Chapter Education


Suggestions to speed play when sharing a golf cart! 

How many times have you seen a golf cart stop at one ball, the first player hits, then they drive diagonally 20 yards to the other player's ball before moving up the fairway together?

Instead, park the cart between your balls and you can both get ready at the same time. If your balls are farther apart, drop off the first player and then go to your ball. After that first player hits, they can walk up the fairway and meet you after you hit. The passenger of a cart should always be aware for when they should get behind the wheel. Sharing a cart should be like a game of leapfrog.

Park Up
How many times has the group in front of you parked their cart between the green and you? When this happens, you have to wait for players to walk to their cart and drive away before you can hit. Conversely, if the cart is on the backside of the green, you can hit as soon as the players step off the green. To keep a good pace, be aware of where the next tee is, so you can park your cart in the right position (behind the green and/or between the green and next tee).

On the Tee Box
Chit-chat on the tee too often gets in the way of ready golf.  Be ready to hit when the group ahead clears. There is no "off-sides" in golf. It's quite okay to walk up ahead and off to the side while other players are hitting. Just be still, turn around and watch the shot for your own safety. There may be times when you can’t do this because you’re in someone else’s line or close enough to distract them. But often you will be far enough away to be ready to hit the next shot.

Read Your Putt While Others are Putting

As soon as you reach the green, start reading your putts – just be still right before a competitor hits their putt, and stay out of the player's line of sight.

Take Multiple Clubs to your Ball

So you don’t have to make another trip back to the cart, take multiple clubs to the ball, even around the greens.

Lost Ball

If you think your ball may be out of bounds or lost outside a penalty area, hit a provisional ball. Maximum time allowed to find a ball is three minutes.

Scorecard Management

Be aware of the group behind you and mark scores on the next tee box. Scorekeepers can mark the cards while others are hitting their tee shots.


Cart management and being ready to hit are the two biggest keys to staying in position.

Be cognizant of the players in front of you and try to stay on their heels.



The sidehill lie with the ball above your feet:

  • Choke down on the club
  • Stand farther from the ball
  • Stand taller at address with less forward bend of the upper body
  • Aim right of the intended target

    These adjustments will encourage a swing motion that is flatter than you would typically make, and the ball is likely to hook depending on the severity of the hill.

    The sidehill lie with the ball below your feet:

  • Grip all the way to the end of the club
  • Stand closer to the ball
  • You may need more knee flex and more forward bend of the upper body to reach the ball
  • Aim left of the intended target

These adjustments will encourage a swing motion that is more upright than you would typically make, and the ball is likely to fade or slice depending on the severity of the hill.

 The uphill lie where your left foot is higher than your right:

  • Move the ball more forward in your stance
  • Take more club – the ball will tend to fly higher and shorter than normal
  • Try to get your spine perpendicular to the slope, in this case by tilting your body more to the right at address
  • You may tend to pull this shot because the ball is more forward, and the hill makes it more difficult to shift your weight to your front foot.  Adjust your aim to the right.

    The downhill lie where your left foot is lower than your right:
  • Move the ball back in your stance
  • The ball will tend to fly lower than normal but not necessarily farther unless it is downhill all the way to the target.
  • Tilt your spine more left at address
  • You may tend to push this shot because the ball is back in your stance. Adjust your aim to the left.

 General reminders:

  • The severity of the slope will dictate how much you need to adjust from your normal set-up
  • Balance is an issue with all uneven lies.  Take enough club so you can swing smoothly.
  • These tips were written from the perspective of a right-handed player.  Lefties will need to reverse any references to right & left.

 Mickey Smith, PGA




A lot of ladies have an issue casting the club on the downswing which causes inconsistent contact. This is often caused by over swinging on the backswing and the resultant start to the downswing is a cast. One area you need to focus on to help with a cast is your grip and your grip pressure. Ensure you have a good grip where (for a right handed golfer) your left hand heel pad is on top of the club and the right thumb pad is against your left thumb. These are the pressure points you want to maintain on the backswing. If you feel the pressure you are exerting on the club relax, you have swung the club too far back.

Maintaining a constant pressure against the club will help with swinging the club the correct length on the backswing and ultimately better contact.

Neil Thompson
Thompson Golf Academy


Bent Brook Golf Course


The Beauty of Masters Week

Just like the azaleas all over Augusta, golf season is about bloom. When you watch this week, you will see pristine course conditions, and the latest and greatest golf technology has to offer. You will see intentional decision making, precise pre shot routines, pin point accuracy, and some amazingly heroic golf shots. You will be watching legends, GOATS and some of the most skilled athletes in professional sports compete on one of the southeast’s most majestic tracks. Some players will crumble under pressure while the most prepared, level headed competitor rises to the top. Spectators walk away from Master’s week ready to take on golf for themselves.

How can professional golf be translated into a language that the amateur can speak for themselves on the golf course? Here are a couple of points to ponder...

  1. Each person is unique- just about every player you see on television has their own unique swing. They know their swing inside and out. They know their tendencies to drift off course and where their swing falls short. They also know the best visuals and feels for them to use to hit great shots. When you know your own swing recipe, embrace your very own golf style and avoid comparison to other players, you will find your best self will show on the course a lot more frequently.
  2. Intentional preparation leads to consistency- the player you will see wearing a green jacket, has a game plan for each hole they will play this weekend. Their plan is laid out around their strengths, and is based on the ball flight they hit on a regular basis. You can plan too! For each hole you play, create a strategy around your strengths. This doesn’t guarantee your plan will execute perfectly each time, you will need to adapt your plan if a shot isn’t executed well. However, you will find being intentional will put you in the driver’s seat, commanding your ball where it should go, rather than making you a victim to whatever might happen that day.
  3. Find your way out of trouble- You will watch the best shots of this weekend on the highlight reels. If you watch a shot by shot version of each player’s round, you would see them end up in some less than ideal places. You will also see the creativity of the professional athletes shine through. They have the ability to hit amazing shots out of trouble that still put them in position to score. When you find yourself out of the fairway or in the woods measure risk versus reward. Play a shot that you feel confident you can execute well. Put yourself in position to play the next shot. First things first...get OUT of trouble. You may sacrifice a stroke but you will set yourself up for future success.

Enjoy watching some amazing golf this weekend!
I hope to see you on the tee this spring!




Bent Brook Golf Course

Liz Mattioli

by Liz Mattioli, Lead Instructor
Blackburn Golf

I think we have all had an amazing round in our life, that provided a glimpse into our golf potential. I believe those stellar rounds are not coincidence but rather indicative of what you are capable of. While you have your rose colored glasses on, and you’re dreaming big, take a moment to low can you go? What’s your dream round of golf look like? What ONE thing could you improve this year that would have the most impact in lowering your score?
An important step in dreams becoming reality and seeing break through into a lower scoring bracket is taking a minute to honestly evaluate your current game. Concrete objective data on the current state of your game can guide you in your goal setting. If you have some old scorecards handy, take a walk down memory lane and chart your shots. Or start fresh and for the first couple of rounds you play this year, whether nine or 18 hole rounds, keep track of some simple statistics. Under your score line on your score card track the items below....

  1. Drives that hit the fairway or if more consistent distance off the tee is a goal, track how many drives you hit that are within 10 yards of your average driving distance.
  2. Greens in Regulation for the 80’s shooter or Greens in Bogey for the 90’s shooter.
    1. Par 3’s GIR=1 GIB=2
    2. Par 4’s GIR=2 GIB=3
    3. Par 5’s GIR=3 GIB=4
  3. Putts per hole/per round; how many 1 putts can you make per round?
  4. Chip shots that end up within 6 feet of the hole
  5. Always highlight BIRDIES and try to make a double bogey your worst score if you want to break 80 consistently.
Once you have a basic overview of where you are currently racking up extra strokes, you can get help from a professional in that area. You can create an action plan and implement practice strategies that will help eliminate excess strokes and get you on track to lower scores. Often times a new game plan that is more in line with your strengths is all it takes to see lower scores. As you head into this season....What factor would really help you to bust through your scoring barriers and shoot the round of your life???

Do I have to be a good golfer to join the LPGA Amateurs?

No, you do not have to be a good or experienced golfer to join any chapter of the LPGA Amateur Golf Assn. In fact, many of our members are beginning golfers who have improved since joining, and they remember what it was like to be a new golfer.

We recommend new golfers take lessons from a PGA or LPGA golf professional. 

We schedule league play at several different local courses covering a range of difficulty to help accommodate golfers of all skill levels. Being a member of LPGA Amateurs is the best way to learn the game!

Learn about the HANDICAP system, How to Post Scores, and Manual Entry of Scores

USGA Rules 2024

USGA Logo & Link to Rules

Alabama Golf Association

AGA Enters It's Second Century of Serving Amateur Golf in Alabama

The Alabama Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization founded in 1915 whose mission is to serve and promote amateur golf in Alabama. 

AGA is the USGA's liaison for golf in Alabama.  AGA membership consists of over 130 member clubs represented by nearly 18,500 individuals. 

The activities and services of the Alabama Golf Association are governed by a Board of Directors consisting of Alabama golfers who wish to serve the game and the association through service.

AGA Logo

Golf Etiquette 101

Unlike many sports, golf is for the most part played without the supervision of a referee, umpire or coach. The game relies on the individual golfer to show consideration for other players and to abide by the rules. New golfers are often in need of advice about customary behavior and practices to follow on course so that play proceeds safely and without delay. Here are 10 tips to help all players get the maximum enjoyment from the game.

The Spirit of the Game
Unlike many sports, golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be. This is the spirit of the game of golf.

Players should ensure that no one is standing close by or in a position to be hit by the club, the ball or any stones, pebbles, twigs or the like when they make a stroke or practice swing.

Players should not play until the players in front are out of range.

Players should always alert greenstaff nearby or ahead when they are about to make a stroke that might endanger them.

If a player plays a ball in a direction where there is a danger of hitting someone, he should immediately shout a warning. The traditional word of warning in such a situation is "fore."

Consideration for Other Players
No Disturbance or Distraction
Players should always show consideration for other players on the course and should not disturb their play by moving, talking or making any unnecessary noise.

Players should ensure that any electronic device taken onto the course does not distract other players. On the teeing ground, a player should not tee his ball until it is his turn to play.

Players should not stand close to or directly behind the ball, or directly behind the hole, when a player is about to play.

On the Putting Green
On the putting green, players should not stand on another player's line of putt or when he is making a stroke, cast a shadow over his line of putt.

Players should remain on or close to the putting green until all other players in the group have holed out.

In stroke play, a player who is acting as a marker should, if necessary, on the way to the next tee, check the score with the player concerned and record it.

Pace of Play
Play at Good Pace and Keep Up
Players should play at a good pace. The Committee may establish pace of play guidelines that all players should follow.

It is a group's responsibility to keep up with the group in front. If it loses a clear hole and it is delaying the group behind, it should invite the group behind to play through, irrespective of the number of players in that group.

Be Ready to Play
Players should be ready to play as soon as it is their turn to play. When playing on or near the putting green, they should leave their bags or carts in such a position as will enable quick movement off the green and towards the next tee. When the play of a hole has been completed, players should immediately leave the putting green.

Lost Ball
If a player believes his ball may be lost outside a water hazard or is out of bounds, to save time, he should play a provisional ball.

Players searching for a ball should signal the players in the group behind them to play through as soon as it becomes apparent that the ball will not easily be found.

They should not search for three minutes before doing so. Having allowed the group behind to play through, they should not continue play until that group has passed and is out of range.

Priority on the Course
Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, priority on the course is determined by a group's pace of play. Any group playing a whole round is entitled to pass a group playing a shorter round.

Care of the Course

Before leaving a bunker, players should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints made by them and any nearby made by others. If a rake is within reasonable proximity of the bunker, the rake should be used for this purpose.

Repair of Divots, Ball-Marks and Damage by Shoes
Players should carefully repair any divot holes made by them and any damage to the putting green made by the impact of a ball (whether or not made by the player himself). On completion of the hole by all players in the group, damage to the putting green caused by golf shoes should be repaired.

Preventing Unnecessary Damage
Players should avoid causing damage to the course by removing divots when taking practice swings or by hitting the head of a club into the ground, whether in anger or for any other reason.

Players should ensure that no damage is done to the putting green when putting down bags or the flagstick.

In order to avoid damaging the hole, players and caddies should not stand too close to the hole and should take care during the handling of the flagstick and the removal of a ball from the hole. The head of a club should not be used to remove a ball from the hole.

Players should not lean on their clubs when on the putting green, particularly when removing the ball from the hole.

The flagstick should be properly replaced in the hole before players leave the putting green.

Local notices regulating the movement of golf carts should be strictly observed.

Conclusion; Penalties for Breach
If players follow the guidelines in this Section, it will make the game more enjoyable for everyone.

If a player consistently disregards these guidelines during a round or over a period of time to the detriment of others, it is recommended that the Committee consider taking appropriate disciplinary action against the offending player. Such action may, for example, include prohibiting play for a limited time on the course or in a certain number of competitions. This is considered to be justifiable in terms of protecting the interest of the majority of golfers who wish to play in accordance with these guidelines.

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