If you caught any golf on the tube or online today you couldn’t miss the new trending topic of the PGA: Golfer Kevin Na and his unbelievable 5-minute pre-shot routine, where he practice swings, backs away, practices a few more times, then even maybe throwing in a full-swing miss over the ball (which is apparently legal) and then backing off again, practicing some more and then… finally… HITTING THE D@MN BALL.
Did we mention he’s leading the Players Championship, aka the “fifth major?” So all these other guys, with their high profile swing coaches, hours spent on the range, new souped up clubs, and monster man fitness routines… and they’re being beaten by a guy who is afraid to hit the ball?
If you want to know what’s behind Na’s eminently unique pre-shot approach there is no shortage of exhaustive stories out there (here’s a pretty good explanation with a video interview link). Geoff Shackelford also has some great video links so you can relive the agony. For the casual viewer I hope NBC tomorrow opens up its prime twosome coverage with some kind of rules explanation as to why it’s OK for Na to take a full whiff over the ball. (Here is the rule in question and a good explanation of why it’s not a penalty in tour play.) But for most golfers watching I am guessing it was a “C’mon man!” moment. If you’re playing with me and you pull one of those, my response would be, “that’s one.”
We’ll let the stewards of golf wring their hands over what the slow-playing Na would do to the soul of the game should his methods produce a victory. Here at MSR we will be watching the Twitter trending scorecard to see how high up his waggles get him.