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'Watch this' brings out the stupid in golfers

Stupid comes with golf. You buy a set of clubs and stupid is thrown in, free of charge. A sleeve of Titleists also may be included, something for you to knock into the water with your new clubs.

I bow to no man when it comes to dumb stuff in golf. I once fell into a pond trying to retrieve a golf ball. Top that one.

This is mentioned at this particular time because club championships are right around the dogleg, on Labor Day weekend, and tournaments were invented to magnify the indignities we suffer out there.

Example: Rory McIlroy's IQ hit zero in the recent PGA Championship when he found his ball lying behind a large root. Jean Van de Velde would have chipped out. If you're going to try a shot like that, use somebody else's club.

McIlroy thought he could hit the shot and let go of the club before it hit the root. Not even Phil Mickelson can do that, although he would probably try. McIlroy got lucky. He only sprained his wrist.

The daring are to be admired, of course, but the "watch this" golfers are to be pitied.

The shot and the lie call for a bump and run. Watch this, you say, and you try to hit a lob wedge, blading it across the green and into a bunker.

That's a 230-yard carry over the water? And you're going for it? Didn't you see "Tin Cup?" Oh, you hit one 230 last year? Well, then, of course, go for it. And use one of those new Titleists. Maybe they can swim.

You find your ball sitting in thick rough so deep you could lose an SUV in it. The smart shot is a lofted club, an 8 or 9 iron, into the fairway, leaving yourself a chance to scramble a par. Nah, you think you might knock it on if you catch the 3-wood solid. Good thinking. Hang on to that 3-wood, you're going to need it on your next shot. Out of the rough.

Everybody is susceptible to brain lock on a golf course. Sooner or later, the game will undignify you. A tournament, with its added pressure, is a happy hunting ground for it.

Most of us try too hard and we wind up falling into the pond.

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