As Jan. 1 approaches, it’s time to consider what New Year’s resolutions you’ll be making to help your golf game in 2019. For those who haven’t come up with any, here’s a suggestion: Learn the Rules of Golf. (No, really learn them this time.) Perhaps you’ve tried, only to find that by February, the copy of the rules book you picked up is covered with as much dust as that Peloton you bought to get into shape. Yet here’s the thing: There’s no better time than now to give it another shot because a new, modernized version of the rules goes into effect on New Year’s Day.

In the most sweeping revision in more than 60 years, officials from the USGA and R&A, golf’s governing bodies, have reorganized the rules to make them easier to understand and apply. The number has been cut to 24 from 34, and the language simplified to make it more practical. Roughly 2 million copies of the Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golfwere published and circulated this fall. If you haven’t gotten one, you can find it online at usgapublications.com, as well as with explanatory videos at usga.org/rules. The free USGA Rules of Golf app has been updated, too.

To help you keep this resolution, here are nine changes to the new rules you should know.

I. Accidents happen
The controversy over Dustin Johnson’s ball moving on the green during the final round of the 2016 U.S. Open exposed the old rules for being too harsh when it came to what many considered tickytack infractions. New language, first adopted through Local Rules since 2017, states there is no penalty if you accidentally move your ball (or ball marker) on the green. Put the ball back, and you’re good to go. The same applies if you’re searching for a lost ball and mistakenly move it.

II. The fix is in
Golfers often complained about the silliness of letting players fix a ball mark on the green, but not a spike mark. What’s the difference? With no good answer, officials now will let you fix everything without a penalty. You can also touch the line of your putt with your hand or club so long as you’re not improving it.

III. A lost cause
To improve pace of play, golfers now have just three minutes to search for a missing ball rather than five. Admit it, if you hadn’t found it in three minutes, you weren’t finding it anyway.

IV. Knee is the new shoulder
The process for dropping a ball back in play is revamped in the new rules. Instead of letting go from shoulder height, players will drop from around their knee. This is a compromise from an original proposal that would have let golfers drop from just inches above the ground. To preserve some randomness with the drop, officials went with knee height instead. Why change at all? Primarily to speed up play by increasing the chances your ball stays within the two-club-length drop area on the first try.

V. No longer at touchy subject
Hitting a ball into a water hazard (now defined as “penalty area”) should come with consequences. But golfers don’t have to be nervous about incurring an additional penalty for a minor rules breach while playing their next shot. You’re free to touch/move loose impediments and ground your club, eliminating any unnecessary worry. The only caveat: You still can’t put your club down and use it to improve the conditions for the stroke. You can remove loose impediments in bunkers, too, although touching the sand in a bunker in front of or behind the ball is still prohibited.

VI. Damaged goods
We all get mad on the course, and sometimes that anger is taken out on an unsuspecting driver or putter. Previously, the rules were confusing on when or if you could play a club you damaged during a round, and it led to instances where some players were disqualified for playing clubs with a shaft slightly bent or some other damage they didn’t realize the club had. Now you can play a club that has become damaged in any fashion. If you caused the damage, however, you can’t replace the club with a new one.

VII. Twice is … OK
A double hit is almost always accidental, and the outcome so random as to hardly be beneficial. So golfers are now spared the ignominy of adding a penalty for hitting a ball twice with one swing. It counts as only one stroke. Somewhere T.C. Chen is smiling.

VIII. The end of flagstick folly
Another nod to common sense eliminates a penalty for hitting a flagstick left in the hole while putting on a green. Taking out and then placing back in flagsticks can often cause undo delay in the round, and the flagstick is as likely to keep your ball out of the cup as it would help it fall in.

IX. O.B. option
Courses may implement a Local Rule (not for competition) that offers an alternative to the stroke-and-distance penalty for lost balls or shots hit out-of-bounds. A player may drop a ball anywhere between where the original ball was believed to come to rest (or went out-of-bounds) and just into the edge of the fairway, but no nearer the hole. The golfer takes a two-stroke penalty and plays on instead of returning to the tee. This way, the Local Rule mimics your score if you had played a decent provisional ball.

Source: sports.yahoo.com

 

Following months of speculation, the PGA of America officially announced its headquarters are relocating to Frisco, Texas. The organization, currently based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., will anchor a 600-acre, mixed-use development.

“Our move to Frisco will be transcendent for the PGA of America,” Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, said in a statement on Tuesday. “Everything great starts with a dream. This is the beginning of a bold, new journey as we bring together world-class partners in a world-class location—to deliver innovative and differentiated experiences for our nearly 29,000 PGA Golf Professionals, golfers of all abilities and our staff.”

As outlined in the initial reports, the new headquarters will have two championship courses. Under the PGA of America’s agreement with the Frisco City Council, the PGA will bring two PGA Championships, two KPMG Women’s PGA Championships and, potentially, a Ryder Cup to the site. The golf course is expected to open in the summer of 2022.

Other parts of the development will feature a short course and practice area, a clubhouse, Class AA office space, a 500-room Omni resort and 127,000-square-foot conference center, a retail village and a park.

The PGA of America estimates the project will have an initial public-private $520 million investment. The PGA of America will invest $30 million to build its 100,000-square-foot global headquarters and education facility. Omni Stillwater Woods, a joint venture led by Omni Hotels & Resorts with Stillwater Capital and Woods Capital, is expected to pour in $455 million for land, construction, retail space and the golf courses.

The initial 25-year agreement calls for the land and conference center to be publicly owned by the City of Frisco and operated by OSW, which will pay $100,000 a year in rent to the city. The golf courses, clubhouse, practice areas and associated public facilities will be owned by the city, with the golf facilities open to local high school golfers.

Source: golfdigest.com

1. Billy Hurley III

There was more than a little bit of stumbling and fumbling along the way, but Justin Rose eventually claimed the Turkish Airlines Open title in a playoff with Li Haotong. The pair, two-thirds of the final group on the final day, had earlier tied on 17 under par over four rounds at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort on Turkey’s southern shore.

Which sounds pretty good only until a wee bit more detailed look at the leader board reveals Rose reached 19 under par after 70 holes. And that both men were 18 under on the 72nd tee. In other words, Rose, the defending champion and needing a win to get back to World No. 1, finished bogey-bogey; Li contented himself with a dropped shot at the last, taking four shots to get down from just under 150 yards. Pretty this was not.

And it got worse.

After watching Rose two-putt for par from roughly 25 feet on their second visit to the 18th green, Li settled down over his 12-footer for birdie and what would have been his third European Tour victory. Would have been. Never online, the ball missed low and left and, not insignificantly as things turned out, ran maybe a yard past. The second putt was … how to put this … awful. Really awful, the ball missing the cup by maybe an inch on the right.

The sad thing was, over their first 16 holes, both men had put on a terrific display. Yes, each rode his luck at times, but the general standard gave no hint of the carnage that was to follow. Li’s pars at the seventh and eighth holes had more to do with good luck than good judgement. Rose’s pitch to the par-5 12th was headed well past until it struck the pin and stopped a few feet away. And one hole later his tee shot was headed for oblivion in the right trees until it hit an unfortunate individual on the left knee (yes, Rose did shout “fore!”).

Otherwise, each played some terrific stuff. Li’s highlight was a 3-wood to the par-5 15th green that pulled to a halt no more than two-feet away, the resulting eagle hauling the Chinese player into a tie for the lead on 18 under par.

Rose was his usual clinical self—at least until his last two holes in regulation. Not one bogey and five birdies dotted his card to that point.

“There were moments out there where it looked like both of us weren’t holding our nerve very well,” said Rose, who picked up €1,166,660 for what was the first successful defense of a title in his career. He also moved to third in a Race to Dubai, although he cannot win that year-long race to go with his FedEx Cup title on the PGA Tour. For reasons he was loathe to reveal—“they will become apparent next year”—Rose said rather mysteriously that he will not be playing in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in two weeks.

“But this was a fun battle overall,” he continued. “And obviously I do have to spare a thought for Haotong. That was a tough way to finish. He hit a positive putt to try and win, but that 18th green is very tough. Getting back to No. 1 is something to be proud of. It doesn’t make you one under par on the first tee the next time you play, but it’s something to be proud of for sure.”

As for Li, who had started the day with a three-shot edge over Rose, even his broken English was up to the task of conveying exactly his understandable disappointment.

“It is a tough day for me,” said the 23-year old, who memorably outdueled Rory McIlroy down the stretch to win the Dubai Desert Classic in January. “I think I played well the whole week, but didn’t hole a few putts on the last and that was it.”

A little further down the leader board there were signs of redemption for two Grand Slam champions whose recent play has been more minor than major. Former U.S. Open and PGA champion Martin Kaymer’s closing 66, five under par and bogey-free, lifted the German into a tie for fifth alongside Lucas Bjerregaard of Denmark, one shot head of Danny Willett.

“I played very well,” confirmed Kaymer, who dropped only two shots all week. “I could have made a few more putts here and there, but the game was really spot on this week. I think I gave myself enough chances, and I needed a good finish to get into (the season ending DP World Tour Championship) in Dubai. Hopefully that was enough. But I’m really looking forward to playing next week [when the European Tour plays its next playoff event in his native South Africa]. I’m very close.”

Former Masters champion Willett had less to say about his T-7 finish, but the Englishman, one of 20 in the 78-man field, must have been encouraged by his play after so long in the doldrums. In recording his third top-10 of the season and only his fifth on the European Tour since winning at Augusta in 2016, the 31-year-old Yorkshireman hit an array of splendid shots. As with Kaymer, only his putting let him down over the closing holes.

Which was a familiar tale at the end of an ultimately strange day.

Source: golfdigest.com

Winter Hours

Open To The Public | 10:00am – 5:00pm | Wednesday – Sunday 

Includes:

4 Big Screen TVs

Pool Table

Homemade Soups,Chili and Sandwiches

6 Beers on Tap

Friendly Fun Atmosphere

*Weather Permitting*

I’ve come to accept I’m not one of the longest guys on tour, so if I’m going to beat guys who are 20 to 30 yards longer off the tee—like I did at the 2015 RSM Classic and the 2017 Dean & DeLuca Invitational—I have to keep the ball in the fairway. My stats prove that. Heading into the British Open in July, I was 35 under par on approaches from the fairway between 50 and 175 yards. In the same range from the rough, I was 14 over. That’s a big difference. Being a solid driver means having more than one way to find the fairway. I’m going to teach you four, one for each type of wind condition. Pair the correct play with that wind, and you’ll be hitting your next shot from the short grass. — With E. Michael Johnson

SLICE WIND: PLAY IT FORWARD
With most tee shots, I start by determining where I need to drive it to leave the best angle into the green. Then I check to see how the wind might impact that plan and adjust for it. I struggle the most with a slice wind (coming from the left for right-handers), but my adjustments are to play the ball way up, off my left toe, and aim farther left than normal. The ball position and alignment help me start the ball on a path left of the fairway and, hopefully, let the breeze push it back into the fairway in the ideal spot.

DOWNWIND TEE: IT HIGH AND LOAD UP
Everyone loves a hole where the wind is at your back. To take advantage of that, I tee the ball higher than normal—with half of it sitting above the driver when I sole it. I also position the ball just off my left heel. The last thing I do at address is tilt my right shoulder slightly down and to the right. All of this promotes a higher launch angle, which gets the ball up and riding the wind. When I swing, I load up on my right side and then fire into the ball from the inside, trying to draw it for even more of a distance boost. If you do this, be careful not to get too much weight on your right side when you take the club back. It makes it harder to hit it so

HEAD WIND: STAY SHORT AND CENTERED
We’re lucky we play mostly on firm fairways on tour; at least the ball will roll when the hole is into the wind. I play for that, trying to hit it 20 feet off the ground and chase it out there. At address, I tee the ball only an inch off the grass, play it about two inches back of my left heel and grip down a little on the driver. I also aim slightly left of the target, because the tendency is for the shot to squirt right as a result of the ball position—it’s harder to square the face. The swing keys: Keep your weight centered between your feet, and make a short-but-smooth swing back and through. The mistake is to lean forward and hit down on it to keep the shot low. That creates extra spin, killing distance.

HOOK WIND: LET IT RIDE
I love when it’s coming from the right, because my natural shot shape—a draw—curves with the breeze and goes forever. With this one my setup is standard, but you might want to close your stance a little (aim your body right of the target) to promote an in-to-out draw swing path. The shot’s start line is important. I aim down the right edge of the hole so the ball will ride the breeze into the fairway. Note how I’ve released the club through impact. Don’t try to steer it into play. With this wind, just hammer it.

Source: golfdigest.com

Cameron Champ’s performance at the Sanderson Farms Championship proved he’s more than just a long-ball hitter. His four-shot win over Corey Conners, however, was built largely on his prowess off the tee combined with a deft touch on the greens.

For the week Champ averaged 334 yards off the tee, leading the field. Champ also picked up more than 5.5 yards off the tee in strokes gained/off the tee with his Ping G400 Max driver, albeit a backup that he had on site in his car after his gamer cracked shortly before teeing off Sunday. Champ’s driver has a 44.75-inch Fujikura Pro White TS 63x shaft tipped 1.5 inches and a swingweight of D-3.

At the other end, Champ displayed a nice touch on the greens with a Ping PLD Mid Tyne 4 prototype putter that is 34.5 inches with 2 degrees of loft and half a degree flat. Champ used the putter to roll in birdie putts of 10, 7, 5 and 38 feet respectively on holes 13 through 16 to boost his cushion to two shots after a slow start. Champ added a punctuation mark with one more seven-footer for birdie at the last. For the event Champ picked up more than nine strokes on the field in strokes gained/putting, ranking second. The PLD stands for Ping Lab Design which offers the opportunity for players to get putters that specifically meet their needs outside of production-run models. The Tyne 4 head is a mallet with wings in back for added stability.

What Cameron Champ had in the bag at the Sanderson Farms Championship

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV

Driver: Ping G400 Max (Fujikura Pro White TS 63x), 9 degrees

3-wood: Ping G400, 14.2 degrees

Irons (4): Ping i500; (5-PW): Ping iBlade

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (50, 54, 60 degrees)

Putter: Ping PLD Mid Tyne 4 prototype

 

Source: golfdigest.com

Stop me if this sounds familiar. You set up to hit a chip. You’ve got your weight forward, the shaft leaning toward the target, and you’re playing the ball off your back foot. When you swing, you catch the ball super low on the face, and skull it across the green. On the next attempt, you gouge a chunk of sod behind the ball, and it goes nowhere.

This might surprise you, but although the results of those two mis-hits are very different, they’re often caused by the same mistakes. The first is the bottom of your swing is in the wrong place, and the second is the club is not interacting with the turf the way it’s designed.

The name of this page is Gimme One Thing, but I’m going to give you two things to think about the next time your chipping issues flare up. Remember the words bottom and bounce. What do they mean and how do they apply to better chipping? When you think bottom, your focus should be on getting the club to hit the turf consistently in the same place. For chipping, that should be slightly ahead of the ball’s position on the ground. You can help make sure that happens by checking your shirt buttons and nose at setup. They should be slightly closer to the target than the ball. I like to say, as the nose goes, so does the bottom of your swing.

The second word to think about, bounce, means how the club interacts with the turf. You want the club to glide along the grass, not dig into it. The leading edge and trailing edge of the clubface should contact the ground evenly. The beauty of this technique is that the swing bottom can be a fraction off, and you’ll still likely hit a decent chip shot. No one will be the wiser.

So set up with your weight favoring your front foot, the ball in the middle of a narrow stance, and your nose and shirt buttons slightly closer to the target. Now when you swing, focus on letting the leading edge and trailing edge of the club make contact with the ground simultaneously right below your nose. Fixate on that, and your body and arms will intuitively move to get the bounce just right.

You’ll notice that I’m relatively still with my body going back; it’s mostly an arm swing. I do that to make sure my swing bottom won’t change from where I want it to be.

And when I swing down, I’m letting my body rotate toward the target. This rotation guides the club through impact on a shallow approach. There’s no chopping into the turf; it’s the right amount of interaction between the leading edge and the trailing edge. One final tip: Keep your body rotating long after the ball is gone like I am here.

Next time you struggle around the greens, remember: bottom and bounce.

SURVIVAL GUIDE
Golf instruction on the range is great, but sometimes you need help while you’re playing—stat! In his video series, “Bad-Ass Short Game,” Ritter tackles many of the issues regular golfers have around the greens and gives his unique—and bold—approach to correcting them.

Source: www.golfdigest.com

Brooks Koepka’s four-shot win at the CJ Cup propelled him to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time. It also created a different kind of first in OWGR history.

Koepka kept alive a musical chairs situation in the top spot the likes that has never been seen before. For the first time since the ranking’s inception in 1986, the current top four (Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and Justin Thomas) is comprised of players who all made it to No. 1 in the same year.

“It’s amazing to go World No. 1 on a win,” Koepka said after pulling away from the field in South Korea. “I think is something I’ve always wanted to do. I always wanted to earn my way to No. 1 in the world, and I felt like if I played and won, that would be exactly how I could draw it up. To do that this week has been special.”

It’s also just the second time that four different players ascended to No. 1 in the same year. The only other instance occurred in 1997 when Greg Norman, Tom Lehman, Tiger Woods, and Ernie Els all spent time in the top spot.

Overall, Koepka, 28, is the 23rd player to be No. 1 in the OWGR and the 11th in the past eight years.

Source: www.golfdigest.com

It is arguably one of the few sports terms believed to be named after a person, and with ramifications beyond the border of a course and into politics and daily life.

You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy the benefits of a Mulligan – the term is now widely used to describe any “do-over,” or second chance after initial failure.

Of course, the rules of golf forbid the Mulligan, though it’s become part of the game. Some golfers apply their own “rules” that the Mulligan will be in “play” once per round, or just on the No. 1 tee.

So, where and when did the Mulligan begin in golf? Well, that depends.

The USGA, and supported by research by GriffGolf.com, found the Mulligan became rooted in the game’s lexicon sometime between the late 1920s and mid-1930s. During that period, Canadian-born amateur David Bernard Mulligan had established himself as a prominent member of clubs that included Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

In the late 1920s, Mulligan had a regular club foursome, which he often drove to the course in a 1920s vintage Briscoe, a touring car.

Once on the first tee, the story goes, his partners allowed him to hit a second ball after mishitting his drive. Mulligan complained that his hands were still numb after driving rough roads and a bumpy Queen Victoria Jubilee Bridge (now Victoria Bridge).

Mulligan joined Winged Foot Golf Club sometime between 1932 and 1933. A generation later, in July 1985, journalist Don Mackintosh interviewed Mulligan for a column, “Around the Sport Circuit.”

Said Mulligan: “I was so provoked with myself that, on impulse, I stooped over and put down another ball. The other three looked at me with considerable puzzlement, and one of them asked, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘I’m taking a correction shot,’ I replied.”

His playing partner asked what he called that.

“Thinking fast, I told him that I called it a ‘Mulligan.’ They laughed and let me play a second ball. After the match, which Mulligan and Spindler won by one point, there was considerable discussion in the clubhouse about that free shot.

“It all worked out amicably enough, but after that it became an unwritten rule in our foursome that you could take an extra shot on the first tee if you weren’t satisfied with your original. Naturally, this was always referred to as ‘taking a Mulligan.’ From that beginning, I guess the practice spread, and the name with it.”

Such a tale appears to be on solid footing, though USGA research hints there’s wiggle room for another “Mulligan.”

John A. “Buddy” Mulligan, a locker room attendant in the 1930s at Essex Fells CC, N.J., would finish cleaning the locker room and, if no other members appeared, play a round with assistant professional, Dave O’Connell and a club member, Des Sullivan (later golf editor of The Newark Evening News).

One day, Mulligan’s opening tee shot was bad and he beseeched O’Connell and Sullivan to allow another shot since they “had been practicing all morning,” and he had not. After the round, Mulligan proudly exclaimed to the members in his locker room for months how he received an extra shot.

The members loved it and soon began giving themselves “Mulligans” in honor of Buddy Mulligan. Sullivan began using the term in his golf pieces in The Newark Evening News. NBC’s “Today Show” ran the story in 2005.

Thus, a “Mulligan” found its niche along in our culture. Its popularity thrives because of who we are – lovers of a good story and a term that somehow fits. It thrives as we are reminded in a classic line from the 1962 John Ford Western film, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”

Source: www.pga.com