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Golf: Baker-Finch’s Driver “Yips”

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“Golfers of quality are not immune to the "yips" but in 99 cases out of 100 it’s the putting "yips. For Baker-Finch, born in Queensland in October, 1960, it was the "yips" with a driver in his hand.” So writes Colin Farquharson at Scottish Golf View.

I have it on good authority; from a golfing mate from St Andrews who returned home for the event and witnessed that, “At an Open championship over the Old Course, St Andrews before Ian's plight forced him to give up the game for a number of years, he hooked out of bounds from the first tee, i.e. across the first fairway, across the 18th fairway and over the white posted fence, more than 100 yards off line!

Ken, my mate, confirms that it’s most definitely more than 100 yards however he was seated too far away to see the look on Arnold Palmer’s face. Baker-Finch’s playing partner bidding farewell to the Open Championship at the Home of Golf.

There’s several solutions for putting “yips” and now Baker-Finch is working on curing his driver “Yips”.

Kiwi golfer, Jim Lapsley, who partnered Baker-Finch in a seniors' tournament this past year, says the Aussie can still be a brilliant golfer and now plays his tee shots off the ground to avoid duck hooking the ball.

"I played with Baker-Finch in Western Australia and the guy's short game is amazing. I played two days with him and he put the ball into the greenside bunkers nine times…He got up and down in the first seven, and they would have all been gimmes. The last two would have both been from40-45 metres, and he knocked them to 10 feet too…It was an absolute masterclass…”

Bob Warters also has an interesting story about the first tee on the Old Course.

“Worst golfer gets his reward…A businessman from North Carolina, who once had an air shot on the first tee at St Andrews in front of a group of spectators, has been named the worst golfer in his area.”

“Readers of Star News in Wilmington named Paul Greenham as hacker extraordinaire after a poll in the local newspaper whittled dozens of applicants down to seven” and Paul’s reward is a series of lessons from Masonboro Country club professional Jason Waffle.

Good luck Jason. Since Paul is quoted as saying, “After 34 years playing golf, I’d like to break 100 just once.”

34 years is a long time regardless of how many or few games Paul has played. But perhaps he’s chosen to play on really hard courses; Carnoustie, Royal Aberdeen, Crail and Turnberry to name a few he’s played on and left evidence of his efforts on the course and its caddies.

There’s one Old Course caddie who’ll never forget Paul’s presence. After having whiffed on the first tee Paul proceeded to, “hit my caddie, who had never been hit in 30 years of bag-carrying, before we’d reached the burn.”

 Here’s the link to Colin and to Bob Warters  

Quote of the Day

A “heads up” for Paul during his golf lessons.

“The reason the golf pro tell you to keep your head down is so you can’t see him laughing.” – Phyllis Diller

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