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

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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.

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Play faster now with these 4 tips

Guidance editor Gail Rogers challenges golfers to make one small change and shave minutes off the time of their round. Yay, more time for the 19th hole!

Image of running golf ballAre you up for a challenge? Ask the group with whom you regularly play golf to evaluate you and then each other as to whether you are an average, slow or fast player.

Do you play efficiently? What is your weak area when it comes to pace of play for the group? Then remind them that you will all be friends at the end of the exercise and you hope you can each work on changing one aspect of your game during the month of October. Continue reading

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The dream golf course for women

It’s Fairsex Valley, the club where Chippendales carry our golf bags and we can always find a restroom. Kathie Dyson has a few other ideas worth considering.

No-Men ImageEver since women got the vote in 1920, there’s been very little a woman isn’t allowed to do. Except maybe donate to a sperm bank or join certain golf clubs.

The precise number of classic old-boy, blue-blood, men’s-only golf clubs in the U.S. seems to be a secret, because, well, they’re PRIVATE! A club that receives no taxpayer money or subsidies can select its company any way it wants. We know the lineage required to join the Daughters of the American Revolution, but it’s a mystery penetrating places like Burning Tree Club in Bethesda, Md.; Bob O’Link in Highland Park, Ill.; and the most famous course without a PGA Tour event, Pine Valley in Clementon, N.J.

Continue reading

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