Tour Sauce is great fun to spot, isn’t it? The NCG team discuss the most Tour Sauce things they get up to while on the course in this edition of The Niggle, featuring Alex Perry, Steve Carroll, James Savage, Dan Murphy, Harvey Jamison and Mark Townsend…

Alex: Come on then. Fess up.

Steve: What’s Tour Sauce? Sorry, I’m old and out of touch.

Alex: Someone fetch Steve his hearing aid.

Steve: How can I know if I’m doing some Tour Sauce if I don’t know what it is?

Alex: It’s basically things you do to mimic the tour pros. Obviously that’s been around for years, but the guys over at No Laying Up brought the phrase Tour Sauce to the masses.

James: Your Tour Sauce thing, Steve, is the way you hold your finish for a couple of seconds longer than necessary.

Alex: Especially when there’s a camera trained on you…

James: I shouted “Be the club!” after my approach to 18 at Hillsborough the other week. I was instantly ashamed, embarrassed and am still afraid to go in the clubhouse in case it was witnessed by other members.

Dan: Other members? You mean the people who used to be your fellow members?

James: I’m on a final written warning.

Harvey: When I’m about to tee off with driver or 3-wood I bash the ground and waggle for no reason whatsoever.

Alex: That’s definitely a common one. That and the pre-shot club spin, of course. I’m a sucker for it. I used to enjoy a good club twirl while admiring my shot but stopped after I almost knocked myself out with my 8-iron.

Harvey: I do the Sergio Garcia waggle before swinging.

Alex: And the Tiger Woods club drop when you shank it into the trees?

Mark: I went through a phase in the 80s of removing the ball from the hole with a sort of affected bend like Sam Torrance used to do.

I went through a phase in the 80s of removing the ball from the hole with a sort of hiding the putter up my left arm like Greg Norman used to do.

I went through a phase in the 80s of deliberately trying to save shots with my end of follow through like Bernhard Langer used to do.

I used to walk with semi splayed feet like Nick Faldo used to do.

Alex: Is that all?

Mark: I very, very occasionally instantly take out my yardage book when I’ve put myself in trouble and bury my head in it. I’m trying to kid myself I’ll have a plan for what’s coming up. The book is generally five holes behind the one I’m on.

I also play with my hair like Robert Rock in the old days

And I went through a phase of not looking at good shots from the fairway, instead tapping down the fairway with my foot and putting the club back in the satchel.

I used to play chip shots by actually getting down and reading the green beforehand.

I would always leave my putter head cover on my umbrella

I would pitchmark my spikes every two holes while resting my hand on a playing partner’s shoulder

Steve: I’m amazed you had time to hit any shots at all Mark with all that ‘sauce’.

James: I’m the least Tour Saucy player ever. There’s literally nothing I can do on the golf course that would make me even slightly resemble a pro – apart from having all the latest gear.

Dan: I’m all over stepping behind the line of a putt when it misses by four feet so everyone knows that gravity was temporarily suspended.

Harvey: I tend to go through an elaborate routine of reading the green when lining up putts, but more often than not have absolutely no clue what I should be looking for.

Alex: There is loads of putting Tour Sauce. Add to those buckling your legs slightly when your ball drifts just past the hole, or flinging your putter in the air, or walking after the ball with putter aloft when it’s going in.

Harvey: Flicking the ball up into the air with the back of your putter and catching it.

Alex: How satisfying is that when you pull it off?

Harvey: A lot of the time I’m taking my time on the green I’m actually just counting up in my head the strokes to that point.

James: Yeah that’s not AimPoint, that’s how many it took me to get out of the bunker.

Alex: What about examples of Tour Sauce in other sports?

Mark: When I’m playing snooker, I’m prone to tapping my ring finger on the baize while putting together a break of 12.

James: When they have that tiny sip of water to rapturous applause after clearing up.

Alex: The tap on the table to acknowledge a good shot. Just say “good shot”, you’re in the quietest room in the northern hemisphere.

Mark: I wipe my face with a hand towel quite regularly at snooker despite never wiping my face in any other walk of life.

Alex: Disappearing for a toilet break without saying a word after winning a tightly-fought frame.

James: Almost busting the back of the pocket with the black when pointlessly clearing up with a break of 26.

Alex: Sunday league footballers doing the Ronaldo stance before a free kick? Or wearing orange boots?

James: “Anyone got any tape?” That was all you’d hear in our dressing room – I mean car park – where we got changed before football on a Sunday morning. People were obsessed with wrapping electrical tape around their ankles and above their shins so their socks stayed above their knees.

Alex: I grew up in a market town, and all the farmers I played cricket with – the most Devonshire people on the planet – would suddenly start putting on an Australian accent. “Bowlin’ Shane-O!”

Dan: Or practising their forward defensive as they walk out to bat. Then doing exactly the same as they walk back in having been bowled first ball.

Harvey: I used to halt the bowler in his run up every so often so I could prod the wicket – I still don’t know what I was supposed to be looking for.

Alex: Huge grunting when you play tennis, even if you play a drop shot.

Mark: I spent the summer of 1991 playing short tennis with the same three people eating hundreds of bananas between games.

Dan: I love the idea of drawing attention to a good bunker shot by trying to clack my wedge on the soles of my shoes.

Alex: Oh right. Golf…

Mark: I tap out the sand from my shoes if I play a good bunker shot. I just leave the bunker without incident if I knife one across the green.

Alex: I usually clack my ankle. I’m not very good at Tour Sauce.

James: Did anyone mention having alignment sticks in their bag while playing?

Dan: Nice to lay a marker down.

Mark: Category One players can have alignment sticks. Otherwise get a grip of yourself.

James: I have no problem with them – just take them out of your bag before playing.

Dan: Why?

James: Why would you leave them in other than to say “Ooooh look at me I’ve got alignment sticks”?

Dan: So they are where I can make use of them whenever I happen to be on a practice ground or at a driving range.

James: So if you were going to play and you knew you weren’t going to get the chance to use them, you’d take them out?

Dan: I keep them in my bag because they are practically weightless and will be there when I need them as opposed to in my boot or garage. You always have an old Mars Bar in your bag.

Alex: Mars has done so much more for my game in the past 25 years than alignment sticks…


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