Bad lies

As golf clubs the world over scramble to stay in business, we are still positive that golf is a sport that can continue to be played – for now – with changes in operation to allow for minimal human interaction.

Everything from extensive hygiene enhancements to social distancing; putting with the flagstick in, to raised putting cups to no rakes in the bunkers and even single use of golf carts, have been implemented far and wide.

Long may we be allowed to continue playing. Stay safe everyone!

Catch Grand Stand on Supersport 1 this evening!

Supersport has begun airing a new daily programme called Grand Stand which takes a look a different sport each day.

Today (and Monday’s going forward) will be a golf focus, and tonight I will be in studio from 17h00 to 21h00 with OG Molefe.

The programme will be full of wonderful footage of South Africa’s most successful golfers starting with the great Bobby Locke. It will look at their successes plus we will try to give you some of the inside stories.

I thought you could do with a laugh...

Check what Joost Luiten is up to while staying at home by clicking here. This hilarious prank video will also be worth your while, click here.

The late great Bobby Jones…

On the 17th March Bobby Jones would have been 118.

Bobby was the greatest Amateur golfer of all-time. He won 12 majors at a time when both the US Amateur and British Amateur were considered majors. He won the US Open four times and the Open Championship three times and all this while he was an amateur and before the age of 28!

In 1930, at the age of 28 he won the Grand Slam and then retired from competitive golf. He built a golf course called Augusta and started a tournament called The Masters.

Bobby was a qualified engineer and a lawyer. In 1948 he was diagnosed with syringomyelia, and he lived most of his later life in a wheelchair.
He died in 1971 at the age of 69.

I saw this poem on Twitter last week, which was in celebration of his 100th:

Happy 100th Birthday

Bobby Jones

100 Years ago today; he appeared on earth
March 17th 1902; the date of his birth
Golf would never, be the same
Look at that boy, “he got game”

Six years old, he began to swing
A cut down club, a beautiful thing
With the help of, Mr Maidens teaching
Bobby’s exploits, would be far reaching

1930, St Andrews, Interlachen, Merion, Hoylake
he captured them all, the Grand slam he did take
A hero he became, around the globe
To, Ben, Byron, Sam, Jack, and one from LaTrobe

Some said “Augusta, Ga!, Come on lets be rational”
Bobby replied, “We’ll name it…The Augusta National”
We’ll have a tournament, for friends and the rest
It became The Masters, the ultimate test

President in perpetuity, the plaque reads
Gentleman in perpetuity, for his kindly deeds
To catch a glimpse, of this great man
You need not be, a golfing fan

Oh what a sad, yet wonderful sight
He made it to the podium, with all his might
The disease he had, caused such pain
He played it where it lied, he didn’t complain

We consider it an honor, to walk the grounds
Listen to the trees, and the sounds
Going to The Masters, chills to the bones
Therefore we named our youngest, Bobby Jones

Tony R Jones Sr and Family - Jeannie, Tony Jr, Leah, Brooks, Tyler & Bobby, 3/17/2002, Aiken South Carolina

Here are the ten greatest years in golf by the greatest golfers of all-time... 

Bobby Jones – 1930
In those days the four majors were considered the Grand Slam of Golf and they were The US Open & Amateur, the Open Championship and the British Amateur. Jones won all four in 1930, an achievement that still has him considered the greatest amateur golfer ever and one of golf’s all-time greats.

Mickey Wright – 1961
Ben Hogan maintained she had the finest golf swing he ever saw. Between 1961 and 1964 she won an amazing 44 tournaments – an average of 11 each year. However in 1961 her 10 wins included three majors – the LPGA Championship, the US Women’s Open and the Titleholders Championship. She also won three by a total of 16 shots. She is regarded by many as the greatest women golfer of all time.

Babe Zaharias – 1950
In 1950 this all-rounder won eight events including three majors. They were the US Women’s Open, The Women’s Western Open and the Titleholders Championship. They were the three majors of those days and she won them all. Three years later she was diagnosed with cancer and she died in 1956.

Bobby Locke – 1947
In his first year of playing in the United States, Bobby Locke won an amazing eight events. He won the Canadian Open, Houston Open, Philadelphia Inquirer Open, All American Open, Columbus Open, Goodall Round Robin, Carolinas PGA and Carolinas Open. That same year Ben Hogan won five tournaments plus two betterball events in which he partnered Jimmy Demaret.

Ben Hogan – 1953
Just four years after his near fatal accident, Hogan had his best year in golf, even though he only played in six events. He had already won three majors in the three years preceding this, but his legs, hips and eyesight were greatly affected by the accident. He won all three majors he played in – the US Open, The Masters and the Open Championship. He was unable to play in the PGA Championship because it overlapped with the Open. He also won the Pan American Open and the Colonial National Invitational to make it five wins out of six for the year.

Byron Nelson – 1945
The Iron Byron won 18 tournaments in 1945. They included the US PGA Championship which was his fifth career major and the Canadian Open. In the year before 1944, he won eight tournaments and in 1946 he won six for a total of 32 in three years.

Lee Trevino – 1971
He’d only been on Tour for 3 years when he won two majors plus four other PGA Tour events in 1971. The two majors were the US Open and the Open Championship and one of the others was the Canadian Open.

Arnold Palmer – 1960
In 1960 he won his second Masters and he also won the US Open. He had another seven victories for a total of eight for the year, which also included the Canada Cup partnered by Sam Snead. He was the runner-up in the Open Championship at St Andrews to Kel Nagle and 7th in the US PGA.

Jack Nicklaus – 1972
In 1972 Jack Nicklaus won seven events and was runner-up in three more. This was out of a total of nineteen tournaments, so in over 50% he was first and second. In the majors he won the Masters and US Open and was runner-up in the Open, and 13th in the PGA Championship. Nicklaus won 18 majors and finished runner-up in 19 others in his career.

Tiger Woods - 2000
He won nine of the twenty events he played in 2000. He also won three majors – the US Open, Open Championship and the PGA Championship. He finished 5th in the Masters that year but won it in 2001 which meant that he held all four of the major trophies at one time.

When the ball hits back

Golf Digest recently did a survey in which they asked 46 Pro’s questions. Some of the replies might surprise you... 

Who would you want at your side in a bar fight?
27,5% – Ernie Els
10% – Jason Kokrak
5% – Brooks Koepka

Who is the funniest guy on Tour?

17% – Tim Herron
11% – Jason Bohn
11% – Kevin Kisner
11% – Pat Perez
11% – Henrik Stenson

Will Rory ever win another major?

89% – Yes
11% – No

Will Tiger win a major in 2020?
60% – Yes
40% – No

Which major would you want to win?
77% – Masters
16% – Open Championship
7% – US Open
0% – PGA Championship

Should the Players Championship be considered a major?
78% – No
22% – Yes

Who will win the Ryder Cup in 2020?

60% – USA
37% – Europe
3% – Tie

The Denis Hutchinson Tribute Tour with Dale Hayes
Join the “Voice of Golf” Denis Hutchinson and I, for a Tribute Evening in your area, where we discuss our very long involvement in this wonderful game. Clubs can contact Paul Adams on 072-333-1886 / if they are interested in hosting an event.

Here are the dates for Open Events further down the line, where you can join us:
Please click to enlarge

Around the world

• The Sunshine Tour and IGT Big Easy Tours have halted their events and will review them again on 20th April.

Golf RSA has also cancelled all tournaments under their jurisdiction up to the 30 April 2020 and encouraged Unions across the country to do the same, including Open tournaments and league. 

• The PGA Tour has cancelled four more events leading into May and the PGA of America have postponed the US PGA Championship. The cancelation of the PGA Tour events affects all six of their Tours – with only the PGA Champions Tour’s Regions Tradition, being rescheduled to later in the year.  Rumours are that the start of the Tour's FedEx Cup Playoffs could be pushed a week later which would provide a week for the PGA Championship to be played.

• The European Tour has cancelled the Golf Sixes and postponed The Made in Denmark events which were both in May, and the R&A has canceled two international amateur events scheduled for April. They haven’t made a decision as yet on either the Open Championship, scheduled for Royal St George’s in July, or the AIG Women’s British Open at Royal Troon in August. Let’s hope we are over this pandemic by then!

• The LPGA have postponed three more events through to the end of April. They also announced that their first major, the ANA Inspiration, has been rescheduled for 10 – 13th September at Mission Hills Country Club in California.

• The U.S. Golf Association has cancelled the first-stage local qualifying for the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open.

• The Official World Golf Ranking has been frozen at Week 11 (weekend ending March 15 2020) and will remain that way until further notice. This decision also freezes the ranking system for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games so that’s a scenario we will have to wait and see play out. 

• I see that Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm have joined Rory McIlroy in turning down being a part of the Premier Golf League. So that takes care of the World’s top three. I’m surprised more players haven’t joined them. Once again it is showing us that Rory is a leader. He also came out and said that he didn’t like where the money was coming from. Koepka – “I am out of the PGL. I’m going with the PGA Tour. I have a hard time believing golf should be about just 48 players.” & Rahm - “I think what I’m going to do is focus on just the PGA Tour. At the end of the day I’m a competitor... I’m a young player...Hopefully I have a long career ahead on the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour has done such a great job with what we have and I’m really thankful for what they’ve done.”

Who’s up this week?
(Please note that this is the entry list as at Monday and is subject to change)

PGA TOUR / EUROPEAN TOUR - WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play – CANCELLED
PGA TOUR – Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship – POSTPONED
LPGA – Kia Classic

Tour events

Take a look at all the upcoming Tour events around the world.

On Tour with Dale

Dale Hayes Golf appreciates the ongoing support of City Lodge.

By the Rules

COVID-19 related Guidance on the Rules of Golf from GolfRSA

GolfRSA has received several enquiries from golf clubs and provincial unions seeking guidance on the Rules of Golf and it’s continued playing in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The R&A has provided guidance on this matter and GolfRSA has decided Committees will be allowed to use any or all of the following options to keep people playing golf and allowing players to record their scores for handicapping purposes. It is a matter for each Committee to make it clear which of these Local Rules apply to play on the course, otherwise the Rules of Golf will continue to apply.

It should be noted that the purpose of The R&A guidance is not to make recommendations in relation to the playing of golf at this time.

While golf clubs remain open for play, GolfRSA continue to encourage all clubs to follow the restrictions around the COVID-19 outbreak, as directed by the South African Government.

Scoring in Stroke Play (Rule 3.3b)

R&A Guidance: In view of concerns around handling and exchanging scorecards, on a temporary basis, Committees may choose to allow methods of scoring in stroke play that do not strictly comply with Rule 3.3b, or do not comply with the normal methods used under Rule 3.3b.

For example:
Players may enter their own hole scores on the scorecard (it is not necessary for a marker to do it).
It is not necessary to have a marker physically certify the player’s hole scores, but some form of verbal certification should take place.

It is not necessary to physically return a scorecard to the Committee provided the Committee can accept the scores in another way.

GolfRSA Position: The current processes for score entry in South Africa remain unchanged. Golfer’s should open their rounds and enter their scores on the HNA applications i.e. terminal, phone app or internet as it is currently done.

When recording scores for handicapping purposes GolfRSA would also allow for the “Most Likely Scores” on a hole to be recorded as prescribed in the World Handicap System.


R&A Guidance: Committees may choose to adopt the following policies on a temporary basis:
Requiring that players to always leave the flagstick in the hole. It is a matter for the Committee to decide whether it establishes this policy by way of a Code of Conduct or Local Rule, and whether it provides a penalty under the Code of Conduct or for a breach of the Local Rule. Not have flagsticks at all.

GolfRSA Position:
A Committee may adopt a Local Rule requiring players to always leave the flagstick in the hole.


R&A Guidance: No modifications to the Definition of Hole are offered, but if a Committee chooses not to follow the requirements in the Definition of Hole, which may also have an impact on the Definition of “Holed”, the Committee should consult its national association for guidance on whether scores submitted in such circumstances are acceptable for handicapping purposes.

GolfRSA Position: It would be permissible for course staff to position the hole liner/cup so that a part of it is above the surface. This would result in a ball rebounding off the liner/cup rather than falling into the hole. In this situation a ball would be considered “holed” if it hits the liner/cup. It is expected that players take due care when “holing out” under this interim rule i.e. not “bashing” a ball at a hole liner/cup.

GolfRSA Position on Hole-in-one
While this COVID-19 Rule, regarding the Hole, is in effect a “hole-in-one” will not be official (prize cannot be won) but it will count for scoring purposes.


R&A Guidance: If rakes have been removed from the course, or if the Committee has requested that rakes not be used, it is recognised that bunkers may not be smoothed as well as when there are rakes on the course. But it is recommended that no modification is made to the Rules of Golf in such circumstances, and that players are requested to smooth bunkers using their feet or a club.

GolfRSA Position:
The Committee may choose to adopt the following Local Rule relating to bunkers. The following Local Rule will be acceptable for handicapping purposes.

Model Local Rule for Bunkers – Due to Covid-19

When a player’s ball lies in a bunker, the player may take free relief once by placing the original ball or another ball and playing from the relief area.

Reference Point:
Spot of the original ball.
Size of the Relief Area: One club length but must not be closer to the hole and must remain in the bunker.

Please note that modifications are for handicapping purposes only and should not be used for formal competitions, of which we expect very little of at the present time.

The Driving Range

This month Elsabe Hefer looks at Foot Alignment

This week she looks at your options when playing a bunker shot.

Elsabe Hefer is a Fellow Member of the PGA; a former Gauteng North PGA Teacher of the Year and PGA Top 20 Teacher. She is the Head Teaching Professional at Zwartkop Country Club.

And, to finish off…

The rare hole-in-one, the most perfect fluke ever, it’s the best feeling in golf.

Celebrate – get the certificate and have bragging rights forever! For further information and to join, contact Margaret on (012) 654-1144 or click here to send an email.

With the Arnold Palmer Invitational being played in March, here are quotes from The King, and in memory of him:

"Swing your swing. Not some idea of a swing. Not a swing you saw on TV. Not that swing you wish you had. No, swing your swing. Capable of greatness. Prized only by you. Perfect in it's imperfection. Swing your swing. I know, I did."


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