WEEKLY GOLF ETIQUETTE AND PLAY TIPS (as posted in our Facebook Notes)
Proper Use of Golf Carts (May 26, 2019)
With all of the wet weather we’re having , please take this as a timely reminder to be as respectful as possible to the courses when it comes to the use of golf carts. Particularly, the putting greens. You are not allowed to drive the cart on or anywhere near a putting green, as this can cause irreparable damage to the green and surrounding area. For more information on the use of golf carts check out the video: Golf Cart and Pull Cart Etiquette
Do Not Cross Putting Lines (June 2, 2019)
When you’re on the green, please remember to not step on your fellow players putting lines - that imaginary line that connects the ball to the hole. Whether or not someone is lined up to put, you must avoid walking across their putting line to the hole.
If your ball is on or near a player’s line, be ready to mark your ball.
It's easy to help out your fellow players when it comes to helping in keeping to a good pace of play. One way is looking for lost balls (note search time reduced comment below) - better yet, watching errant shots so they don't turn into lost balls. Pick up that extra club left on the fringe or the head cover dropped next to the tee (I would have left so many clubs behind if it wasn’t for my fellow players picking up my extra clubs!). Also if you see a provisional ball that needs picking up, confirm if it’s to be picked up before picking it up and returning it to its owner.
Rule Change On Search Time for Lost Balls: Rule 18.2a of the R&A USGA Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf - your ball is lost if not found in three (3) minutes after you or your caddie begin to search for it
Knowing that the search time is limited to 3 minutes should encourage players to play a provisional ball when they believe there is a chance their ball may not be found.
Leaving The Flagstick in the Hole (June 16, 2019)
Rule 13.2a (2) was changed in 2019 such that there is no longer a penalty if you hit your ball from the putting green and it hits the flagstick left in the hole. You’re not required to putt with the flagstick in the hole as the choice to have it removed remains.
The main reason for this change is that it allows a player to putt with the flagstick in the hole without fear of penalty, which should generally help speed up play. For example, your ball landed 2 feet from the pin, and your fellow players’ balls are in bunkers or the rough around the back part of the green. As long as you are aware of everyone’s position and announce your intention to finish your hole off, leave the flag in and putt it out.
On balance though, there shouldn’t be any advantage in being able to putt with the unattended flagstick in the hole. See Unattended Flagstick
I'm Going to Play a Provisional Ball (June 23, 2019)
A provisional ball is another ball played in case the ball just played by you may be out of bounds or lost outside a penalty area.
Rule 18. 3a states that if a ball might be lost outside a penalty area or out of bounds, to save time a player may play another ball ‘provisionally’. The player must say the word provisional before making a stroke.
But if you are aware that the only place your original ball could be lost is in a penalty area (for example, a water hazard), a provisional ball is not allowed, and a ball played from where the previous stroke was made becomes your ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance*.
If the original ball is found in play, player must abandon the provisional ball. There is no penalty for having hit a provisional ball if the original ball is found to be in play.
*Example: you are hitting from somewhere on the fairway and your ball lands in the water, or is lost outside a penalty area or out of bounds. You don’t realize that the ball is lost or in the water until you have advanced up the fairway to where you thought your ball landed. According to the rules, you must return to where your previous stroke was made and hit another ball under the penalty of stroke and distance.
However, for the sake of advancing play and not holding up the players behind you, we as more casual golfers move to that spot where the ball entered the water, or out of bounds area, and using the Penalty Relief rules to drop a new ball from knee height.
Dropping a Ball from Knee Height (June 30, 2019)
Rule 14.3 deals with Dropping Ball in Relief Area. This rule was changed for 2019 in that the ball can now only be dropped from knee height.
The reason for this is that the new procedure lowers the height from which the ball is dropped, to increase the chance that it will remain within the relief area.
When you drop a ball from knee height, you must drop the ball straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where your ball will come to rest.
The ball must be dropped in the relief area, and you may stand either inside or outside of the relief area when dropping the balls.
Don't Be the Slowest Player (July 7, 2019)
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.
But, 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.
So in getting around in good time, we play "ready golf" - you hit when ready even if you aren't away - just always pay attention to who is hitting around you and coordinate who is away.
On the tee and green, technically you should be prepared to play when it’s your turn - again though in our association, and with the new rule no penalty applicable for leaving the flagstick in, often one player on the green may hit their ball while others are walking to or preparing to pitch or chip their ball on to the green.
The player with the best gross score on the previous hole has the honour of teeing off first. However as we don’t stand on formality in our games, one can play ready golf and not wait for the best score on the hole to tee up first.
Last, but not least, always mark your score at the next hole, not on the putting green.
On the Beach (July 14, 2019)
There is now no penalty for moving loose impediments in a bunker or for generally touching the sand with a hand or club.
A limited set of restrictions (such as not grounding the club right next to the ball) is kept to preserve the challenge of playing from the sand; however, an extra relief option is added for an unplayable ball in a bunker, allowing the ball to be played from outside the bunker with a two-stroke penalty.
A little something different this week - drawing on the tips and techniques of our fellow golfers. Here, from our Membership Chair, Anne Bermingham, are her tips on how she makes her putts.....
Well I was asked to add some member ideas on golf. Well I am no pro. I came fourth out of fourth at our recent chapter championship in the third flight. So please take my tips with a grain of salt but they often work for me:
My business partner once told me that if you need the putt to go one foot - then swing 1 inch from the ball. If you need the ball to go five feet, then pull your club back so it is five inches from the ball (not sure how it converts into metric). While not flawless, it does help control one's speed and distance.
I did a lesson on course management when away a few years ago. He taught me to always aim your ball so that you land within half a metre of the hole. This way you don't try to do the star shot. Rather you do a safer strike to the ball. It does help to 2 putt and not 3 putt.
I learned at a LPGA event to not follow the ball with your eyes. Just like with other shots, don't peek. Keep your eyes on the ball and keep it there after you strike the ball. I must admit that helps too!
Breathe! (July 28, 2019)
When I finally started getting some exercise into my life when I turned 60, one of the most important things that I was doing incorrectly, was holding my breath to help push me through exercise like weight and resistance training
So, when this video was suggested to me as this week’s tip, my quandary as to what I was going to post was immediately solved, particularly because I could so identify with its simple but effective message.
While you’re watching this 1 minute and 30 second video, use the time to do some deep breathing!