You have to par one of these holes to win £10,000 – which do you play?
Each week, four of the NCG team get together to ask each other the pressing questions. The only rule is: The question must be golf related. In this edition, Alex Perry, Keel Timmins, Mark Townsend and James Savage take to the tee…
Alex: In front of you are a 200-yard par 3, a 450-yard par 4 and a 600-yard par 5. You’ve got to make par to win £10,000. Which one do you go for and why?
Keel: The par 5. If I get it out there at around 250 down the middle of the fairway, then I’d be greenside in three with two solidly hit 6-irons which shouldn’t be a problem. Then it would all come down to whether I could get up-and-down. Get the PW, hit a low-runner to tap-in distance, and laugh all the way to the bank. What could possibly go wrong?
Mark: Obviously you can be all sorted with one good shot on the par 3 but I’m not very reliable with my strong (only) hybrid. I’d take my chances on the big boy and hope that I can leave myself a 9-iron with my third. That could go very wrong when I’m chipping out sideways after a stray tee ball.
James: Anyone who says the par 4 is being silly as you’ve basically got the par 3 to go even if you hit a decent drive. I’ll take the par-3 as I feel worst case scenario is a having some sort of wedge in my hand and looking at a tough up and down.
Keel: Which regular PGA or European Tour event would you most like to attend?
Mark: The Safeway Open. Only joking. On the PGA Tour, Harbour Town and then play a lot of golf in the Carolinas. On the European Tour, the Scottish Open and then play a lot of golf in the Gullane area. Always quite fancied Crans but am terrible with heights.
James: Phoenix Open. On a stag do. And I’d like to go to the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines as I can visit my uncle in San Diego. And probably get a round in somewhere nice with Bob Vokey, Scotty Cameron and Steve Pelisek from Titleist.
Alex: The Made in Denmark always looks like it would be really good fun. The crowds are incredible and it’s a brilliant country, aside from the £10 beers. That, or the one in Perth, on the basis that I could then stay there for, well, the rest of my life.
Mark: What do you think of, technically and mentally, when stood over a four-foot putt?
James: Technically I’ll be trying not to take the putter back too far. A short stroke with a confident follow through. Mentally, I’ll be happy to be down in two.
Alex: Line it up as a straight putt, be confident, drill it centre cup. (And miss.)
Keel: I’ve already lined the ball up to the hole, so I know my line is good. When I’m standing over the ball, I’m just making sure that I get the pace right, and hitting the ball with the middle of the putter face.
James: After hitting one out of bounds the other day, I reloaded and smoked one into A1 position. Despite trying to resist, I turned to my playing partner and said, ‘Now why didn’t I do that the first time?’ I was so disappointed with myself. What stupid cliches do you find yourself saying out on the course?
Alex: “Nice strike” is one I always find myself saying, most often to players way better than me. Big fan of cracking out the crap gags like “One!” when a playing partner’s ball falls off the tee. Stop taking it so seriously.
Keel: After a playing partner has just hit it into the trees: “Ah, you’ll be fine there” or “That’s actually not a bad leave”, even though I know they’re staring at a double-bogey or worse, and they’ve probably just ruined their round. But you can’t say that, can you?
Mark: Either “Good for line” when he or she leaves it four feet short or “Nice weight” when they misread it and it finishes eight feet wide of the hole. I’m also capable of saying “You hit it well” when they have smashed one into some undergrowth. It’s pathetic, I just struggle a bit with silences.