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A couple of things

by Thom Burns
(Hopkins, MN, USA)

First of all, the term "perfect" NEVER should be used to describe human endeavor. Our imperfection, after all, is what makes us human. That being stated, I can't turn to television golf coverage for more than 5 minutes without hearing the word "perfect" used to describe play. A player will hit what's described as a "perfect" drive, but then his playing partner will outdrive him by 5 or more yards. More "perfecter"? Additionally, announcers use "perfect" to describe an approach shot that rolls to within a few feet of the pin. But what if it had gone in? You get my point. It approaches ridiculous. In no other sport is the word "perfect" tossed around like so much grass seed on tee box divots. And I can't believe I'm the only one who notices. Second, why do so many announcers claim to be mind readers? "Jim, he's gotta be thinking here..." Huh? Says who? Nowhere was the fallacy of this inane practice better illustrated than recently by Jack Nicklaus in Golf Digest magazine. He and his son Jackie (who caddied for him that day) sat down with a reporter to watch the entire CBS coverage of the final round of the 1986 Masters for their first time. At one point, Tom Weiskopf, who was providing color analysis that day, is asked what Jack is thinking as he prepares for a tee shot. Tom says he's concentrating on making a good swing. In the article, Jack corrects him, stating that he NEVER thought about his swing, but about making correct ball contact. Jack was gracious enough not to fault Weiskopf for his mistake, but it illustrated that trying to guess what someone else is thinking is simply ludicrous. Except if you're a television golf analyst, I suppose.

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