I am currently playing on a regional or country course in Central Victoria and learning a lot about country people and their special ways of playing golf. In a previous post called The sand trap is on the green we looked at sand scrapes which are greens without green. You need to rake a path from the hole to your ball and putt along the sand to get in the hole.
However the scrapes need a lot of care and attention.
And at our course, a big wind or a flock of cockies can leave the fairway scattered with eucalyptus branches. To clear them the club captain asks for volunteers to give their time and energy to removing the debris.
This is a real demonstration of members’ contribution to their sport and to the club.
My cousin Graham plays at a Par 3 in Adelaide which looks easy but is certainly not easy. I played really badly and I can only blame the foreign golf clubs. He normally plays with his brother -in-law, Barry, but today Barry cannot play golf because of a recent back operation.
However Barry can walk with us and critique our shots. He can also adjudicate by giving his interpretation of the Rules of Golf. Who says that local golf rules should conform to foreign golf rules?
In fact the taking of divots could almost be a filter for the type of golfer you are.
When you see the champs on TV, they always take a divot (usually quite a large one) except, of course, when driving or putting. Coaches will tell you that you should look at the direction of the divot to see if you are impacting the ball correctly. It’s supposed to be the size of a dollar bill…well maybe a five dollar bill since we have dollar coins.
When you play with the locals, however, there is usually a distinct lack of divots or the divots are totally in the wrong place…behind the ball. They can’t all be wrong, can they?