As someone who literally got a lesson from Padraig Harrington once, I’m keenly aware of both how encouraging he can be and also how unafraid he is to put things bluntly. University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart now fully understands how Paddy operates, too.

Smart was paired with the three-time major champion in the PGA Tour Champions Regions Tradition Pro-Am earlier this week, and there came a moment when Smart faced a tough decision: lay up from 245 yards out on a par 5 or try to cut one around the corner and go for it.

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If this was 4th-and-1 with the game on the line inside of Neyland Stadium, Smart’s decision would be easy – go for it. But this is golf, a game that turns confident men like Smart, who just became the highest-paid coach in college football, into complete headcases. 

Thankfully, Paddy was there to talk some sense into him. 

“You’ve hit everything where you’re looking all day,” Harrington says after Smart expresses his concern with going through the fairway. “Don’t be stressed.”

Harrington’s caddie, Ronan Flood, chimed in next, saying “just stand up and hit it and stop being an a—–e.” 

Turns out, Kirby definitely had the shot in his bag, but it looks like it just clipped a tree and came back down into the fairway. An inadvertent layup, kind of like when a defender tips a pass but the receiver catches it anyway for a short gain. We’ll take it. 

As Paddy says, you do feel much better about yourself when you’ve gone for it and can still find the ball then when you lay up and (likely) screw up anyway. In the analytical day and age, in both golf and football, going for it is more often than not the prudent play. 

Plus, when you lay up, you can’t talk smack afterward like Smart did. Shots fired!

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