What happens when he wants to join her golf club?

Sharp Park in Pacifica, California -- all green and foggy.

Sharp Park in Pacifica, California — all green and foggy.

Now that women are eligible to join Augusta National and the Royal & Ancient, what reason do they have for excluding men from their own ladies’ clubs? Here’s a little story about what happened when two men handed in applications to my club.

The former men’s club at Sharp Park Golf Course opened its ranks to women a few years ago, and several women have joined. The municipal course, a well-worn but lovely coastal 18, is owned by the uber-liberal city of San Francisco, and the thinking was that gender restrictions could no longer be defended in a place and time where men and women are deemed equal.

The now-called “Sharp Park Golf Club” doesn’t have regular play days — it has a dozen or so large tournaments and awards winners “frog bucks” (certificates that can be spent on rounds and merchandise at the course). Women play from the forward red tees, which are rated even harder for them (72.7) than the white tees are for men (70.6), so, in addition to playing a 540-yards shorter course, they benefit from a handicap adjustment of two strokes.

This year, women have won a couple of the handicapped events. These women also happened to be members of the Sharp Park Business Women’s Golf Club, formed half a century ago to play on Sundays because most so-called “women’s clubs” were weekday groups. This club, much smaller than the Sharp Park Golf Club, meets weekly for varied formats and, except in major tournaments, a $2 bet. I’m co-captain of the SPBWGC; the other co-captain belongs to both clubs. Continue reading

Posted in golf rules and etiquette, GottaGoGolf Magazine, men golfing with women or ladies | 1 Comment

How’s No. 1 for a wedding present?

The longest run by an American at the top of the Women’s World Golf Rankings will end on Monday because newlywed Inbee Park has taken the week off. Continue reading

Posted in Cristie Kerr, GottaGoGolf Magazine, Inbee Park, LPGA, Stacy Lewis | Leave a comment

Demystifying golf water hazards

When should a woman risk muddying her outfit to save a few strokes? If she studies the rules on water hazards carefully, she might save strokes and dry cleaning! Gail Rogers shows the way.

image of golf ball in wet lieIn my first four-ball tournament, I hit a second shot on a par-5 into a lateral water hazard. I was prepared to take a drop when I saw the ball was sitting in a very muddy lie. Wearing a terrific pair of new white linen pants, I thought the drop was my best option for a number of obvious reasons.

But my partner, who was in even more trouble on the hole than I, said, “You can play that ball as it lies with no penalty.” From the expression on my face she knew I was not thrilled with the idea of looking like I had just gotten out of the mud baths in Calistoga, so she hastily added, “I’ll pay the cleaning bill.” Continue reading

Posted in by Gail Rogers, Golf Advice for Women, golf rules and etiquette, GottaGoGolf Magazine | Leave a comment

Golf wagering tips for women with higher handicaps

You’re on the first tee with a new group that includes players much better than you are, and a wager is proposed. What do you do now? Remember these tips.

image of money and golf ballI played in a tournament recently with a lot of players whom I did not know, and the other ladies in my foursome were putting in $20 apiece for a tournament-wide “skins game.” I wanted to fit in, so I handed over my twenty and signed my name.

GottaGoGolfers, how stupid this was! A “skin” goes to the low score on a hole, and there aren’t any carry-overs or fractions. In this 36-hole event with 180 players, there might have been only five or six holes where a competitor beat every other player in the field — birdies on the hardest holes, perhaps — and I promise you those competitors were not 20-handicappers. And there went my money. Continue reading

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Golf scorecard do’s and don’ts

The pros don’t take many shots, but even they sometimes get disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. If the best players in the world and their caddies can’t get it right, how can we? Gail Rogers tells how.

image of scorecardMy club’s first tournament is this month, and I have noticed recently several tour players getting disqualified for signing incorrect scorecards. If they can’t get it right, how can I?

In 2011, I was assigned to the scoring area for the last two days of the United States Women’s Open at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania. The job requires maintaining a quiet area for the players and encouraging them to stay within the area until every detail is checked, even as emotions run the gamete from pure joy to total frustration or even anger. When they arrive I normally say, “Ladies, I ask that you remain within the scoring area until all scorecards are checked and I am certain we have the two correct signatures on each card and that each hole by hole score is legible and correct. If you have a rules concern we also need to resolve that before you leave.” Continue reading

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Women golfers deliver split verdict on Phil

Just for fun, the September GottaGoGolf newsletter asked readers to register their opinion about Phil Mickelson’s post-Ryder Cup critique. They, like Phil, had plenty to say.

Phil Mickelson has been popular with women golfers ever since he vowed to leave the U.S. Open if wife Amy went into labor with their first child, even if he were leading the tournament. So GottaGoGolf took what was meant to be a rather fun poll of readers to find out if Mickelson’s criticism of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson cost him any fans. Continue reading

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Golf glossary: Scratch

The golf definition of “scratch” — here’s what we’re all itching to be.

image of woman scratching wallGottaGoGolf is partial to a scratch margarita, made without a mix, and generally prefers the meal created from scratch over the one purchased under arches. So it seems perfectly logical that to be a scratch golfer would taste sweet.

In common usage, the scratch golfer plays to a zero handicap or better. What’s better than zero? A plus-handicap, the kind PGA Tour players carry while expecting to break par easily on the course you play every day.

The USGA gets gender specific in its definition: “A male scratch golfer, for rating purposes, can hit tee shots an average of 250 yards and can reach a 470-yard hole in two shots at sea level. A female scratch golfer, for rating purposes, can hit tee shots an average of 210 yards and can reach a 400-yard hole in two shots at sea level.”

Sigh. Dream away.

One thing you don’t want to do: play scratch, without a handicap, in a money game against a scratch golfer. Take any strokes you can get.

Posted in Golf Advice for Women, golf glossary | 1 Comment