Happy springtime, golfers!
ARE YOU READY TO PLAY?
Put away your skis and boards and dig out those clubs (and maybe your rain gear) because some courses are already open for play. Can State Days be far away? Nope, in fact our first State Days are only 2 days away:
- May 2 – Brattleboro Country Club (registration closes May 1 @ 8:00am)
- May 2 – Burlington Country Club (full with a waitlist)
- May 8 – Links at Lang Farm (registration closes May 4 @ 8:00am)
- May 9 – Alburg Golf Links (registration closes May 4 @ 8:00am)
And there are already 7 other State Days open for registration on Golf Genius. Remember that this year, registration opens THREE weeks in advance. So get yourself signed up with your group, or just throw yourself into a tee time as a single and play with some new folks.
Not quite sure how to register for an event? The amazing Amy Mason has created a comprehensive explainer video that you can also find on our home page (on the left side under the Register section). It’ll answer all your questions about registering with Golf Genius.
APRIL SHOWERS BRING NEW MEMBERS!
Five new VSWGA members joined in April. They swell our ranks to 411 members. We’re getting closer to Linda Jane’s goal of 500. Keep inviting your friends and playing partners to join the VSWGA. I mean, it is where all the cool women play golf together.If you are a new member and you missed the orientation for new members, drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can direct you to a recording of the orientation.
WANT TO REPRESENT THE GREEN?
Would you like to defend the honor of Vermont against our pesky neighbors New Hampshire and Maine? Then consider applying to be part of our team for Tri-State Championship, to be held June 13-14 at Martindale Country Club in Auburn, ME. This is a super fun 2-day match play tournament (and you get to wear some pretty cool Vermont green shirts!).
Check out the description of the criteria for selecting the team and definitely consider putting your name in the mix of possible players. Everyone with a handicap under 30 is encouraged to apply by registering and selecting “add to pending list”.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE THOSE RATING NUMBERS?
Have you noticed on your scorecard those little numbers, called course and slope ratings (e.g., Stowe CC 68.6/119)? Ever wonder who determines which is the #1 handicap hole on the course? Well, it’s done by the course raters and if you’d like to become one, the VGA is looking to train new course rating volunteers. If you are interested, please email John Goodchild of the VGA at to learn more.
And FYI, the Course Rating (e.g., 68.6) is the score a scratch golfer is expected to shoot 50% of the time. The USGA describes the less intuitive Slope Rating (e.g., 119) in this way: “Playing length and obstacles impact higher-handicap players more than lower-handicap players, and Slope Rating measures the relative difficulty of a golf course for players who are not scratch players compared to those who are scratch players.” A standard difficulty Slope Rating is 113.
HOW DO I KEEP THINGS MOVING OUT THERE?
Your correct position on the course is immediately behind the group in front of you, not immediately in front of the group behind you. So what do you do if your foursome starts to lag behind?
One strategy is the cleverly named “Split up to Catch up.” Here’s how it works:
When you get to the green, two people putt out and start moving to the next tee before the other two putt out. Once those first two are at the next tee box, they tee off. If the other two have caught up, then those two also tee off. If they have not caught up, the first two move ahead continuing play until the second two behind catch up to them. Keep doing this split process until you catch up, that is until you see the team ahead of you in the fairway or on the green as all four of you are on the tee box.
At first, it might seem a little rude to be running off to the next tee before the rest of your foursome has finished putting. But believe me, it’s less rude than slowing down the whole field. So give it a try when needed. It works!
And if you want to remember how you can speed up your individual play, check out this great video.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL MUD-SEASON GOLF RULES?
Well, there aren’t any special ‘mud season’ rules, just like there aren’t any special ‘my ball is lost in all that beautiful pile of colorful fall leaves’ rules. But there are some key rules that you’ll want to be clear on during our potentially damp spring play.
Q.My ball is in a fairway in a puddle of water (temporary water) – what are my options?
A.Your ball is in what the Rules call “temporary water.” You may play your ball as it lies or take free relief. You take free relief by finding the nearest point of complete relief where you are clear of the puddle and then drop your original ball or another ball away from the puddle and within one club-length of that point not nearer the hole (see Rule 16.1b). You may also take relief from a puddle of water if your ball is in a bunker or on the putting green (see Rule 16.1c for the bunker or Rule 16.1d for the putting green), but you do not get relief from a puddle inside a penalty area.
Q.My ball is stuck in the ground (embedded in it’s own pitchmark) – what are my options?
A.You may play it as it lies or take free relief by dropping the ball within one club-length of the spot right behind where the ball is embedded (see Rule 16.3b).
Q.I think my ball is stuck in the ground (embedded), but I can’t find it – how do I proceed?
A.If you can’t find your ball within three minutes, it is lost. Because it is lost, you must return to the spot of your previous stroke and play another ball for one penalty stroke (see Rule 18.2b). If you had a sense this was going to happen, this would have been a great time to have thought to hit a provisional ball. You’d get bonus points in both our Pace of Play and Rules of Golf initiatives. 🙂
And if you want a little more rules practice, here’s our monthly online rules quiz.
Here’s to a great start of the season. Have fun out there! And yes, I’m still talking to you Pamela. Thanks for being part of the VSWGA!