November 24, 2010 - Ralph Cissne
This season’s Big Break Dominican Republic has been my favorite of the Golf Channel series although the girl’s Glossy Posse would stand a better chance of cashing in our skins game. Last night Brian, a poster child for humility, confessed, “I did not allow myself to succeed.” No kidding. His angst-ridden attitude and self-promotion are momentum killers. Every good player knows you don’t talk smack. That only motivates your competitors.
In a recent game with my misfit crew, Silent Slim, a 24-year-old slayer who won our club championship with a 12 under par 36-hole total, was my partner in a match against Lucas the Impaler and Starch. We’re all scratch players, but after six holes the Impaler demanded we rotate partners (it was that bad). The eighth hole is a reachable par 5 and the others out drove me forty yards. I managed to hit a solid three-metal to 8 feet. The second shots of Silent Slim and Starch were long and short. The Impaler shoved his five-iron on the green fifty feet right of the pin. A loud and ruthless competitor, the Impaler will, if you have the time, recount his conquests dating back to junior golf. He loves to talk smack, but he’s a clutch player who can deliver the goods. I’ve seen him do it many times.
The Impaler surveyed the length of his fifty-foot putt, took one last look and made his play. It was perfect speed. When the ball dropped into the cup a one-man celebration ensued that rivaled the scene when Justin Leonard dropped the 45-footer on Jose Maria Olazabal in the 1999 Ryder Cup. “That’s how you make an eagle,” the Impaler roared. “Let’s see you make that eight footer now.” Players on a nearby tee box turned and stared at the aberrant exhibition. Silent Slim grinned. Starch danced his signature Irish jig and laughed out loud. “Laugh on,” I said to him. “But you’re my partner now.”I must admit that I laughed, too. It was a hilarious moment common in our games, which can be as outrageous and entertaining as any Big Break episode. After the mayhem I missed my putt, but didn’t waste any energy making excuses. The Impaler enjoyed his moment of glory and there was plenty of golf to be played. I didn’t allow one miss to destroy my momentum. It was done. You have to accept that fact and move on. There will be other moments. As 1999 Ryder Cup captain Ben Crenshaw said, “I have a good feeling…” And that’s what the Will of Golf is all about. WOG