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Rules of Golf Course Etiquette for Everyone!

Rules of Golf Course Etiquette for Everyone!

Rules of Golf Course Etiquette for Everyone!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Golf course etiquette is something every golfer should know, but most don’t!  My number one rule on the golf course is consideration!  Consideration for the players behind you (play faster) the players in front of you (don’t crowd) and all the players on the course (take care of divots, rake bunkers and don’t throw trash on the course.)   of Golf Digest gives you his list of Golf Course Etiquette.

Rules of Golf Course Etiquette for Everyone!

Good golf course etiquette is not hard to follow!

 

Years ago during a high school rules clinic, one of my fellow juniors asked an instructor what constitutes proper golf courtesy. “If I have to define it, you don’t get it,” the official replied. It’s that type of systemic vagueness that makes golf decorum so maddening.

Until now, that is. Below we tackle the most frequent questions we receive about common courtesy on the course, and how to conduct yourself in such situations.

I’m a beginning golfer paired with a good player. How do I survive the round?

Don’t get overwhelmed. It can be intimidating to be paired with a better player, and possibly amplify insecurities regarding your game. Use this opportunity as a learning experience. Take note of the player’s swing, his technique around the green, pre-shot routine, even something as simple as his demeanor and etiquette. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most golfers are happy to pass knowledge to beginners. You do have a responsibility, however, to keep things moving. It’s OK to struggle, but “struggle” and “slow play” don’t have to correlate. Four over par should be the max score on any hole; once you reach the limit, pick up. Moreover, don’t let your labors drain your attitude or outlook. Golfers can deal with newbies. They have no tolerance for ********.

I’m paired with a beginning golfer who is really struggling. How do I survive the round?

Compassion is key. That slow, flailing greenhorn was once you. Without belittling, let them know it’s OK to be liberal with the rules by improving lies, placing their penalty shots on the other side of the hazard and conceding less-than-automatic putts. Unless they ask, avoid giving tips and advice; they’re already overwhelmed, and don’t need more thoughts running through their head (more on this in a moment). Do feel free to pass on general etiquette or rules, however, and try to keep things light so they enjoy themselves. And if it’s really bad? Perhaps call it a day at the turn and hit the range instead.

How do I to tell someone to pick up the pace?

When informing a partner to get their butt moving, avoid a singular accusation. Instead, use “we” as in, “Looks like we better get going, think we’re holding groups up.” If it’s a family member or friend, feel free to be more direct. Even in this circumstance, don’t deliver the “speed it up” edict in emotional or confrontational terms. It will only exacerbate the situation.

When am I supposed to let groups play through?

For whatever reason, most golfers view letting others ahead as a shot to their manhood. Which is absurd: If you’re in a foursome, it stands to reason that you’ll play slower than the single or twosome behind you. If there are no groups immediately in front of you and you’re holding up individuals or a pairing, give them the greenlight with a wave, then proceed to move to the side of the hole. If this happens more than once in a round — especially if the groups behind are multiple players — take it as a hint that you need to pick up the pace.

To see the rest of Joel Beall’s Etiquette Rules, go here!

Souce:   Golf Digest

Pictures: Peter Arkle   Ken Mattison

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Which Rules of Golf would you change if you could?

Which Rules of Golf would you change if you could?

Which Rules of Golf would you change if you could?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Which rule of golf would you change?  This has been a question asked over the years and it looks like the USGA and the R&A are getting together to simplify a complicated process.  I have always felt the stroke and distance penalty for out of bounds has never made sense.  I feel there should be a one stroke penalty and drop the ball at the point it went out of bounds, just like a lateral hazard.  Here are a few more from Josh Sens of GOLF.com for you to ponder!

You can’t argue with stupid, but you can complain about it. And in this game we love, there’s plenty of senselessness to go around. Witness the Rules of Golf, an encyclopedic catalog of dos and don ts that often fall beyond the bounds of reason.

For argument’s sake, here’s our take on eight of the stupidest rules of all.

1. The DJ Rule

Which Rules of Golf would you change if you could?

This was such a debacle!

In the official ledger, it’s Rule 18-2. But ever since the 2016 U.S. Open, it’s more widely recognized as that *&%$!!!-ing Dustin Johnson Rule. You know, that nonsensical one under which the eventual tournament winner was slapped with a one-shot penalty for supposedly causing his ball to move a nano-millimeter on the 5th green. Never mind that he clearly didn’t intend to set the ball in motion, or that the micro-movement gave him no discernible advantage. The punishment stood. But we shouldn’t have to stand for it in the future. How about this? Next time around, no harm, no foul. Move the ball back, and play on.

2. No Relief from Sand-Filled Divots

Which Rules of Golf would you change if you could?

Not sure which one is worse.

Let’s see if we understand correctly: if we spray a tee shot off-line and our ball winds up in ground under repair, we’re entitled to relief. But if we smoke one down the middle and it settles in a sand-filled crater left behind by another golfer, we’re doomed to play it as it lies. That ground we landed in was damaged. Someone tried to repair it. Sounds to us like… ground under repair.

3. Penalizing a Player Whose Ball Hits a Flagstick Lying on the Ground

Which Rules of Golf would you change if you could?

The flag should never be laid down on the green.

We’re all for taking personal responsibility, but should it really be our problem if a putt rolls past the pin and rattles against a flagstick that our playing partner set down in the through-line? According to Rule 17-3a, it is. Worse still, it’s punishable with a loss of hole in match-play and a two-stroke penalty in medal play.

4. Dropping the Ball

The words every golfer likes to hear “Free Drop!”

You’d think that hitting a shot into a hazard would be punishment enough. But you’d be wrong. Under the Rules of Golf, the dogged victim then has to go through the tedious ritual known as the drop, which brings other potential rules infractions into play. If the dropped ball moves closer to the hole (as it so often does) twice, the player gets to place it. So why not just allow placement from the start? It would spare the player undue pain, and save the rest of us a lot of time.

To see the rest of the rules that need changing, go here!

Source: Josh Sens  GOLF.com

Pictures: golfnewsnet.com

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An easy way to save shots on the golf course - Know the rules!

An easy way to save shots on the golf course – Know the rules!

An easy way to save shots on the golf course – Know the rules!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Know the Rules!  We have all seen both PGA and LPGA players lose tournaments because of a rules infraction.  None so devastating as Dustin Johnson losing the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits by grounding his club in a bunker that he did not realize was a bunker.  By knowing the rules you can save yourself several shots in a round of golf plus you will know when a fellow competitor breaks a rule.  Remember when you are playing in a stroke play event it is your duty to know the rules so as to protect the rest of the field from anyone gaining an advantage.  Thanks to the Mel Sole Golf School for helping out with this important subject!

Know the rules – Lower your scores!

In this month’s video, Mel Sole shares an important off-the-course golf tip: know the rules of golf! Decisions on the Rules of Golf is an excellent manual that clarifies any ambiguity that might arise from the Rules and allows you to correctly interpret the complete Rules of Golf.

How does knowing the Rules help you shoot lower scores? As Mel describes in telling a story about Harry Bradshaw’s big mistake in the ’49 British Open, not knowing the Rules leads to bad decisions on the course—decisions that will cost you shots!

Source: Mel Sole Golf School

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Rules of Golf Course Etiquette for Everyone!

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Here are 10 "Unwritten Rules" in Golf - How many do you know?

Here are 10 “Unwritten Rules” in Golf – How many do you know?

Here are 10 “Unwritten Rules” in Golf – How many do you know?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

There are certainly more than 10 “Unwritten Rules” in golf, but these will do for a start.  For those of you who are learning the game, these etiquette tips are invaluable.  You also want to learn some of the basic rules.  The USGA puts out a beginner’s guide to the rules of golf.  Check on the USGA website.  Thanks to Andrew Tursky of Golf Wrx for this interesting list!

Here are 10 "Unwritten Rules" in Golf - How many do you know?

Raking the bunker might be an obvious thing to do, but don’t forget to hit the bottom of your shoes with the rake or a club to get the excess sand off before you walk onto the green!

Golf Course Etiquette.

There is certain etiquette all golfers are taught when first learning to play the game, such as not to step in another person’s line on the green, and not to talk while another person is hitting. Those are the basics, but not what I’m talking about here. There are underlying rules of etiquette; ones that you may never even know existed.

You see, the mind of a golfer is very fragile and often irrational. It’s understandable since there’s a constant battle going on inside of it — juggling swing thoughts, demons, highs, and lows. At any point, a golfer’s patience can snap, and the last thing he or she needs is a push from a playing partner.

When you’re in a group with another golfer, your job is to be respectful, helpful, enjoyable, and sometimes just stay out of the way. You don’t want to unknowingly aggravate a player in your group (unless you’re playing match play, maybe), but that’s another discussion entirely.

Here’s a list of 10 unwritten, unspoken rules of golf etiquette.

10. Don’t talk to someone else’s golf ball

I know, you’re only being polite. But when golfers spray a shot and it’s heading for the water, you can bet they know it’s heading for the water. They don’t need you yelling at it or begging for it to stay dry. If they want to instruct their golf ball to behave a certain way, leave it up to them.

The last thing you want is for them to say GO as their ball flies toward a fairway bunker, while you’re telling it to SIT… only to see it land in the sand. Awkward.

Your pleads to another’s golf ball can also come across as insincere, or even disrespectful. For example, if the ball is clearly hooking left into the trees, and you yell “spit it!” you’re basically saying that the golfer just hit a shot that needs to get extremely lucky. Surely the player doesn’t need to hear your confirmation that he or she just hit a terrible shot.

It’s their golf ball; they paid for it, they hit it and they know best where it’s going. When in doubt, silence is always the best approach.

9. If you say “nice shot,” make sure it was a nice shot

“Nice shot” is undoubtedly the most overused compliment in golf, so make sure to at least use it correctly.

Imagine you’re a scratch golfer and your ball is in the fairway about a 100 yards out, your favorite number. The pin is tucked back-right, but you’re eyeing it up and looking to attack in hopes of making birdie. You end up tugging it, and didn’t catch it cleanly either, so you let your hand off the club in disappointment. The ball lands on the front left portion of the green for an outside chance at birdie, and you’re heated. You slam the club back in your bag, upset at the missed opportunity, and another player in the group gives you a half-hearted nice shot.

Now, not only did the compliment go unappreciated, but the scratch golfer may now be thinking, “Are their standards so low of my golf game that they think that’s a nice shot?”

And this goes for any level of golfer. No one wants to hear nice shot when it was below their standards. The point is, compliment a player on hitting a good one, but make sure the player actually agrees with you.

8. Show some love

On the flip side, if your playing partner is faced with a difficult shot — maybe they need to hit a towering shot over a tree to a green guarded by water — and they pull it off, make sure to say something more than “nice shot.” Especially if you’re the one who said “nice shot” when that same player hit a semi-chunk from 100 yards on the hole before.

Since the mind of a golfer is fragile, it doesn’t hurt to stroke their ego a bit when they hit an amazing shot. 

To see all 10 of the Unwritten Rules of Golf, go here!

Source: Andrew Tursky  Golf Wrx

Pictures:  Golf Wrx

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The Lazy Mans 17 Rules of Golf that need to be Changed!

The Lazy Mans 17 Rules of Golf that need to be Changed!

The Lazy Mans 17 Rules of Golf that need to be Changed!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

My opponent hits the ball 20 yards off-line to the left and finds a lateral water hazard.  He can drop where the ball entered the hazard and play 3 from there.  I drive the ball 20 yards off-line to the right and my ball goes out of bounds.  I have to play 3 off the tee.  Now that is just so unfair!  We could all make a lengthy list of the golf rules we don’t like or would like to see modified or changed completely.   of Golf Digest has created his own list.  How many of these do you agree with?

1. Play OB as a lateral hazard

The Lazy Mans 17 Rules of Golf that need to be Changed!

2. Move Your Ball Out Of A Footprint

The Lazy Mans 17 Rules of Golf that need to be Changed!

 

3. Play Winter Rules When Applicable

The Lazy Mans 17 Rules of Golf that need to be Changed!
 
 
 

Pictures:

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What is your take on the Dustin Johnson Rules decision?

What is your take on the Dustin Johnson Rules decision?

What is your take on the Dustin Johnson Rules decision?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

The ball did not move!

I have reviewed the video of Dustin Johnson’s apparent violation of Rule 18-2 and I still cannot see how he caused that ball to move. In our justice system in the USA, unless there is overwhelming evidence of guilt, the person is presumed innocent.  I could not see any overwhelming evidence in this case.  Many golf fans disagree with the USGA ruling, and plenty of the PGA players also weighed in, as they vented on social media.  To put things in perspective,  Jaime Diaz of Golf World gives us his take on this ruling.

What is your take on the Dustin Johnson Rules decision?

OAKMONT, PA – JUNE 19: Dustin Johnson of the United States chats with a rules official on the fifth green during the final round of the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club on June 19, 2016, in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

It was a bad moment for the USGA. But, man, it could have been a million times worse. Dustin Johnson bailed out the governing body by playing well down the stretch on Sunday at the 116th U.S. Open, and his challengers cooperated by playing poorly. It created a big enough stroke swing that what could have been the toughest rules decision in USGA history basically was of no consequence.

What is your take on the Dustin Johnson Rules decision?

Thank you, Dustin! But some advice for the USGA: Please take a hard look at what almost transpired.

A quick recap. On the fifth hole during the final round at Oakmont Country Club, Johnson ran a seven-foot birdie putt four feet past the cup. As he prepared to hit his second putt, Johnson took some practice strokes besides his ball. As he stepped in to address the putt—but before he grounded the club—Johnson noticed his ball had moved slightly. Quickly, he called in rules official Mark Newell. Johnson told him that the ball moved a bit backward, but he had not addressed his putt by grounding his club. Newell confirmed with Johnson “and you didn’t address it?” At that point, with playing partner Lee Westwood confirming Johnson’s view, Newell did determin that a rule had not been broken. Johnson played on, making his putt.

About the time Johnson reached the ninth hole, however, Jeff Hall, managing director of rules & competitions for the USGA, had video brought to his attention that he said had caused concern. After studying the video and consulting with Thomas Pagel, USGA senior director of Rules of Golf and Amateur Status, the two met Johnson on the 12th tee, where Johnson arrived with a one-stroke lead. They told Johnson that the USGA had reviewed video and that officials needed to talk to Johnson about his being the possible cause of his ball moving on the fifth green.

“We told him the USGA could very well assess him a one-stroke penalty,” Hall said.

Johnson crushed a drive on the 12th hole more than 350 yards. He later said that the rules issue didn’t weigh on him as he played on. “I just told myself, we’ll worry about it when we get done,” said Johnson, who felt he was safe because he had not grounded his club behind the ball. “I didn’t think there was going to be a penalty. They said they were going to review. There was nothing I could do about it. Just focus on this next shot. I tried to do that from there, all the way to the house. It was just me and the golf course.”

But Johnson wasn’t as sharp with his shot-making, which had been superb, over the next few holes. With only 210 yards remaining for his second shot on the par-5 12th, he hit a bad push into long rough, from where he didn’t get up and down for the birdie he was counting on. On the par-3 13th, he pulled his approach into a bunker but managed to make a great recovery and saved par. But on the par-4 14th, he took three putts, and the pressure looked like it might be getting to Johnson, just as it seems to happen in several other instances throughout his star-crossed major career.

To see the rest of the USGA’s decision on this matter, go here!

Source : Jaime Diaz  Golf World

Pictures : David Cannon/Getty Images  Hone Morihana

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How good are you at golf etiquette - Here are the top 10 rules!

How good are you at golf etiquette – Here are the top 10 rules!

How good are you at golf etiquette – Here are the top 10 rules!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Good golf etiquette is so easy, you just have to pay attention to what you and your fellow competitors are doing at all times!  Playing golf with people who are standing in the wrong place, or moving and talking while you are playing can be a distraction you don’t need on the course.  So pay attention the next time you go  out to play.  And if you are a beginner, don’t be afraid to ask the most experienced golfers in the group to help you out once in a while.  We were all beginners at one time in our lives!  Thanks to Golf Digest for re-posting this oldie but goodie by Arnold Palmer!

How good are you at golf etiquette - Here are the top 10 rules!

Some people can sleep anywhere, but here is not the place!

I. DON’T BE THE SLOWEST PLAYER

In my casual games at Bay Hill, we get around in under four hours — and that’s in fivesomes. Evaluate your pace of play honestly and often, and if you’re consistently the slowest one in your group, you’re a slow player, period. Encourage everyone to move quickly enough so you find yourself right behind the group in front several times, both early and late in the round.

Remember the old staples of getting around in good time: Play “ready golf” (hit when ready, even if you aren’t away) until you reach the green, be prepared to play when it’s your turn on the tee and green, and never search for a lost ball for more than five minutes.

II. KEEP YOUR TEMPER UNDER CONTROL

In the final of the Western Pennsylvania Junior when I was 17, I let my putter fly over the gallery after missing a short putt. I won the match, but when I got in the car with my parents for the ride home, there were no congratulations, just dead silence. Eventually my father said, “If I ever see you throw a club again, you will never play in another golf tournament.” That wake-up call stayed with me. I haven’t thrown a club since.

Throwing clubs, sulking and barking profanity make everyone uneasy. We all have our moments of frustration, but the trick is to vent in an inoffensive way. For example, I often follow a bad hole by hitting the next tee shot a little harder — for better or worse.

III. RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE’S TIME

Because time is our most valuable commodity, there are few good reasons for breaking a golf date. Deciding last-minute to clean the garage on Saturday, or getting a call that the auto-repair shop can move up your appointment by a day, just doesn’t cut it.

Always make your tee times, and show up for your lesson with the pro a little early. Social functions are no exception.

IV. REPAIR THE GROUND YOU PLAY ON

I have a penknife that’s my pet tool for fixing ball marks, but a tee or one of those two-pronged devices is fine. As for divots, replace them or use the seed mix packed on the side of your cart.

Rake bunkers like you mean it. Ever notice that the worse the bunker shot, the poorer the job a guy does raking the sand? Make the area nice and smooth — don’t leave deep furrows from the rake. Before you exit the bunker, ask yourself, Would I be upset if I had to play from that spot?

V. BE A SILENT PARTNER

During one of my last tour events as a player, I noticed another pro making practice swings in my field of vision as I was getting ready to hit a shot. I stopped, walked over and reminded him (maybe too sternly) that it was my turn to play. The point is, stand still from the time a player sets himself until the ball has left the club.

Even with the advent of spikeless shoes, the etiquette rule of never walking in someone’s line of play on the putting green is an absolute. The area around the hole in particular is sacred ground. The first thing to note when you walk onto a green is the location of every ball in your group, then steer clear of their lines to the hole.

Know where to stand and when to keep quiet. Position yourself directly across or at a diagonal from a player setting up. Never stand on the line of play, either beyond the hole or directly behind the ball. When a player is about to hit a shot, think of the fairway as a cathedral, the green a library.

To read the rest of these important golf etiquette rules, go here!

Source: Golf Digest

Pictures: Golf Digest

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Get your set-up position 100% correct 100% of the time!

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How good are you on golf course etiquette – Find out here!

How good are you on golf course etiquette – Find out here!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

 
How good are you on golf course etiquette - Find out here!
 

2. Putting with too many balls on the practice green.

 
How good are you on golf course etiquette - Find out here!
 

3. Failing to pick up the flagstick.

 
How good are you on golf course etiquette - Find out here!
 

Cart-path only? Carry more than one club to your shot.

 
How good are you on golf course etiquette - Find out here!
 
 
 
Pictures: Getty Images.
 
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Knowing the Rules of Golf can Improve Your Score!

Knowing the Rules of Golf can Improve Your Score!

Knowing the Rules of Golf can Improve Your Score!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Testing the surface is illegal in golf, correct?  No, not really according to Zach Johnson and the Rules of Golf.  Testing the surface is illegal only on the putting green.  This little-known rule can help you in the future with your short game around the green.  Firstly, the grass on the fringe of the green is most probably running in the same direction as the putting surface, so this is an easy way to get an accurate read of grain direction. (of course, if you are putting on bentgrass greens, this does not apply)

If you are going to play a shot that is into the grain there is a high probability that you could chunk this shot, so a putter might be a better choice.  If you are going down-grain, you will know that the speed is going to be quick and you can adjust the force of your chip or putt accordingly!  

Thanks to Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway of Back9Network for this interesting article!

You need to know how to test the surface legally!

If you’ve played golf in South Florida, you know that the grain of the grass has an unusually strong impact on the way you play your shots on and around the green. The way the grass grows can have an effect on how your putt breaks or how your club will react to the ground from which you’re either pitching or chipping.

So, how do you determine which direction the grain of the grass is growing when you’re on the green? You can either look for a slight color change (down grain will look more glossy) or you check the cup (the rugged, broken grass on one side of the hole will tell you which way the grain is growing).

Being off the green, however, affords you an easier way to assess the grain. Zach Johnson elects to rub the grass with his hand and see how the turf reacts when he is not on the putting surface. This lets him know which way the grain is growing.  And allows him to better choose a club for the upcoming shot.

Now, if you’re wont to do this, expect to receive a little heat from some overzealous rule enforcers — as Johnson said he encounters multiple times per year and most recently during the 2015 Hero World Challenge— whose intentions may be good, but whose understanding of the rules is lacking.

To read the rest of this story, plus a video interview with Zach where he explains that particular rule, go here!

Source: Back9Network    Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway

Pictures: USGA Publications

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Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing - Give me a Break!

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

In 2016, Rule 6-6d has been amended, and a player who inadvertently does not assess himself a penalty because he did not know there was a breach, is no longer disqualified and instead is assessed a two-stroke penalty.  I think the problem with this new rule, is that the USGA made the rule to prevent amateurs who don’t know all of the rules, from being disqualified from a tournament.  

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

The problem I have is that when it comes to PGA Tour players, this is their living and I feel they should know the rules.  

A lawyer cannot go into court, make a mistake, and say to the judge, I didn’t know that rule.  He would look ridiculous!  Which brings me back to a statement I have mentioned before.  I think the pros and the amateurs should have different rules and different equipment!  Now I know I am opening a can of worms here, but I think it’s crazy when Pat Perez hits the ball in a water hazard and then says he did not know that there was a penalty!  This opens the door for pros in the future, in order to avoid disqualification, to automatically say they did not know the rule, no matter how basic it is.

I would love to hear feedback on this subject.  Please post your comments below!  Thanks to Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway of Back9Network for this thought-provoking article!

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing - Give me a Break!

As the PGA Tour returns to the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week, a.k.a. the Greatest Show on Grass, the Rules Junkie harkens back to Pat Perez’s rules run-in and subsequent disqualification from the event in 2013.

Perez’s DQ is worth revisiting for a few reasons, but mostly so we can get a better grasp on the truly confounding changes made to Rule 6-6d in the 2016 edition of the Rules of Golf. The amendment to 6-6d forgives ignorance of the rules, but still penalizes someone in Perez’s predicament when a clerical error has been made.

The dispatch from the scene, via Golf Channel.

With the projected cut currently hovering at 3 under, Perez’s rounds of 72-72 left him at 2 over, unlikely to advance. When he incorrectly signed for an even-par 71 in the second round, though, he earned himself an early exit from the event.

The hole at issue was the short par-4 17th, where Perez ran into trouble despite a drive that left him less than 50 yards to the hole. After his approach went into the water behind the green, he ultimately two-putted for a double bogey 6. Perez signed for a 5 on the hole, however, and was disqualified as a result.

One of the four major changes to the Rules effective Jan. 1, 2016 was the “Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card.” The USGA explained it as follows:

The PGA introduces a new exception.

Rule 6-6d (Wrong Score for Hole) to provide that a player is not disqualified for returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken as a result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player did not know were incurred before returning the score card. Instead, the player incurs the penalty under the Rule that was breached.  And must add an additional penalty of two strokes for the score card error. In all other cases in which a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, the penalty will continue to be disqualification.

The amendment allows for leeway when it comes to being blatantly ignorant of a rule, but not for writing an incorrect number down. The rule states, “the competitor is responsible for the correctness of the score he writes down for each hole on his score card. If he returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, he is disqualified. If he returns a score for any hole higher than actually taken, the score as returned stands.”

To read the rest of this story on understanding this confusing rule, go here!

Source:  Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway    Back9Network

Pictures: Twitter/@GolfweekMag

Thanks for reading Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

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Knowing the Rules of Golf can Improve Your Score!

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