our sport, as it may hopefully give a helping hand towards golf clubs attaining more members, providing the ammunition to fight their way out of the recession that has crippled many clubhouses across the country.
I could have easily have had this conversation about Tiger’s shot into nine as he hooked it around the trees, or when he holed his approach on seven, but haven’t we all heard enough about Woods these past few weeks? For me the shot that typified what the Masters is all about was Adam Scott’s approach, which took 38 seconds (yes I counted it) from hitting the 7th green to finally knocking the pin and dropping into the hole. Only on the greens of Augusta could you ever dream the ball would still be moving after so long.