My ‘spin’ on an alphabetical list of golf terms continues unabated

On my irons they are brown, but on my woods they are black. For those of you who might need a bit more information to understand that sentence, I’m here for you.

In last week’s column I told you, my faithful readers, that I found an alphabetical list of golf terms. Selecting one term for each letter of the alphabet, I gave you six words with an explanation of each. For those of you who missed it the words were “albatross,” “banana ball,” “chicken wing,” “duck hook,” “even par” and “ferrules.”

As for the last term, ferrules are the small parts attached to the club just above the hosel. Primarily cosmetic, these mostly plastic pieces are either black or brown. At the end of the column I told you I was going to check on the color of my ferrules (now that I know what they are) and I would let you know.

You may reread the first sentence of this column now. Ah, context!

We shall continue our alphabetical list of golf terms this week. See how many of these you are familiar with.

Gooseneck — I have to admit that I am familiar with this term. It is the part of the mothers’ anatomy that stretches so that her face is closer to yours when she admonishes you for getting too close to one of her newborn goslings.

All right, maybe this isn’t the golf terminology. A gooseneck refers to the extremely offset hosel on a putter meaning the putter face is well behind the shaft. I have no idea what this does for the putter, but I do know that another name for gooseneck is Plumber’s Neck! Sorry, but I don’t understand that either.

If there is a golfing plumber out there who can shed more light on this, please let me know.

Hacker — A slang term for a poor golfer. I know this term, but was a little disappointed that my picture accompanied the definition that I read.

Interlocking grip — This is the method of holding the club by locking the right pinky finger between the index and middle finger on the left hand. The most common way of griping a club in the game, I use it myself. In fact I can remember when I was showed the grip.

Being invited down to a friend’s house when I was a teenager, the purpose of the visit was to hit some golf balls in the guy’s big back yard. I could say that Ronny Wentz was my first instructor as I had never hit a golf ball in my life with an actual golf club. A baseball bat — sure — but a golf club?

Ronny showed me the interlocking grip that his father showed him. I tried it and have used it ever since. Actually Ronny may have been my only instructor as I have never really had a lesson. Maybe that explains why my picture…

Jump — When the ball comes off the club faster and harder than intended. Now I have heard professionals talk about a jumpy or flier lie from the rough, but I don’t think I have experienced it. I have flown greens on approach shots and I just assumed that I hit it too hard. Again, refer to the term hacker!

Now it is possible that it was not my fault after all, but the lie (how the ball sits, not an untruth) that may have caused it. My list of possible excuses has just increased!

Knock down shot — This is a shot that flies lower and spins less. This type of shot is normally used in windy conditions, or played from under a tree. I have hit this shot though it is not normally by design.

Putting spin on the ball happens to me, but I never know when it will occur (again refer to the lack of lessons) — thus, intentionally trying to take the spin off a shot isn’t going to happen. I do know how to “punch” a shot from under a tree. Amazingly it’s frequently the tree that knocks it down!

Lag putt — Professional golfers try to hit their putts with enough speed that if it misses the hole it should stop two feet past the target. I guess this is because 100 percent of all putts left short won’t go in.

Apparently, I subscribe to the theory that 100 percent of putts that go past the hole don’t go in either. Many of the 10-plus feet comeback putts are not going to go in for me as well. I have always been a lag putter and the number of putts that I have struck, that have been right in the jar but stop an inch or two short might just astound you. Still I can’t force myself to do as the pros do.

The last word on the lag putt goes to Yogi Berra. My daughter related this story to me as she had the occasion at the Baseball Winter Meetings a few years ago to listen to George Brett give a speech. Brett, the Hall of Fame third baseman from the Kansas City Royals, was talking about attending the induction ceremonies at Cooperstown, New York. In fact, he is likely there as you read this.

Many Hall of Famers make the trek each year for the event and the weekend frequently includes a round of golf. On one such occasion, Brett found himself in a threesome with Yogi and comedian Bill Murray. Can you imagine being the fourth member of this group?

According to Brett, Berra found himself with a 60-foot putt. After leaving the putt some 20 feet short, Yogi quipped as only Yogi can…

“If I’da hit it harder, I’da missed it closer!

Al Stephenson is The A-T bowling columnist.

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