Why? Well, it's not the food or the service. They have some of the best Irish food and drink outside of Dublin and everyone knows that the Irish are some of the nicest people around. No, it's a much more serious concern: the Shanks.
I have begun to suspect that my long bout with this dreadful affliction is a result of my exposure to anything Irish. My hypothesis was confirmed last weekend during the 3rd round of the 2004 PGA Championships at Whistling Straits. Darren Clarke, the top Irish golfer, cold shanked his iron on the par-3 17th hole. Not only is it shocking that a professional could hit such a horrendous shot, it continues a remarkable trend:
- It all began 7 years ago during the final round at the 1997 Open Championship at Royal Troon when Clarkey shanked a three-iron tee shot at the 2nd hole.
- Then, at this year's 68th Masters, Clarke did it again on the par-4 9th hole.
- The trend only accelerated as Clarke shanked the 5th hole tee shot at the 2004 Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.
- Just one week later, Clarkey did it again with a chip shot at the 133rd Open Championship at Royal Troon.
Interestingly, CBS happened to capture Clarke's latest debacle on super-slo-mo "SwingVision". Check out the ugliest shot in golf:
Key screen shots: