Gimmes and why they bring out the worst in us

If you want to look like a cretin in matchplay then this is the way to do it – Bryson DeChambeau wasn't the first to do it but he did it in the worst possible fashion by laying down his (lengthened) putter in a pathetic bit of posturing over having to hole a short putt. So, just when many were beginning to warm to him, he did this at the very 1st hole.

It was made worse that he did it in front of Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland, two of the best blokes on either team.

This has become a bit of a theme of this week with players repeatedly questioning the legitimacy of making one another hole short putts... on the most heightened week on the calendar in high winds and with the nerve ends pretty frayed.

In a perfect world there would be a place for gimmes in golf. Sadly it’s not and there isn’t. Try as we might to find an acceptable length to just concede a putt, the very phrase inside the leather shows just how long we’ve been trying to give each other a knee-knocker, but we still haven’t managed it.

In truth we should just do away with them; there's always a question over what to give and not give and it can be embarrassing for both parties. The needy putter will show very little humility in their silent pleas to not have to hit another shot while the non-putter will give putts that they don't really want to give and squirm a bit inside at the ones they haven't.

Generally speaking most of us behave quite well on the course, we don’t look for silly drops and we don’t try to find small gains whenever possible. But then we leave ourselves a putt that we don’t really fancy and out comes those dreaded words: Is that OK?

Given nobody has conceded anything in the tortuous walk to the hole side then you can safely assume that nobody is happy with you bringing the curtain down on your hole quite yet.

By then saying anything you shift everything on to your opponents and they then half mumble something about it being OK, given your pathetic pressuring of the situation, or, ideally, just say no.

You’ll have heard this before but if it’s that short, just knock it in. Just put the ball down where your marker was, as you do in any medal or Stableford competition, and put the ball in the hole and carry on as usual.