NCG's Golf Glossary: What is a worm burner?

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Here at National Club Golfer we’re the publication for the everyday player and so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to give you a step-by-step introduction to the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon…

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?

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