There was a collective sigh of relief last week from members of my favourite Golf Society in Thailand, the Mainly Unquenchables Golf Society (the MUGS). One long-time member, Alistair – a Desperate Dan look-alike with a dry sense of humour and what he describes as a ‘power fade’ (i.e. a huge slice) – brought along to the MUGS “clubhouse”, the Limping Cockroach pub, a DVD which he had somehow acquired. This apparently demonstrates that common warm-up routines may be robbing us of our strength and energy before we even approach the first tee. In the DVD, "Par and Beyond Secrets to Better Golf," Dr. Jerry V. Teplitz explains the “Meridian Acupuncture” lines in the human body and how these energy fields affect your golf game. It seems that when we take practice swings, we are interfering with and reducing the flow of energy in our body and our ability to drive the ball farther. To prevent this, Dr.Teplitz advises, simply take your practice swings and then rub your stomach along the “Spleen Meridian” line to restore the energy in your body. To order your copy or find out more about the DVD, visit www.golf-help.info. This all came as great news to most MUGS members, many of whom can be seen red-faced, wheezing and gasping as they approach the first tee, having tried in vain to follow the latest warm-up advice, but failing even to touch their knees, let alone their toes (which most have not seen in years). Alistair’s plan was to explain to his caddie about the “Spleen Meridian” line so that she would know exactly where to rub. All this was of little interest to one MUGS member, 4-handicapper, ginger-haired, John, whose pre-game routine is to lay waste to a large bowl of spicy noodle soup, washed down with a big bottle of Singha beer. Invariably, he then strolls to the first tee and dissects the fairway with his opening drive.
It was John who caused another rules argument on the last MUGS outing to Lakewood Golf & Country Club in Bangkok. He had hit a great shot on the par three fifth hole on the Rock course to within a foot of the pin. One of the other players in his four-ball, loss-adjuster Robert, was short of the green, chipped on, and knocked John’s ball into the hole. John claimed that he had the right to either replace his ball where it had been, or to leave it where it finished, i.e. in the hole. So he claimed a birdie two. The MUGS organiser, Charlie (a.k.a. the “Ayatollah Hogmanay”) was called upon to give a ruling. He decided that what John was claiming was an old rule and he had in fact scored four. Charlie explained this is now covered in Rule 18-5, Ball at Rest Moved by Another Ball. There is no penalty to either player as long as the following procedure is adhered to: The person whose shot struck the ball at rest plays his ball as it lies; the person whose ball was moved returns the ball to its original position. Failure to replace the ball that was moved to its original spot; as in John’s case, results in loss of hole in match play or a 2-stroke penalty in stroke play.
If you have had to seek a ruling on an unusual happening on the golf course, please post it, or email it to me and I will do the rest.
Play fast, swing slow.