John Daly made a spectacle out of himself by dunking a whole bunch of balls
into the drink, Tin-Cup style, after severe frustration over a penalty assessed
for hitting a wrong ball out of a bunker on the previous hole.He ran out of golf balls, thanked his
playing partners, and walked into the clubhouse....and basically out of Australia
and any chance of being invited back.
are criticizing him about his behavior, which is nothing new.I must admit to being a John Daly fan in
the aftermath of his first PGA win, again in dramatic style, for three reasons:
1) you could easily pick him out of a crowd of PGA pros, and 2) he brought
excitement back into the game for everyday folks, and 3) he created a desire
for the regular guy to wriggle into the hallowed world of golf.
then, life got in the way and John couldn’t get out of his own way, reverting back to bad habits and deeds that
were all too well chronicled in ex-wife Sherrie’s book, Teed Off.That book, by
the way, was tough to read, not in a cerebral sense, but because by showing the
world how badly John acted and how difficult the marriage was, she made herself
look worse for getting involved with him in the first place.
any kind – and John Daly – do not co-exist well.Can anyone commiserate with that
understand that there must be rules governing games, and life, but the USGA and
R&A really need to get back into the real world and examine what is
happening in golf.The numbers are
still dismal, people are leaving the ‘official’ game, many in frustration over
the nit-pickiness of the rules.The
Rules of Golf book is not that large but the Decisions on the Rules of Golf
is....oh, my, my.... like the Guinness Book of World Records, expanding
exponentially.Any rule book
needing that much explaining is way
too complicated for today’s short-attention span and quick-take world.
Powers-That-Be recently revised the Rules of Golf, but they never seem to take
it far enough.Let’s look at John’s
situation.He played a ball out of
a bunker thinking it was his ball.Inadvertently, there was a range ball there too and he hit that
one.Now you might think ‘how could
he hit a range ball?Didn’t he
identify it?"Well, you
can’t touch a ball in a hazard in order to
identify it.And so, how can
you be penalized for playing a ball that you are not allowed to identify?
older 2000/2001 Decisions book, I reviewed Rule 15 and it does state ‘if a
competitor plays a stroke or strokes with a wrong ball, he shall incur a
penalty of two strokes – unless the
only strokes played with such ballwere
played when it was in a hazard, in which case no penalty is incurred’.A bunker is a hazard, but my
question is this:when did the USGA
and R&A change that rule?And
why?The latest version I looked up
shows this:‘There is no penalty if a player makes a stroke at a wrong ball that is
moving in water in a water hazard.
Any strokes made at a wrong ball moving in water in a water hazard do not count
in the player's score.’Moving
water???Why would that be any different than if
your ball is in a bunker and you cannot see all of your ball to know it is
yours?Moving water?? Please.
see where the frustration sets in.I’ve been stymied all day trying to figure out when this rule was
changed, because I surely don’t remember it.I’ve quoted the rule dozens of times
over the years and feel silly that I was unaware of the language change.And I still don’t get it.
of you out there in Philly-land would like to comment on some of your favorite,
silly rules, please do.John and I
don’t want to be the only ones in a tizzy.
Janina Parrott Jacobs, or the Silver
Fox, is a multi-media consultant specializing in golf, business, music,
nutrition, fitness and women’s issues. She blogs about golf at The A Position.
A 4 handicap, she lives in Michigan. Her full bio is here.
This is the time when we golfers begin to examine our performance for
the year and decide what we’d like to accomplish in the next golf season.For many, this lament is heard:‘Why can’t I take the game I have on the
practice range to the golf course?
It is often said that the longest walk in golf is from the practice
range to the first tee.Not
literally, but mentally.How often
have you lasered endless range balls to various greens on the practice tee only
to hit it OB or in the woods on the first hole?
Yes, we’ve all been there before.What happens?How can our
swing change so fast to yield such horrible results?The truth is, it can’t....and
doesn’t.The only thing that
has changed is what is going on in your head.If you don’t know how to properly focus
your thoughts and control your emotions, you’ll never be able to play well
– though you may be the best player on the range, able to hit every shot.
Case in point:Last month I
was invited to Reynolds Plantation, about 75 minutes east of Atlanta,
Georgia.Within this gorgeous
resort and private golf community lies the Reynolds Golf Academy and The
Kingdom, TaylorMade’s haven for the best and latest
technological advances in golf swing and club analysis.
As part of our media golf experience, a group of us writers experienced
the Academy’s Red Zone Challenge, which pertains to the ‘scoring zone’
otherwise known as the short game.Normally, a student is measured when they enter the three-day program
and again, when they graduate after learning some of top golf teacher Charlie
King’s secrets to better golf from 100 yards in.A short game range at the opposite end
of the Lake Oconee Club’s practice complex was built to test the following: 40 - 80 yard pitch, chip shot, bunker
shot, lob shot, lag putt, and short putt.Taking two shots at every station, each attempt was tabulated based on
proximity to the hole or scoring circles.The idea is to measure your shortcomings prior to proper instruction
versus improved scores afterwards.In our case, we did the ‘Before’ scoring without benefit of Charlie’s
For me, the short game has always been my friend.I learned properly at an early age and
really felt little pressure to perform, despite challenges mounted by my
esteemed fellow male golf writers.I scored pretty well and was able to defeat my ‘opponents’ (who will be
quick to indicate that it was only by 10 points....) to win a stylish Reynolds
Plantation golf shirt.But
that is not the story and why I write about this;what I witnessed from one of the other
Let’s call her Penelope.Penelope
had not played golf for many years and was just getting her game back.I was paired with her earlier that day
and we both looked forward to the round, her because she hoped I’d inspire her
to better play, and me because I knew she is so wonderfully gracious and nice. We both enjoyed the round, laughing and
joking at good shots and poor ones alike;Penelope simply rejoiced at being back on the links.
But then the Red Zone Challenge came.The happy carefree woman disappeared as
soon as she knew she would be ‘tested’.Despite the fact that she had hit many of these same shots beautifully
only hours ago, the look on her face and tension in her voice spoke
volumes.Not surprisingly, she did
not do well, even though I tried to encourage her and convince her it was just
for fun and didn’t mean anything because she wasn’t expected to do well –
only to experience the Red Zone Challenge.It didn’t matter.I believe she would rather have faced a
cage full of snakes, a pond teeming with alligators, or swim with the sharks.
Why put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to perform?Usually we only assume that need and we create all sorts of bad thoughts to go along
with it.The trick is to understand
that you are often your own worst enemy and toughest critic and that no one
else judges you as harshly as you do.
There is a rule we all need to learn and you won’t find it in the USGA’s
Rules of Golf.I picked this one up
from a husband-wife team of youth ministers who used it to formulate
self-esteem, fearlessness, and confidence among the teens of the parish.It is called the 100 Year Rule and goes something like this:
If what you attempt to do today won’t matter or be remembered 100 years
from now, why worry?
Janina Parrott Jacobs, or the Silver
Fox, is a multi-media consultant specializing in golf, business, music,
nutrition, fitness and women’s issues. She blogs about golf at The A Position. A 4 handicap, she lives in
Michigan. Her full bio is here.
Questions, questions........After another summer of playing in charity and
celebrity outings, I must ask: Aren’t these outings supposed to be fun?A day to build relationships, do some
business, and try not to make a fool of yourself?Then why do organizers insist on making
the course tougher than usual, or inundating us with rules, rules, and more
rules?When are event directors
going to figure out that imposing the 'Three Drive Rule', where everyone must
use their own drive a minimum of three times, does exactly the opposite of what
they want to achieve, that is, to level the playing field?
A month ago I played in yet another event where not only was the Three
Drive Rule imposed, they also determined tee selection based on handicap, and
then moved ALL of the par-3 tees to the Back Tee - which meant that three out
of five tees played 180 - 200 yards, one of them to a peninsula green almost
totally surrounded by water.On that one all of my playing companions,
who were actually pretty good players, were in the drink.I did hit the green with my trusty
5-wood.....but don't think I wasn't sweating a tad.Most men can't carry the ball that
far, so what did the other women do?
Participants in charity scrambles have tried to 'stack' their teams
forever, loading them up with big hitters, accurate iron players, and
'touch-of-magic' short game artists, including a good putter;quite often these individuals never
quite rise to the occasion.But why
is the emphasis almost always focused on tee shots?If anything, restrictions should be made
on putting, not driving.That's
where you score.
Think about it:if you have
a team of four good players, the 'Three Drive Rule' means nothing to them.They’ll still finish strong, more so if
the putts drop.If instead you have
a team with one or two good players paired with mediocre or higher handicap
players, the Three Drive Rule will actually penalize them considering the
pressure mounts as the remaining team members will fret over the
possibility they could hurt their team with poor shots when they're
needed.The good players can help
make up for a poor drive, but the added pressure will eventually take its toll.If you have a team with four
high-handicappers, they have no chance at all, no matter what rules you play.
What it amounts to is that he tougher you make the limitations, the more
you handicap the not-so-good teams. Are the prizes you'll win really that
valuable or are they mainly for show - another trophy to put on your shelf that
someone may notice occasionally?The Alternative
Golf Association (AGA) is on a mission to change the face of golf by making
the game more fun.Charity
Scrambles are often many folks' introduction into the game.Shouldn't their initiation be a pleasant
experience versus a white knuckle, scared-to-death 'don't EVER ask me to do
this AGAIN!!!' endeavor?
There are other ways to even up the charity scramble field but none are
truly optimal, depending on where you fit in.As a low handicap golfer, I despise the
'drop-back' format where the person whose shot was last used cannot hit the
next one - including tapping in a 6-inch putt.Not much incentive to make that birdie
putt, is there - knowing you are OUT on the next tee shot?Golfers with a 10-handicap
or under miss playing half of the course!Or, there is the format where tees are designated according to
handicap.This doesn't really work
either because quite often, higher handicap players can sometimes hit the ball
pretty far - they just aren't as accurate.If your tournament chooses to do that, could you please remember that
women's handicaps are not really equivalent to men's and that a woman with a
3-handicap will not want to play the Black Tees, where the Men's 0-8 handicaps
will play?You'll need to adjust
those tee box selections because it's a totally different situation with regard
to course design and playability.More than once I've seen rules sheets that designated 'Janina' tees!Thanks, but no thanks.
Another format that's used and not so much fun either is the 'team
handicap must add up to more than 40'.People lie about their handicap or can manipulate it however they
wish;for example, as a woman, I
could say I was a 15-handicap and anyone who didn't know me would think that
was a great handicap - for a woman.....but I play to a 4.Men's and women's handicap numbers may
look the same, but they do play differently; I cannot pretend that my 4-handicap
equates totally to a man who carries a 4.This shows up the most on long par-4's or par-5's where my fairway woods
cannot carry like a man's shot.Of
course I do make up for it from 150 yards in; also, shouldn't you be able to
play with who you want rather than selecting your partners by number?We are numbers almost everywhere
else in society.Not on the golf
The best bet is to just let everyone play.If you really want to maintain control
over who wins something, adjust the awards.Sure, you can give low score First Place
trophies and prizes because you'll suffer slings and arrows if you don't, but
instead of Second and Third Place based on score, match the awards with a blind
draw.Pick 13th place or 20th place
to receive prizes.Last place is
usually a good one too.That way,
even the four high-handicappers team will actually have a chance to win
There's also something else you can do:even up the field - and collect more
money - by offering a $20-$50 per team novelty package:The String-Kick-Toss.I played in an event where you
received a 20-foot string which you could use it in any way you wished:get out of the water, 'make' putts that
sat on the lip, move from rough to fairway, etc.Every time you used a length of string,
you cut it off until there was no more.Then, you'd also get a Kick.Remember how you've always said 'I could have KICKED it in from
there?’Here’s your chance to prove
it.And how about a Bocce
ball style toss?Many golfers are
bowlers too, so you could ‘bowl’ it as well as Bocce it.You pick when and where.No, it won't hold up play.
Remember that the majority of golfers can't break 100.Shouldn't the event cater to that fact
and make it fun for more golfers to play, knowing that they may just win
Janina Parrott Jacobs, or the Silver Fox, is a
multi-media consultant specializing in golf, business, music, nutrition,
fitness and women’s issues. She blogs about golf at The A Position. A 4 handicap, she lives in
Michigan. Her full bio is here.
as we all would like to introduce our friends, family, and business associates
to the game, please remember there is a proper time and place.Numbers of golfers and how much they
play continue to dwindle and I think we’ve figured out it is up to us, not the
PGA, the LPGA, the USGA, or local golf organizations to boost those numbers......but
it has to be done correctly or you’ll lose a potential golfer forever.
summer I played in numerous charity golf outings and promised myself that if I
came across one more ‘baby’ golfer who was exposed to the game in this manner,
a column about it would materialize.In this case, a ‘baby’ golfer refers to someone who has never set foot
on the course, never had a lesson, or knows nothing about the fundamentals or
etiquette of the game, yet is expected to contribute to the team.Here, the baby golfer was a business
associate of the team’s host.While
the intentions were good, the reality is a different story.I do, however, give this brave woman
– let’s call her Polly - credit for accepting the invitation even though
she knew she was way out of her league.
particular golf outing is hugely attended and a very slow go, anyway; but it
was soon evident the day would be much longer and frustrating watching Polly’s
reluctance and terror each time it was her turn, knowing she’d swing and miss,
dub the ball, or flail away trying.Coupled with the fact that our team consisted of three women: me, and a
senior fellow who was a friend of a friend of the foursome’s host (meaning, she
didn’t know him at all) and who was also a jaded former pro who had no time for
women let alone patience for a beginner, I knew that if I didn’t step in to
help Polly, you could chalk up one more person who would never want to play the
never been a professional golfer, but as a former scratch handicap now playing
to a 4, many people think of me as a pro.For the record, I do not instruct, officially, but I do know a bit about
the golf swing, the game, and course management, having played tournament golf
for over 45 years.And, I
will help playing companions simply because I can’t stand to watch them
struggle when I can do something about it.....but only if they ask for help.
was coachable and not uncoordinated.While we were waiting, I took her aside and worked with her on the two’
biggies’ of the golf swing: set-up and alignment, then gave her a basic swing
path through the hitting area.No
mechanics, no complicated techniques, just back and through.
was even simpler:I asked her to
pretend she was a Grandfather Clock’s (do people still have those?) pendulum,
straight-arming the putter back and through, hanging the putter loosely and
letting the ball get in the way.Then,
I’d line her up, picking a spot a few inches in front of the ball to aim at and
roll the ball over, and asked her to take the putter back this far and follow through to there,
for distance control.It was truly
amazing the transformation taking place:now she had a plan, some direction, was able to hit a few good shots and
almost made some putts.The biggest
difference was the smile on her face because she was having fun.She is excited about the game and wants
to take lessons so she can learn to play better.I am positive that had I not stepped in,
her last shot in that charity outing would have been her last shot....ever.
you invite someone to play golf -- business or otherwise -- ask your intended
guest if they have ever actually played before.If they haven’t, you may want to
consider another person.The most
important job as ‘Host’ of any event, including golf outings, is to assure the
comfort of your guest.I can
guarantee that a true beginner will not be
comfortable thinking he or she appears inept at anything.
women, it is even more vital to be somewhat accomplished.As far as women have come in the
business world, we are still not regarded as equals on the golf course, unless
we are good players.And even then,
playing from the Forward Tees is also viewed as something ‘less’ in the eyes of
most men.Silly?Yes, considering the majority of males
aren’t good golfers and should be playing from more forward tees too.In a mixed environment, an unskilled
woman golfer is tolerated but not welcome, inducing much eye-rolling and
you need to take responsibility for this too.If you are not capable of the following,
do not accept an invitation to play
golf until you can:
contact with the ball every time you swing;
the ball airborne most times, usually hitting it about 80-100 yards;
the ball where you aim – at least somewhat;
least two or three-putt consistently, maybe one-putting on occasion;
FAST and pick up if you reach double digits;
ready to play with tees, ball markers, and ball mark repair tools handy;
some fundamentals of course management
basic rules of the game:OB, water
hazards, bunkers, lost ball
the etiquette; buy a USGA Rules of Golf book and read the first chapter.
take a look at this list too; I’ve played with many who couldn’t pass this test
Janina Parrott Jacobs, or the Silver Fox, is a multi-media consultant
specializing in golf, business, music, nutrition, fitness and women’s
issues. She blogs about golf at The A Position.
A 4 handicap, she lives in Michigan. Her full bio is here.
long for the good old days of air travel?That is, when you could bring your golf clubs and the airlines would
lose them, maim them, misdirect them, and then deliver them to your hotel as
you are checking out – but at least back then you didn’t have to pay for
almost as if the airlines have singled out golfers for excessive fees, knowing
that packing for the sport is difficult at best:You have to take into account all types
of weather contingencies, golf clothes vs. fancy duds, golf shoes vs. street
and dress shoes, hats, golf balls (how many do
you take?), umbrella, and of course, your golf bag full of clubs.There’s virtually no way to get all of
that paraphernalia into a carry-on.
there a way around it?
past few years of traveling all over the world for golf, I’ve streamlined
packing to the extent I can survive with only one carry-on, regardless of
whether the trip lasts 3 days or a week.Impossible....for a woman, you say?Not so.How I do it, well,
I’ll leave that for another column.For now, let’s talk about the biggest and most expensive issue:Golf clubs.Usually they constitute the double
whammy: a second and oversized bag.
people are dependent on using their own clubs, which is rather surprising since
these same folks probably were never measured for proper clubs via correct
club-fitting anyway.The majority
of people I play with should be using different clubs, usually for a variety of
reasons. m So, why not use golf travel as a way to save money, but also as a
means for trying out new clubs?Rent or borrow them.
another era, rental clubs were saddled with a poor reputation.If you had to rent clubs, it was almost
implied that you weren’t a serious golfer, or you couldn’t afford to buy them.Therefore, golf courses and resorts
spent little or no time, effort, or expense to provide top of the line
offerings in the rental club department.Rental set selections were almost as bad as Rent-A-Wreck cars.The clubs were old, used, abused, with
the newest, hottest clubs on the market unavailable at any price.
it is a far different story now.Today’s golf resorts understand the hassle and expense of lugging golf
bags around and have done a complete 180:rentals are now often a perk for those who sign up for special frequent
customer ‘clubs’ like the Fairmont Hotels’ President’s Club or when you stay at
places like the Ritz Carlton or Walt Disney World.Hyatt’s Gold Passport has a ‘No Hassle’
package for all leisure guests to encourage last-minute bookings; $25 gets you
a set of clubs, golf balls, and a glove.Many hotels with courses attached will usually have golf schools too, which
use name-brand equipment companies like TaylorMade, Nike, Titleist, Callaway, Cleveland,
Hogan, and Cobra.A variety of sets
will come in regular, senior, or stiff flexes, which incidentally is slowly
taking the place of men’s and ladies designations;you can also get regular or extra long
are also companies specializing in online club rentals where you can order
exactly what you want at varying rates according to club type, how long, and
where: Rentalclubhub.com, Golfrentalandsales.com, Golfclubsaway.com, to name a few.In most cases, you can order clubs
online by 4 p.m., they’re delivered to your hotel or the course by 7 a.m., you
play, and then you leave them at the course or hotel, where they are picked up
later.Insurance is offered should
you anticipate a mishap.
people may even opt to rent clubs as opposed to buying them while at home.This may seem strange to folks who have a
garage full of clubs, but it does make sense.Here’s why:
can play the latest and greatest clubs featured on tour;
may keep a club or set as long as you want, when you are finished using the
clubs, return them, as is;
can shop from your home computer and avoid equipment overload when visiting a
mega store full of every kind of club that is made;
clubs are never outdated nor do you ‘outgrow’ them;
outlay of cash is much less at a time
are not stuck with clubs you hate or will never use;
you decide you want to buy a club, most rental companies will let you;
players will insist you can never play as well with rental clubs as you do with
your own clubs.To some extent, this
may be true.But I find it a challenge
to try different clubs at every destination.
stopped taking my own clubs years ago, after about the fourth or fifth time the
airlines ‘misplaced’ them.My game
has not really suffered; in fact, I can play quite well with whatever I’m given
as long as the shaft flex is regular, not stiff, the grips are decent, not worn
or slippery, the putter doesn’t have too much loft (yes, you can see it) and the driver isn’t more
than 11 or 12 degrees with a pronounced hook or slice face (though drivers
rarely have slice faces).That may
sound like a lot of caveats, but really, it isn’t and every club has been able
to accommodate my wishes.
just so you know, good things can happen with borrowed clubs, consider this: in March I was invited to play in the
Bacardi Par-3 Championship at the Southampton Princess in beautiful Bermuda
– a stone’s throw from Philly.
the assistants, Will Tucker, had some TaylorMade clubs all ready for me, but
after chatting a bit he asked if I’d like to borrow his clubs, an older set of
Titleist DCIs.I decided to take
his set and the rentals to Port Royal GC, where I was playing a casual round
that morning.I opted to use the
TaylorMade woods and Will’s irons in the tournament.I aced the second hole I played and very
nearly aced another, 4 holes later.At the end of the two-day event, I tied for the Ladies Division
Championship.Will was ecstatic
and has since gotten an ace of his own, the first in his 15 year career...only
because I warmed up those borrowed clubs.
point is, if your swing is somewhat sound and your fundamentals are decent, you
can play good golf with just about any club.Put your money into golf lessons instead
of expecting the newest clubs to fix your game.
those of you who have about 25 putters in your ClubCave.......I’ve always said this
about putting: it isn’t the putter, it’s the putt-er.
Jacobs is a
multi-media consultant and freelance writer specializing in golf, business,
music, nutrition, fitness and women's issues. These days, much of her efforts
are devoted to her blog on the international golf and travel website, The A Position. Her
full bio is here.
players make favorable comments about the United States Golf Association’s
(USGA) course set-up for this year’s U.S. Open at Congressional CC in Bethesda,
Md. is, to say the least, quite a deviation from Opens past.Who can forget the best of the
best struggling mightily at Bethpage Black in 2009 just to get the ball tothe
fairway?How many public course
golfers could relate to that?However, watching the players most golfers emulate hacking and whiffing through
high rough on the way to over-par scores is.....well, was, just wrong.
change has arrived in the persona of Executive Director Mike Davis, and even
the somewhat stern, arm-band wearing USGA rules officials may have some time
off from searching out wayward golf balls in places not fit for man nor
beast.Mr. Davis promises
that he does not want players looking foolish nor does he have a target score
in mind when setting up Open venues.Some laugh, unbelieving.Not
me....the time is ripe for this.
ever competed in a USGA national event under the watchful eyes of volunteer
officials (they ARE volunteers and pay their own way, you know) and a real
Rules Committee?During my
competitive amateur career, I have played in over 20 national USGA
championships, including the U.S. Women’s Amateur, the U.S. Women’s
Mid-Amateur, and the U.S. Women’s Public Links (WAPL).Tried for the U.S. Women’s Open a few
times but fell short, with my best attempt at qualifying coming at Congressional’s neighbor, Columbia CC, when a late round
triple bogey left me a couple strokes shy of the big show.How I’ve re-lived that hook off the tee
box into the Maryland trees.
in USGA events was always a great experience, except for when the USGA made
errors in course set-up and would not correct them.Yes, they DO make mistakes.During a practice round for the 1988
WAPL in Tulsa, OK, there were four groups backed up at a par-3.The USGA tee sign read 138-yards, yet
player after player kept hitting the ball into the lake running from tee to
green.I thought, ‘what’s wrong
with these gals? Take enough club!!’Then it was my turn, and the distance surely looked farther than
138-yards.Normally I’d hit a
7-iron but instead took a 5-iron – promptly splashing it into the
drink.Changing to a 4-iron, I
barely made it to the fringe of the green.Pacing off the yardage, the old fashioned way before lasers and such, it
was 165-yards just to carry the pond.After the round I informed the officials,
many who I knew well after years of playing in this event, and they were
surprised – because they sometimes don’t play the course prior to the
event.But the sign was
posted, the scorecards were printed, and so it remained:an official 138-yard par-3 that was
really about 175-yards.
was so difficult for the USGA, for so long, to improve course set-ups...I don’t
know.When you position
yourself as the Ruling Body of anything, it is thorny to admit you’re
Mike Davis is such a breath of fresh air.He understands that the course should be tough but also knows it must be
playable, and variable, depending on weather and conditions.He plans periodic seclusion in the
privacy of his on-site office to watch the action on TV, getting a clear
picture of what’s happening with his handiwork and making alterations if need
be.All the pre-planning in the
world is useless if Mother Nature decides to do her thing, thus rendering
previous strategies useless.But still,
there is a bit of the rogue in Davis:he may decide to offer the
traditional U.S. Open drivable par-4.But he won’t say which hole."I want the players to decide what to do
then and there without having practiced it."
Janina Jacobs is a multi-media consultant and freelance writer specializing in golf,
business, music, nutrition,
fitness and women's issues. These days, much of her efforts are devoted to her
blog on the international golf and travel website, The A Position. Her
full bio is here.
junior golf programs were not as high tech, organized and involved as they are
today - with every parent assuming
their kid could be the next superstar - we kids of the 1960s and 1970s ambled over
to the local muni for lessons, plain and simple.
case, there were 30 or 40 of us who attended lessons twice a week for three weeks
at junior golf 'school', which meant the local pro taught us some of what he
knew: basic fundamentals of the game such as grip, stance, backswing, impact
(sort of), and follow through.
were no video cameras, no swing plane measuring devices, no launch monitors, no
space age equipment, and no junior tours.If we were lucky, we got to play at the other nearby muni course in a
season-ending tournament – that is, if our parents could take us.If not, the bus did.
thing we learned that hasn't changed one iota is the etiquette of the
game. In fact, our very first
lesson was devoted almost entirely to proper behavior on the golf course.
taught anymore? It surely doesn't
seem so. Let's not even dwell on
slow play because that's an entire column, which I'll pen another day.
But let's do talk about care of the
given day at any course in this country, you'll find an abundance of: 1) divots
that haven't been replaced, 2) unrepaired ball marks on the green, 3) tees all
over the teeing ground, 4) paper and other garbage blowing about along the
fairway, and my favorite, 5) unraked bunkers.
don't understand this. Who do guilty
golfers think will take care of all the housekeeping?
The Magic Fairway Genie? Their mothers?
occasion I've heard golfers remark, "I've paid enough money in green fees
here. Let them take care of it."
Well, I've always wondered who 'them' was. If golfers expected course personnel to
tidy up behind them, green fees would triple in order to pay the staff to do
like this: please leave the course
at least as good as you found it. If you'd truly like to score some brownie points, leave it
better by fixing extra ball marks,
replacing or filling divots you didn't make while you're waiting for others in
your foursome to hit...or even raking other spots in the bunker after you've
of years ago I was playing somewhere, though the name of the course has long
escaped my memory. It was a
beautiful club and the greens were so perfect to putt that I felt compelled to
fix at least two or three extra ball marks on just about every green as I
waited for others to putt. It
really only take seconds to properly fix a ball mark (if you don't know how,
please ask someone from the pro shop; they'll be happy to show you) so this
didn't slow anything up.
the end of the round, one of the gentlemen who had been in the group behind
came up to our group. I thought
something was wrong. He approached
me and said, "I watched you fixing ball marks on the greens all day long and
just had to come up to see who you were.
I want you to know that I own this club...and you can come back here and
play any time as my guest." Then he
turned around and went back to his foursome.
learned. You never know who may be
watching you practice proper etiquette..or not.
Janina Jacobs is
a multi-media consultant and freelance writer specializing in golf, business,
music, nutrition, fitness and women's issues. These days, much of her efforts
are devoted to her blog on the international golf and travel website, The A Position. Her full bio is here.