Monday, April 29, 2013

Rules of Golf to know During Your Round Relief for Ball in Water / Lateral Hazard

I am starting off with the Rules of Golf that most likely will happen during your playing round.

The first one I am going to cover is Rule  :

"26-1. Relief for Ball in Water Hazard

It is a question of fact whether a ball that has not been found after having been struck toward a water hazard is in the hazard. In the absence of knowledge or virtual certainty that a ball struck toward a water hazard, but not found, is in the hazard, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1.

If a ball is found in a water hazard or if it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:

a. Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or

b. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped; or

c. As additional options available only if the ball last crossed the margin of a lateral water hazard, drop a ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than (i) the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard or (ii) a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.

When proceeding under this Rule, the player may lift and clean his ball or substitute a ball. "

This one presented itself during my last PGA professional tournament.  I had a dog leg left off the T-box and hit my drive through the right side of fairway, hit the cart path and bolted into the creek that was clearly marked with red stake and red line next to the cart path.

Most golfers when they have this happen during normal play, even if they understand that you get 2 club lengths (Rule 26-1 c above) from where the ball entered the hazard, they take the drop from the other side of the cart path. 

The ruling is as follows as presenting by the PGA OFFICIAL during the tournament:  The hazard line was two inches from the cart path, I placed my tee at point of entry into the hazard, used my driver for two club length no closer to hole.  I was still on the middle of the cart path no matter which direction.  Therefore, I placed a tee on the spot of my two club length, dropped the ball in between the two markers on the cart path.  I dropped twice and each time the ball bounced back into the hazard or closer to the hole.  For the third attempt placed marker where the ball dropped second time, then marked nearest relief from cart path taking stance with club  that I was going to use for next shot. I then proceeded with one club length relief marking the spot and then dropping ball between the markers.  The official deemed ball in play, I gave myself a one stroke penalty for hitting into the lateral hazard and moved on.

I know this was a lengthy ruling, but this is how this should be played by the rules.

Keep watching my blog for my next Rule of Golf.

Until then, remember the game of golf is a gentleman's game and is the only sport I know of where you call the penalties on yourself.....

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Golf Dream Continues Even though had a set Back

Hi I am back.  Well before we get into rules of the game I want to let you know what is happening for my next tournaments.

Well I am still recovering from my broken finger so I have not picked up a club since the last qualifier in Georgia for the Champions Tour.

I have had to cancel and withdraw from the US Open Qualifiers because I won't be able to be ready to play on May 7th.

My finger is feeling better and I believe I might be able to still participate in the US SENIOR OPEN Qualifier in mid June along with a local tournament end of June.

With that possibility in my mine it still gives me hope that the final part of my dream will happen.  In the past 8 years I have changed my game to play like a pro, currently teach as a professional, play in professional tournaments, and still trying to qualify and play in the actual PGA Event on either the Champions or PGA Tour.

I think that within at least a week to two weeks I will at least be able to start putting drills, work myself to chipping drills and finally work on my full swing for tempo and distance.  That will get me back into form I believe for mid Jun qualifier.  I pray everything works out and With Gods help this will happen.

Until I can start practicing and preparing as stated in my last blog if anyone has any recommendations or comments on what they would like me to explain in the game of golf such as, rules, course management, certain drills, posture, swing drills let me know and I will be glad to provide this information and teachings.

During this time frame of not being able to work physically on my game, I constantly work mentally.  I still review the courses that I am to play and in my mind the drills I need to get myself in 100% playing ability.

Until next blog, remember even when you have an obstacle in your way you can still get around it.....

Monday, April 22, 2013

Childhood Golf Course in Backyard

Well, time to tell how I learned at an early age to have course management and use all clubs in the bag.

As a child of a golfer  and lover of the game  it was a passion to play golf at an early age.  My Dad was a really talented golfer and played with some of the greats, Chi Chi, Gary Player and others while he was in the Military.  This helped me develop my love of the game.  As a young child I caddied at the same private course he did.  Well enough of that information.

It all started with deciding to ruin my Dad's yard.  We lived in a subdivision and had a 1/4 acre of lawn around the house.  We loved the game a lot and caddied and watched Dad play as we caddied for him and wanted to play it more but couldn't get on the course as often as we wanted.  So we designed an 18 hold golf course around the house with dog legs, hazards and tin can cups.  We had 4 par fives, 4 par threes and the rest par 4's.  We had it scaled (didn't know that term at the young age) to fit our yard so we could use full set of clubs using a whiffle ball.   You had to use Driver, fairway woods, long irons, short irons and final a putter to putt into a tin cup.  I had two brothers and many neighborhood friends that liked playing we held mini tournaments.  While playing on the miniature course I developed a course management that aloud me to determine which clubs I should use on different shot makings to help get me around the doglegs (corners of the house) to have the best shots into the green (tin cup area).  We learned to play in windy, rainy, hot, and moderate conditions.  The whiffle ball gave a true flight of the ball as it was hit from the club just as if we were hitting real balls on real golf courses.  The management of this course that we manufactured allowed me to take the course management on this course and take it to the real courses.  This knowledge helped me understand the makeup of the bigger courses and allowed me to shoot better golf.

That was a lot of fun and I continually go back to those great memories.  My brothers and I still talk about it often.

Well, if I have no comments or interest in going through specific drills or help in swing techniques before my next blog I will start with some of the rules of golf.  If you have any particular rules you want clarified or interpreted just comment and I will provide replies to those comments..

Until next time, may your swing be smooth and true.......

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tips on Golf Etiquette Hints

To Finish up on the segment on Golf Etiquette Making the Game More Enjoyable for Others I leave you with the following hints:

  • Quiet Please!  Never talk during another player's swing.
  • Do not yell out following a shot.  Even if boisterous behavior doesn't bother your playing partners, there are other people on the course who may be within earshot.

  • Be aware of your shadow on the putting green.  Don't stand in a place that causes your shadow to be cast across another player or that player's putting line. Or seen in during their swing.

  • Never walk through a playing partner's putting line  Your footprints might alter the path of a partner's putt.  Step over the putting line, or walk around (behind) the partner's ball.  Also, avoid stepping on the other side of the hole on the putting line because the putter may hit the ball long and this will also effect his next shot.
Well there are a lot more golf hints on etiquette put I think we captured the most common.

If anyone has any particular parts of their game they want talked about or want tips on what to do, I will be happy to give suggestions and tips.

Next blog, I will talk about what I did in my youth to help me understand the game and provide a challenge right in my own yard.

Until then, Always be courteous to the golfers around you and hope they provide the same......

Friday, April 19, 2013

Golf Etiquette, Taking Care of the Course

Continuing the Golf Etiquette we are going to talk about Taking Care of the Course.

  • Observe the signs on the course and adhere to course rules.
  • Observe cart rules, Some courses will post "cart path only" signs; others will ask you to observe the "90-degree rule." Do as you are told. 

  • Keep carts away from greens and hazards.  the wheels on carts can damage these sensitive areas.

  • Repair your divots in the fairway and tee boxes.  Some courses have sand and seed bottles on carts and on tee boxes.  Use to fill divots or replace your divot you have taken.
Repair your ball marks on the green.

  • Always rake sand bunkers after hitting to erase your footprints and damage to the area where your ball was.  This will make it more enjoyable for the next person if they land in the bunker.

  • Avoid taking a divot on a practice swing.

If you adhere to these suggestions on taking care of the golf course then you will help yourself and others enjoy the game of golf and help keep the courses in a playing condition. Also, this will help keep costs down and help the grounds keepers in their jobs.

Next blog we will continue and give tips on Golf Etiquette Hints.

Until then, please take care of the course and the course will allow you to have more fun.....

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Golf Tournament Goes Bad

Well I am back from my golf venture in Georgia.

Sorry I haven't written in a while but I am back.

It didn't go as I wanted.  I was attempting to qualify for a Champions Tour Event.

I was doing fairly well and then with 4 holes left I hit a nine iron which stopped when it hit the ground and ended up causing a hairline fracture in my right hand ring finger.  The pain was excruciating and as my wife stated, "You looked like you were going to fall to the ground you were in so much pain."

So I had to withdraw and not finish the tournament.  This was to be the first event for the year and now it might be the last.  We will see how long it will take to heal.  I have to wear a splint on my finger for at least a month.  Then depending on the healing I don't know when I will be able to swing again.

I had to withdraw from the US OPEN Qualifier May 7th, but am keeping myself signed up for the Senior US Open Qualifier in Nashville on June 20th for the time being.  I will know more by end of May if I will have an idea if my finger will be able to take it by that time.

Well, time to go.  I will continue my blog on Golf Etiquette on my next Posting.

Keep your tempo smooth and your swing easy.......

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Golf Etiquette Continued, Maintaining Good Pace

Good morning everyone,  Another beautiful day for the golf course.  I am going to give some tips on
Maintaining Good Pace on Golf Course to help you enjoy the day.

Maintain a Good Pace

  • Keep the round moving by being prepared to hit your shot when it is your turn.  You probably don't like waiting on other groups - don't make the other groups wait on you
  • The player who is away hits first in a group.  However, in friendly matches (as opposed to tournament play) this rule an be ignored in favor of "ready play" - players hit as they are ready.  All players should agree to "ready play" before it is put into effect.
  • Do not spend too much time looking for a lost ball, particularly if there is a group behind you ready to play.  If you insist on taking the full five minutes allotted in the rulebook to look for lost balls, golf etiquette says wave up the group behind to all them to play through.
  • Always try to keep pace with the group ahead of you.  If space opens in front of you allow faster group to play though.
  • When two players I a cart hit to opposite sides of a hole, drive to first ball and drop off that player with his club then drive to the second ball.  After both players hit,, meet up farther down the hole.
  • When walking from your cart to your ball,, take a couple clubs with you.  Taking only one club then having to return to the cart to retrieve a different club is a huge time-waster.
  • Always leave the putting green as soon as your group has finished putting.
Well it is time to go,  I am getting ready to depart for a golf venture in Georgia.

Take care and until next time, Hit them straight and not often.........

Monday, April 8, 2013

Golf Etiquette, Make Golf More Enjoyable Cont'd

Time to continue with the Etiquette Tips to help make golf more enjoyable.

Today we are going to talk about Keeping Golf Safe:

  • Do not swing your club until you know that others in your group are at a safe distance.  Likewise, keep your distance when others are swinging.  Be aware to steer clear of trouble.

  • When practicing your swing never swing in the direction of another player.  There may be pebbles or twigs or other matter in the grass that could fly up and injure a playing partner.

  • Do not hit the ball until you are certain that the group ahead of you is out of range.

  • If your ball appears headed toward another player or another group give them a warning by yelling out, "FORE!" (an internationally recognized alert)

  • Observe the safety suggestions posted in golf carts and drive carefully.  Golf etiquette requires your cart off the grass as much as possible.
  • Never throw clubs in anger.  In addition to being rude and childish, it could also be dangerous.

Tomorrow we will talk about Kindness to the Course. 

Until then, Be Safe and have fun......

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Golf Etiquette, Lets make Golf More Enjoyable for All

What a beautiful day it has been.  70 degrees, Cloudy then Sunny,  some wind, but a great day for golf.

Yes, I went and played golf today,  I warmed up the range, chipping and putting green.  Everything seemed to be working well.  Then I wanted to go out and work on my course management.  The local PGA Pro teamed me up with a couple of other golfers because the course was busy.   I always enjoy playing with different people because they have different views on life and it is a lot of fun getting to know new people.  Well today was a little different.  These golfers were new to the game and unfortunately didn't know much golf etiquette at all. 

I grew up with learning golf from my Father and as a caddy at a Private Golf Club.  The first thing you learned was golf etiquette.  You didn't play or carry a bag unless you knew the game and how to act while on the golf course. 

I watch several times as people take the game of golf up for a lot of reasons; there friends play, business, they retired, or they just thought they always wanted to play and never did.  When people take up the game they don't realize that there is more to it then just hitting a little white ball around some grassy areas.  They don't realize that there are other people out there and if they are to loud they can bother them.   They don't understand how it affects a golfer getting ready to hit a ball and they walk or talk while they are in their back swing.  They don't realize that they  affect the putting line when they walk over where the other golfer is getting ready to put. 

So I want to give some etiquette tips that will help the new, average, and weekend golfers.

Golf Etiquette in today's golf is being lost.  Etiquette is a word that's often hard in relation to golf, more so than with any other sport.  But it's not just about manners. 

Golf Etiquette is important for several reasons;  Many of them relate to the safety of golfers, many relate to pace of play (which helps keep the game enjoyable), and other rules of golf etiquette relate to maintaining the quality of the golf course. 

In other words, golf etiquette is an essential part of the game.  It's something that newcomers generally learn as they go, on the course when playing with more experienced golfers.  It is truly the role of the experienced golfers to help pass on good golf etiquette. 

I am going to spend the next several blogs going over some of the golf etiquette to assist in making the game more enjoyable for you and those around you.

So keep following and if you see a golfer that isn't showing good golf etiquette please tactfully pass on the information that will undoubtedly improve his/her enjoyment, but the others they will encounter during there golf endeavors.

Information on golf etiquette will follow over the next several bogs......

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Five Spring Time Drills to Improve your Golf Swing

Well the weather is starting to get a little nicer out as we get further into spring. The golf bug will be kicking in and everyone will want to skip work school and get on the course.  You haven't played golf for a few months and you want to get back into it.  Your swing isn't  the same since the end of last year because of the cobwebs, stiffness, and lack of movement has crept in.

Remember, stretch before every workout.


If you are having trouble with your aim, the ladder drill may help. To perform the drill, drop a ball in front of you and address it as if you are lining up to take a swing with a mid-iron so your feet are neither open nor closed to the target.

Drop the club at your feet so the shaft runs from foot to foot. Look down and examine where the club is pointing and make adjustments. Imagine the club making a line to out to the target. If that line is to the left of the target, during a real golf shot, your ball will end up to the left. If the club's line is to the right of the target, then your ball will fly to the right of the target.

To correct, aim slightly left or right of your starting point, depending on the direction of the error. For example, if the club line is pointing to the left, adjust your stance slightly to the right and repeat the drill.

Do this drill regularly and you will see a noticeable difference in how you address the ball.

Follow-through Drill

The release is one of the keys to a solid golf swing, in which the wrists become un-cocked and turn at impact with the ball. If that does not occur correctly, the club head will strike the ball at an angle, resulting in a ball flight to the right or left.

To perform this drill, take a club and swing about half your typical speed. Stop when your arms make a L during the backswing and check where your wrists are. Swing through and release, turning your wrists through the ball and finish by creating the reverse L as you follow through.

Continue swinging in this manner, but increase the speed. You will become more cognizant of these two important points in the golf swing while noticing increased power.

If the desired ball flight is not occurring while you're doing this drill, adjust your grip and arm angle. These should be slight adjustments that the individual golfer will need to experiment with, because it depends somewhat on the strength of the grip and velocity of the swing.

During the adjustments, continue to do the drill and test different arm angles and grips. This will help the golfer understand the relationship between club head, wrist motion, arm angle and grip in his own swing.

Putting Drill

One of the least-practiced skills of golf is putting even though it is a huge part of the game.  While being able to read greens is an important element to being a good putter, the most critical part is understanding pace. To perform this drill, place three balls at 5-feet intervals away from the hole on
the putting green. Attempt to hit each ball into the hole, concentrating only on the length of your putting stroke. Every putt, no matter the distance, should be struck with the same speed of the putter. The only element that changes is the length of the backstroke. Continue to vary distances while keeping the same pace, but altering the length of the backswing. The final step is to do this drill with several balls and various distances with your eyes closed. This will allow you to feel the clubhead move back and forth through the ball.

Counting Drill

Is a hook or slice killing your golf game?  Try this drill on for size. Take a normal backswing. At the top of the backswing, stop. Count to 2 before proceeding back to the ball. This will decrease the speed of your lower body and help you think of your swing in sequential parts, exposing issues with your downswing and giving you the ability to see, feel and correct them.

This drill will help the golfer expose an inconsistent velocity issue with his/her swing and body. If the body is slightly ahead or behind the golf swing, then the ball will be sliced or hooked. This drill will break this timing issue by making the golfer's body move at the same time as the club.

Penny Drill

This simple but extremely effective drill will help a golfer get the ball off the ground quickly. Take a penny and place it on a practice mat. Hit a penny off a mat. Try to hit the penny off the mat with different clubs. See how high you can get it to fly. This will help you stop topping the ball. Now try to hit the penny when a ball is on top of it. This will continue to train you not to top the ball.
Well time to go.  Keep practicing and the game will get easier.
bye for now.....

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Warming up at The Range, 9 tips

Well it is another day at the Range.

Most people when they go to the golf range they just buy the bucket of range balls and then start hitting with their driver usually.  Everyone seems to like the long ball.  They like seeing it go beyond the border of the range.  Well, they would like to think so anyway. 

If you want to improve your game go to the range and practice with a purpose.

1.  What am I going to work on today.
2.  Plan a time frame of approximately 15 minute intervals working on different areas
3.  Before you start stretch.
4.  Warm up with the wedge group taking half swings loosening your muscles.
5.  Start working on what you planned and stick with it.
6.  If you start getting frustrated change what you are working on, take a break and come back to it later.
7.  Once you have completed your planned work out, cool down
8.  Hit the last few balls from the bucket with half swings of the wedge aiming at same distance target.
9.  Stretch again before leaving range.

When practicing at the range and not on the course you will become more consistent with your shot making and will be able to reduce your score.

I was listening to Gary Player during an interview and he told a story; He was practicing hitting sand shots at the practice green and three shots in a row went into the hole on the green.  A fellow golfer saw this and commented, wow, that was sure lucky.  Gary responded, yep, the more I practice the luckier I get.

Remember, enjoy the game and have fun.

Until next time take your frustrations out on the range and not the course.

Bye for now.....

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Inspiration and Strategy tips on Practice

Well I left you yesterday with telling you I would write about who and why I was inspired to return to golf and follow my childhood dream.  I also told you I would give some tips on practice strategy.

Well first the inspiration.  I met a wonderful lady in 1997, whom I married in 1999 (this is for another story of how God brought us together).  After being married for 5 years we were waiting for my parents to come for a visit and out of the blue she asked me what are your dreams from your childhood, what did you ever want to achieve and become.  I thought wow, what a question.  I informed her that my dream was to become a professional golfer and to play in PGA tournaments.  I thought that question was just a conversation of her finding out what my dream was and not that it would be discussed again. A few days before my parents were to arrive she stated lets go look at golf courses and see what the cost is so you can possibly follow your dream.  Now she knew nothing about golf except that she thought golf was a divorce word.  We went to several courses and she told me golf is very expensive I don't know about this.  Then we ended up at a learning center and we did a tour.  As I was talking to one of the instructors, I looked over and she was pulling out her check book.  I went over and asked what you doing.  She replied, "I am signing us up for this learning center for a year."  She stated that if she didn't like the game she wouldn't continue being a member, but wanted me to have a chance to follow my dream.  That is who inspired me to start the dream again.  Wow, she didn't even like golf.  That is love.  And with someone that loves me this much I could do nothing but say, time to start the dream.  We worked together since and she has been behind me and always keeps inspiring me.  We will continue this story later in my blogging on what I did in training and how I worked at changing my swing and to have my game become good enough to play and compete as a professional and also be confident in teaching others.

Now to the tip I promised you at the beginning of this blog "Tips on Practice Strategy".

Many a times going to golf courses and ranges people including myself in the early days just want to go out and whack the ball.  They thought they will get all the practice they need on the golf course or driving range to work on what they learned from the magazines and books they read on how to do this and that.  Don't get me wrong there are great instructions in those books and magazines but reading and translating on how to get yourself to do it without having someone helping you to do it correctly is very hard to do.  My recommendation to any golfer is that if you are going to learn how to change any technique or learn how to do anything specific is to find a qualified Professional Instructor to help you.

Tips for the range:

1. Go to the range with a purpose, not just to whack a bunch of balls.
2.   Good place to work on swing technique. Not the golf course.
3.  Plan out your workout, ascertain specific drills that will help you on your game.
4.  If working on swing technique recommend using 5 or 7 iron not driver.
5.  Have fun at the Range.  Don't over task or stress yourself out.  Make games up.
6.  Spend more time on your shorter game and less time on booming the driver.  You only hit the driver maybe 14 times in a round. 

That is all for now.  I hope you all have a good time at the golf course and practice range.

Remember, Golf is all about enjoyment no matter what level you play at

Until next time.....

Monday, April 1, 2013

Continuing the Golf Dream Journey

I am back to continue my blog. 

After I departed yesterday I went and practiced for about three hours.   I spent most of my time on the short range working on my shots 100 yards in. Today, I spent two more hours on the short game, working on mostly pitches and chips.   I believe that working on the short game and putting is the most important part of practice.  Don't get me wrong, I think hitting balls at the range with your other irons, driver and woods is important also.  When you work on swing techniques and figuring out your distances for each club, not just whacking at a bucket of balls for no reason.  But most of your scoring in the game is done from 150 yards in.  That is where I believe you need the Most accuracy.

As I go along, I will explain my philosophy and want I think is important in the game strategy and practice strategy.

No a little more on how I got to where I am in my golf life.   I eventually played a year in high school on the golf team, played in the Military, and then back as a civilian took about 12 years off only playing about once or twice a year because of economic times and too busy working.   I passed on the dream thinking I will never achieve it because of what I heard over the years as a young adult and  that you have to have a lot of money or you are not talented enough.  I think the toughest part as I look back was believing the people that stated I am not good enough and that you are a fool for trying or going for that dream.  It is unachievable.  Well instead of believing in myself and what I believed God wanted me to do, I didn't excel and eventually lost the drive to play.  Hence the 12 years of not playing much at all except when my Dad was in visiting we would play.  The one thing I never lost is playing the game with my Dad.  It is something we shared together and we both enjoyed a lot.

  On my next entries I will share with you how I got back in the game, what my drive was and inspiration.  I will also, provide a few tips on practice strategy.

Until next time, keep swinging and remember fairways and greens.......