foozle vt foo-zled; foo-zling (1892): to manage or play awkwardly; a bungling golf stroke

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sandbaggin' At The Member/Guest

I recently played in a member/guest at a relative's club and had the exact same experience there that I had the last time I played in it some five years ago. The same people win the tournament every year, according to my relatives, because these people are sandbaggers. My relatives won't even entertain the possibility that these people are good pressure players, or better yet, that they themselves choke under the pressure of playing for "big money". Maybe their $5 saturday morning games haven't prepared them properly for the high stakes of the member/guest. And they certainly won't even think for a minute that maybe the majority of the players in their club who don't win the tournaments are actually reverse-sandbaggers (or vanity handicappers, as we call them) and can't possibly play to their index because, well, they aren't as good as they pretend to be. Now granted, a 5-handicapper who shoots 68 under tournament conditions (tough pins, greens running 11 on the stimpmeter, tees back, etc.) should be thoroughly investigated. But hey, I'm willing to entertain the possibility that this guy has ice-water in his veins and just shot the round of his summer under the greatest of circumstances. Immediately crying "sandbagger" when someone plays well cheapens the experience of competing and thriving in that setting, and I'd hate to think how they (the vanity ones) would feel if they caught lightning in a bottle and played over their heads one day and no one felt the need to congratulate them. Its sad, actually.

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