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Golf: Rose Refuses to Chicken Out

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

Justin Rose’s recent win at the BMW was a remarkable performance given his poor record for finishing-off when in the lead. 

Roger Maltbie’s brief interview with Justin included a few words about his chip-in at the 71st hole.

Coming up short with his second shot, Justin was quite a few yards from the edge of the green. It was serious decision time since he’d been leaking oil during the back nine and John Senden was only a shot behind.

Justin had one of three choices. Play a Texas wedge (In Olde Scotland it was known as a Musselburgh skinner) shot with the putter which was working wonders for him. Or maybe a links-style chip and run shot? After all he’s a Brit and they’re the best at this kind of shot. But much to the TV commentators’ surprise he played an American type wedge shot and as the result showed, it was a wise choice.

Speaking to Roger, Justin suggested that using the “chicken stick” wasn’t a good attitude. Hence the choice of a wedge shot.

“Chicken stick", now where did that come from?

Brent Kelley at advises me that, "Chicken stick" is slang for a play-it-safe club; a club that a golfer goes to when he decides that attempting a heroic shot is not a good idea. The term is sometimes used derisively, but often means, at base, that the golfer has made a smart decision. Example: Rather than attempting to hit driver on a tight hole with trouble all around the fairway, the golfer decides to hit 3-iron off the tee. The 3-iron is the "chicken stick."

Another expression used by Justin which I am familiar with, sounded like it was inspired by his swing coach Sean Foley who also has a reputation as a (golf) philosopher.

Justin said, "That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” A quote often attributed to Nietzsche but has its origins in Goethe’s works.

It appears that Justin’s philosophical take on Goethe was something that kept him going when reflecting on the disappointment of several times failing to finish the job.

Here’s the link to  

Quote of the Day

“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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