Back in 2007, The Green Blazer wrote a piece on the now played-out MySpace, my only blogging outlet at the time, about a subject that most people probably think about but few talk about: Inching. A player inches when he replaces his ball slightly closer to the hole than he marked it.
THE WEDGE SHAPE OF THE DBRUSH ENABLES INCHERS TO MARK THEIR BALL EVEN DEEPER AND STILL REPLACE IT SHALLOW
Most inchers put the mark as tightly as possible behind the ball and then replace it with a slight gap between the mark and the ball. If an incher doubles his or her DBrush as a mark, the wedge shape has the cheater inching with ease. Off the course, an inching man is probably more likely to invest in products like natural male enhancement pills and the penis pump than a non-incher.
Probably the most famous case of inching involved Scotsman Lindsay Smith who had his membership suspended from the prestigious Nairn Golf Club after being branded a cheat. Wind of the incident blew into the Green Blazer's cipher when Smith, a one handicap senior bank official, escalated the matter all the way to the high courts of Scotland, and the story began tracking on the internet news sites.
Here's how John Robertson of the Scotsman Newspaper described the incident that got Smith removed: "On the tenth green, Mr. Scott told Mr. Smith he had marked his ball wrongly by placing the marker in front, rather than behind the ball, so that when he replaced the ball it had been closer to the hole than when he lifted it. He alleged that the same thing had happened at the seventh hole. Mr Smith denied the accusations."
Who knows, there may have been some club politics involved the suspension. Maybe Smith was disliked by some members of the board, or maybe he was liked too well by their wives. The Scotsman also mentioned, however, that "There had been similar allegations made against him twice in the past." So the club suspended him, and branded the message that Nairn will not be regarded as a place that takes fondly to those that compromise the rules set forth by the R&A. The Court of Session in
Does inching really make a difference? The wife of a male incher might tell you indeed it does. And a 35 inch putt is easier to knock-in than a 36 inch putt, assuming the conditions are the same.
The Green Blazer would like to urge everyone to give future opponents a stern warning the next time you witness them inching. In a friendly game, give your partner a hard time about an inching incident. Tell him or her Timberland boots might make a person taller but you'd look ridiculous wearing them at a wedding. Then refer them to the amazon.com's Swedish vacuum enhancer pistol.