The Three Scariest Shots in Golf
By Abby Parsons, PGA
It’s that time of year. Scary movies, terrifying house decorations, spooky vibes, and all things Halloween!
As a golfer, jump-scares during a horror movie are one thing, but a three-foot putt to win a tournament or beat your friends in a match is a whole new level of terror.
It’s time to break down some of the scariest shots in golf from someone who has faced them all.
The first iron shot after a hosel-rocket
We’ve all been there. You are having an OK round, feeling pretty confident about your swing, then . . . BAM! The feeling of a shank shoots up the club and right into your grip. We all know that sound, and we all know that feeling. You have a slight sense of panic because you truly could not say what you did differently from that swing to the one before.
You step up to your next shot, probably with a similar club in your hands, and now you are sweating. The only thing you can feel is the shock of the last shot. You take the club back, but you are second-guessing yourself. Is that how you usually take the club back? Are you gripping the club right? The next thing you know, the hosel finds the ball yet again.
The panic increases with every shot ahead of you until you find the sweet euphoria of the center of the clubface again.
The greenside bunker shot with water over the green
You haven’t been in a bunker throughout your whole round. You have no idea what the sand is like, and you dig your feet into the bottom of the bunker. Oh no. Not too much sand. You look at the green and see doom just beyond the putting surface: water. You think to yourself, “Do anything but skull it,” — just what you should not be thinking over the ball.
You do your pre-shot routine, you jump to see over the lip of the bunker to evaluate the hole location (while trying to avoid the gleaming blue mass of terror), and take a deep breath. You take the club back, and out of sheer terror, you rush to the ball to get it over with and send it flying until you hear a splash.
In the end, you breathe a sigh of relief that you do not have to try that shot again and drop on the other side of the green.
A tee shot with spectators
It’s always the golf club with the outdoor patios, or the putting greens that are far too close to the first tee, or the shootout in the member-guest, or the guys trip with the whole friend group. A crowd is terrifying.
You’ve been talking up your game for weeks, and now it is finally on display. Your new PR of 315 yards you just posted about on Instagram is up on everyone’s feed. You can sense all of the eyes watching you tee up your ball, and suddenly you feel like this shot will somehow win the PGA Championship, even though it is just another tee shot.
You are nowhere near the green, but now you wish you were to escape the audience. You set up to the ball and your legs start to shake and you cannot control it. The driver feels like it weighs a ton, but you manage to take the club back. The clubhead makes contact with the ball as you wish it into the air . . . and it makes its way safely into the trees.