Why waste a stroke if it is possible to knock the ball to a better spot on the golf course — if not the green?
“Mentally, golfers get tricked,” said John Zimmers, Oakmont’s longtime course superintendent. “They think: ‘Hey, my golf ball is right there. I can get a club on that.’
“But trying to play it out creates all kinds of havoc.”
Or, as Paul Azinger, the lead golf analyst for Fox Sports and a 12-time winner on the PGA Tour, said, “Sometimes you’re just unwilling to give up a shot.”
Azinger conceded that most times the wise choice at Oakmont would be to take the punishment of a one-stroke penalty. But he also said that the ditches could be especially…