Friday, January 28, 2011

An interesting tib bit of information.

When I worked at the 2001 US Open players were complaining about some of the pin locations on Saturday, particularly the 18th. Tiger was asked about the fairness of the pins and he answered, "how can they be unfair if everyone is playing to the same hole?"

I have been asked numerous times about fair pin locations and my view is the same as the USGA's with similar guidelines. Please read below about how we try to manage our putting surfaces taking into account pace of play and that not everyone is a PGA Tour player., That being said oftem times the greens in the morning are not nearly as fast as later in the day after they have dried out and an extremely diffult pin can occassionally surface. We do our best to try to minimize these situations, but nobody is perfect because if we were there would be many more pars and birdies out there right ;) Enjoy!

Question: I've played a lot of golf courses and have seen hole locations all over the place. What is the USGA's recommendations regarding hole locations?

Answer: The USGA frequently receives requests for guidelines with respect to selection of hole locations on the putting greens, particularly during competitions. There are no rules regarding hole locations, so there is no such thing as an "illegal" hole location. However, we do have some guidelines.

Many factors affect selection of hole locations. The first and most important is good judgment in deciding what will give fair results. Do not be tricky in locating holes. There should be enough putting green surface between the hole and the front and the sides of the green to accommodate the required shot.

In any case, it generally is recommended that the hole be located at least five paces from any edge of the green. If a bunker is close to the edge, or if the ground slopes away from the edge, the distance should be greater, especially if the shot is more than a pitch.

An area two to three feet in radius around the hole should be as nearly level as possible and of uniform grade. A player above the hole should be able to stop the ball at the hole. Consider the condition of nearby turf, especially taking care to avoid old hole plugs that have not completely healed.

"When he gets the ball into a tough place, that's when he is most relaxed. I think it's because he has so much experience at it."

~Don Christopher, caddy for Jack Lemmon

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Golf: It's not just a game

Click on the link below to see how the golf industry is an important player in our nations (world) economy as well as briefly touching on how golf courses can contribute to environental sustainability.

Golf Course Industry : Golf: It's not just a game

"Eighteen holes of match ply will teach you more about your foe than nineteen years of dealing with him across the desk."
~Grantland Rice, sports columnist

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The 90 degree rule - what is it?

I was in the golf shop the other day and overheard a customer asking one of our assistant pro's about the 90 degree rule. Tom did a fantastic job of explaining to the customer how this rule worked and thought I would take the time right now to explain the rule again.

There is an old joke that goes, "You want to know about the 90 degree rule? Well it's nowhere near that hot so don't worry about it!" This is not exactly the rule that we are talking about.

The 90 degree rule refers to cart traffic. The 90-Degree Rule is something golf courses may put into place when they want to allow the convenience of golf carts but minimize the impact of those carts on the golf course.

When the 90-Degree Rule is in effect, golfers are required to keep carts on the cart path until they are even with a golf ball on the golf course. Only then should the cart leave the path, turning sharply (90 degrees) to drive straight across to the golf ball. After playing the shot, the cart should be driven directly back to the cart path, then remain on the path until pulling even with another ball. In this manner, golfers have the convenience of carts but damage to the course is minimized.

The above picture depicts a golf hole and the location of two golf shots indicated by the #1 and #2 in the black circles. The two lines indicate how the driving style of a cart correctly follow the 90 degree rule (red line) and incorrectly follows the rule thus causing damage to the turf and ultimately poor lies (black line).

The 90-Degree Rule is permanenty in effect at many courses; at others, it will be put into effect following rains or when course conditions warrant. Look for signs near the first tee that might indicate whether the condition is in effect, or ask in the pro shop.

Even when the 90-Degree Rule is not in effect at a course, it's a good practice to follow because it helps maintain a healthier turf.