View Full Version : Golf Monkies

2009-Mar-17, 08:26 AM
Well, it's true - a first time golfer has hit a hole-in-one on her first tee.

Story here (http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/blog/devil_ball_golf/post/Believe-it-or-don-t-Golfer-hits-hole-in-one-on-?urn=golf,148276).

And good for her!

The problem is that some people don't believe it. "A hundred yards? That's impossible!"

Well, now, wait... The first time I pulled up to the driving ranging I was occasionally whacking balls further than 200-yards, and 2/3rds of them were landing within a 30-degree cone centered around my aim line. What's so difficult to believe about a 100-yard hole in one?

Then, as I was reading the article, this caught my eye:

Think about how many people spray golf balls around the course; doesn't it make logical sense that one of them would eventually drop the ball into the hole? It's the golf equivalent of the infinite monkeys on infinite typewriters eventually banging out the works of Shakespeare.

The first half of that, yes - it does make logical sense.

But the second? Comparing a first-time hole in one to the monkeys-typewriter-Shakespeare statistical mindjobbery?

I don't think so!!!

Now, if she'd hit it off the the Florida golf course, it had bounced off a street, landed in the back of a passing truck, driven 2,500 miles cross country, fell out of the truck towards the top of a hill in Colorado, rolled down the hill, bounced over a boundary fence at a local airport, became lodged between the brake housing and the strut of a Cessna 172, vibrationally dislodged over a golf course in California, and landed in the hole, technically, that would be a hole in one, and would also be the statistical equivalent of Monkey Hamlet.

But a 100-yard hole in one? Please...

Good for Ms. Haskell! I hope she has the ball mounted and gets entered into the Guiness Book of World Records.

2009-Mar-17, 12:13 PM
...The first half of that, yes - it does make logical sense...
And; it's not just the distribution of the balls to consider, it's the distribution of the ball's path of rolls to consider. Instead of a grid of 4x4 inch possibilities, it's probably more like a grid of 4x60 inch probabilities.

2009-Mar-17, 02:46 PM
Monkeys - multiple simians
Monkees - fab 60's pop band
Monkies - fans of Tony Shalhoub?


2009-Mar-17, 03:08 PM
It's not the same probability as monkeys typing Shakespeare but it's the same principle. The monkeys aren't intelligent and the golfer wasn't skilled, but if you have enough of either you'll eventually get an improbable result.

Too bad her best days are already behind her.

2009-Mar-17, 03:43 PM
As a life-long golfer (though extreemely causal, down to maybe going less than a half-dozen times a year) who is still excited to just land the green on a par 3; I'm depressed. But not really. Hopefully the excitement will be enough to ensure this lady has found a new and enjoyable pass-time.

By the way, you'd have to further restrict the statistical plots to allow for the fact that, while most (or all) of us only have a limited control over where we hit the ball, we *do* have the ability to aim, so it's not completely random over the whole area, but skewed by the individual abilities to control where we hit the ball.

2009-Mar-17, 04:00 PM
...we *do* have the ability to aim...
Speak for yourself. :p

2009-Mar-17, 04:38 PM
...while most (or all) of us only have a limited control over where we hit the ball, we *do* have the ability to aim
Not necessarily related to each other. :lol:

...so it's not completely random over the whole area, but skewed by the individual abilities to control where we hit the ball.
Somebody who has golfed knows it never goes where you aim it*, so the odds of actually hitting the hole you're aiming at gets worse.
Random chance might be better.

*That is until you aim for a correction, then it goes straight. :rolleyes:

2009-Mar-17, 04:57 PM
Somebody who has golfed knows it never goes where you aim it*
:) never exactly, no. I generally know that it's going to land somewhere other than where it is sitting at the time I start my swing. Sadly, that's not always true.

2009-Mar-19, 10:43 PM
we *do* have the ability to aim.

Yeah, but whenever I used one of my big honkin' muzzle loaders to fire a ball at the pin, trying for than 400 yard hole in one, the management gets all whiney...Ooooh too much noise...Ooooh 250 caliber fire arms are illegal...

2009-Mar-20, 12:28 AM
Not quite the same thing, but on my earliest golf outing, my brother was instructing. We were at the top of a hill, approaching a long dogleg, and he knew I'd barely make the knee of the dogleg, so he told me to aim towards a golf cart on the next fairway over. In theory, I'd land in the middle of our fairway, in good position.

Instead, when I hit it, his eyes got huge, and he started yelling FORE. The golfers in the golf cart started scrambling. My ball caromed off one of their clubs in the bags in the back of their cart.

If he'd told me to hit it towards the hole, maybe I'd be in Guinness

2009-Mar-20, 06:56 AM
Silliness aside, my brother who work's for NASA once had a shot at eagleing a par four but when the person holding the pole lifted it the cup itself came up with it and my brother's ball hit it and bounced away. Good thing she was cute. And a nun.

2009-Mar-31, 01:40 AM
Too bad it takes so much finnesse to pull the flag.
We, there is a saying in golf: "Even a blind squirrel will find a few nuts every so often." :)

2009-Mar-31, 06:16 PM
. . . there is a saying in golf: "Even a blind squirrel will find a few nuts every so often." :)

. . . of course, there's so many blind squirrels because I always send my shot rocketing off into the trees. :(

:) j/k. I actually manage to avoid most of those. My friend, who I always golf with, is the one that's *always* in the trees. Sadly, we both shoot about the same score, with him usually edging me out by one or two strokes.

2009-Mar-31, 07:46 PM
Hi, Here's a good tip for you: You have some sunscreen i your bag,....
like ya do,....and bring a small bottle of baby powder. Wet out the face of your driver and dust it with the powder. Stretch etc....nice and slowly !!!!!!!
and set up to the ball at the practice tee and swing through the ball.
You will see a fine impression of where you contact the ball. You are trying to dial in your cold set-up. You probably hit the clubface near the tip...
which causes a foul tip to the right....trees, water, that sort of thing. Happens to everyone. So....stand one ball closer when you are cold. Then....
half way through the bucket, use the indicator again. Notice how the mark has moved towards the heel of the club. Adjust set-up and note.
This works. Deduct 3 strokes from your average.
There is no charge. BTW, bring some windex to clean the clubface.
May this serve you well.
Best regards, Dan

2009-Mar-31, 07:52 PM
That's not a bad idea. I can hit my drives pretty well. Straight. Okay distance, but not great (Hey, I'm only 5'6". . . small arc).

My irons are... well, usually passable.

It's near the green that the most trouble sets in. Ugly. Ugly ugly.

Oh well, I enjoy myself and get better each time. That's the point, right? :)

2009-Apr-01, 05:02 AM
Hi, Here's your tip for "around the greens". This works.
I got it from Ken Venturi, a genuine master.
Chipping: The most valuable element around the greens.
We squander most of our strokes within 40 feet of the pin, often just off the green. We hit the green and roll off a few feet. We see this chip
maybe 15 times in a round. And to make it tuff, we are seeing a lot more rough around the greens, the club gets caught up in it, or we fall into the trap of using 'only one' club for all our chipping chores.
Try this: Play the ball right under your nose. Yep, about 8 inches from your toes. Center up. Take the club( try a pitching wedge for starters) and
grip down....way down, (Mr Pennick chose to avoid the word'choke' as do I)
and let the three last fingers of your left hand grip the bottom of the club's grip. Now, place your right hand on the club, and point your right index finger
down the right side of the club which will help to stiffen the club in your hands and give you more feel. Remember to keep the grip laying against your left forearm all the time. There is NO WRIST BREAK in this shot. It's all shoulders, like a good putt. Now. listen: the geometry changes when we play the shaft straight up and down like this shot. So, you need to adjust the clubface. Do this by reading the BACK side, the top of the iron, and NOT the lower line that we normaly read. You are playing the ball off the corner of the club. Hold up the club vertically in front of your face and look at the wedge formed by the corner of the club. Notice how little of the club will be exposed to the grass as you take it through the shot. You can play this shot off of pine straw in a tight lie out in the bushes when you have almost no other shot as well. It works out of sand in a shallow greenside bunker with a close pin, or a green running radically down hill(tricky shot there).
Here's the set-up. Point your toes toward the target about 20 degrees.
Good bend at the knees, and take your practice swings( more like a storng put, really) to feel how the turf is. Wet, dry, shaggy, tight lie etc.
Take the club back 18 inches to 30 inches and follow through, straight through the line. It's a pure pendulum stroke, just like a good putt, only a little more vigorous, You never shut this chip off. Follow through. You can practice this shot in your back yard. You won't take a divot or have any adverse effect on the grass, and practice hitting an old CD tossed onto the grass..say ten feet away. Grip the club quite firmly with this shot. It wants to twist in your hands a little. Let your knees and everything but your head swing and move naturally through the motion, allowing you to comfortably
execute the chip. Now the beauty of the chip is that you can use any club from the 7 iron right through your high lob wedge "With the same stroke".
Instead of overcooking the shot, you now have a selection of tools to make the shot reliable and reproducable, with a convenient practice facility at home. When you get to the practice green, you will then be able to judge how far the ball is going to roll, but your practice is telling you
"where it is going to land" , which is quite the most important information.
The shot goes straight, after all; the ball is right under your eyeball with the club comming straight through. No trouble here. Look at the shot.
"Let's see: this is going to break about four feet, slightly down hill, about
10 feet long.....sand wedge! " . Well, practice is going to show you how you are doing and what club to use, but the information is genuine and it works.
I understand that this shot was used a lot by the great Paul Runyan. I know one thing: I lowered my scores and sharpened my game around the greens with this gem. It is well worth your time honing this shot. May it serve you well. It is a lot simpler in practice, but remember the points I have
descibed for you.
Let me know if you enjoyed it and how it worked for you.
Best regards,
7 HC

2009-Apr-02, 04:00 AM
Speak for yourself. :p

Well... Have you tried using the flat face of the club to hit the ball instead of the curved backside?

2009-Apr-02, 01:12 PM
Well... Have you tried using the flat face of the club to hit the ball instead of the curved backside?
. . . but wouldn't that create drag and slow the swing speed? :confused:


2009-Apr-02, 01:35 PM
Well... Have you tried using the flat face of the club to hit the ball instead of the curved backside?
Flat face? Curved backside? You talking about the metal paddle-shaped thing on the end on the handle?

2009-Apr-02, 05:45 PM
Yes, you know....the 'thingie' . These days you can change the thingie with a kahkniffilin pin, gauranteed to save 3 Strokes.."It's always at least 3 strokes, isn't it? :lol:

2009-Apr-11, 12:26 AM
Talking about golf and monkies....
Did you see those cutest of turtles at Augusta today?

There were / are about six, i think, basking in glorious sunshine.

I'll try this BBC link,...wait...

well, the picture is farther down the the article....

I bet they would love the Augusta bunkers too! or do they go there ( i mean use, sand), only to bury their eggs?

Aaw, little sweethearts!

(I wonder if the players 'stroke' them, would that count towards their scores! small matter of eagles, birdies and turtles)

2009-Apr-11, 01:16 AM
I think Gary Player once said " If they have golf in heaven, I hope that it is
like Augusta National."
It is a special place.
Best regards,

2009-Apr-11, 01:33 AM
On my first outing with golf sticks at the municipal 9-hole pitch 'n' putt I holed the 150-yard seventh in one, sadly out of sight on an elevated green. The punters playing ahead confirmed it and claimed a drink on me.
Bugger that! Aint been back to spoil my record, either.

2009-Apr-11, 02:20 AM
The problem is that some people don't believe it. "A hundred yards? That's impossible!"

As you say, 100 yards is certainly not impossible for a first-time hitter. I bet a lot of first-time hitters hit at least that far. New golfers essentially have to start at the range and get some sort of swing going. Odds are, eventually somebody's going to put one in. I had a 124 yd hole-in-one several years ago. You play enough, it's bound to happen. And hopefully, with your hand-eye coordination, it's not "You play for twice the age of the universe, and you're bound to hit one." :razz: