There’s no shortage of slicing in golf. But recently, on one of my many interesting run-ins with new players after showing up at my local course and being put in with a foursome, I came across a convenient excuse for a bad shot.
Toward the end of the front 9, a hole passes by a residential street where many people like to walk their dogs. One particularly erratic golfer in the group had the bad fortune of catching the attention of a large German shepherd during his practice swing. The dog, fixated on the clubhead and perhaps thinking it to be some kind of wild fowl to chase down, began barking loudly and incessantly, despite his owner’s insistence.
Undeterred, the guy teed up and took a swipe at the ball, his swing muted somewhat by angry barking. Naturally the shot dove to the right about halfway through its trajectory. The dog, seemingly satisfied that his work was done, ceased his barking and lurched forward, eagerly searching for a fire hydrant to sniff. The guy didn’t do well on the hole, but at least this time he had an excuse.