If you haven’t read our first edition of #TourSauce – How to Act Like a Tour Pro: Part I – Check it out before continuing. You won’t regret it.
Now that you’ve mastered The Club Twirl, The Rehearsal, and The Interview, you’re ready to bump your game up a couple notches. No, not just the occasional top 25 in third tier events. I’m getting you primed for majors, fat overseas appearance fees, and Ryder Cup spots: a true YOTTO season. It’s time to show off how much #TourSauce you have. It’s time for Part II.
You show up in your metal spikes to the local muni and your freshly fitted black Nike slacks you just got back from your apparel rep (the seamstress at the strip mall around the corner). It’s 100 degrees and your legs feel like they’re in a greenhouse, but you’re used to it as you don’t even own a pair of shorts anymore. Your attire is scripted by your sponsor, so naturally you’re only wearing one brand.
After heading over to the practice facility your first order of business is demanding that one of the junior golfers come over and toss you range balls one by one while you work through your strict warm-up regimen (purposefully bashing drivers over the net that cuts in down the right side at about 240 yards). After the assistant club pro comes out and calls a ceasefire (not the first time you’ve had a dust-up with this scrub), you’re off to the first tee, where you announce what type of ball you’re playing and how it’s marked, as if you need to differentiate it from your playing partner, a 30-handicap using a yellow ball. It’s time to show that you’ve diversified your tour pro repertoire. Show us your #TourSauce!
You can NOT step up the ball until you have your start line picked out. Don’t be distracted by the marshal who can’t control the large gallery (dude jamming on his headphones while riding the mower up by the green) on your sight line. You will wait until YOU are ready. You also wait to make sure the group in front of you has cleared the green, because you just don’t know what might happen if you get ahold of one.
There is no shot clock out here. These patrons came out to see you. What’s the rush? There is a lot of commotion going down on the porch at the 19th hole behind you, so take your time. You’re giving the fans a treat. They get to see you in person for a few extra seconds.
The round didn’t get off to the to start you envisioned, as evidenced by the eight-footer you’re now faced with to salvage double. To make matters worse, you’re befuddled by this perfectly flat, hairy public green. You confirm with your (imaginary) caddie that you’re putting into the grain (what you haven’t factored in is that the greens are bentgrass, so there is no grain) and switch your attention to which way the ocean is, as everyone knows everything breaks towards the Pacific (nevermind that you’re playing in Ohio). You know there’s more in this thing than meets the eye, so you take matters into your own hand and decide to channel your inner Villegas.
After you struggle back to your feet, you’ve forgotten what the read was. You decide on one ball outside right, square up, and don’t scare the hole. Some chucklehead in one of the groups up ahead must’ve treaded all over your line (nevermind that you’re the only one out here in metal spikes) so you go with…
The Spike Mark Blame
There’s no chance that miss was your fault. Did the greenskeeper have the day off or something? Tap down the (imaginary) spike mark so none of the pros behind you will get screwed by the same hack that left those behind. Make a note to be sure to talk to “Finchem” about this (the head pro at the muni). These greens are insulting. As a tour pro you should NEVER have to settle for green speeds less than 14 on the Stimpmeter.
The Putter Toss
Because of that spike mark, you just lost the hole. Get that putter out of your hand as fast as possible. Your caddie will take care of the rest. Don’t worry that you’re riding in a cart with your dad. Let’s be serious – you’re a tour pro – don’t even consider carrying your own putter to the next tee.
You absolutely pure a 6 iron from 225 into the par-5 6th hole (following an OB ball, and a chunk). You can’t hit it any better. You know exactly where it’s going so it’s time to follow that thing to the flag. You chase the shot down the fairway, leaving your cart and riding partner in the dust. Throw in a club twirl so everyone knows just how well you hit it. Give an “ONIONS!” yell as you begin your strut. Nevermind that its 40 yards short (was there a wind gust?) and in the water. You can’t buy a break today!!!
It may be in the drink, but…
You lay five and you’re ball is in the water, but you think you can “get a club on it.” Your playing partner is on the green putting for four, but you need to “play it as it lies.” Shoes and socks comes off, rain gear comes on. Time to go swimming. This stroke you’re saving is worth thousands (of pennies).
This also applies for anything involving rocks and trees directly in front of you – play everything down…but only after you’ve exhausted all options by demanding that a rules official get his ass out here to give you a ruling. Which leads us to….
The Rules Official
You need to take a routine drop, but the stakes are high. You pull out your cell-piece to summon the assistant club pro (same one you clashed with earlier at the practice facility) to the farthest point on the course to give you a ruling. You refer to him as “Slugger” and take an inordinate amount of time getting the proper drop. Meanwhile, the rest of your group has finished the hole.
Your day is still going horribly. Something HAS to be wrong with your equipment. And it doesn’t matter to you that you’ve got brand new forged blades in your bag (you had to have them, blew two pay checks on them). You’ve got a sponsorship. You can go back in the equipment trailer (the pre-owned bin at the PGA Tour Superstore) after the round and get fitted for a new 6 iron (bent down a half degree, of course). So toss that thing in the lake. Make sure everyone knows just how mad you are about the swing you just made how bad these clubs are. You remind yourself to talk to your agent about finding a loophole in this sponsorship contract so you can switch to something better.
The Tiger Step
Your round is not going any better to this point. But you’ve got a six-footer heading in the general vicinity of the hole, so it’s time to let the crowd know how confident you are that this putt is center cup. Before the putt falls, you launch yourself off your right foot toward the hole to get your ball out. That quarter of a second that you saved by walking towards the hole before it goes in will surely make up for the three minutes you spent reading the putt.
Take it to the next level for longer distance putts. Go full Tiger Sprint, and throw in the point so everyone know exactly what hole the ball is going into.
The High-Five Whiff
After draining the first putt you’ve made all day, it’s time to celebrate with your partner with a solid high-five. You’re determined to prove anyone who argues that “golfers are athletes” completely wrong, but you whiff on the high-five. Any momentum you’ve gained by that win with the double is completely lost.
The Ball Toss
You just made five on the 132-yard par-3 7th hole, but there is still a throng of people out there to watch you. Give them a little treat to make sure you’re still their favorite with an effortless toss to the crowd (unsuspecting group on the nearby tee).
The Courtesy Point
You missed your six-footer for bogey on #15. You have an absolute gimme. The $5 nassau has already been decided. You’ve already taken four minutes on this green; playing partners are dying for you to pick-up so you can at least attempt to finish before the sun goes down. But you have to putt everything out for this thing to be official (don’t want any snafus in the scorer’s tent later on). You make sure you’re not stepping in your playing partner’s line (or their “through line”), so you point at their line just to make sure they see how much you care about it. They don’t even have a putt to hit, you just need to show how good of a sportsman you are. You contort your torso more than you would if you were playing Twister and tap in for your snowman.
After you make it, be sure to do a 360 walk around the hole to retrieve your ball, and to make sure you don’t step in someone’s line.
The Family Move
You finish your round. You broke 90 for the first time this summer. Obviously your family and infant child are nearby and the situation is RIPE for a photo-op. Your wife’s been so supportive of your quest to take your game to the next level (splurging on those new blades meant eating ramen noodles for two months). They rush on the green to help you celebrate (you’ve been coaching them on this all winter). Your life is perfect, and now everyone in the world (your foursome) knows it.
Let us know on twitter (@NoLayingUp) when you see some #TourSauce. Better yet, share this piece with your buddies and let us know how they react when you bust these moves out on the course.
Check out Part III here…