"Would Dustin Johnson get free relief? ...Yes!" Unexpected disadvantages of being short

22.03.2017 16:39

The sun continues to shine here in Daytona as mine and Ellinor's stay here is coming to an end. Tomorrow we are both leaving my younger brother, Marcus, and his roommate, Christian, to go to Fort Myers about a four-hour drive from Daytona. My stay here has so far been largely about getting used to playing and practicing outside, as well as getting used to the bermuda grass that is present here because of the hot weather. It is very different to the bent type of grass that we have in Sweden. The ball sits down in the grass in a different way, and the bermuda grass roots are a lot harder than bent grass roots. I find it more difficult to get the clubface through the ball at impact on short shots since the club has a tendency to dig itself into the ground more easily than what I am used to. Also the greens are of bermuda type, which makes the grass grain more than on Swedish greens. This means that the grass lies in certain directions, making the breaks and speed different depending on which way the grass is laying. I'll be honest, I have been really frustrated around the greens. Putting has worked excellent, bunker shots aswell, but lob shots and pitching has been a struggle many times. Of course, I have to work on the short-game, but even more so I believe I have to work on my patience when I practice. Sure, it hasn't been working quite the way I want it to around the greens, but I need to be patient with it and not get frustrated. After all, if I shunk a lob shot today, who cares? Who even cares if a shunk every single lob shot up until my first tournament? As long as I find my way around the golf course at a competitive amount of strokes during tournaments, that is what counts. 

Except for the golf itself there has been some things me and Ellinor has had to fix for our future stay here. One very important thing when you are in the US is to have a car. During our time here we have been getting rides from Marcus and Christian to the golf course and our schedule has been influenced purely by theirs. However, now we have finally found a car and we are going to pick it up tomorrow. I was very happy that the car that we found was a Ford Five-Hundred, the same exact car that I had during my college years. It feels good to finally have a means of transportation so that we can make our own schedule. 

We have also had daily tournaments to decide who has to cook dinner and do the dishes. This has led to a lot of my time being spent cooking dinners or doing dishes. I'm seeing that as a positive thing though, since if my brother was to cook, we would most likely be eating meatballs and burnt pasta every day. 

During some spare-time we also tried some tennis, since they have a tennis court in their apartment complex, bathing in the hot tub in the area, working out, and writing together with Ellinor in a mindfulness coloring book for adults. The coloring book is very interesting. It does indeed make you relax and turn your mind off for a while. Before you know it, 45 minutes have passed, and all you have colored is a small horse head. 

We also watched Marcus and Christian play a tournament in Howey-In-The-Hills, about 1,5 hours from Daytona. It was a very tough course with extremely sloped greens. It was fun to see how Marcus has developed his game since I last saw him play this past summer. He did indeed play solid golf, but he had some unlucky breaks and didn't get the balls to drop despite several good putts. On his last round he even found his ball stuck in a palm tree on his 17th hole. He had a long discussion with a rules official before it was finally decided that he had to take a drop with a one stroke penalty in a bunch of rocks. Marcus wanted free relief from the palm tree since his stance was on the cart path. However, he had to jump to reach the ball, but could then take a swing at it. The rules official ruled it unlikely that Marcus would try that shot since he was so short. I then asked the rules official if he thought Dustin Johnson would get a free relief, and he said yes... So, apparently being short is a disadvantage even in golf. Anyway, it was fun to watch some tournament golf again.

The criminal palm tree

This afternoon will be our last practice together with Marcus and Christian. Tomorrow morning they are flying to a tournament in Maryland, and me and Ellinor are heading down to Fort Myers after picking up the car. 



Patric Sundlöf

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