Friday, March 26
King of Golf Cartoons: ‘13 Million Range Balls’
Copyright © Jerry King. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
I NEVER SPENT LONG hours on the driving range. Sure, I hit my share of practice balls growing up, but I mainly learned the game by playing the golf course and working on my short game: pitching, chipping, putting. I took up golf when I was 12 years old and spent summer days playing 18 or more holes on our local 9-hole muni. Sometimes I played two or more balls if no one was around, especially in the late afternoon.
If I did hit range balls it was usually before high-school matches to loosen up and get some idea how I might hit it that day, at least starting out. I remember my dad giving me some good advice. Since I could be erratic off the tee, he advised me to play the shot the way it was going on a particular day. If the tee ball was fading, aim down the left and let it work back to the right. Don’t fight it. Same idea if I happened to be drawing the ball. My ball never moved a lot, but, depending on my timing, it could move some in either direction. So the advice definitely came in handy and saved me strokes on tournament days.
Had I started the game later in life, I imagine I would have hit many more range balls than I did as a teen. But if, like Big Shooter, I had to pound 13 million range balls just to cut two shots off my game, I would learn to live with my handicap index.
−The Armchair Golfer
Jerry King is an award-winning cartoonist whose credits and clients include Golf Digest, United States Golf Association and Disney. His golf cartoons are a regular feature at ARMCHAIR GOLF.