Are You Competitive?

Are you competitive?

Do you consider yourself a competitive person? If you’re an elite athlete, you’re probably a very competitive person by nature. But what about the recreational golfer? Do you need to be competitive in order to enter and enjoy tournaments?

I’ve played in dozens of tournaments like the member/member, member/guest, member/pro, club championship, season-long match play and couples tournaments.

Are they “serious tournaments”? Well, yes and no.

They’re tournaments with a format and rules to follow, and play is governed by the USGA rules of golf. And no, you can’t take a breakfast ball! 😂 Golf is a gentleman’s sport (gentle person really) and relies on the integrity of the players.

matching golf outfits is one of our favorite things about ladies' tournaments

Country Club golf is supposed to be fun. My two home courses Lahontan Golf Club and The Santaluz Club go to great efforts and expense to create fun, beautiful, festive women’s events for their members and their guests. We’ve truly had some of the best experiences of our lives at these tournaments. The food, the flowers, the music… and the wonderful ladies who join are all so much fun!

I think these types of events are “competitive light”. In other words, the rules are followed, but most of the ladies are there to enjoy the festivities, have a few cocktails and play the best rounds they can (without getting up at 5am to warm up for two hours). Most of the ladies take their bad luck and bad shots with a grain of salt and even when they’re no longer in the running for a trophy, they root for their girlfriends.

I find our ladies to be competitive in that they show up to a tournament with hopes of winning a trophy, but aren’t so invested that they are disappointed when things don’t go as well as they would have liked.

They try their best, but don’t beat themselves up. They focus but don’t lose sight of the cocktail hour after the round. They spend more time working on matching outfits than practicing their bunker shots. I call it “competitive light” because it’s fun to bring a trophy home, but even more fun to be with our girlfriends, where we can laugh and enjoy the golf lifestyle that is ohhhh, so good.

The Santaluz Club always serves delicious, healthy food during their ladies tournaments!

7 Gifts For Golfers Under $40

7 Gifts For Golfers Under $40

It’s that time of year again when you have to get creative and somehow find gifts your friends & family will love. In my efforts to help,  I’ve found the 7 best gifts for golfers under $40 that won’t break the bank! 

Magnetic Rangefinder Case

If you have a range finder then you know how hard it is to keep track of it in the cart. This magnetic rangefinder case is the perfect way to keep your rangefinder in sight and ready to shoot your distance to the pin. 

Tumbler That Fits In The Golf Cart Cup Holder

This Classic Tumbler from Simple Modern comes in several colors and size options and fits into a golf cart cup holder, making it the perfect way to bring your coffee, iced tea, flavored waters (or something a little stronger) out on the course with you! 

Warm Beanie

Keeping your head and ears warm is a key element to enjoying  your round in the winter. This Daily Sports beanie with floral embroidery will make you a bit more comfy out there. 

Putt For Dough

Does the phrase”drive for show, putt for dough” resonate with you? Putting is everything and this Puttout Pressure Putt Trainer comes in five colors and folds up nicely for storage. And it rewards you for an accurate putt by pushing the ball back to you. 

You Can't Go Wrong With Golf Gloves

These FootJoy FJ Spectrum golf gloves come in 12 different colors, so why not grab a few for stocking stuffers? I love the dark fuchsia, camp blue and light pink if anyone’s shopping for me!

Personalized Balls

Everyone can use more golf balls, right?  Having personalized balls means not having to mark them with a dot or line, saving you a couple of minutes at the first tee, and giving you more time  for a practice swing and deep breath. 

Throwing Some Shade... On Her Face

I’m one of those people who gets a headache if my visor is on too tight, so I totally appreciate the adjustable coil on this slate gray visor from GloveIt. I have a ton of these in lots of colors and love their durability and look. 

There aren’t many shopping days left, so I hope this gets you off to a good start, or at least gets your creative juices flowing form some fun, inexpensive gifts for the golfers in your life. 


What are your favorite little golf tools and accessories?

Defined Areas of the Course

It may seem silly to describe the areas of the course in a video, especially if you have already been playing for a while. However, in 2019 the new rules of golf contain quite a few new terms. Knowing the Defined Areas of The Course will help you understand which rules apply (or don’t apply) in certain areas of the course.

Continue reading

Accidental Double Hit

Accidental Double Hit is No Longer a Penalty!

One of the changes that I’m really happy about is Rule 10.1 – an accidental double hit is no longer a penalty!

If you accidentally double hit your ball (which can happen sometimes when when you’re in a rough or when you’re in a bunker) there is no longer a penalty.  And it can happen anywhere on the course. Just play it as it lies and go on with your round! Pretty cool, huh?

The Nitty Gritty:

Rule 10.1a (USGA)

If the player’s club accidentally hits the ball more than once, there has been only one stroke and there is no penalty.

Check out USGA’s site for exceptions and further details, but we can breathe a sigh of relief here. 

Ball In Motion Accidentally Hits a Person or Outside Influence

Rule 11 Ball In Motion Accidentally Hits a Person or Outside Influence

According to rule 11, when a ball in motion accidentally hits a person or Outside Influence*, no problem no penalty. This includes any person, yourself, animal, or equipment. You would play the ball as it lies.

There is an exception on the putting green:

“If the player’s ball in motion hits another ball at rest on the putting green and both balls were on the putting green before the stroke, the player gets the General Penalty.” (Page 91 of Rules of Golf 2019)

The Nitty Gritty:

Rule 11.1a (USGA)

If a player’s ball in motion accidentally hits any person or Outside Influence*:

  • There is no penalty to any player

This is true even if the ball hits the player themselves, the opponent, any other player, a caddie or anyone’s equipment.

*Outside Influence: Any of these people or things that can affect what happens to your ball or equipment or to the course: Any person (including another player), except you or your caddie or your partner or opponent or any of their caddies, any animal, and any natural or artificial object or anything else (including another ball in motion), except for natural forces.

How To Take 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:


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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