Posts Tagged ‘rules of golf’

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!

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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: Be Alert In Your Group

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will discuss why your daughter needs to be alert to what’s happening in her group during her round of golf.img_0102

Previously we discussed the animate and inanimate physical hazards that may exist on the golf course and today we’re addressing why it’s important for her to be mentally alert to what’s happening with her own game and the games of the girls in her group. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Your youngster has 2 basic responsibilities. To honestly abide by the rules of golf, observe proper etiquette and accurately keep her own score and to keep the score of 1 other player. Doesn’t sound so hard does it?

Over her junior golf and college golf careers she will play golf with hundreds of her peers. She will make lifelong friendships with some while there are others she hopes she will never be paired with again.

What does being alert mean in this case? It is having an awareness of what’s going on, not just with her own game but with the games of the others in her group. If a group member hits a ball in or near a hazard or out-of-bounds, your girl needs to walk over and personally confirm the status of the ball and what rules may be involved. I have seen this situation mishandled numerous times, usually resulting in an improper/illegal benefit to the player who hit the ball.

Most of the girls your daughter will play golf with are honest. Some know the rules better than others. Some make honest mistakes and some try to manipulate the rules, take advantage of players who don’t really know the rules, for their own benefit.

Here’s a real life example. S3 was in a high school tournament and he was paired with a player who had a serious health issue but amazingly could still play excellent golf. The young man was allowed to use an electric golf cart so he didn’t have to walk. This was a 3-some. The handicapped young man unfortunately had a reputation as a horrible cheater. It took about 5 or 6 holes for S3 and the 3rd player to figure out what the guy in the cart was doing. I mean this young man had cheating down to a science.

He would speed to his ball, parking the cart where it blocked the view of the other players. He could then illegally improve his lie without being detected. Well, S3 and the other player finally caught him in the act and once he was confronted about his actions his game fell apart. It was very sad because basically he was a pleasant kid.

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Another true story about possible lost balls, balls in or near hazards and balls o/b. S3 was playing in a junior event here in San Antonio. While he was warming up, 1 of his junior golf buddies came up to him and said this about a player in S3’s group,”You need to watch so-and-so’s dad. He carries extra balls in his pocket and is known to drop them when they’re looking for his son’s ball.” Parents, our youngsters are sharp! The word gets around in junior golf, both good and bad. Isn’t this just so sad that the dad is tainting his own and his son’s reputation? (photo Nike Junior Golf Camps Lake Geneva)

Golf is a sport that demands high integrity. Impress upon your daughter the importance of honesty and high standards. You know, the only thing tougher than calling a penalty on yourself can be calling a penalty on another group member, particular if she is a good friend. Hey, this is a big part of our sport. And over time all of these tough decisions will be respected, maybe not really liked that much at the time, however.

See you on #1 tee looking alert… Sam

 

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