Ah, the shot jinxer. This guy just pisses me off.

The shot jinxer’s method is quite simple. And, usually, he employs it on putts. Here’s how it works:

You have struck your 15-foot putt dead solid. It’s following the right-to-left line, breaking just like you envisioned. Your putt is inching closer and closer, honing in on the dead-center of the hole. But it’s not in yet.

As you prepare to pump your fist and celebrate a well-earned birdie, you hear the shot jinxer from 20 feet behind you: “Great putt!”

Suddenly, the ball makes a dramatic and other-worldly shift to the left, horseshoes around the hole, and rests on the edge of the cup. Par.

The shot jinxer only makes matters worse at this point. “Oh wow!” he says. “I really thought that was dead center. Tough break.”

You’re fuming. Or at least you should be.

Harry Potter of the Links has struck again, itching for any opportunity to fire his verbal hexes at your unsuspecting and defenseless Titleist.


Bruce Lietzke: Caught in the act of jinxing. (Image: tpcsanantonio/Flickr)

Now, some shot-jinxers mean well. They are simply nice guys who really want to congratulate you on a solid shot; they just do it too soon. These guys, while irritating, are just not as versed in the congratulatory etiquette of the game. Help them along. Teach them. Guide them.

But the plotting, conspiring, pre-meditative shot-jinxers? Drop ‘em from your foursome like a bad habit.

Rumor has it that former PGA Tour veteran Bruce Lietzke was a legendary shot-jinxer. So much so that my friends and I coined our own term for the jinx. We called it a “Bruce.” For example, “Man, that dude totally just Bruced my birdie putt. I can’t believe that.”

The moral of the story: Weed out the shot-jinxers in your group—the “Brucers.” Or at least Bruce them back.

Two can play this game.

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