BEYOND THE PIN
What dragons are waiting beyond the pin? What gorillas, ghosts, cobras were sudden death work on the far side of the cup?
There must be killing horror in that territory since so few dare to play into that deserted territory. You could sit by any green and watch the mashie pitches, the chip shots and the putts and 9 out of 10 stop short of the cup. It’s a curious fact that the cup has never been known to come forward to meet the ball. Yet not one golfer in fifty makes a habit of giving the ball a chance.
The ball that passes the pin is usually better hit – straighter and more firmly played. It is the sign of stouthearted boldness, adorned with the absence of timidity, and yet is one of the rare sites in any tournament. It's typical of Hagan and Jones or perhaps one or two other players to be past the cup more often than they are short, but why should so important an item be typical of one or two stars? It is just as easy to be past the cup as it is to be short and the reward is usually much greater! The answer is simple. Most golf strokes are struck on the timid side, the safety – first side, and don’t – run –a – risk side. Among most golfers most of the short approaches, chip shots and putts are played without any great confidence. The average approach putt is hit with a prayer that it may stop somewhere fairly near.
Think of all the thousands of strokes that would be saved in a year if 18 inches were added to every putt hit. Short playing is largely a mental habit which seizes the average soul. It would take no giant mentality to swing the habit over into a matter of being past in, especially on the chip shots and the putts. The ball that is given a chance nearly always holds a better line. It isn’t difficult to build up the habit of being past the cup when around the green, but it is a habit that must be built up for the normal human tendency is all the other way. The average golfer has a far greater dread of slipping 4 or 5 feet past the cup on an approach then he has of being short. He must have or he wouldn’t be short 90% of the time. It is largely a matter of habit that a few rounds of concentration can change.
The Duffers Handbook of Golf by Grantland Rice and Clare Briggs 1926 page 125
Submitted by Wally Armstrong
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