More Questions From Regular Clients

qna How do I approach playing out of a fairway bunker as opposed to a greenside bunker?
From a fairway bunker, you want to hit the ball first. In a greenside bunker, you want to hit the sand first. For a fairway bunker shot, take one more club than you would for a fairway shot of the same distance, play the ball one ballwidth farther back in your stance, and keep the lower body quiet during the backswing. If you dig into
the sand a little with your stance, you also should choke down on the grip the corresponding amount.

On a scorecard, what do the rating numbers on each hole mean?
These are the handicap numbers, which determine the order someone in a handicap match will receive strokes. A golfer receiving three strokes will receive one stroke on the holes with the handicap numbers 1, 2, and 3.

Why are handicap numbers even on the front nine and odd on the back nine?
This is to assure the same number of strokes is given on the front nine and the back nine. For example, if someone is receiving 10 handicap strokes from his opponent, this would ensure he receives five strokes on each nine.

How far behind the tee markers must I stand?

There is no “must” for a specific distance, but you may tee the ball as many as two clublengths behind the front of the markers.

Is it all right to stand out of bounds to hit a ball that is in bounds?
Yes. The thing that matters is that the ball is in bounds.

What is the difference between red and yellow stakes?
ed stakes denote a lateral water hazard while yellow stakes denote a regular water hazard. The main difference is that, with a red-staked hazard, the player may drop within two clublengths, no closer to the hole, from where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard. Such a procedure is not allowed with a regular water hazard.

Why do I sometimes incur a one-stroke penalty and sometimes a two-stroke penalty for various rule infringements?

If a procedure is broken, such as causing a ball to move while it is in play, this generally results in a one-stroke penalty. If a Rule is broken, such as starting with 15 clubs, then this generally calls for a two-stroke penalty.

I always hear teachers talk about weak, strong, and neutral regarding my golf grip. I’ve always been too self-conscious to ask what this means. Please explain.
A neutral grip features the V’s of both hands pointing approximately halfway between the  chin and rear shoulder. A strong grip has the V’s pointing to the rear shoulder or farther back, while a weak grip has the V’s pointing to the chin or more forward.

I’m confused when I hear commentators referring to chipping and pitching. I always thought chipping was a low shot close to the green that runs toward the hole and pitching was from slightly farther back and a more lofted shot. These commentators seem to confuse these terms. Am I correct in my assumption?
Yes! You must remember, though, that many in the viewing audience are not savvy golfers, so using one term to describe all short shots around the green is easier for some people to grasp, even if not entirely accurate.

Why can’t I get the distance I feel I should off the tee? I’m 6’3”, young and strong and play many sports but frustrated at not getting the distance I feel that I should.
Golf is a very technique-dependent sport. To get maximum distance off the tee, the setup must be fundamentally correct, the backswing must have the lower body responding to the upper body, and the downswing must feature the unwinding sequence of lower body, torso, shoulders, arms, and hands. If you are not doing this, you will not hit the ball as far as you are capable.

Why do my shots not go where I think I am aiming?
The key here is where you “think” you are aiming. Most amateurs, in all honesty, do not aim properly. You are undoubtedly aimed too far right or left. If you aim so that your stance and body lines are parallel with the target line, and you develop a swing path that travels down the target line, you should see much improvement in this area.

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