Home' Australian Golf Digest : September 2017 Contents The Golf Life Ask Golf Digest
‘What happens when a bird
improves your lie?’
Q I hit my tee shot into the rough. Approaching it,
I saw a large crow fly away from the area
carrying a ball in his mouth, and then drop it. Do
I play the ball where I saw the bird pick it up or where it
fell to the ground?
IMAGINE the poor bird’s
disappointment. It thought you’d
left it a delicious treat of some
kind – an orb made of white chocolate,
perhaps – only to wind up with a mouthful
of pesticide-flavoured Surlyn. Neither you
nor the bird are getting what you want out
of this deal. According to Rule 18-1, when a
ball has been moved by an outside agency,
you have to replace it at the spot where it
was picked up. For you, that means back in
the rough. If you don’t know exactly where
the bird grabbed your ball, you can
approximate it (Rule 20-3c). Either way,
there is no penalty.
A lot of great players “drop” the club
at the top of their swing and have a
flatter plane coming back at the ball.
Why not have a lower plane going
up and maintain that same plane
Ever see Iron Byron, the equipment-
testing machine? It swung on the same
plane back and through, and the ball flew
dead straight. The trouble is, Iron Byron
was a robot, and you’re not. It’s extremely
difficult to maintain the same swing
plane with any consistency.
The steep-to-shallow move is better
for most golfers, says instruction guru
David Leadbetter, because it’s easier to
repeat. It encourages the feeling that
you have room to swing the club down
from inside the target line, which is
crucial to hitting good shots. It also
adds a dash of rhythm and flow to
a swing – making it much easier to
synchronise the shifting, winding and
unwinding that take place. There’s
nothing wrong with a little out-to-in
loop. Or a big one if you’re Jim Furyk.
During a club matchplay event
recently, I set up to my ball for a
crucial putt. Before striking the ball, I
realised the ball marker wasn’t mine.
It was the same colour. I replaced the
ball marker, proceeded to my actual
marker, putted and made par. What’s
Your penalty is you must go out and buy a
more distinctive ball marker. Perhaps you
could get one that looks like a Ritz cracker
(“Happy Gilmore” reference) or one that
says “I like big putts and I cannot lie” (Sir
Mix-a-Lot reference). So many choices!
But getting back to your match: well done!
As long as you didn’t hit the ball, you
incurred no penalty stroke for accidentally
placing your ball in the wrong spot before
correcting your error (Rule 20-6).
I’m new to golf but am falling in love
with the game fast. In my golf bag I
have a 9.5-degree driver, a 16.5-degree
3-wood, a 21-degree fairway wood,
4-iron through approach wedge (52
degrees), sand wedge and putter. I’m
wondering if I would benefit more
from adding a 3-hybrid in place of one
of the wedges.
It sounds like you’re using just 13 clubs.
We’d recommend the full 14 allowed by the
Rules of Golf. We like your high-lofted 3-
and 5-woods. Those should help get shots
airborne. As for your wedges: keep the
pitching wedge and get three others –
preferably at 50, 54 and 58 degrees. As a
new golfer, the phrase “green in regulation”
is not one you’ll hear often, so you need
more options around the greens, not more
long clubs. This is a nice collection of lofts
that will allow you to hit all the shots. Your
scorecard will thank you.
May a player use a swing-training
aid between shots during an actual
Not with impunity! Juli Inkster learned
this lesson (Rule 14-3) in 2010 after she was
disqualified for using a weighted
“doughnut” on a club to stay loose during a
long wait at the Safeway Classic. The R&A
and USGA amended the rule in 2016, so
the penalty is no longer a DQ for the first
breach of Rule 14-3; it’s two shots in
strokeplay or loss of hole in matchplay.
The penalty for any subsequent breach of
Rule 14-3 is disqualification.
Barina, Spark, Trax
Want $500 - $2,000
cashback just for playing golf?*
Enter your nearest Scramble event to be eligible.
*To view T&C’s visit holdenscramble.com.au
Illustration by Benoit Tardif
32 australiangolfdigest.com.au | september 2017
032-033_AGD0917 Ask Digest.indd 32
2/08/2017 2:22 pm
Links Archive August 2017 October 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page