NCG's Golf Glossary: What is a worm burner?January 1, 2010 The Scoop
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Usually, the only way you’ll see scorched earth on a golf course is if it is hit by lightning.
Since the dawn of time, thunder and the accompanying strike that went with it were thought to have been a sign of God’s anger.
This week’s word, though, strikes fury into the hearts of golfers everywhere.
Word of the week: Wormburner
Those small slithery creatures, the ones that often park themselves right in the line of your putt, can be a real pest on our courses.
But, instead of forking out for expensive deterrents, head greenkeepers could consider a radical new alternative.
We’ve all seen a phalanx of lawnmowers going up and down fairways – cutting to get them ready for play.
So when there are too many worms for comfort, let’s put together an army of golfers, stick them all in a line, and sort them out once and for all.
For there is a shot in every hacker’s arsenal that’s a cast iron bug killer.
Dictionary definition: Wormburner: [slang] A golf shot that never gets more than a few feet off the ground.
What this actually means: For anyone who has seen this (and let’s be honest, we’ve all done it), it’s a pretty ugly shot.
You line up behind the ball, swing with all your might and then barely get it six inches off the ground.
Off it goes, with such a low trajectory – and at such speed – that you can just about make out the faint trace of smoke in its wake as it scorches the earth around it.
It’s not quite a top and, on firm ground, it might actually gain some decent distance as it trundles along to its ever-embarrassing conclusion.
I’ve actually seen someone shoot a hole-in-one with a wormburner but there were no celebrations. It’s a shot no-one can really cheer, is it?