Today, we got our badges to work the driving range at the Waste Management Phoenix Open when the tournament comes to town next week. It’s quite an honor. Apparently, in years past, tour players have asked for Golf Academy students to run the range because they’ve done such a good job, and that’s why we have the privilege. This year marks the 80th Anniversary of the Phoenix Open. My shift is next Friday from 6:30a-1:00p. I’m anxiously awaiting the tee sheet so I can see who’s playing and when.
A lot of people think the rules of golf are tedious and boring, but in class today, we had an animated discussion as we reviewed our Tournament Entrance Exam from the other day. In a class of 27 people, there was just one A on the 36-question test. Here were some of the highlights:
- Out of Bounds is identified by white lines, property lines, and white stakes
- A player has addressed the ball when he has grounded his club immediately behind or in front of the ball
- A paper cup would not be considered a loose impediment; it’s an obstruction because it’s man made.
- A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies out of bounds.
- The teeing ground is two club-lengths in depth and rectangular in shape regardless of the shape of the tee box.
- Ground under repair includes material piled for removal even if not so marked.
- Through the green is the whole area of the course except the teeing ground of the hole being played, the putting green of the hole being played, and all the hazards on the course.
After a short break, it was on to Mechanics of the Short Game. We looked at some putting stats from the PGA Tour last season and why the short game is so important. Sixty to 65% of strokes are played from 100 yards and in (43% of those are putts)! Harvey Penick, one of the greatest golf teachers of all time, believed that 90% of practice time should be spent on the short game. Take this quiz on the crucial elements of putting, and see how much you know about rolling the rock:
1.) _____ Putter face angle; both at address and at impact; crucial to accuracy
2.) _____ A slight arc that decreases as you get closer to the hole
3.) _____ Applying consistency with varying lengths of stroke
4.) _____ Difficult to teach; acquired skill over time
5.) _____ From the upper arms, not the wrists and hands
6.) _____ Consistency with this reduces tension
7.) _____ Necessary in the lower body for accurate putting
8.) _____ Proper length should allow arms to hang freely below the shoulders
9.) _____ The most important aspect in putting is believing that you’re a good putter
A – Aim
B – Attitude
C – Green Reading
D – Path
E – Power Source
F – Putter Fitting
G – Routine
H – Rhythm
I – Stability
I’m playing a practice round at Oakwood Golf Club tomorrow in preparation for Monday’s shotgun tournament.