Rookie Palmer hopes for helping hand on Tour debut

Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:40am EST
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By Nick Said

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - As anybody who has hacked their way through 18 holes will tell you, golf is a hard enough game with two hands on the club so why would you try and play with one?

Briton Jason Palmer knows as he prepares to make his European Tour debut at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa on Thursday where he will put on display his unusual chipping game.

The 30-year-old said he would not have reached this level had he not made one key change to his game -– he chips using his right hand only anywhere within 50 yards of the green.

“I was battling with my short play into the greens with two hands, I just couldn’t get the feel right. I dreaded missing the greens and it was affecting me badly,” Palmer told Reuters in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

“I made the switch while on the Alps Tour in 2010, just really to try something different. As soon as I did I went on a great run of form and I’ve stuck with it. It’s freed me up and I enjoy my short game again.

“I used to get a sinking feeling when I missed the greens, but now I quite enjoy it. I get to show what I can do.”

Palmer does not get much reaction from his fellow professionals, with course etiquette suggesting you do not comment on an opponents' technique, but he does dread pro-am tournaments where people can think he is joking around.

“Fellow pros know how the yips can have a devastating effect on your game and I know I wouldn’t be on the European Tour if it wasn’t for the change that I made.   Continued...