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How To Achieve the Achievable - The Hackers Grand Slam

Not many of us will ever get the chance to chip it in on 16 to win The Masters or to flop it out of the rough to win a PGA Championship, but you can still achieve a Grand Slam of your own, the Hackers Grand Slam. Here s How:

First Leg - Breaking Wind Well I couldn t really call it breaking 110, I mean, I teach my fair share of hackers, but I m yet to meet one who s goal was to  break the magic 110 . So, instead of 110, you ve got to learn to break, well, wind. Most golfers who shoot high scores are so tense over the ball they couldn t let one go even if they d filled up on baked beans and beer the night before. I like to tell my students to take the Tommy Bolt attitude, who was once fined $50 for letting one rip (not a drive), but handed over $100 because  I m bound to do it again . So go ahead, let one rip and you ll achieve the first leg of the slam and have one more  major than Monty and Sergio combined.

Second Leg - Breaking 100 Now that you ve learned to relax, you can concentrate on a more important goal, the second part of the hackers grand slam, and that career building, confidence boosting, chic-pulling(?) feat of breaking 100. And, just like this years real second leg grand slam winner, Michael Campbell, you ll need a big piece of  Kia Kaha (Be Strong), determination and many past failures to pull it off. When you ve been close to breaking that 100 mark on many times, came to the final hole needing just a bogey to shoot 99, but three putted from 15 feet for double, be calm. Michael Campbell also thought about throwing his clubs away, giving it all away and questioned his right to be on the golf course. If you ve been knocking at the door for a while, you might ask yourself, when will it come? Probably when you least expect it and almost certainly not when you re writing down your score on every hole, trying to figure out what you need to shoot on the remaining holes. For most golfers who can reach the Par 4 s in two, they d be better of using irons and maybe a utility wood to break the century mark. You could hit a couple of mid irons then a PW into most Par 4 s, make bogey at worst, but who an earth plays the game like that? It s much more fun taking driver off every tee and hacking your way out of the woods for a crowd-pleasing 11, just ask John Daly. The 2nd Leg of the grand slam is achievable by most, but sometimes comes only after years of toil. Be patient and believe in yourself just like Michael Campbell and all the hard work will eventually pay off.

The Third Leg - Breaking 90 So you ve broken 100, you da man, you buy yourself some blades, a box of Pro V1 s and one of Tigers collarless shirts, only to find out your club doesn t quite see you in the same light as Tiger and asks you to politely buy yourself a proper one. Now you re on your way to becoming a  better than average golfer, a  player (in your own mind), and you start to think you ve got what it takes to join the PGA Tour, or Champions Tour. God Damn it, if your mum and dad had of introduced you to the game sooner, you d have been there right now. So, before you get too resentful, how do you most easily achieve the third leg, because afterall, who wants to take the long way home, we want shortcuts and the secret, none of this two year stuff that Tiger goes through. Well, look no further than the reigning PGA Championship champion, Phil and his flop, or rather Phil and his short game, or actually rather just  short game . What am I saying? (Don t answer, I m asking myself) The quickest way to break 90 is by improving your short game. But again, I for one would choose a 300 yard drive over a purely rolled 3 footer in the center of the cup, which is perhaps why I m here writing rather than playing golf.

The Fourth Leg - Breaking 80 Let s not kid ourselves. For most of us, this is gonna take some luck, in most cases a near miracle or act of the golf gods. But don t fear, Tiger s chip in on 16 at last years Masters wasn t all skill, and if you ve listened to any major champions in the past, they all talk about the element of luck, good bounces, favourable tee times, the golf gods looking down on them for 4 days, or in this case, 4 hours. Only a few of us will ever achieve this leg, and those who do usually don t go back to the mediocrity of the 80 s or 90 s. To achieve the final leg, we must look to 2005 s final major winner, Tiger Woods again. You won t ever break 80 if you don t have some talent and length of the tee. I don t mean 370 yard drives, but hitting it out of your shadow is a requirement for breaking 80, no matter how good your short game is. Breaking 80 also requires, in most instances, that you play on a regular basis, probably at least once a week. I know very few, nope, make that no golfers, who have broken 80 and not at some stage played on a regular basis.

So, how does it feel? Whether you ve achieved the grand slam, or even the first leg, don t you feel good? I mean come on, you re a major winner and you might not have a wife as hot as Elin or Amy, but at least you can still walk into MacDonald s and have your Big Mac Combo without being pestered for an autograph.

Kia Kaha From Kiwi Kim
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