Posts Tagged ‘golf rules’

Junior Golf: Pay Attention Or Pay The Price

In this Monday Mulligan we will take a look at something that happened last weekend at the LPGA tournament. It is a hard lesson about paying attention when your daughter/son is in competition or there might be a steep price to pay.img_0509

Paying attention to her game and being aware of what’s going on in her group is an essential and required part of competition. It begins with a reasonable knowledge of the rules and etiquette and, of course, as her skill level improves, it would also include her strategy/game plan for her round.

Competition is different than playing with family or friends. Things happen, sometimes strange things happen, things you have never seen before and might never see again. Pressure is everywhere. Everybody reacts differently to pressure and pressure can increase or decrease during a round. Pressure has its own life!

So in last week’s LPGA ANA Championship, Lexi Thompson was assessed 4 penalty strokes in the middle of Sunday’s final round for actions that took place in the previous day’s round. A viewer sent in a video of Lexi marking her ball and putting it back in a different spot from where she picked it up. She moved the ball perhaps a quarter to half an inch and it was pretty obvious on the video. So she was penalized 2 strokes for violation of Rule 20-7C (playing from the wrong place). She signed her scorecard for 67 but it should have been 69, so she was next assessed a 2-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard and the 67 that became a 69 now became a 71. Wow!

image

photocredit Jeff Gross

Her 2-stroke lead went away and she was suddenly 2 strokes behind the leader. To her credit, Lexi played very well after being informed of the penalty strokes and ended up in a playoff where she lost on the 1st hole. Lexi’s own words regarding the situation, “I didn’t realize I did that,” she said through tears. “I did not intentionally do that. But you know what, I fought hard coming in and I didn’t give up. But so many players played great, so congrats.”

What is the takeaway for junior golfers and their parents? While your kiddo should always be in the moment during a tournament, there are times to really focus and pay attention. Properly marking and replacing a golf ball is a simple task and yes, it’s relatively easy, but it should never be taken for granted. Watch how the pros do it. Their actions are deliberate and their hands move a little slower rather than faster. This is a situation that must be executed perfectly.

I asked S3 that in all his rounds of junior golf and college golf, did he ever see any violations such as this one. His response, “Maybe 3 or 4.” Then I said, “Did you call any penalties?” S3, “Sure did.”

So your girl may see this once in a blue moon, but she will see it. Please encourage her that when she is preparing to mark and then replace her golf ball that she should take a deep breath and focus on the proper technique. No problemo!

See you on #1 tee ready to properly mark and replace your ball… Sam

Junior Golf: Ryder Cup Excitement Begins

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at today’s start of The 41st Ryder Cup from Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. This is a team matchplay event where 12 of the best US men’s golfers compete against the best 12 from Europe.img_0106

If you’re not already recording it, I suggest you set the TiVo right now. Coverage starts on the Golf Channel at 730am central time today and goes until 600pm. Saturday’s coverage is 800am-600pm on NBC. Sunday’s broadcast time is 1100am-500pm again on NBC. We always record an additional hour in case the event runs long. Ties count and there is not a playoff but weather delays and other unknowns might cause matches to run longer than usual. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

You will hear 3 types of matches discussed. These 1st 2 are a bit confusing. Foursomes refers to 4 players, 2 2-man teams, in each group and it is played where team members hit every other shot with 1 team member hitting 1st on odd-numbered holes and the other hitting 1st on even-numbered holes. Often both players in singles play, use very different golf balls. Different degrees of firmness/softness and high spin vs low spin means the teammates must find a compromise ball since they aren’t allowed to switch balls each shot. The pros are so finely tuned to the feel of their golf ball that switching to another ball takes a lot of practice. It is very different. Yardages, amount of draw or fade, spin rates and backspin all are impacted. There’s a ton of pressure on Foursomes since you really don’t want to hit a poor shot which leaves your partner facing a very difficult next shot. You don’t want to let your partner down. Each team’s score is recorded on every hole and low score out of the 2 team scores wins the hole.

Fourballs is also 2 2-man teams playing against each other. All 4 players play their own ball through the hole and the low score for each 2-man team is recorded. Lowest score of the 2 team scores wins the hole.

Singles are on Sunday and the 12 matches will include every player on each team, 1 US player vs 1 European player. It’s very straightforward. Low score wins the hole.

Each of the 28 total matches is worth 1 point. The winning team of each match gets 1 point, the losing team gets 0 points and if the match is tied/halved, each team gets ½ point. The 1st team to reach 14 and1/2 points wins the Ryder Cup. If the teams tie at 14-14 the previous Ryder Cup winning team retains the Cup. (image agtgolftours.com)

image

The crowds are very loud for golf tournaments. There will be more European fans than you could possibly imagine and they are loud. The enthusiasm and energy of the players and fans is unique and contagious. Pretty much every player will tell you that this is the 1 event where their knees are literally shaking on #1 tee. I mean, you’re playing for your flag, your country, your national pride. It’s so different than playing for oneself. I think it was Zach Johnson that said there was tremendous pressure on every shot in a Ryder Cup because the stakes are so high and the pressure on the 1st tee was insane! It’s a lifetime achievement for these guys, certainly equal to or close to the equal of winning major championships.

Please have your junior golfer watch some of this event. It should certainly excite him and inspire him to dream more and dream bigger. The excitement is contagious!

See you on #1 tee looking proud of your country… Sam

Junior Golf: The Other Clock

imageIn today’s Friday Flop Shot we are taking a look at another clock, 1 that is the topic of much conversation and 1 that thankfully is getting more attention on the professional tours, since it always receives plenty of attention in junior golf and amateur golf. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

Yes, we are talking about the shot clock, the pace of play clock, the out of position clock, the slow play clock, the taking too long to hit a shot clock, whatever you want to call it, you know where we are going here.

First, Mom and Dad, know that my comments here about the slow play of girls is not an attack on your daughter, but statements of facts learned by years of being around the situation. There are surely boys who play slowly and S3 has had plenty of them in his groups over the years. This being said, S3 never takes more than 22 seconds to hit a shot and usually the other young men play quicker rather than slower. Girls golf however, is notorious for horribly slow play and the main reason is that the girls have been allowed to get away with slow play because of a lack of manpower in junior and amateur golf, not enough rules folks/marshals to maintain proper pace of play. The scary line is, “Guys you are behind a 4-some of high school girls.” The common response is, “Oh no, 6-hour round.” Walking to the clubhouse in 1 high school tournament, I saw 4 high school female golfers all kneeling down studying the lines of their putts. Not 1 player moved and I walked nearly 300 yards in the meantime. This is nuts, but happens a lot, at least here in Texas.image

Your daughter has 40 seconds to hit her ball from the time she gets to her ball and after she is clear of any interference and distractions. Put a clock on her on the range and develop a drill to get her into the low to mid-20’s. Few pros take more than 1 practice swing. Many take none. About the only time you see multiple practice swings is when they are hitting a shot or chip from a difficult lie, usually deep rough. They are trying to get a feel for how the grass will affect the club and adjust their swing accordingly. (photo golfstinks.com)

Nobody likes being put on a clock and almost nobody plays well when they’re on the clock. Henrik Stenson has been on the clock at least twice in PGA events and both times, no matter how well he was playing before, he made several bogies until his group was back in position and taken off the clock. Don’t get put on the clock. The pressure is terrible.

There are some additional subtleties to this situation and I recommend going to the usga website and reading the rule together with your daughter. Knowing the rules is a requirement and if your daughter knows them better than her group members, she has a big advantage.

See you on #1 tee, rules “rule”… Sam

%d bloggers like this: