Lost Golf Ball Without Penalty

091212-embedded-golf-ballDid you know there is a situation covered in the rules of golf in which a player could lose a ball without incurring a penalty?  Normally a “lost ball” would mean that the player would have to replay a new ball from the spot in which the original ball was lost, under penalty of one stroke.  So if one hits a shot (1), then loses the ball (1 penalty stroke), then hits the dropped ball (3), the stroke total from that point would be three. This is not a fun situation and can be a score-wrecker!

Abnormal Ground Conditions

A lost ball in “abnormal ground conditions” however, would mean the player could drop a ball one club length from the nearest point of relief from the abnormal condition, without penalty.

So what is an abnormal condition? An “abnormal ground condition” is any casual water, ground under repair or hole, cast or runway on the course made by a burrowing animal, a reptile or a bird.

In order for the free drop to be legal, the player(s) must be absolutely certain that the ball is in the abnormal ground condition. If there is any doubt the free drop would not apply and a likely stroke and distance penalty would be in order, unless the ball went into a hazard. In that case another set of rules regarding hazards comes into play.

Conclusion

In short, a player may be entitled to a free drop one club from the point in which a lost ball entered an abnormal ground condition. Such a condition might be an area of the course which is under repair like an area being re-sodded. Another example might be a flooded low point of a fairway with standing water. A third could be an area which the ball disappeared into a burrowing animal track or hole.

Once again though, the player(s) must be 100% certain the ball was lost in the abnormal conditions, and nowhere else.

Knowing the rules can save you strokes!

Free Up The Green As Soon As Possible

wente-2We’ve been covering some of the basics of golf etiquette as of late.  Proper etiquette will insure more enjoyment of the game for you, your group, and the groups around you.  One area many amateurs fail in the etiquette and pace of play department is “freeing up the green.”  Let’s discuss.

What is freeing up the green?  In simple terms it is getting out of the way so the group behind can play up.  How does one not properly clear the green?  Here are a few of the ways, which can be quite irritating and frustrating for the group who is waiting to hit their shots.

  • Hang around the green and practice putting or chipping
  • Stay at the green and talk to other players
  • Stand by the green or stay sitting in the golf cart marking your scorecard
  • Forgetting clubs or head covers by the green
  • Talking or texting with a mobile device

Common Sense

It’s simple, yet there always seem to be players or groups who have no clue that there are people behind them waiting.  Pay attention.  Be considerate of those behind you.

See you on the course.

Playing Through

Presidio2Golf etiquette seems to be a lost art these days.  If more players exercised good etiquette, we would all enjoy the game more and play faster!

One of the worst cases or lacks in golf etiquette is waving the group behind through.  Not enough do it, or even know about it.  Let’s discuss, shall we?

When to Wave a Group Through

If your group is falling behind the group in front of you while the group behind is constantly waiting for you, you’re likely playing a little slow.  There’s nothing to be ashamed of in this case.  It can happen and there are procedures and etiquette for dealing with the situation.

First and foremost try to pick up the pace, and catch up with the group in front.  If the group behind is still riding you and waiting too much, it’s time to give them the best wave in golf, asking them to play through and forge ahead.

Waving a group through is simple.  First you must catch their attention.  They’re likely looking closely, anxiously and possibly irritatedly waiting to hit.  When you have their attention, wave your arms in a “come on” fashion, indicating it is time for them to go through.  If they’re within shouting distance, give them a little shout too with something like “would you like to play through?”

The group behind should see this and wave back, and if they hear your call will yell back a thank you.

At that point it is time to move out of the way into a safe place and let them play through your group.  When the group behind is going by, a smile and a “have fun” will go a long way.  They should in turn say thanks.  In the event they’re too irritated, don’t sweat it.  You’re doing the right thing and they know it.

Conclusion

Remember, it is not embarrassing or shameful that you have to let a group play through.  It IS embarrassing and shameful to not let a group play through if you are playing too slow!

Looking for a Golf Ball

480px-BahnhofsuhrZuerich_RZWe all end up in a golf ball search at some point in time.  That shiny new ProV1 is too expensive to let go, and so is the chance of making a good score.  How long are we golfers allowed to search for a golf ball?

Five Minutes

Golfers are allowed five minutes to search for their ball, AFTER they have arrived at the search location.  The time does not start until the player arrives at the spot and is not timed from the moment the previous shot was played.

If a ball is out of bounds, there is no five minute time as the search applies to finding a ball that is in play.  Don’t was your time and the players’ time behind your group looking for an OB ball.

If the group behind is pushing you, wave them through and allow them to play on.  This will not only make them more happy and be more polite of you, it will give you more time to search for that shiny ProV1, and maybe turn a double or triple bogey into a par.

Search Smart

When searching during the five minute period, do so in an intelligent fashion, rather than aimlessly wandering around in random directions.  Take a grid-approach and walk a straight line through the area you think the ball should be in.  Move a few feet, turn around, walk the same line back.

To help keep up the pace of your group, help players look for their lost balls.  They should also in turn help you look for yours.

If a ball search begins, the player who lost the ball should inform the group as to the model of the ball, and if there are any unique identifying markings on it.  This will make the search go faster as players will not have to ask, “are you hitting a…” every time they find a ball.

Conclusion

Losing a ball now and then is simply part of the game.  Approach the search in a smart fashion and take no more than five minutes to look for it.

Order of Play

balls-on-greenThere are so many rules, regulations, procedures, and bits of golf eitquette it is hard to keep them all straight.  One of the most basic which is often not done correctly is the “honor,” and/or order of play.  The rules for the order of play are a little different for stroke play versus match play.  Let’s take a look.

Stroke Play

On the first tee the order of play is determined by the order of the draw.  If players are announced or listed by the starter, the order they are listed in is the starting order.  If there is no such listing, the order can be determined by a draw.

During play after the initial tee shot, typically the player farthest away should play first.  In the interest of keeping the pace of play at a reasonable level, playing out of order is not only fine, it is preferred.

The honor on each successive tee is determined by the scoring of the previous hole.  The player with the lowest score has the honor.

Match Play

Match play rules regarding order are much more strict.  The winner of the previous hole plays first.  During the play of a hole, the farthest player out plays first, even if that player is on the green and the other player is chipping.

If a player plays out of turn in match play there is no penalty.  The opponent may, if desired, immediately require the player who played out of order to cancel the stroke played and play again in the proper order.

On the putting green for instance, a player who is away putts to three feet and then finishes the hole while the opponent is at 10 feet.  The player at 10 feet may require the 3-foot putt to be done again.

Conclusion

Unless in match play the best order of play is the QUICKEST one.  Play fast golf if at all possible so more people can play faster and enjoy more golf.

Top Five Frogger Father’s Day Gifts

At Frogger Golf we are all about helping YOU enjoy the game more through great golf accessories and training devices.  With Father’s Day fast approaching what better gift can you give dad than enjoying golf even more?  Whether dad needs help with his putting, needs a golf cart rain cover, could use great club cleaning accessories, or needs work on his swing, we’ve got you covered!

You can find these products in most big box golf and sporting goods stores, or buy right from us via the top menu.

Golf Cart Poncho

Keep dad dry when it is raining outside with the Frogger Golf Cart Poncho!

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Our poncho is super-portable and light. It even fits in a golf bag!  Be prepared.

Swing Hero

Help dad out with his golf swing by picking him up a Frogger Swing Hero for Father’s Day!

Frogger Swing Hero

Swing hero can help dad grip the club properly and avoid the “death grip.”  Also great for working on fixing the slice or creating fades or draws.

BrushPro

Help dad hit even better golf shots with clean grooves.  The Frogger BrushPro is the world’s best golf club brush.

 

BrushPro

The BrushPro is one of golf’s all-time greatest Father’s Day gifts.

Amphibian Towel

One of the most important golf accessories is the golf towel.  In true Frogger tradition we’ve made a towel we believe is the best on the market.

 

Frogger-007330bk_grey_towel

The Amphibian Towel has a wet side and a dry side which is SO useful in all conditions, even rain!  Help dad out this Father’s Day and get him an Amphibian Towel.

Arc Angel

What’s the quickest way to help dad lower his golf scores?  Help him improve his putting!

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Our Arc Angel putting trainer is portable and easy to setup.  Dad can use the Arc Angel anywhere to work on putting path, putting swing plane, and alignment.

One Cent Can Prevent Fat Shots

20150608_175320One area most amateur golfers struggle with is hitting “fat” shots.  The term “fat” refers to when the golfer’s club goes too deep into the ground.  When this happens a large divot is usually produced and the shot goes very short.  Often times fat shots are struck behind the ball as the player is dipping down during the swing, changing the bottom point of the arc.  Those shots can produce blades or skulls, where the club bounces up and catches the ball as it is going up.  Those types of shots will most often go too far, and dribble along the ground.

Either fat scenario is a one-way ticket to bogey land.

One great drill to practice on the range which can help with fat shots and with preventing dipping down in the swing involves the use of a coin.  When hitting irons, hybrids, or even fairway woods, the player tees the ball up on top of the coin.  The goal is to “pick” the ball off of the coin cleanly without striking the coin.

Hitting clean and solid shots off of a coin without moving the coin itself will mean the player is keeping the upper body and head still, and delivering the club head at a perfect position in the bottom of the swing.

Gambler?

If you really want to put pressure on yourself, don’t use a penny.  Use dollar coins.  That way the “cost” of hitting a bad shot could mean a dollar donated to the driving range!

Golf Tip – Practice Putting From Green Center to Fringe for Distance Control

3footcircleOne of the biggest problems amateur golfers, especially higher handicap golfers have is strokes lost on the putting green.  Putting is the area most amateurs could quickly reduce their scoring numbers.  Eliminating several 3-putts or even 4-putts in a round could be a massive stroke saver.

Most amateurs know the general direction a putt will break.  Their reads may not be perfect, but they have a general idea.  SPEED is the problem with most.  Their putts can be way off with regards to distance control.  When that second or third putt isn’t within about a 3-foot circle, 3-putts or 4-putts happen.

Therefore one of the biggest keys in improving putting, if not the biggest, is distance control.  One great way to work on distance control is the inside-out method.  Forget about the holes on the practice green for a moment.  Proceed to the center of the practice green and put some practice balls down.  Putt to the fringe of the green.  The goal is to stop the ball as close to the fringe as possible.  This drill will help get the feel of precise distance control.

Pick many different lines and angles to different edges of the green, attempting to get the putt to stop right at the fringe cut.  This precision will translate to a much better feel for distance control and will immediately help shave those three and four putts down to two or less.

Try it!

Golf Rules: When In Doubt Play Two Balls

balls-on-greenIt is nearly impossible for a golfer to know the details and exact procedures for every rule in the massive golf rule book.  The only people who do know them all likely work for the USGA, the R&A, or the PGA Tour!

Often times during a round we encounter a situation in which we are unsure how to proceed.  One player may think a drop with no penalty is appropriate but another in the same group disagrees, saying the drop would only be possible under a penalty situation.  Local rules can come into play too, times when the course has a custom rule setup for their specific reasons.

A good idea is to keep a copy of the Rules of Golf in one’s golf bag, or a digital version of it in one’s mobile phone or tablet.  But even then the player might not be able to find the exact situation or ruling in a reasonable amount of time.

Two Balls

When in doubt as to how to proceed in a situation like this, it is best to play two balls.  Play the original ball through and finish the hole with it.  Also play a second dropped ball in the manner one thinks is appropriate.  Record both scores on the scorecard.

At the end of the round the player will then have the time to research the ruling by checking the rules of golf, or by communicating with the pro at the local course or perhaps the associations board members.

In the event that the same score is recorded with both balls the discussion and research is a moot point, but it may still be good to find out the correct ruling in the event that the same situations arises in the future.

In short, when it doubt, play two balls and settle the questions later after the round.  Don’t hold up play!

Golf Playing Partners

Golf is so much more than a score written on a score card.  It is more than a number.  Fresh air, green grass, the challenge sunshine… all great parts of the game.  One of the most important aspects in the enjoyment of golf is the camaraderie and competition one has with his/her playing partners.  Playing with the right partners can make a huge difference in one’s enjoyment level.

Wrong Partners

How many times have we had not-so-enjoyable rounds when stuck with the person who plays way too slow?  How about the player who has bad golf etiquette or manners?  How about the ever-irritating player who is talking on his cell phone when he should be hitting his shot?  How about the guy who thinks his double bogey putt is the last putt on the 72nd hole to win the U.S. Open, and he takes 25 minutes reading it from every imaginable angle while the group behind is calling the course marshal?   Then there’s the one guy in the group who is a 30 handicap when the rest are single digits.  That’s tough for both sides.

Right Partners

Choosing the right partners who share the same interests, have the same general playing ability level, and have the same pace of play can make a good round great.  Great camaraderie and enjoyable playing partners help make the round even more enjoyable.

Great playing partners can last for years, decades even.

It’s not all about scores.  Enjoy the walk with like-minded and like-skilled friends.