Did the U.S. team ruin the International Crown? The ratings will tell

What do we do now that Team USA has been eliminated from the International Crown? Order up some chicken satay, kim chee, tempura, paella and Swedish meatballs. Not such a bad menu!

Image of Jutanugarn sisters

The entertaining Jutanugarn sisters — Moriya on the left, Ariya on the right. (Courtesy, LPGA)

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan’s great brainstorm of an international competition of eight nations surely did not forecast that the host U.S. team would be eliminated in a sudden-death playoff on the eve of the final round.

But he surely must have had that nightmare once or twice in the planning for this weekend’s International Crown just outside of Baltimore, then awakened and said, “Nah, that was just a bad dream.” Continue reading

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What happens to golfers who use illegal equipment?

The governing bodies of golf have refused to make allowances in the rules for equipment that could make bad golfers a little better. So, what will the USGA do to women who use nonconforming clubs anyway?

Rules of Golf bookUSGA Director of Rules Education Dave Staebler recently saw an online quiz about the rules of baseball, and he was struck by the qualifier that came with almost every answer.

“It was, ‘Well, that depends on what level of baseball you’re playing: Is it college? Little League? Minor league?’ ” Staebler told GottaGoGolf in a phone interview from his Far Hills, N.J., office. “The rules depend on what kind of baseball you are playing. With golf, it’s one set of rules for the entire world. So everyone can compare their results with everyone else, we’re all playing on a level playing field within the Rules of Golf.”

I wasn’t interested in engaging Staebler in an argument about the absurdity of my middle-age women friends and I having to play by the same rules and with the same equipment as Michelle Wie and her power-hitting gal pals. Continue reading

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Test-driving an illegal club: What fun!

Testing out the new Polara Advantage driver for women: It’s golf’s version of crack for newbies! Only, this illegal substance could actually be good for its users.

Image of woman teeing offPolara puts it right out there in the headlines: Its new women’s driver “exceeds USGA limits and delivers explosive distance off the tee.” Plain and simple, this is what the USGA might label an “illegal driver.” But Polara claims it could result in up to 30 extra yards off the tee. Illegal or not, I said, “Bring it on!” Continue reading

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6 things a woman should carry in her golf bag

Oh sure, you probably carry a first-aid kit, bottle of water and maybe some rain gloves in that big, multi-pocketed golf bag of yours. You’ve got room for more stuff, and here are six things every woman should carry.

Birdie Babe Bottle

BirdieBabe.com makes a bottle for birdie juice, or water if preferred.

This is not the article to tell you what equipment you should have in your golf bag. GottaGoGolf recommends a club fitting expert for that. But if you’ve got the space, these six small additions may not enhance your game but could most surely lift your mood when you need it most: Continue reading

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Golf dress codes around the world

A round-the-world search of golf dress codes for women produced some award-winning regulations, from super-strict to anything-goes. Ladies, one thing seems clear: Clothes are generally required.

Coordinated shoes and pants

Matching shoes with pants: never required, always nice. (Dreamstime)

The other day I suggested to my kids at The First Tee of Oakland that they wear things that have pockets, because they won’t always have a coach standing by to hold their scorecard, tees and ball markers. Then I tried to explain golf course dress codes. I looked at the little girls, rocking the leggings-and-golf-shirt look, and the boys in their oversize gym shorts. One of them had on cargo shorts, which are so perfect for golf because of all those pockets, yet are frowned upon at many courses.

How could I begin to explain golf course dress codes? I looked around the world and found some award-winning doozies. Continue reading

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Golf glossary: Hitting it fat

Fat might be a good quality to have in a wallet, but we don’t want it on our waistlines or in our golf game. Emily Kay explains.

Image of a hippoYou work hard at your fitness, and you sure don’t want fat shots. You hit it fat (or heavy, or chunky — you get the picture) when your club digs up the turf before it hits the ball. The aftermath is not pretty: a divot the size of Rhode Island that covers more ground than your Pro V1x. Hitting it “thin” (essentially, taking no divot and topping the ball) may get you more distance, but it’s not the Rx for the chubby shot. Continue reading

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You don’t have to play 18 holes to post an 18-hole score

Golfers with USGA indexes like to post their scores. Here’s how to do it even when your round gets shortened, or if you decide to play a few holes outside of the rules.

Image of a scorecard

In this example of a round that snow ended on the 13th hole, a player who is a 10-handicapper posts bogeys on the 15th, 16th and 18th holes, pars on 14 and 17.

My Sunday morning golf course is closing four holes for renovation for a couple of months. First reaction: disappointment. After all, 14 holes does not a round of golf make, right?

Well, wrong. Of course we can get an 18-hole score on our record by posting all of our nine-hole rounds — when there are two of these, they are combined for an 18-hole score. But few golfers know that the USGA also allows us to post an 18-hole score after we have played just 13 of the 18 holes on a course.  Yes, 13 holes does a round of golf make!

Here’s how you do it: Continue reading

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