The Great Golf Challenge with Dr. Shannon Reece

Three-Women-Dancing-Golf-Course

Sport Psychologist Dr. Shannon Reece, along with accomplished experts in the five main areas of golf performance (mindset, fitness, swing, nutrition, and strategy) come together for a unique six week online golf training program. This program is designed to help you make significant strides in your game during a time you might not be able to be on the course.

Use this opportunity to take advantage of our Stay At Home situation by learning how to improve your swing, golf fitness, nutrition, mental game and rules of golf – all from the safety and comfort of your home. 

The Great Golf Challenge includes:

  • 30 targeted video lessons with downloadable PDF guides  
  • 30 live Q&A sessions with your dream team of golf experts 
  • Six weeks of live and virtual support

You’ll receive one new lesson each day, Monday through Friday, for 6-weeks starting on April 13, 2020.

Learn ACTIONABLE TIPS to get you to the next level in all five areas!

Have you noticed that when players tell a story or ask a question about the rules, they often use ambiguous or incorrect terms to describe where their ball is?

Watch the video below to learn why it’s important to define specific golf course areas and to get a preview of you can learn in during The Great Golf Challenge.

How to Hit a Provisional Ball

Provisional Ball on the tee box

Okay, so you’ve just hit a tee shot and you’re worried you might not be able to find your ball. There are a few things you should know about how to hit a provisional ball.

WHERE IT MIGHT IT BE LOST

If your ball could be either out of bounds or lost OUTSIDE a penalty area you may hit a provisional ball under penalty of stroke-and-distance, which means if you cannot find your ball within three minutes of when you begin to search for it, your provisional ball becomes the ball in play, and that will cost you one penalty stroke.

Out-of-Bounds are defined by white stakes. Those stakes cannot be removed and you cannot hit a ball that is lying out of bounds.   18.2

SEARCH TIME

You have three minutes in which to find your original ball, and if you, your opponent, fellow competitor or a caddie finds your ball within that time you must continue play with the original ball.

And beginning in 2019 if you or anyone else accidentally causes your ball to move while searching for it, there is no penalty. Simply replace the ball on it’s original spot or the estimated spot.

18.3b "Before the stroke is made you must that you are going to play a provisional ball."

 

Rule 7.4

There is no penalty if the player’s ball is accidentally moved by the player, opponent or anyone else while trying to find or identify it.

Girlfriends-guide-to-golf

WHAT IF WE LIKE OUR PROVISIONAL BALL BETTER THAN OUR ORIGINAL BALL?

Sometimes we hit our provisional ball really well and we hope no one finds our original ball, or we might even ask that no one look for it. It’s courteous to oblige by that request, but an opponent or competitor may certainly look for it anyway and if found within the three minutes (by anyone) and then identified as yours, you’d have to play it.

WHAT IF MY BALL IS IN A PENALTY AREA?

Penalty Areas are defined by red or yellow stakes. If your original ball is known or virtually certain to be in a Penalty Area you cannot hit a provisional ball. So, if your ball is headed towards a Penalty Area and the only place it could be lost is within the Penalty Area, then you cannot hit a Provisional Ball and instead you proceed under the rules for Penalty Areas.

Rule-18.3-Provisional-2

Pop over to my Instagram to see tons more videos like this one!

What You Need to Know About the World Handicap System

Many golfers are still getting used to all the changes to the rules of golf that took effect in January 2019, and now we hear that there’s another big change—this one to the handicap system. Before you get too stressed, let’s review what you need to know about the new World Handicap System.

Have you ever needed to pick up on a hole and not complete it? Maybe your daughter calls with an urgent issue (like which dress to wear to a birthday party) or you need to text your boss about a meeting later that day. There are lots of reasons why you might not complete a hole, and that’s just one of the scenarios included in the article I just wrote for the LPGA Women’s Network about the World Handicap System.

In the article, I cover some of the basics, which include the definition of some terms like your golf Index. Your Index is a number that indicates your demonstrated ability based on an average of the best 8 of your last 20 scores. It’s what you’re reasonably capable of scoring on your better days. Your Index is then converted to a Course Handicap, which is based on the course slope and rating of the tees you are playing from.

I also go over Net Double Bogey and the specifics of posting your final score. To read the full article head over to their website.  

What Happened to Resolutions?

Marcela High Five on the Golf Course

So often we start out the new year with resolutions —perhaps to lose weight, save money, or learn a new language. If you’re a golfer you may have had a resolution to lower your handicap.

I had a very specific goal this year to spend my summer working on achieving a more athletic swing. My husband and I spend our summers in Lake Tahoe, so I had exactly nine weeks to work with my coach up there, and I was on a mission.

I knew if I played regularly this summer I could probably get my handicap down, but was that the most important thing to me? What about improving my actual swing – the way it looks, feels and performs consistently for me at any course?

Marcela Teaching

I took action to achieve my goals...

On July 1st I told Chris Tschirhart, my PGA teaching pro at Lahontan GC, that I was very serious about making some changes to my swing. I wanted, no, I needed to have a more athletic swing that would serve me on my golfing journey. After all, I’m a golf rules blogger and there are videos of my clumsy swing all over Instagram.

SCGA FOREher Publication just published my article about my golf resolution for 2019 (and how I did it!)

Read the full article on their website here

Lahontan Golf Club

Golf Warm-up Tips for Women

Golf Warm-Up Tips for Women

I recently attended a golf fitness class with with Ashley Wood, Head Golf Professional at The Mountain Course at Incline Village, in Lake Tahoe. She has been kind enough to share some of her best golf warm-up tips for women. Read on to learn Ashley’s tips for bringing an exercise regimen and mentality into your golf game.

Golf is a lot like sprinting. This may sound strange to some, but if you think about it the golf swing is a very explosive action starting at a very static position. This causes a lot of force through your body in a very short amount of time. So, if you were to go for a sprint, it would be important to warm-up the body beforehand so you don’t only pull a hamstring, but get the muscles warm to perform at our peak. This should be true for golf. Whether it be for the next Club Championship, or the casual round with friends, being ready to play will not only shave a few strokes off, but will also help make it more enjoyable. With a proper warm-up routine, we can increase performance, prevent injury and increase the longevity of playing the game.

Hitting golf balls before you play is important, but warm-up should go beyond on the range. Focusing on balance, mobility and strength before you take your first swing are keys to success. Using a dynamic workout-meaning moving the body through in lunges, shoulder mobility etc. and not a static warm up (holding stretches for a prolonged period of time) will get the blood flowing and the muscles ready. Simple little moves can also be beneficial when you don’t have a chance to hit the range.

Check out this YouTube video on a few warm-up moves and try these before you hit the first tee, (or even in your living room).

But let’s not forget about our mind. Mental strength is also important. Tension is not our friend in golf so using your breath to calm the mind and loosen your grip will help increase range of motion and in turn increase our good shots! Try this….Take a long breath in through your nose counting to 7 seconds and really expanding your belly, hold at the top for 5 seconds and let your breath out again through your nose for 7 more seconds. Repeat this 3 to 5 times and notice the change in muscle tension. Feel better? Imagine doing this on the first tee, on the golf course in between shots, or walking down the fairway. All perfect times to get your mind right and prepared for your next shot.

Cheers to a happy and healthy game!

Author Bio: Ashley Wood, a PGA of America Professional and a certified fitness professional, is one of the Head Golf Professionals at the Lake Tahoe community of Incline Village. She previously served as the Head PGA Professional and Director of Fitness at the prestigious Presidio Golf & Concordia Club in San Francisco, from 2016-2019. She attended graduate school at SDSU earning a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology with emphasis in athletic development and sports and exercise psychology. Ashley has a passion for helping others live a happy and healthy lifestyle through the game of golf. To contact Ashley directly please email at aew@ivgid.org or call (775) 832-1339.

To learn more about Ashley and The Mountain Course at Incline Village, head to the Incline Village website.

How To Take Free Relief From a Cart Path

free-relief-from-a-cart-path

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How To Take Free Relief From a Cart Path

We probably all know that we can take  free relief from a cart path (when our ball is sitting on a cart path) but in this video I explain exactly how to take free relief from the cart path.

First Step - Determine Your Nearest Point Of Relief

You will first want to determine your “nearest point of relief”, and that isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Many players think they get to pick and choose where they can take their drop, but unfortunately that’s not exactly true. You must find your “nearest point of relief” and it’s not necessarily on the side of the path that you think or where you want it to be.

In this scenario, after we went through the steps shown on the video to determine which side of the path Karen could take her free drop on, she was happy it happened to be on the fairway side of this cart path, and not the side of the tall rough, which could have resulted in a undesirable lie. (Of course an “undesirable lie” does not warrant free relief! 

Second Step - Measuring   (Little Known Fact)

In order to determine your nearest point of relief, you must use the club you intend to use for your swing. But after you’ve found that point, then you get up to one additional club length, and that can be measured with any club you want. This is a very little known fact, but can be useful!

TIP: One club length or two?  You get up to one additional club length if it is a free drop, and up to two additional club lengths if it is a drop that is costing you a penalty stroke. 

Third Step - Take Your Drop And Be Sure Your Ball Doesn't Roll Too Far

When you’re ready to take your drop, you will want to watch where it hit the ground and where it ends up because if it rolls either more than two club lengths from the point where it touched the ground, or closer to the hole, or back to where you don’t have complete relief, then you’ll need to drop again.

How many times can you drop it before placing it? It’s two attempts at a good drop, and if neither of those are “good”, then you may place the ball (as shown on the video) where it hit the ground on the second drop.

You Must Take Complete Relief

My husband actually had a penalty in a tournament because he had taken free relief from an immovable obstruction/cart path, but when he dropped his ball, his new spot to play from still required him to have a potion of his foot on the cart path. The rules say you must take “complete relief” so having a foot stand on the path was not “complete relief”. He took second instead of first in that tournament, and was quite bummed that his fellow competitor was so anxious to tell him this after he hit his ball, and not before he swung.

Local Rule -  Stones Near The Cart Path

At The Santaluz Club, where Karen and I were playing during this video, there are stones near the cart path that have been designated as part of the actual path, as a local rule. You’ll see in the video t hat I was going to put a tee in the ground on the opposite side of the cart path, but then decided against it because my ball would be sitting on rocks, which would still be considered cart path, and therefore not complete relief.

You may also always play the ball as it lies, as I chose to do in this video above since the stones directly adjacent to the cement cart path are considered cart path under a local rule.

TIP: It’s important to take a peek at the back of the scorecard or the rules for a tournament before you begin your round as there may be local rules that can help you during your round. 

As you can see from this video above, sometimes you might want to just try to hit the ball from where it lies on the cart path. Be careful, though!

The Nitty Gritty On The Actual Rule From USGA’s Website:

24-2. Immovable Obstruction

a. Interference

Interference by an immovable obstruction occurs when a ball lies in or on the obstruction, or when the obstruction interferes with the player’s stance or the area of his intended swing. If the player’s ball lies on the putting green, interference also occurs if an immovable obstruction on the putting green intervenes on his line of putt. Otherwise, intervention on the line of play is not, of itself, interference under this Rule.

b. Relief

Except when the ball is in a water hazard or a lateral water hazard, a player may take relief from interference by an immovable obstruction as follows:

(i)

Through the Green: If the ball lies through the green, the player must lift the ball and drop it, without penalty, within one club-length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief. The nearest point of relief must not be in a hazard or on a putting green. When the ball is dropped within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, the ball must first strike a part of the course at a spot that avoids interference by the immovable obstruction and is not in a hazard and not on a putting green.

Yes, there’s a ton of golf rules,  but I hope my videos and posts are helping you!  Stay tuned for updates on the new rules of golf for 2019!

How To Tend The Flagstick On The Green

How to tend the flagstick on the green

How To Tend The Flagstick On The Green

I’m all about golf etiquette and especially pace-of-play, so knowing where you should stand,  what you should say, and how to tend the flagstick on the green is important!

We’ve played with people who don’t pay attention and walk away without even considering where everyone lies on the green. You’ll need to think about where each player’s ball is on the green (so you don’t walk on their line), and who is furthest away (which means they will putt first) and may need you to attend the flag for them.

Yes, the rules will change in 2019 and there will no longer be a penalty when your ball hits the flagstick, but that doesn’t mean every player is going to want it left in the hole.

Remember, pace-of-play is the single most important part of golf (right after the cute outfits) so when you are not keeping up with the players ahead of you and/or the foursome behind you is breathing down your neck, picking up! 

How To Tend The Flagstick On The Green

Watch my buddy David Blake, rules official, explain how to tend the flagstick. 

You may think this is too basic and remedial, but seriously guys, knowing how to tend the flagstick is important! No one wants stress or confusion when they’re about to sink a long putt for birdie!

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