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Sunday, 21 October 2018

Hough’s It

Our Ladies Silver League Team won their semi-finals against Royal Joburg on Thursday morning, and now progress to the final at Royal on the 18th of October. Very well played girls!

Those that did duty at Royal were:
Back row: Elaine Rubens, Mary-Ann Summerfield
& Angie Lanham-Love
Front row: Dolar Vasani, Sue Cogswell & Stacy Mogale

Things are pretty quiet now on the golfing front, so with getting the new handicap system done and dusted, it’s time to start looking at the new Rules governing the game, and which will kick in at the beginning of next year, just a mere 12 weeks away.

That means that if you play golf on the Monday afternoon of the 31st of December, you’ll play under the current set of Rules, and then if you play again just a few hours later on Tuesday the 1st of January, you will be playing under an almost completely different set of Rules, given just how much this major overhaul of our laws will change the way in which we play.

I have attached under this link a few pages of comparison between those old and new Rules which are major changes, and this is also to be found on the R & A’s website

But I’d like to focus on some of those Rules which affect us the most, and what comes up in most Rules discussions.

Please remember that these new Rules only kick in on the 1st of January.

1. A new Local Rule will provide an alternative to stroke-and-distance relief for a ball that is lost outside a penalty area or out of bounds. This is a massive change, and would permit committees to allow golfers the option to drop the ball in the vicinity of where the ball is lost or out of bounds (including the nearest fairway area), under a two-stroke penalty.

2. Only 3 minutes is now allowed to look for lost balls! This will speed up the game...if golfers keep an eye on the time, which they only do when being held up by the group in front, but never when they’ve hit one sideways into the cabbage. One of the many time-saving changes, and while it may seem harsh, remember that you can now rely on the previous Local Rule point.

3. Dropping the ball in penalty and relief situations will now be from knee height!
No more extended arm and at shoulder height.

4. Related to the above change, the ball now cannot roll out of the defined relief area (no longer drop zones) as the ball shouldn’t bounce and roll too much from the lower height, and, it will also then save some time.

5. You can now putt with the flagstick in!
Another time-saver, especially when your playing partners are lingering too long!

6. A new “Maximum Score” form of stroke play is recognized, where your score for a hole is capped at a max score.
Interesting change here: ‘time-saving medal’!

7. No penalty for moving your ball during a search.

8. No penalty for accidentally moving your ball or ball-marker on the putting green.

9. Your relief area for dropping a ball will be a fixed size of either one or two club-lengths using the longest club in your bag, other than your putter.

10. Relief allowed without penalty for an embedded ball anywhere (except in sand) in the “general area” (a new term for “through the green”). Before, embedded ball relief was only given in closely-mown areas (the fairway), and needed a Local Rule to make it “through the green”, but now it’s pretty much all over.

11. One of your options for relief from either a red or yellow penalty area will be called back-on-the-line relief. Note: no ‘hazard’ anymore, but ‘penalty area’!

12. After your ball has been lifted and replaced, you would always replace your ball on its original spot, even if it was blown by the wind or moved for no clear reason. Before, if the ball moved without you causing it to move, you played it from wherever the ball had moved to, now you always replace it.

13. Repair of almost any damage allowed on the putting green (including spike marks and animal damage).

14. No penalty for touching your line of play on the putting green so long as doing so does not improve the conditions for your stroke.

15. No penalty for moving loose impediments, touching the ground, or grounding your club in a penalty area.

16. Committees are given the discretion to mark any penalty area as red so that lateral relief is always allowed.

17. Relief allowed outside a bunker for an unplayable ball for two penalty strokes. Here you couldn’t get relief outside the bunker previously.

18. The use of DMDs will be allowed unless a Local Rule has been adopted prohibiting their use. ‘Bout time!

19. A club damaged during a round can continue to be used, even if you damaged it in anger.

20. If your club accidentally strikes your ball more than once during a stroke, there will be no penalty and your ball will be played as it lies. No more penalty that made it 2 shots in total.

21. It is recommended that you play “ready golf” and make each stroke in no more than 40 seconds
. So it’s not a Rule, yet! Just a recommendation. ‘Phew’, I can hear all you serial tortoises exclaiming.

Those are just a few to digest for now, and I’ll discuss more about these new Rules as we go on.

We’ll also have the new Players Edition Rules books available for you soon.

I gotta tell you that, some time ago, I used to hate Phil Mickelson!

He made all those finishing birdies, including an 18-footer on the final green to beat Ernie in the 2004 Masters, and that just pissed me off big time. You couldn’t wipe the smile off his face!

Parity was restored very quickly though, especially from a South African point of view, when just some 10 weeks later, Phil double-bogied the 17th hole at Shinnecock in the US Open, while Retief Goosen birdied the 16th, eventually running out a 2-shot winner over Phil.

It was, incidentally, one of Phil’s six 2nd place finishes in his national Open.

Then Phil became more human, and I warmed to him, starting to recognise his magic short game, which almost touched on Seve-like wizardry, and an uncanny ability to literally get it up and down “out of the ball-washer”.

He retained his distance as he got older and into his 40’s, although accuracy off the tee was never quite his thing, and he also had an issue with short putts over the years, missing many when he needed them the most, on back nines of Majors. Then this year, he’s been one of the best putters around in the strokes-gained stats.

But this year has seen Lefty do a few strange things.

There was putting the moving ball at the US Open, on a day of frustration for him, and in a tournament of frustration for him. The USGA had ‘lost the golf course’ on the Saturday, rendering good shots to disaster, as well as some hole locations that were literally ‘on the edge’. And Phil even admitted afterwards that he’d thought about doing something similar before, so when his fast slick downhill putt missed the hole on the 13th green, and was more than likely headed ‘down the abyss’, he walked after it and hit the moving ball before it trickled further down the slope, and off the green and down into a huge swale.

He took the 2-shot penalty, made a big number on the hole, and somehow avoided disqualification from the event, when there was no doubt that he should’ve been kicked out.

Then about 2 or 3 weeks after that US Open debacle, he was involved in another Rules issue where he called the penalty on himself on a tee shot where he’d moved something in his line of play.

But his latest outburst takes the cake!

He stated in the aftermath of another Team USA loss in Europe, that courses like Le Golf National in Paris were a waste of his time, and he’d never play them again! That sounds like massive sour grapes, and all because the course had thick rough, narrow fairways and dog-legs that made for tight landing areas, something he just can’t do at the moment.

So my question is this: What is he going to do in his national Open? The one he can’t win; the one he needs to complete his Grand Slam; the win that would elevate him into very elite levels of this game.

Because those courses are usually long and tight, with thick rough and tiny landing areas.

So long Phil, it’s been nice, for a while!

That’s all for this week.

Hope you have a good one.


Your approach shot accuracy depends on you squaring the face to the target line.
You must have the right Lie angles for your golf swing.
The sole will be square to the turf at impact. You’ll be straighter.

If the toe is up (vs. the heel), then your
face will automatically point to the left
(for right-handers). You’re missing
before you start. 
If the heel is up (vs. the toe), then your face
will automatically point to the right (for right-handers).
Perfectly aligned, great swing,
you’re still missing right?


Let us help you hit more great shots. Let us check out your lie angles.
Get that right, and you’ll be amazed at how much more accurate you are.
This applies to all golfers. Why waste a great swing?


In line with that argument, we weren’t expecting 30% of
you to say that your primary motivation for coaching
was to “lower your handicap”.

The survey didn’t collect personal data, like gender
or age or how much golf the respondent played.

To us, your gender or age or how much you play,
doesn’t really matter. Whoever you are,
we see your handicap as
more than an ability to compete with the
best on an even field.

We see your handicap as an accomplishment.
A measure of how you’re progressing.
A measure of the commitment to better.


Along with a lower handicap also comes better golf shots, a more fulfilling experience out on the course,
and more time on the fairway walking with friends.
It also comes with the feeling of pride and accomplishment.


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