Friday of last week I had the pleasure of competing in a 27-hole member/guest tournament with my dad at his great club Hidden Valley. I always jump at the chance to “hit the white spheroid” with my dad for a couple of reasons. First, he’s my dad and the time we spend together on the course is something I really enjoy. Second, his course is one of the best courses in the state, and was even ranked #1 at one time.
Hidden Valley Country Club Lakes Course – Par-3 6th – Aerial Photo by Tony Korologos
This 27-hole tournament over the years has been a tough one for us. It is a Ryder Cup-like format: 9-holes best ball, 9-holes scramble, 9-holes alternate shot. Historically we have done fine in all formats but the very pressure packed alternate shot. We’ve cracked into the money a few times but that’s about it.
Friday I brought a C- game. I shot my worst best ball in the history of our playing the event. Usually I’m good for even par or one-over. This time I flamed out with a 41. But my dad shined in that part, carrying my arse.
In the alternate shot he and I both had one terrible swing which cost the team badly. I hate doing that in alternate shot, leaving your partner in a bad situation.
In the scramble we only shot one-under…
Disgusted with our lame performance as a team, my dad and I didn’t even stick around to have a frosty beverage. We were the first to turn in our scores and laughed at being the “leader in the clubhouse.” When you are the first to turn in your card, you hold the lead!
Yesterday my dad called to inform me that while at the course to play, he was congratulated on the victory. As it turns out WE WON our flight! What a pleasant surprise which made my day.
Moral to the story: stick around and have a beer, just in case you won the tournament.
A gentlemen recently asked me a question which he wasn’t sure was etiquette related or rules related. The question is about playing order. He wanted to know if it is a rule that the person who won the previous hole goes first, or just etiquette. This is actually a really good question and there are two basic answers, one for stroke play and one for match play.
In stroke play it is common courtesy or etiquette for the person who shot the lowest score on the previous hole to go first. It is not a rule and if it speeds up play for other players to go first, in other words “ready golf,” then do it.
It is also common courtesy for the farthest player from the hole to go first but is also not a rule. In the interest of pace of play, or perhaps getting a tap-in putt out of the way of a longer putt, the closer player can and should go first. In my opinion “honors” is trumped by pace of play. Always go for the faster option!
Match play is a different animal than stroke play with regards to playing order. In match play the person who won the previous hole must go first. Further, the person farther from the hole must go first. If another player goes out of order, his opponent(s) may require that his shot be replayed.
The gentleman who asked the question also asked if a golfer who has the honor can “defer” playing first and make his opponent play first. The answer to this question is no.
Click book to stop choking…
If I would have gotten this book a couple of days earlier it might have saved me the $2.00 I lost in my Sunday nassau. I hate giving strokes to higher handicappers!
Next on the book list is Gary Player’s book, Don’t Choke: A Champion’s Guide to Winning Under Pressure.
The book is not just about golf. It is about handling high pressure situations in anywhere.
I’ll be reading this one soon and posting a full review so stay tuned.
Gary Player Interview
I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Player last year during the Humana Challenge. It was a top highlight of my modest blogging career without a doubt.
Perhaps I can interview him again and talk about this book. I’ll see what I can do.
Use No-Chipping Sign as Target When Practicing Chipping
While at the practice putting green last week I found a golfer there practicing his chipping. After watching him for a few minutes I realized the brilliance of what he was doing. He was using the “no chipping” sign as part of his chipping practice. He positioned his landing spot to be just over the no-chipping sign, and he would try to chip in such a way that the ball would land just over it, then release nicely to the hole.
I highly recommend using the no-chipping sign as a golf training aid when working on chipping. I’ve used the no-chipping sign for my short game drills ever since and I’ve noticed quite an improvement in my short game stats.
Had my first round in over a month, and only my 3rd round since about November. It was the first league day for one of my two men’s associations. Conditions were pristine. No wind and warm enough to have to take off my sweater.
Golf is Still Golf
I started out making six pars in a row. Then on the 7th hole of this 9-hole league I made a birdie. The “SCCS” kicked in after that, “swollen cerebral cortex syndrome.” I promptly made a double on a par-3 which I had pitching wedge in my hand on the tee. Duh. Finished with a par for a round of +1.
So golf is still golf. You think you have it, then you make a dumb double.
I’m surprised at my seeming lack of rust. I hope I’m ahead of the game, so to speak, this year as opposed to most winters where the game which comes out of hibernation is one of a 20 handicap, taking me most of the summer to get back to a 1.
I have a new gamer driver which I seem to really hit a mile. Review coming as soon as I feel I have enough rounds to fully evaluate it. I also have a new putter grip, new laser, new golf GPS watch, new sand wedge, new irons, new bag, new golf balls, new shoes, about 10 new shirts…
The review gear has been stacking up over the winter.
It’s nice to be back playing golf. The game of golf is right where I left it, triumphs and tragedies. It’s like I never left.