Fair Play: Golf Shot of The Year

Golf is an incredible game. Whether you take it seriously and have a low handicap or if you are just a social enthusiast, you will appreciate that it can be incredibly frustrating as you try and perfect your game, but sometimes, just occasionally, it all goes right and your club connects with the ball so sweetly that it inspires you to keep going, to keep playing, to keep striving to improve your game.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the game of golf, I play regularly but sometimes I’m on the verge of giving it all up because nothing I seem to try and play works out like I’d planned, but sometimes you strike it lucky. This particular golf shot really brings that sentiment home. It happened at the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championships in 2013 – an event that was held at the Nailcote Hall Hotel.

Brian Barnes (a Ryder Cup player in the period 1969-1979) excitedly explains the shot that had been taken by player Matt Wheatcroft. The shot itself is pretty flukey. Wheatcroft’s ball had landed up close to a wooden fence – perhaps a foot away from a solid post. Instead of trying to play it safely away, Wheatcroft hit the ball directly into the fence post and it ricocheted back, high up over a tree and landed on the green less than a foot away from the flag.

It really is an amazing shot, the kind of shot that you wouldn’t believe unless you had seen it. Wheatcroft is fairly laid-back about it, interviewed after the shot had been taken he explains that he had always played a lot of “crazy-golf” (miniature putting golf) and so he thought that he’d give it a go.

What is fair play in golf?

This kind of shot does raise the question of whether this kind of play would be considered “fair play”. It may be an amazing trick shot, but is that kind of shot really in the spirit of the game? Golfing etiquette has always been seen as just as important as the rules of the game themselves – etiquette in terms of golf means playing the game with due respect for the course that you are playing and the other players on the course. But the concept of “fair play” is a central principle of golf and the rules of golf generally enshrine this principle as: “Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it, and if you cannot do either, do what is fair. But to do what is fair, you need to know the Rules of Golf.” Following that principle you would have to say that Matt Wheatcroft acted absolutely fairly – he played the ball and the course exactly as he found it, just not in the conventional way.

Now For The Shot of The Year

We really think there is validity to what some are calling the best golf shot of the year. While it is pretty amazing, it seems like it could be recreated after a couple hundred attempts. Either way, we think you’ll enjoy it. If you do, share with your friends.

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It really is an amazing shot, the kind of shot that you wouldn’t believe unless you had seen it. Wheatcroft is fairly laid-back about it, interviewed after the shot had been