Tiger Woods Caught Cheating – Do Not Judge Too Soon!

With all the different news going on in golf, it is easy to point fingers. I for one, try to avoid being judgmental because the “glass house” adage always comes to mind. But when one of the greatest golfers of all time breaks the rules with no concern for the rules or consequences, the I have to comment!

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Digging Your Ball Out Of The Cabbage

I know it is hard to believe, every once in a while I hit a wayward golf shot. My ball leaves the fairway, much to my dismay, and ends up in the cabbage. Usually after a short look and a foot wedge I miraculously have an awesome lie. The times when my playing partners are in range, I have to make a magical shot out of tough lie. However, making the stroke required can be daunting and of course challenging.  Continue reading

Changing the Rules of Golf

The governing bodies of golf are changing the rules. Set to take effect in 2019, these rules will designed to make the game simpler for the average golfer to play. They are discarding the decisions book entirely and reducing the number of rules from 34 to 24. Well, I can say that it is about time! Continue reading

Adopt the Foot Wedge in Golf

Caddie, hand me my foot wedge!

Caddie, hand me my foot wedge!

The foot wedge is the most used shot in golf! There is little question that every golfer has used this shot outside competition to speed up play or to improve their lie. Most, if not all players, don’t count the foot wedge because it is not considered cheating; it is just improving their enjoyment on the links.

The concept of a foot wedge is nothing new! Many great players have attributed the foot wedge to their success and consider it an essential part of their game. Here is what a few sites are saying:

  • “Golf slang for the 15th club every golfer takes onto the golf course. Used to secretly tap your ball out of a fairway divot when no one is watching!” (Leaderboard.com)

  • “Foot wedge” is a slang term for a “club” that helps a golfer cheat his way out of trouble. Specifically, “foot wedge” is what a golfer uses when he kicks his ball or nudges the ball into a better position for the next stroke. He used his foot to improve his lie – hence, “foot wedge.” (About.com)

  • “When a golfer cheats his way out of trouble using a club, it is in slang called foot wedge. Foot wedge, is specifically speaking a condition when a golfer kicks his ball or probably nudges the ball in a slightly convenient position for the next shot.” (Buzzle.com)

The foot wedge, not to be confused with a “hand wedge’ or a sandwich, is very popular. It is so popular, there are lessons on how to execute a perfect foot wedge. Here is my favorite:

  1. Scan your surroundings for other players.
  2. Place foot to obscure current ball location from onlookers.
  3. Rotate foot edge so it is perpendicular to your target.
  4. Gently slide your foot wedge to push ball.
  5. Cough audibly during shot and mutter something about winter rules.
  6. Proceed with game. (wikihow.com)

If the golf industry is trying to make the game more fun, then it is time to legally adopt the the foot wedge. It is time to allow players one foot wedge per hole! Why not, it will only make the game more fun!

Alright, I will stop! Right about now everyone is thinking I have gone over the bend. Actually, the intent of this article is to provide a bit of parody for all the recent suggestions on how to make golf more fun. There is no question that golf continues to evolve and it is important to attract young players to the game. However, I would suggest that most people will make the game fun anyway without trying to change the rules of the game.

Golf is the game of kings! It is meant to teach honesty, integrity and sportsmanship. Is it difficult to learn? Most people would say yes! However, the sense of accomplishment from hitting that perfect shot is really worth the challenges to learn the game.

I was taught golf at an early age. My father was the first to put a club in my hand and for that I will always be eternally grateful. Golf has the potential to bring out the best in everyone if people would only give it a chance.

I am a grateful golfer. See you on the links!


The Rules of Golf

The rules of golf are in-depth and attempt to explain some of the crazy situations that may occur on the links.  They are varied and sometimes a little off the wall.  They can be applied after the fact or during a match that could mean the difference of winning or losing.  The rules are applied evenly (we hope) or perceived not to fair.  The rules will undoubtedly make you scratch your head.  Regardless, the rules of golf are important and should not be taken lightly.  Or should they?

In a previous article called Gopher It! I explain how rule 25-1, Immovable Obstructions and Abnormal Ground Conditions, from the 2012 Royal Canadian Golf Association rule book impacted a tournament I participated in several years back.  Needless to say, we discussed this rule for quite some time.

Sergio Garcia took the meaning of “play the ball where it lies” to a whole new level.  The Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Golf and Country Club, Garcia climbed a tree to play the ball out into the fairway.  It can be seen at PGATOUR.COM.

The penalty for slow play against the Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old, grade 8 player from China, who made the cut at the 2013 The Masters caught everyone’s attention.  A statement, in The Guardian, by rules officials stated that his age did not matter.  I would have to agree with that statement.  He obviously has the game to play at the Masters, so he must play by all the rules.  Whether the rules are applied equally is the real topic of conversation of most analysts.

Of course the Tiger Woods rules challenge at this year’s Masters.  In this case, the rules officials were under tremendous pressure to make an appropriate call because a television viewer called in and challenged Tiger Woods drop.  Woods was not disqualified for signing an incorrect score card as many had suggested, but was assessed a two stroke penalty.

The RCGAUSGAR&A are all governing bodies that routinely examine the rules of golf and make what they deem as appropriate changes.  They focus mainly on the elite players, but do attempt to keep the average duffer in the mix.

The Putting Rule

The Putting Rule

So, what about those unwritten rules used by local players?  No, I am not talking about etiquette, but the fun rules!  Rules like:

  • The 30 Second Rule – If you can pick up your ball and place it back in the spot you just hit from within 30 seconds, the shot does not count.
  • First Tee Do Over Rule – You arrive at the first tee before 7 am and duff your drive – you get a do over because you are not warmed up yet.
  • The Putting Rule – On the first green, if it has not been cut yet, you are allowed two putts from the same spot to get a feel for the speed.  If the ball drops on either stroke count one!
  • Foot Wedge Rule – it is used regularly and without shame!  It is the – I am here to have fun and do not care about the score – shot!

These unwritten rules are for the fun of the game.  Golf is challenging and the rules were developed over centuries of play, however golf is meant to be fun!  Using your own rules sometimes is just the break we duffers need to have a memorable round. If we were making money at golf, maybe the rules would be more important!  Since we don’t….remember – be a grateful golfer!  See you on the links.