July 20, 2001
I don’t understand how some people can sleep at night.
In the dark of night on July 16, vandals victimized the members and staff of Shawnee Country Club in Milford. These creeps managed to tear up portions of the ninth and eighteenth greens, steal or break several flag pins, and knock down signs, ball washers and other equipment. They also damaged a new car from the I.G. Burton dealership, left on display on the club property for a golf tournament.
In their most brazen act, the crooks also stole the club’s Pepsi-logo beverage cart from the cart shed, eventually crashing it into a barn several miles away near Jefferson Crossroads. (I’m assuming it was more than one criminal, because it’s hard to believe only one fool could do all this damage by himself.)
Club Superintendent Steve Zeveney recovered the cart the next day, and is cooperating with the Milford Police Department as they investigate the incident. His maintenance staff was also forced to alter their regular routine to make the necessary repairs to the course.
What’s a bit surprising is that these clowns managed to wreak all this havoc without apparently awakening anyone in nearby residential subdivisions. In fact, somehow no one seems to have noticed them riding a golf course beverage cart along the area’s roads.
In this instance, the club’s security lighting was fully operational. Nonetheless, it’s hard to stop someone who is bound and determined to cause these kinds of serious mischief at a place like Shawnee. The normal security measures will deter most people from doing something this stupid and pointless, but not all.
If any reader has any information about this incident, please contact the Milford Police Department at 302-422-8081. The members of Shawnee would deeply appreciate any help in catching those responsible.
On a far more pleasant note, I recently started using a practice technique for putting that has some interesting effects.
According to Dr. Bob Rotella and Bob Cullen in their new book, Putting Out of Your Mind, (Simon & Schuster, $23 SRP), LPGA start Dottie Pepper places three tees on a flat portion of a putting green. She sets the tees at 3, 5, and 7 feet from a hole. The trick is to sink nine consecutive putts, three from each distance.
As soon as you miss a putt, you must start over again.
I tried it a few weeks ago just before playing 18 holes, thinking I was a good enough putter to accomplish the task in about three tries.
Instead, a half-hour later, I felt remarkably nervous. After well over a hundred putts, I finally had a chance to make the ninth consecutive putt. I released a pent-up burst of air that was somehow trapped in my lungs, and made the putt with a side-door roll-in.
I learned a few things from the experience.
First, I had a somewhat inflated sense of my skills as a putter. I now think I’m a bit more realistic.
Second, after a while you’ll make so many 3-foot putts on the way to trying the more difficult 5- and 7-foot putts that the short putts will become nearly automatic.
Third, sinking nine putts in a row produces an incredible sense of relief.
Finally, if you can do this practice routine just before playing a round, you will definitely feel more confident out on the course. You will also make more putts.
Give it a try sometime, and see if it helps you with your game.