Tee to Green

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2016 Golf Shop Harvest Sale
***Guest Welcome***
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The Fall Classic is a Professional/Amateur Event
1 Golf Professional with 3 Amateurs counting 2 best
balls of 4.  There are both net and gross divisions.   

The Adventures of Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green

Escaping from thick rough

The heat and lack of rain this summer kept our rough lean...lean rough equals easier recovery. The temperatures have been cooler and the reduced stress has our turf growing with vigor.  This surprised Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green, Catawba Island Club's newest members, as they got back on the golf course following aeration.  Both Dormie and Rubbo found the first three four fairways, but it was on the fifth hole that they discovered the thick rough.  Concerned about not getting enough roll to get around the corner they had aimed farther left.  Both pulled their tee shots and fished about 10-yards off the fairway.  Dormie played first and selected a 4-iron.  He wasn't able to make clean contact and the shot came out low and left.  Rubbo selected a 6-iron for a little more loft.  His shot came out with a better trajectory but also went left of his intended target.

After finishing the 11th hole they stopped in to the Golf Shop for a bloody mary and ran into Ben.  They took the opportunity to tell Ben about their shots on the fifth hole and ask what they should have done differently.  Ben suggested:

First, make sure to select a club with enough loft. This will improve your chance of getting down to the ball and getting the ball up in air and out of the grass faster.  

Second, open the clubface.  As the club enters the turf the grass will 'grab' the club's hozzle and begin to shut the clubface.  If you set-up square the face will be closed at impact.  Setting up with an open face allows the club to be square at impact.  

Third, be sure to swing down into the ball....a steeper angle.  A steeper angle will improve your chances of getting down to the ball and to make better contact.

Bloody Marys in hand and a new perspective on how to hit out of the rough Dormie and Rubbo head out to face the rest of the back nine.


The Adventures of Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green
Options for a Lateral Water Hazard

If you recall the last time we had both Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green - Catawba Island Club's newest members -  together Rubbo was getting ready to play a Burgee Cup match with Marty O'Shankessey. That morning Marty was hoping the match wouldn't take long as he wanted to get to the Burgee Bar early enough to secure a golf cart spot.

His anxiousness to get on the course and almost having to forfeit for agreeing to waive the rules had him a little discombobulated - he lost the first two holes. Marty was able to regain his composure and won the third hole with a birdie and stood on the fourth tee with the honors.

Marty hit a 3-wood up the right side with a little too much fade - it bounced once and landed in a bunker. Knowing that Marty was going to have a hard time getting to the green in regulation and wanting to add pressure Rubbo hit driver. He connected "on the screws" with a butter fade that carried the bunkers...a 75-yard wedge from the right side was all that remained

Marty was first to play. His ball was toward the front of the bunker and there was no way he could get the ball out high enough and get to the green. He decided that extricating his ball from the bunker was the priority. Hitting a sand wedge he hit the ball about 30-yards, safely in the fairway....but he was still away.

Not wanting to waste time and knowing that he was likely to lose the hole Marty quickly raked the bunker and walked directly to the ball, gauging the distance with his eyes and cross referencing with an irrigation head. A smooth swing with the same club and Marty was safely in the middle of the green with about a 25-foot putt for par.

While Marty was playing Rubbo had been surveying his shot.  He had 75-yards left to back right flag - a good distance but not without difficulty.  The distance had to be spot on as he still had to carry the water and did not have much green to work with. Rubbo did not think Marty would make the par putt -- the fourth green is diabolically well designed -- but Rubbo wanted to make birdie and significantly shift the momentum. He double checked the yardage to the flag and to the top of the bank with his Leupold range finder (available for less than minimum advertised price) in the CIC Golf Shop).  He stood behind the ball visualizing the shot.  As Rubbo addressed the ball he felt relaxed and loose. A slight forward press of the hands to trigger the back swing, rotating the shoulders, keeping the lower body quite....hands to shoulder height for a three-quarter swing all while keeping his spine angle consistent. Dormie's downswing started with the slightest weight shift into his left knee and BLAAAAAAAAAM.....a car horn from cemetery road right as he started his downswing -- obviously someone coming from "FOOD BEER". The horn caused Dormie to raise his head, drop his shoulder and lay the sod over the ball -- he hit it fat.

The ball flew seventy yards landing just above the hazard line and bounced into the water. Dormie sent a hand single to the disappearing car and then blankly stared at the green mentally surveying his options. He counted...off the tee in 1, 2 in the water, drop 3, he would be playing his fourth shot.  Now he need to determine where he would take his drop....

Option 1:  His first option would be to drop right right where he stood, but he didn't feel confident about holing out from 75-yards and getting close from that angle would still require a well executed shot.
Option 2:  The second option would be to drop within two club lengths from where the ball crossed the hazard line - no closer to the hole. From where the ball crossed the hazard line this would leave a side hill chip out of the deeper rough.  This was better than the first option but still not enticing.
Option 3:  A third option would be to drop somewhere along a line extending as far back as he wanted as long as the spot where the ball crossed the hazard stayed between him and the flag.  This was the best option so far as he could determine a comfortable distance and the angle would be better.
Option 4:  The fourth option would be to go to the other side of the pond.  He would have to drop a distance equal to the distance from the flag if he chose option 1.  Quickly he eliminated this option as finding an equal distance wouldn't be possible.

Now you might be thinking that Rubbo took five minutes to think about all his options.  Knowing this rule well it too less than 1-minute to mentally review the options.  He walked toward the front of the pond and politely asked Marty to point with his club the spot where the ball crossed the hazard and then place a tee in the spot.  Keeping that tee between himself and the flag Rubbo went back about 45-yards from the flag.  This was a distance he had been practicing and the new angle afforded him more green to work with and an uphill slope to slow down the ball.  He extended his arm out the side at shoulder height and dropped the ball.

Setting up much the same and making a smooth swing he hit a low boring shot that took one big bounce and then rolled past the flag about 10-feet. Marty indeed missed his par putt but tapped in for bogey. Rubbo realizing that he still had a chance to make bogey and halve the hole confidently set-up to the putt.  A smooth stroke and the ball rolled gently into the hole. 

The Adventures of Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green
How to play from a downhill lie

The terrain around Catawba is very subtle with only slight undulations throughout the golf course.  It is rare that you have a true downhill lie, but the wet weather has returned and the ball isn't rolling as much.  This increases the chance that your ball will stop on a down slope.  Let's look in on Dormie McDuff - one of Catawba Island Club's newest members as a takes an on course lesson from Patrick. 

Dormie has been getting better as the season progresses.  The lessons and diligent practice have led to significant improvements but he felt that there was something missing.  He asked Patrick to go out for a playing lesson -- nine holes with information on things like strategy, club selection, specific shot execution and so forth.  So on a random Sunday afternoon they loaded up and headed to the first tee.

The lesson progressed well with Patrick helping Dormie on making club selections based on pin location and wind; he made a few alignment adjustments; and helped with reading the greens.  As they finished the 9th hole Dormie asked Patrick if he had time to play one more and added that he has been struggling with the 10th hole. After being in position to make birdie multiple times he usually finishes with a bogey or worse.

Dormie hit what looked like a great drive down the right side.  Walking off the tee he commented that he felt very comfortable with the tee shot but it was the second shot where he got in trouble.  When they arrived to Dormie's ball they found that it had stopped on the fairway down slope.  Patrick posed the question "So this is a difficult lie, what are you thinking?"  Dormie replied "The distance to the green is fine...it would be a three or four iron but I'm not used to hitting off a down slope."  "Well, the safe play would be to lay up with a wedge to a comfortable distance, bu
t since this a playing lesson let's see what you can do and I will help with any adjustments," Patrick offered.

Dormie used his range finder to determine an exact distance, selected a 3-iron, and set-up to the ball.  He took a normal, smooth swing but the ball took off low and to the right finishing in the trees.  He looked up with an exasperated expression and commented "that's how I go from potential birdie to a certain bogey."  Patrick grinned consolingly and offered "this will be an easy fix."

He went on to explain, "The first thing to adjust when faced with a downhill lie is the trajectory.  The ball will fly lower with less spin and although it may not carry as far will almost certainly roll-out more.  To account for this I suggest dropping one club.  You used a 3-iron so let's drop it down to a 4-iron.  The next thing is to set-up with the slope.  This means placing a little more of your weight onto your front foot at set-up and angling your body parallel to the slope -- knees, hips, and especially shoulders parallel with the slope -- this ensures that you will swing along the slope. The last thing to adjust is to set the ball slightly back in your stance - this helps to hit the ball first."

Dormie switched clubs, grabbing the 4-iron, and set-up as Patrick had instructed.  Again, he took a nice smooth swing and this time made much cleaner contact.  The ball launched low but higher than the previous shot and this time right online.  The ball carried the bunker and took off running -- finishing in the middle of the green.  Smiling he returned to the cart where Patrick welcomed him with "now let's go see if I can show you how to get up and down from trees."

Three tips for playing from a downhill lie
1)  Select 1-less club.  If the yardage would normally require a 7-iron go with an 8-iron.
2)  Set-up mirroring the slope.  This means weight slightly forward and your shoulders, hips, and knees parallel with the slope.
3)  Move the ball back in your stance slightly...about an inch.

The Adventures of Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green

Rule 1-3:  Agreeing to waive the rules

Depending on who you ask or where you look the original 13-rules were written in 1744 specifically for the Annual Challenge for the Edinburgh Silver Club....now there are 34 that cover play, equipment, procedure, and even decisions. It is likely that most of us reading this would agree that the rules of golf are complicated and intimidating.  What is intended to establish order often creates chaos....but as much as we would like to Rule 1-3:  Players must not agree to exclude the operation of any Rule or to waive any penalty incurred.

Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green were loitering in the Golf Shop in advance of Rubbo's Burgee Cup match.  Rubbo had made it to the semi-finals. Dormie having been eliminated in an earlier round was planning on practicing his wedge game after Rubbo started the match.  Both Rubbo and Dormie were in the Golf Shop's lower section watching Olympic highlights and commenting on the casual Salute apparel when Rubbo's opponent, Marty O'Shankessey, entered the Golf Shop.

Marty greeted them with a hearty, "Good morning, fellas," and immediately approached Rubbo with a hand extended for a shake.  While the two were shaking hands Marty offered, "Hey Rubbo, I've got to get to an important meeting early this afternoon and I was thinking, since we are both good putters, to save time why don't agree that any putts inside of 3-feet are good....should save a good bit of time."  Rubbo, being a good putter but having missed a few lately was thinking that this was a good idea and was about agree when all three heard Ken from the counter proffer, "not a good idea gentlemen."  Rubbo's almost words of agreement turned into, "why not?"  At the same time while Marty was thinking here we go again, Ken stepping in to enforce policy and procedure, Dormie spoke up - "you can't agree to waive the rules of golf. Rubbo, if you agree to this then you are both disqualified."  Rubbo gave him a questioning look.  Ken had reached the lower level by this point and offered, "in match play you are permitted to concede the next stroke but you are not allowed to agree to concede in advance.  By doing so you would be both be disqualified.  

Marty and Rubbo exchanged glances and simultaneous shoulder shrugs.  Marty broke the silence, "Well, as long we don't get held up on the course I should have time to get showered and to the meeting on time."  Ken offered "we will ride ahead and let everyone on course know about the Burgee Cup match and to let you play through."  All three nodded and proceeded to the carts.  With the "good lucks" and "play wells" passed around both players headed to the first tee.  

Epilogue - while on the first tee, waiting for Ken to clear the landing area on his way out to give notice to the proceeding groups Rubbo asked Marty, "what is this meeting all about, I thought you were retired?"  "I am."  Marty responded. "We are meeting at the Burgee Bar for drinks and if I don't get down there in time I will have park my golf cart all the way back by the Harbor Room."   

Adventures of Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green

Consistent Mid-range Wedges

Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D’Green discovered that the CIC Golf Professional Team is a great asset in their journey to lower scores and more enjoyment.  Another asset they discovered is the practice holes.  The two holes, a par-3 and a short par-5, located north of Moore’s Dock Road are open to all CIC members and wonderful for working on mid range wedge shots. 

Being able to properly execute – put the ball inside of 15-feet - a shot from 30 to 85 yards is critical to lowering your scores.  This skill will help you save par and make more birdies.  The key is confidence that comes with consistency.  To develop that consistency both Dormie and Rubbo, Catawba Island Club’s newest members were spending some time at the par-3 practice hole with a full shag bag.

The practice session started well but soon both members found that they were having difficulty hitting the ball with the consistency that they so desired.  They were so focused on their practice session they did not notice Kyle, a CIC Assistant Golf Professional taking a break from the oppressive heat.  Kyle had just finished giving a driving (tee shot) lesson on the par-5 practice hole and was on his way back to the Golf Shop when he notice Dormie and Rubbo.  It wasn’t difficult to identify that they were having difficulty as it seemed that every shot was different:  trajectory, distance, and roll-out.

After getting his body temperature back to normal Kyle went over to our newest members and offered a little assistance:

1. Keep your lower body quiet/still. Keeping the legs quite through the swing lessens the moving parts and makes the timing component of delivering the face at the same angle and square to the ball easier.

2. Stay balanced. Maintain a comfortable posture with the balance of your weight on the balls of your feet and slightly offset toward the lead foot.

3. Make room. Be careful not to cramp your arms too close to the body. With proper posture and the arms hanging loosely the end of the grip should be about a hands width away from your body.

4. Relax the grip. Keeping a light grip on the club will prevent the hands from becoming too engaged in the shot and altering the face angle.

Rules Quiz:  Loose Impediments

 The following questions are directly from the 2016-2017 Decisions on the Rules of Golf
Loose Impediment Definition:  "Loose impediments" are natural objects, including:  stones, leaves, twigs
branches and the like, dung, and worms, insects and the like, and the casts and heaps made by them,
provided they are not: fixed or growing, solidly embedded, or adhering to the ball.  Sand and loose soil are
loose impediments on the putting green, but not elsewhere.  Snow and natural ice, other than frost, are
either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player. Dew and frost are not loose impediments.

1.  When is a stone not considered a loose impediment?
2.  Is an ant hill a loose impediment?
3.  Is a fallen tree a loose impediment?
4.  Is an embedded acorn a loose impediment?
5.  A ball is embedded in an orange lying under an orange tree. What is the ruling?
6.  A half-eaten pear lies directly in front of a ball in a bunker and there is not pear tree in the vicinity of the bunker. In the circumstances, is the pear an obstruction rather than a loose impediment, in which case the player could remove it without penalty?

1.  If a stone is partially embedded and may be picked up with ease, it is a loose impediment.  When there is doubt as to whether a stone is a solidly embedded or not , it should not be removed.
2.  Yes. An ant hill is a cast or heap made by an insect.  A player is entitled to removed an ant hill under Rule 23-1.  Note:  The casts made by a burrowing animal is not considered a loose impediment.
3.  If the fallen tree is still attached to the stump, no; if the tree is not attached to the stump, yes.
4.  An embedded acorn is not a loose impediment if it is solidly embedded.
5. The player must play the ball as it lies or deem it unplayable.  Since the orange was adhering to the ball, it was not a loose impediment.
6.  No. A pear is a natural object.  When detached from a tree it is a loose impediment.  The fact that a pear has been half eaten and there is no pear tree in the vicinity does not alter the status of the pear. Note:  You are not permitted to move lose impediments in a hazard.

The Adventures of Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green

Avoiding 3-putts...the art of lag putting

You may have developed an a concept of Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green, Catawba Island Club's newest members, playing abilities. To clarify, both players are mid-range handicaps with a score range between high 70's and low 90's.  

Recently they were hanging out in the Golf Shop chit chatting with the CIC Golf Professional staff about their handicaps and how to shoot scores more consistently in the low 80's and high 70's.  Patrick, having extensive experience working with mid-range players started by asking about individual hole scores.  Dormie opened up and said that he typically had a few birdies but they were offset by triples and quadruples.  Patrick asked "Are you adjusting your scores before you enter them in GHIN?"  The expression on Dormie's face answered the question.  Patrick didn't wait for a verbal reply...

Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) is an adjustment of individual hole scores (for handicap purposes) in order to make handicaps more representative of a player's potential ability. It limits the number of strokes a player can take depending on course handicap.  ESC is applied after the round and is only used when the actual score or the most likely score exceeds a player’s maximum number.  For example the maximum individual hole score a player with a handicap between 10 and 19 is permitted to post is 7.  For a player with a handicap between 20 and 29 the score is 8.  A full description and range is available here: USGA Equitable Stroke Control

...Patrick walked over to the handicap computer and showed Dormie the print out next to the computer that outlines Equitable Stroke Control.  Dormie thanked him and commented "that will definitely make my handicap more accurately reflect my ability."  

Following up, Patrick asked Rubbo "so what is keeping you from maximizing your ability."  Rubbo replied "I am relatively consistent and do not make too many double or triples.  I end up making a bunch of bogeys and typically it is because of three putts."  Nodding knowingly, Patrick replied "I think I can help you with this one."

Of the two main reasons for missed putts - wrong distance or wrong line - distance control is the most common reason for three putts.  From the sidelines, Ben cracked "actually it is missing the second putt."   Ignoring Ben's comment Patrick continued, "The majority of three putts come from poor distance control on the first putt.  Here is a great tip for developing distance control: look at the hole while taking practice strokes or hit a few practice putts from different distances - not during the round - while looking at the hole.  Much like tossing a ball your eye judges the distance and the brain interpreting what the eyes see tells your muscles what to do.  Taking some time to practice hitting longer putts while looking at the hole will help develop the coordination.  Similarly, looking at the hole when taking practice strokes during the round will give you a feel of how long a stroke to use.

The Adventures of Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green
USGA Rule 20-3:  Placing and Replacing

The 11th hole at Catawba Island Club is a medium length dogleg right par 5.  There are two bunkers that protect the left side.  The right side has out of bounds and a healthy tree line. The best play is to hit the tee shot down the left side close to or beyond the bunkers.  However, last year we expanded the fairway to the left and closer to the tees.  The renovation was done to make the fairway wider but it also makes it easier to run a shot into the first bunker.

This is exactly what happened when Dormie McDuff AND Rubbo D'Green, Catawba Island Club's newest members, played last week.  That particular day the hole was playing downwind.  Both took aggressive lines hoping to sneak their tee shots past the bunker and take advantage of the firm fairways.  Unfortunately both players put too much draw (right to left) spin and the balls rolled into bunker instead of beyond. 

They arrived at the bunker and what they saw had them speechless....their golf balls had finished right next to each other....touching...Dormie's golf ball was leaning against Rubbo's.  Dormie broke the silence "Well Rubbo, any ideas?" Rubbo responded with an eloquent "Um, nope."  After talking it over a bit they decided that because Dormie would be the first to play that Rubbo would move his ball to a different part of the bunker.  Before Rubbo had a chance to pick up his ball Dormie said, "given our recent history with the rules why don't we call the Golf Shop and find out the proper procedure?"  Rubbo agreed.

Calling the Golf Shop they got Patrick on the phone and described the scenario.  Patrick then informed them that under rule 20-3 the correct procedure would be for:

-Rubbo (who is second to play) to, as best as possible, note the location of his ball and lift it out of the way.
-Dormie would proceed to hit his shot
-Following Dormie's shot, Rubbo would replace his ball, AFTER THE ORIGINAL LIE IS RESTORED, as best as possible to the original lie.  If you look closely in the photo the forward ball finished in it's own groove.  The groove should be recreated and the ball placed in that lie.  *The following example was provided in the "Decisions on the Rules of Golf"

20-3b/1 - Lie of Lifted Ball in Bunker Altered by Another Player's Stroke
Q:  The balls of A and B are in the same heel mark in a bunker.  B's ball is farther from the hole.  A lifts his ball under Rule 22-2, and B plays and obliterates the heel mark.  What should A do?
A:  Under Rule 20-3b A is required to recreate his original lie as nearly as possible, including the heel mark, and place his ball in that lie.

The Adventures of Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green
How to recover when your ball finishes in a divot

Catawba is in the midst of one of the driest summers we have experienced in many years.  Normally this wouldn't be a big deal except for one of the two irrigation pumps is down. Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green, Catawba Island Club's newest members, had noticed that the roughs seemed to be thinning and a little off color.  The tees, fairways, and greens are a little better but still much drier than to what they had become accustomed.  They both agreed that the contrast was really quite attractive and overall the course was playing really well -- they were getting lots of roll off the tee and the greens were still receptive.  During the most recent round they encountered Jeremy K.  - the assistant golf course superintendent - leading a crew that was doing some work in and around a bunker.

"What's going on here?" asked Rubbo.  "We are taking out all of the old sand which has become contaminated with soil and bit of clay and replacing it with good sand." replied Jeremy and continued, "we do one bunker at a time and have been working our way through the golf course.  We will be moving on to the 7th hole next."
"Well keep up the great work." Rubbo replied and gave a wave as he walked back toward the cart.  Dormie was little more intrigued and took the opportunity to ask Jeremy about how they were adjusting with only one pump.  "Well," Jeremy started, "we have a set time period to irrigate the entire golf course.  This is typically from around 8:30pm to right before the first tee time - around 7am.  We have to adjust/reduce the cycle time for all the irrigation heads so that the critical areas - greens, tees, and fairways." Dormie then asked, "Well, what about the roughs."  Jeremy let  him know that the roughs were not being irrigated, and added "the number one thing that will hurt the roughs during times like these is repeated cart traffic over an area."  

Feeling much more knowledgeable and appreciative of the nuances of maintaining the golf course to such high standards Dormie said "thanks" and waved good bye.  As he walked away he heard Jeremy add, "...and watch out for those divots."  Dormie didn't understand what he was talking about, but figured he find out soon enough.

They played the rest of the front nine without incident. On the 12th-hole they both hit great drives in the middle of the fairway.  Upon arriving at the balls Dormie found his in a divot with 145 yards to the green.   He selects a 9-iron and sets up like he would to any other shot. Unfortunately the result was a bladed line drive that hit the back portion of the green and bounced past the cart path and out of bounds.  He dropped another ball, per the rules, and played out the rest of the hole.  

On the way to the 13th tee they ran into Jeremy G., the assistant golf professional.  "Gentlemen, how is the round going?" Jeremy asked.  "It was going just fine.....until my ball ended up in a divot and I skulled it across the green and out of bounds" Dormie quickly replied.   Jeremy explained that unfilled divots were much more prevalent recently because with the dry conditions divots don't hold together and not likely to grow back.  The hope is that players will fill the divots with the sand provided on the golf carts.  
He then offered the following tip for the next time they have to play a shot from a divot:

1.    Set up with the ball further back in the stance to encourage a steeper angle into the ball.
Push your hands forward a little, too. You need to feel as if you’re really hitting down on this shot.
2.    Cock your wrist on the back swing. Also, swing upright on the back swing with the club (take the arms away from the body going back), which allows a steeper path down to the ball.
3.    Swing down and through the golf ball. Don’t swing too hard. When you swing too hard, you move your head and don’t hit the ball squarely. And when the ball is lying below the ground, you must hit it squarely. Because the ball is back in your stance and your hands are forward, your blow should be a descending blow.
4.    Depending on the severity and depth of the divot, take a club that has more loft than you'd normally use. You need extra loft to counteract the ball being below ground level. Don’t worry — the ball comes out lower because your hands are ahead of the ball. That makes up for the distance lost by using less club.

Deleted Caddy Shack Scene

The Adventures of Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green

Dormie and Rubbo learn about Rule 13 - Playting the ball as it lies
Dormie and Rubbo, Catawba Island Club's newest members, played early Friday morning...shortly after a sorely needed storm provided 2-tenths of water to our thirsty turf.  They had already teed off when the rain went through and took shelter at the bathroom by the third green.  Knowing the front nine has a tendency to hold water they called the Golf Shop to find out if they should keep the golf carts on the path...and the answer was yes...for a short time. 

On the fourth hole, Rubbo with the honors, gripped and ripped a great drive over the bunkers.   Dormie followed suit, hitting a drive that sailed over the bunkers and rolled out down the hillside.

From the cart path they were able to see Dormie's ball in the fairway but they did not see Rubbo's.  When they reached the other side of the fairway they found the ball in the rough just over the bunkers.  Upon further inspection they both agreed the ball was embedded - when it hit the ground it had "plugged".  Proceeding under the embedded ball rule he was permitted to lift clean and place his ball.  After placing his ball he selected a club and proceeded to hit his second shot which finished at the back of the green - tough to spin the ball out of wet rough.

Rubbo and Dormie walked forward to Dormie's ball. They were shocked to see that his ball sit atop a small pile of sand.  Someone had a filled a divot but had not smoothed the sand to the level of the surrounding turf.  Adding insult to injury a large glob of mud was stuck to the ball.  Dormie reached down and plucked the ball off the sand, cleaned it, and placed it on the turf next to the filled divot.  He then proceeded to hit his next shot onto the green.

While walking back to the cart Rubbo gently asked Dormie (as Dormie does have an Irish temper) what rule he was invoking to permit his actions in moving the ball.  Dormie curtly replied "the same one you used."  Rubbo informed him that the situations were completely different as he was permitted to lift, clean, and place under the embedded ball rule and that he did not improve the position of lie of his ball.  The heated but polite discussion continued on the way to the 5th tee where the encountered Ken who was out for a "course check ride".

They explained the situation to Ken who after listening (he's good at listening) he informed them that Dormie would incur a 2-stroke penalty for improving his lie under rule 13-1....Dormie was not happy.  However, Ken continued, "Now Rubbo you also incur a two shot penalty." Rubbo scoffed and replied "But rule 25-2 allows relief from an embedded ball through the green, so how is it that I get a two stroke penalty?" Becuase, Ken replied, "the rule states that it is through the green in closely mown areas, or areas mowed at fairway height or lower. We have adopted a local rule that through the green also includes the rough.  Your two stroke penalty is because you placed the ball.  According to the rule you can lift, clean, and drop the ball."

Dormie erased the two 4s on the scorecard and replaced them with 6s.....

Click to READ RULE 13-1 or READ RULE 25-2

Putting Woes
Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green, Catawba Island Club's newest members having been having some difficulty on the greens. Prior to joining CIC both played at older golf courses with greens pitched predominantly from back to front.  Other than the odd subtle undulation this made reading greens pretty easy.  The various slopes and changing pitches here at Catawba combined with the quicker than average green speeds have them both going cross eyed.  

Patrick, our Assistant Golf Professional, saw this first hand when, as Captain of the Men's League Golf Shop team, he played with Dormie and Rubbo on Thursday.  He noticed that Dormie's speed was okay....the ball wasn't stopping too far short or running too far beyond the hole.  But most of the putts were way offline. 

Being the inquisitive sort Patrick carefully watched Dormie putt from different angles -- behind him to check on his alignment, from the side to se
e rhythm and stroke mechanics, and ahead to see if Dormie was looking up too soon.  He noticed that Dormie's alignment was in fact quite good which meant that he was reading the greens well - picking good lines.  The problem was in the mechanics...his hands, arms, and torso were not working together.  This caused the face to open or close and the ball not travel on the proper line. 

After the round Patrick pulled Dormie aside to explain what he was seeing and offer a practice drill.  Dormie seemed to understand but Patrick could tell he wasn't quite following so Patrick offered to send him a video. 

We were lucky enough to get carbon copied on the video....enjoy.


Bonus Information:
Q:  While on the course are you permitted to view videos or check your phone for swing advice?
A:   Yes, you are allowed to check your phone for swing advice IF it was acquired before --not during -- the round.

Smart Recovery

Sunday afternoon, inspired by the US Open, Dormie McDuff and Rubbo D'Green, Catawba Island Club's newest members decided to play a quick 9.  After checking with the Golf Shop and determining that no one was making the turn they decided to play the back.  The flipped tee pointed at Dormie to have the honors.  With no warm-up his timing was a little off and he fanned one into the trees along the right side.  Rubbo knew the trees didn't leave too many options and bumped one down the left side.

When Dormie arrived at his ball and surveyed the potential lines he identified a fairly safe line that wouldn't enable him to get to the green but had enough room for him to get inside 100-yards.  He selected a club, set-up with ball slightly back in his stance and made a good swing.  The ball threaded through the trees hit the fairway and took off....right into the foreground bunker.  This left him a brutal 40-yard bunker shot. Dormie would finish with a bogey and Rubbo with a par.  Off to the 11th.

Rubbo, having the honors, hit first and his tee shot finished just to the right of the first bunker. Dormie, still feeling a little tight (note:  he already has plans to attend the mobility clinic on Wednesday in the fitness center) hit another shot to the right - short of the trees but in the rough and with no safe way to get around the corner.  Thinking that he would play safe and punch out to the fairway, Dormie aligned toward the left side, selected a more lofted club.  Unfortunately in his caution to keep the ball left he closed the face.   Once again the ball hit and took off...right into the the trees.  Again, Dormie finished with a bogey and Rubbo with a par. 

On the way to the 12th tee Rubbo asked Dormie about his thought process on his two "recovery" shots.  Dormie explained that he was concentrating on picking a good line and hitting the ball solid.  Rubbo asked, "what about distance, and are picking a spot where you want the ball to land and finish."  The next time you face a recovery or punch out shot walk out toward the fairway and pick a target that allows for some roll.  Remember, a low punch shot is going to run, especially with a middle iron.  Make sure to take the club back slow, and keep the motion compact. 

Another mistake often made is putting hook spin on the ball.  Next time try a cut swing:   stand closer to the ball, open the face and swing out to in.  The ball will fade and run less.  But remember, an open face sends the ball higher.  If you have to stay under branches, take less loft.


Rule 7:   Practicing on the golf course....

For those living on an around the golf course the temptation to stop and hit a few practice putts on the way to the Golf Shop is a difficult temptation to resist.  However, the USGA's Rules of Golf and Catawba Island Club's rules both generally prohibit such activity.   This rule can get a little confusing so we thought we would present the rule with a  few clarifications before we get into the story.  

You can read the full rule here USGA Rule 7, but put very simply practicing on the course to be played on the day of (a) stroke play round is prohibited and (b) before a match play round is permitted.Unless, the competition committee, which in all cases at CIC is the CIC Golf Management Team, does not permit practice on the course on the day of the competition round.  Note:  if you would like further clarification regarding the type of on course practice that is permitted at CIC please contact either Director of Golf, Ken Williams or Head Golf Professional, Ben Moore

The rule is slightly different for practice during a round.  In both stroke and match play players are permitted to practice either putting or chipping on the green most immediately completed, if the practice meets certain parameters..namely the practice isn't delaying play; and practice has not been prohibited by the competition committee.  

Now let's see how Dormie and Rubbo, Catawba Island Club's newest members, experience Rule 7:

Dormie and Rubbo were out on the front nine on a beautiful day.  They had decided to play a match play style match to get ready for their upcoming Burgee Cup matches. On the line was one of Amber's soon to be famous Snicker's milk shakes made only for special requests.   

The match was even as they reached the tee for the sixth hole.  The pin was in the "come and get me" spot....front left.  Dormie tried to hit a high draw but caught it a little fat. The ball finished short and to the right....safe but with some work left for par.  Dubbo's shot was on the right line but didn't spin.  It landed, caught the slope and continued into the back fringe...an easy up and down. 

Dormie being away, approached what is perhaps the most difficult rollercoaster of an up and down on the course. He attempted an all world flop shot intending for the ball to come to almost a complete stop at the top of the slope and then trickle down to the hole. Instead he duffed the shot and the ball barely reached the green.

Confident that the hole was easily in his grasp Rubbo quickly setup to hit his 2nd.  Just before hitting his shot he heard a click.  Stepping off and looking up he sees Dormie’s ball rolling down the slope toward the flag. Now knowing he has won the hole went on to play a farely good shot to within two-feet of the cup. As Rubbo walks up to mark his ball he sees Dormie setting his ball down where his first chip shot had finished.   The rest of the hole was uneventful with Dormie making 4 and Rubbo winning the hole with a par.  

As they walked to the cart Rubbo explained to Dormie that if he had done that during the Burgee Cup he would have lost the hole for breach of Rule 7-2.  Dormie argued that in match play he was permitted to practice during the round.  Rubbo clarified that it was only permitted under certain circumstances and that his practicing prior to completing the hole would have been the cause of the penalty. 


The Long Drive Contest and Adjustable Technology

Dormie and Rubbo, Catawba Island Club's newest members, decided to visit one of the equipment demo days offered by CIC.  The first one, this past week, was Titleist.  Cobra and Ping are next on the 8th and 15th respectively.  Initially just stopping by to see the new equipment things quickly escalated into an all out war of a long drive contest.  

Our newest members are open to coaching but they also have a bit of a proud streak.  Without consulting with the fitting professional they asked Jeremy, one of our assistant golf professionals to put together two drivers.  Dormie requested a driver with a stiff shaft and a loft of 8.5-degrees.  Rubbo thinking he was going to take advantage of the wind requested a 10.5 degree driver with a regular flex shaft.

Rubbo went first.  Putting the tee in the ground just enough to support the weight of the ball and taking a wide stance Rubbo took a big swing and made solid contact. The ball launched high, too high. It didn't catch the wind and float as expected but instead fell out of the air with almost no forward momentum and no roll.

Dormie had the completely opposite result...a worm burner (a low line drive) that had plenty of roll but little to no carry.  It was difficult to determine who had hit the farthest but both were less than impressed.  Teeing it up again Rubbo set the ball on a lower tee and to his surprise launched the ball even higher....and shorter.  The ball seemed to be ballooning and landing with no momentum.

Dormie had slightly more success and went one up when his second shot hit a little higher on the face resulting in a slightly longer carry and some roll.  This back and forth continued for another 15 minutes without either of them succeeding to gain a significant lead or hit the ball farther than what they could achieve with their existing drivers.

Little did they know that Jeremy and Patrick were watching this with great interest.  Once they had allowed Dormie and Rubbo to reach a sufficient level of frustration they politely interrupted.  Offering some time on the launch monitor they explained that the data would help select the proper driver components.

Dormie hit first and the results quickly identified that the heavy, stiff shaft was causing a slower swing speed and coupled with the low loft was resulting in a low launch angle.  As you may have guessed Rubbo's specification created a high launch angle with too much backspin.  

Working together, our golf professionals selected components that created the right mix of launch angle and spin rate for each of there swing speeds.  To give them a little more confidence in the selections they added the tidbit that Jason Day had recently recorded a swing speed of 120mph and used a driver with 10.5-degrees loft, but his swing plane produces minimal backspin allowing for a great launch angle, maximizing carry and roll.

....and this is where the real story begins....."Okay, smarty pants," Dormie addressed Jeremy. "If you have us fit with the ideal driver why do these clubs come with so many things to adjust?"  Jeremy clarified, "Are you referring to the ability to adjust loft, lie, and weighting?"

"That is exactly what I am referring to," replied Dormie.  Jeremy having been diligent in his studies was able to hop up on his soap box and educate Dormie, and Rubbo that the science of adjustability is about minimizing swing flaws.  Thoroughly enjoying the attention Jeremy continued to outline the most common swing flaws and the corresponding adjustments to combat them:

Hook - Most adjustable drivers allow you to open the club face or position more of the adjustable weight to the toe side of the club -- or even both.  Reducing loft also opens the face slightly.

Slice:  For typical adjustable drivers, you can close the club face, alter the hosel to a more upright position and/or shift the movable weighting toward the heel. Obviously, a closed face will counteract the open face so shots will naturally launch straighter.  In addition, stacking more weight in the heel can make the face close even more readily, and it can provide more draw spin.  the upright setting tilts the face left of the target slightly.  Also when you increase loft on an adjustable driver, it often will close the face somewhat.

Too Much Spin:  Some of this can be addressed with the loft, but this also reduces launch angle.  Some drivers also let you adjust the weight lower or closer to the face. That will reduce spin on well struck shots. However, moving weight forward can slightly reduce forgiveness on off-center hits. Also severely reducing spin isn't ideal for all players with slower-swing speeds, especially on mis-hits.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed, but excited to go tinker with the clubs Dormie and Rubbo headed down the range next to Dr. Brown who had long taken residence.  Jeremy turned around expecting to find impressed expressions on the faces of Patrick and the Rep only to find an empty tent....Patrick and the Rep had seized the opportunity to start a closest to the pin contest with the Titleist's New SM6 M-Grind Vokey wedges.


Navigating Catawba Island Club's Spring Rough & Procedure for a Lost Ball

Our newest members Dormie and Rubbo were enjoying a quiet and calm Sunday afternoon.  As they made the cross over from 11 to 12 they commented to each other how nicely and quickly the fairways had healed following the solid tine aerification and how nice it was that the bent grass on the greens was starting to regain proper color.  They played the 12th with little incident - Dormie making par and Rubbo a bogey following a three putt as a result of being on the wrong side of the pesky ridge.  "I really need to pay more attention to where that pin is located," Dormie grumbled as they walked back to the cart.

For two different reasons neither Dormie or Rubbo were properly focused while hitting their tee shots on the 13th.  Dormie had read in the soon to be Pulitzer nominated Tee-to-Green newsletter that the Bistro was open for lunch and was thinking about what he was going to  eat on the way from 13 to 14; and Rubbo was mentally chastising himself for the three putt  "I need to remember that on the left side of that green most putts will break to the back left corner and will run out a few feet more than I have been expecting."  Both players missed the fairway to the right.  Dormie having played first on account of his par remained on the tee after his shot (proper etiquette regardless) and had another ball in hand.  Feeling that insult had just been added to injury Rubbo picked up his tee in a huff and quickly headed back to the golf cart.  As he putting his driver back in the bag Rubbo heard Dormie announce "I am going to hit a lost ball provisional. The first one was a Titleist DT TruSoft number 3.  The provisional is a Titleist DT TruSoft number 2” Rubbo shrugged off Dormie's formal announcement and watched the provisional shot finish in the fairway.

They headed off from the tee..."What's with the 'tour sauce' (things done on a golf course that only a tour professional would do)?, asked Rubbo.  "No tour sauce here, just following the rules," Dormie responded and continued "Under Rule 27-2 I am letting you know that my first ball may be lost and for sake of pace of play I am hitting a provisional 'in case' I'm correct. By playing a ball with a different number and if the first ball is found we will both know which is the first shot and which is the second."  By the end of the explanation they had reached the right rough and the search for both golf balls commences.  While searching they see the Golf Course Superintendent, Paul Derry, driving by.  Feeling a little salty, Rubbo yells out "Hey, it might help to add blades to the mowers.  Can you get someone over here to mow this rough?"  Paul being a patient kind of guy smiles and steers his cart over to aide in the search and hopefully quell the brewing storm.

"Seriously, why is the rough over here so thick?" Rubbo asked.  Paul explained, " We have three rough mowers that mow everyday. It takes about a week to get all of the rough mowed around the entire golf course and it is all mowed at 2.5-inches, year round.  Unfortunately for you this area was mowed last Tuesday and the grass, as it usually does this time of the year, is growing very fast.  As it is Sunday this area has had almost an entire week to grow."

All three players were continuing the search for the golf balls during the conversation. Not yet having found their golf balls Paul asked, "How long have you been searching?"  Not exactly pacified Rubbo replied "5 minutes and it seems like 5 years."  "I need to get this guy a Snickers," thought Paul.  Careful not add fuel to fire, but recognizing that there was another group approaching Dormie announced "According to Rule 27-1c we only have 5-minutes to search until we have to abandon the search, declare the ball lost, and proceed to where the last shot was played (the tee in this case) to put another ball into play.

With a look of reluctant understanding Rubbo got into the golf cart to return to the tee while Dormie with club in hand walked over to his provisional tee shot.  Paul also got into his golf cart but did not go back to the tee with Rubbo choosing to get as far left as possible....where he stayed until both Dormie and Rubbo finished the hole and went on the grab something from the Bistro on the way to hole 14.

From Tee to Green Issue 16.9 (May 23rd)


Click on image below to view full image.


 Course Statistics


How to hit the Hop & Stop

The wind during the US Open Qualifier was a constant 15 miles per hour out of the west…. a horrible direction for playing the sixth hole but a good direction for playing the 5th. In fact, in relation to par the 5th hole played the easiest of of the 18-holes.

Our newest members, Dormie and Rubbo, were spectating that day and set up a perch behind the 5th green so that they could watch approach shots into 5 and tee shots from the 6th. For players going for the 5th green in two the design is such that they aim at the left of the two foreground bunkers and try to hit a draw (right to left) shot. If executed appropriately the shot will land at the front of the green and roll into the middle. More importantly if the shot is mis hit it will not go in the water - finding the bunker or some area of turf instead.

As Dormie and Rubbo watched throughout the day they were very impressed with the high, towering shots from 200+ yards out that landed at the front and rolled out onto the green. But what really struck their fancy were the third shots from the fairway area beyond the bunkers from players that either bailed out or missed their approach shots to the right.
These shots ranging in distance from 20 to 40 yards all seemed to react the same way…they were struck such that their flight matched a line drive in baseball but when they landed on the green the ball HOPPED up into the air and slowly rolled a few feet forward…most of the time within ten feet of the flag.
The more shots like this they saw the more they discussed the potential around the course…approach shots into #10, anywhere around the green on #11, third shots into number #2 or #4….around these green complexes the possibilities were endless.
After watching most of the morning play and with the sun dipping past its crest they decided to head back to the Golf Shop or rather the Bistro for a bite to eat. While chomping down a cheeseburger Ben stopped by to chat. They relayed to him a bit of what they saw on the fifth hole – the low flighted shots that hit, hopped, and stopped. Ben immediately recognized the inherent question and went on to explain that to execute a one hop and stop shot, it requires proper technique in both set-up and and the swing.

The first decision is to select a club with loft sufficient to produce both the proper trajectory and back spin -- typically a wedge from 52 to 58 degrees.  Ben went on to talk about the keys to their set-up positions. When taking your stance there are two key components:  positioning the ball slightly back of center and setting our hands slightly forward of center. The combination will promote better contact with the ball and a slightly steeper attack angle.

Getting to the moving parts of the golf swing now, he emphasized the importance of maintaining the set-up position or rather the angles through the swing. The swing itself is mainly with the shoulders and the importance of minimizing any wrist action.  By taking the wrists out of the back swing and swinging more with their shoulders, the guys were able to be more consistent with their ball striking and better predict what the ball does better once it is struck and lands on the green.

Looking at the swing from a side angle we would want to see that the back swing and through swing were identical in length and with strong acceleration through the golf ball. The combination creates a boring trajectory with an enormous amount of backspin.

After getting these tips from Ben, the guys decided to go out and play a late 9. After playing the first few holes, each Rubbo and Dormie pulled their second shots left of hole 3 into what is usually a tough collection area. Rubbo, forgetting about the free advise from Ben, took a 7 iron and played the shot he is used to playing and proceeded to roll over the green. Dormie decided it’d be better to give this technique a shot. After crisping the ball off the sod, the ball popped up on the front of the green, checked on the second hop and rolled out to 3 feet for an easy par save.

From Tee to Green Issue 16.8 (May 16th)


Rule 26-1:  Relief for Ball in Water Hazard


Bistro 163 is a non-profit, pay-what-you-can-afford restaurant located in the Sutton Center.  Those who are able are encouraged to “pay it forward”, to help cover the cost of someone else’s meal.  If someone cannot pay for their meal, they may volunteer one hour in exchange for their meal.  Bistro 163 will open to the community on Monday, June 6th, serving lunch on weekdays from 11:00 until 2:00.  On Saturday morning, brunch will be served from 8:00 until 2:00. 

The mission of Bistro 163 is to increase food security and offer all neighbors a place to eat and come together as one community. More than 47% of Port Clinton students are eligible for reduced or free lunches, due to their family’s low income level.  Often parents go without meals, or can only afford unhealthy meals.  It is the hope of Bistro 163 that the citizens of Ottawa County who have the means to help the food insecure, will do so.  Bistro 163 will attract “pay it forward” customers by offering fresh, healthy meals at a reasonable cost with a high quality of service that will bring them back again and again. 


"We believe that the "pay it forward" concept will be compelling for the many fortunate people in our community, that by staffing with volunteers (as does Portage Resale) and having Executive Chef Stacy Maple design an amazing menu of fresh locally sourced lunches, we can provide another piece of the hunger puzzle in Ottawa County,” says board vice president Mary Caracci.  There are three important ways that residents may contribute – by becomeing a pay-it-forward patron of Bistro 163, by volunteering time in the restaurant, or by making a tax deductible contribution. 

There are more than 50 of these "community cafe" restaurant models around the country, offering a "hand up" rather than a "hand out".  Just this week, CBS television news featured Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen, a pay-it-forward restaurant on the Jersey Shore.  According to Mary, “Our mentors at One Bistro in Miamisburg Ohio, and Mosaics in Bartow Florida, tell us that the people who come in to volunteer for an hour in return for a meal, stay for the whole shift. They are grateful for the sense of community as much as for the healthy food they could not otherwise afford." 

If you would like additional information contact Ken Williams and he will direct you to the appropriate person or use one of the following links.

 www.bistro163.org  info@bistro163.org
 On Facebook:  Bistro 163   On Twitter: @Bistro163

From Tee to Green Issue 16.7 (May 16th)

OF INTEREST When can you clean your golf ball?
Questions originally published in Golf Digest - Answers are below

1) A sliver of the ball is on the putting green, but the rest is on the fringe.
2) Your ball plugs in two-inch high rough and has a wad of mud attached to it.
3) After hitting into a water hazard, you decide to take a penalty stroke and pick the ball up.
4) You find a ball covered in wet grass clippings and want to remove a little to determine whether it's your ball.
1 - CAN, if any part of the ball is touching the putting green, it can be lifted and cleaned after marking its position.
2 - CAN'T, A ball plugged in grass higher than fairway height (closely mowed) can't be cleaned under the embedded-ball rule. 
3 - CAN
4 - CAN - Just don't removed any more clippings than necessary to identify it

Fairway Bunker Recovery

 Dormie's ball is almost completely buried in the face of a bunker along the right side of the fourth hole.  Rubbo is positioned a little farther back in the middle of fairway.  Now that they have identified the ball and the Dormie has convinced Rubbo that there is no penalty for his process in properly identifying the ball they commence to determining who is away and will play first.

Rubbo having hit three-wood off the tee is first play.  His position does not provide a good view of the green and being cautious of the water his second shot missed the green to the left. Next was Dormie...as he could only see about a dime size area of the golf ball his only hope was to play out sideways...hoping to at the minimum get the ball of the bunker.  He took a wide stance, opening the face of sandwedge and swung hard.  Unfortunately the club went too deep and although digging the ball out it did not clear the bunker.  The ball struck the lip and rolled back toward the center of the bunker....at least the ball was completely visible.

Now laying two and hole location in the back of the green par seemed very unlikely.  The challenge now was to play smart and avoid any further calamities.  Quickly he checked the yardage with Yamatrack (available and free for both ios and Android devices) and selected one club more than would be necessary for the same shot from a grass surface.

Addressing the ball he made sure that the ball was positioned forward of middle - toward the left foot. His feet were aligned square to open -- avoiding any potential of a closed stance which would de-loft the club. He choked down on the club slightly mitigating a little bit of the extra club and compensating for his feet being 'dug' into the sand. He determined his target - the back left side of the green trying to eliminate the water - Dormie took a smooth stroke at the ball. Rubbo, paying very close attention, noticed the Dormie seemed to swing with mostly upper body...very little lower body or leg action. 

A smooth strike with just a hint of sand flying the ball cleared the bunker face and finished on the back left fringe.  Dormie now layed three and with two more putts would be able to salvage a bogey from what could have been a double or worse.   As they walked to the green Rubbo asked Dormie about his odd swing from the bunker.

Dormie informed that he had learned to minimize his leg action when hitting fairway bunker shots because a normal leg drive would result in either sinking in the sand or the club digging too far into the sand resulting in a fat or poor strike.  He relayed the following swing tips:

>  Stand tall at address and feel like you keep that height all the way through the shot.
>  Second, swing a little easier and with less leg action. That will help you clip the ball off the top of the sand instead of driving down into it. If you do it right, you'll feel like your arms are swinging past your body through impact. A good swing thought is, “MORE ARMS, LESS BODY”.
>  One more thing! Take a club with enough loft to clear the lip of the bunker in front of you. If there's no lip, take extra club because you want to swing easier.

 COMMUNITY CORNER:  Freedom Boat Club call South Marina Home

Freedom Boat Club Lake Erie was founded in 2009 by Catawba Island Club Members Beckett and Jim Spreng to offer a supplement or alternative to boat ownership for the Western Basin boaters, including CIC members. Freedom Boat Club is the world's oldest and largest boat club with 110+ locations in 21 states and Vancouver, B.C., with a total fleet of 1100+ boats and 10,000+ members.    Membership with Freedom Boat Club Lake Erie provides unlimited access to our fleet of 17 boats at our 3 locations and reciprocal usage at the other 110+ locations coast to coast, with 44 locations in Florida.

Boating on the western basin of Lake Erie for CIC members can be an invigorating hobby and pastime. Family dynamics of the young and retired do change over time causing families to give up their boat and thus the memories and traditions that go along with it.   Freedom Boat Club offers the opportunity to get out on the lake without the time constraints of today's busy family and expense of owning a boat. 

As owner Jim Spreng explained, “Boating with Freedom Boat Club is so easy and hassle free. You just make a reservation, show up at the dock, and a new, clean, fueled-up boat is waiting. You hit the water, enjoy a great adventure, return the boat when you're done and simply pay for the gas you used. Freedom takes care of everything else.”

Freedom Boat Club is extending to Catawba Island Club Members
$500 off the One Time Initiation Fee to CIC Members

Learn more at www.freedomboatclub.com or any of the following members:

Barabara Gravengaard
Joe Bires
Jim Spreng
 (330) 618-3091
(419) 341-9916
(330) 806-0952

From Tee to Green Issue 16.7 (May 2nd)

Rule 12-1 Seeing Ball; Searching for the Ball

Considering the wet conditions we are experiencing the tip from Ben last week -- hitting higher tee shots -- has really come in handy. Both Rubbo and Dormie have been launching the ball higher and farther.  But as they are about to find out at Catawba Island Club over confidence can result in difficulty.    

As they teed up on the third hole an argument ensued about whether it was better to hit a three wood down the middle playing short of the two center bunkers and avoiding any forced carries; or hitting driver over the right bunkers where the green would present a much wider and complete view. 

Rubbo argued that the subsequent second shot after a well struck 3-wood would be short enough that full visibility wouldn't be a concern.... and that it is much better than trying to recover from one of the fairway bunkers.  Dormie presented that the fairway was so wide past the bunkers that accuracy wasn't critical allowing for a harder swing and a tee shot that would take the bunkers out of play....and he was completely confident (overly so) in his wedge game.
 Rubbo hit first and right along with his strategy struck the ball true and with a slight fade the ball landed just left of center; but slightly farther back than he had hoped and the green completely blind.  Dormie, with adrenaline flowing had visions of grandeur.  His day dreaming made him forget about the swing tips that previously helped with the good tee shots and his swing produced a shot hit too low on the clubface and a low, driving ball flight.  From behind him he heard "Uh......doesn't look like that carried."  He plucked his tee from the ground, turned, and confidently strode back to the cart and responded "wait and see." 

They arrived to landing area and after a short 360-degree survey of the area Dormie took a slow stroll back to the middle fairway bunker.  Both Dormie and Rubbo looked into the bunker but didn't see the ball.  It wasn't until they walked to the front that Dormie noticed an area of disturbed sand and what looked like it might be a buried golf ball ....the disrupted sand had covered most of the golf ball.  Closer inspection did not allow any further evidence that the golf ball was Dormie's.  He pulled the bunker rake from the side and began to pull sand from off and from around the ball until the markings identifying that the ball was in fact Dormie's could be seen. 

When Dormie looked up he could see the question on Rubbo's face.  Without asking Dormie provided that under Rule 12 what he did was completely legal...

 12-1. Seeing Ball; Searching for Ball:  Section a:  Searching for or Identifying Ball Covered by Sand
   If the player's ball lying anywhere on the course is believed to be covered by sand, to the extent that he cannot    find or identify it, he may, without penalty, touch or move the sand in order to find or identify the ball. If the ball is found, and identified as his, the player must re-create the lie as nearly as possible by replacing the sand. If the ball is moved during the touching or moving of sand while searching for or identifying the ball or during the re-creation of the lie, there is no penalty; the ball must be replaced and the lie re-created.


From Tee to Green Issue 16.6 (April 25th)
Swing Tip -- Long Tee Shots

Following their round in the soft spring conditions Dormie and Rubbo stopped by the Golf Shop. They found Ben, Jeremy and Kyle (new members to our professional staff) receiving apparel in the office and started to debrief them about the round. They thanked Ben for the rules clarification and went on the describe - shot by shot - the rest of the round. After providing more than sufficient detail Jeremy (he's young and attentive) asked them to recount their tee shots on the 5th hole. Both Dormie and Rubbo described that after playing the third hole into the wind and then wanting to play strategically on the fourth - all those Arthur Hills bunkers had them scared - by the time they reached the fifth they really wanted to let loose with drivers. They were ready to go...helping wind from the left, shoes so new they were still white, reasonably new drivers, and the golf balls they started with on the first hole (it's rare, but this is fiction so allow the literary license). Both took mighty swings and thought they made good contact, but when they looked up the ball flight was low and both tee shots has unfortunate collisions with the trees that guard the right side. While they continued and described how they gingerly navigated the corner, found the putting green on their third shots and then three putted (they were above the hole) Ben, Jeremy, and Kyle exchanged knowing glances. Note: Normally Patrick would be there as well but he is currently in Florida taking the Stage 3 Seminar for his Class A status with the PGA of America.

After the detailed retelling Ben asked "Would you like some tips on how to carry those trees next time?" Rubbo, the slightly mouthier of the two, gave Ben a slightly incredulous look which quickly morphed into an inquisitive invitation. Using Kyle as the swing model Ben went on to show them both that gaining additional distance starts with set-up: Where is the ball positioned? How much tilt behind the ball do you have? How far in front of you are your arms extended?

Ball Position: right up to the inside part of your front foot - this will help you swing up on the golf ball and provide a higher launch. Most players hit down on there driver, that is incorrect and will produce a lower launch.

Shoulder Tilt: taking your upper body and tilting your front shoulder slightly skyward will allow you to hit the ball higher.

Extension: once the ball is on your front foot and you are leaning away from the target, allow the ball to get a little further away from your body than usual. This may feel a little uncomfortable, but with the added distance, we can all deal with it feeling a little odd at first!

After digesting the tips both Dormie and Rubbo realized how the three changes to the set-up position, if properly executed, would result in higher swing speed, better trajectory, and more distance. Anxious to try it out they asked if the practice range was open. Ben informed them that we were able to mow this past week, but it depended on how much it dried out from the rain over the weekend. "We are hoping to have the range open on Thursday," Ben added. "As soon as we make a decision we will send out an email."

Stay tuned as next week we will see how Dormie and Rubbo navigate how to search for a golf ball.

From Tee to Green Issue 16.5 (April 18th)


Abnormal Ground Conditions, Embedded Ball, and Wrong Putting Green

This past Wednesday following the quick snow melt our newest members Rubbo and Dormie were anxious to play. As you can imagine the course was extremely wet with some standing water and most of the course very soft. Both players made pars on the first and bogeys on the second -- no roll in the fairway made the second play very long. When they arrived at the third they faced a legitimate breeze in their face. Dormie hit first and being a little too aggressive aimed left and due to the wind, landed in the bunker. Rubbo seeing this decided to aim farther right and hit a good drive in the fairway but higher than he wanted -- the wind got underneath the ball causing it to balloon and come down steeply.

As they walked across (it was cart paths only) Rubbo finds his ball sunk into the fairway where it landed. Dormie continues across and doesn't immediately see his golf ball. After further search he finds that it too has embedded but into the sand. Simultaneously Dormie and Rubbo look across to each other and yell, "Do we both get relief?"

A quick call to Ben and it is determined that Rubbo who is in the fairway (a closely mown area through the green) is allowed under Rule 25-2 (Decision Book 25-2/0.5) to lift clean and place without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay, but no nearer to the hole. Here is the full rule:

If a player's ball is embedded in any closely-mown area through the green, it may be lifted, cleaned and dropped, without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green.
Note 1: A ball is "embedded" when it is in its own pitch-mark and part of the ball is below the level of the ground. A ball does not necessarily have to touch the soil to be embedded (e.g., grass, loose impediments and the like may intervene between the ball and the soil).
Note 2: "Closely-mown area" means any area of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.
Note 3: The Committee may adopt the Local Rule as provided for in Appendix I allowing a player relief, without penalty, for a ball embedded anywhere through the green.

As you might imaging Dormie is a bit McDuffed as his opponent now as a significantly better lie compared to his ball half buried like an artifact in the Sahara. He knows that at best all he will be able to do is unearth the ball with zero advancement and at worst not move the ball at all. Fortunately for Dormie, Ben also told them that under Rule 28 (Unplayable Ball) Dormie is allowed to take a drop with a penalty of one stroke, but he is at least assured to be in a better position after a drop.

Additional Information

Rule 25-2: Embedded Ball
Decisions to Rule 25
Rule 28: Ball unplayable

From Tee to Green Issue 16.4 (April 11th)


*Originally published by Golf Digest in the September 2015 Issue.

-Consistency in bunkers has become a very big issue.  The type of sand, particle size and depth are important factors.  Winter freezing, spring thawing and heavy rains will affect bunkers, too. North-facing bunkers dry out slower than south-facing ones.  Bunkers change from day to day, week to week, year to year. (Mark Kuhns, Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, N.J.)

-If you're complaining about bunkers, it must mean that the rest of the golf course is in pretty good shape.  Now, if fried-egg lies are commonplace that should be addressed.  But let's not forget that bunkers are hazards.  You shouldn't be afforded a perfect, consistent lie very time you enter a hazard. (Kyle Hegland, Sand Hills Golf Club, Mullen, Neb.)

-The consistency all falls to math.  Take a golf course will 100 bunkers, each averaging 1,000 square feet.  That's 14.4 million square inches of sand.  How many possible lies might there be for 1.68-inch-diameter golf ball, struck at different angles, trajectories and distance, under all kinds of different weather conditions? (Steve Cook, Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)

-Bunkers originated when sheep burrowed into low spots in sand dunes on Scottish links to take refuge.  I doubt they burrowed consistently.  That said, consistency comes from treating something consistently on a daily basis.  When each bunker has a different requirement, that makes it nearly impossible.  (Josh Lewis, Chambers Bay, University Place, Wash.)

-Bunkers close to fairways and greens usually receive water when surrounding turf is irrigated.  Bunkers farther out don't, so they tend to be drier, less compacted and more difficult to hit good shots from. (Bob Farren, Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort)

GOLF TIP:  Understand your Wedges…..and loft…..

Wedges are, of course, irons. But wedges are often talked about separately, placed in their own category. When talking about the category of wedges, most golfers mean the gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge. Although a pitching wedge has "wedge" in its name, it is usually grouped with the other irons. The gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge are often sold separately. Because the focus with wedges is on accuracy - trying to hit a short shot as close as possible to the flagstick.

Wedges feature the shortest shafts and highest lofts of any golf clubs. In fact, wedges are often identified by their loft rather than their name. A Gap Wedge, typically has a loft from 50 to 53 degrees, a Sand Wedge typically has a loft from 54 to 56, while a Lob Wedge has a loft from 58 to 64 degrees. It is VERY important when designing a set make-up for yourself that you determine your scoring club needs.

As stated before scoring wedges have different lofts thus giving the player to the ability to hit the golf ball various yardages based on the need according to getting the ball in the hole in the least amount of strokes. In teaching, I always take a look at my student’s scoring clubs to make sure that they are properly lofted based on the number of scoring clubs that are carried within the USGA 14 club limit.

When determining your scoring clubs, I find the most important element is LOFT and the proper gapping of degrees within these lofts. For example, most if not all players carry a pitching wedge which has a loft from 45 to 48 degrees, if the next scoring club that you carry is a high lofted (56 or above) sand wedge or a lob wedge, your loft separation may be too much. I recommend in determining the highest lofted scoring wedge that you would like to carry and then decrease in loft by 4 to 5 degrees until you get to your most lofted iron that is not determined to be one of your scoring clubs.

Here is to getting the ball up and down and lowing your score!

Ben Moore, PGA (bmoore@cicclub.com)

COMMUNITY CORNER  United Way in Ottawa County Event Series

United Way in Ottawa County is investing $343,050 in 18 different programs, partnerships, and initiatives that benefit Ottawa County residents (Click Here to learn more about the programs).   To support the United Way and subsequently the people in Ottawa County we are participating in the 2016 Golf Event Series -- four events hosted on the courses of Ottawa County with the finale hosted here at Catawba Island Club. The proceeds from each event will go directly to services in Ottawa County.  We encourage you to learn more about this event and consider participating.  If you are unable to participate but would like to learn more about either donating or volunteering, please contact Ken Williams at kwilliams@cicclub.com


From Tee to Green Issue 16.3 (April 4th)


USGA Handicap Guidelines no longer permit solo rounds to be posted

The USGA is attempting to strengthen the peer review component of the handicap policy and by not permitting unaccompanied rounds to be posted to a player's handicap. In the USGA's perspective 

playing a round alone/unaccompanied doesn't meet the definition of "peer review".  Peer review is the "reasonable and regular opportunity to play golf with others and the ability to form a reasonable basis for supporting or disputing a score that has been posted.  The next question is what qualifies as playing alone.  In the discussion the USGA states that being accompanied may include a caddie, marker for a tournament, or even a friend riding in a golf cart; and they add that a player does not need to have a scorecard attested to verify it was an accompanied round. 

We have numerous people that play "unaccompanied" and expect a great many questions on this rule.  We will be hosting a rules discussion this fall - date to be posted - in which we will cover this new policy.  In the meantime if you have any questions please contact our professional staff at the Golf Shop - (419) 797-9813.

Link to USGA One Page Explanation


The Yachtsmen's Association (YA) is open to all Catawba Island Club members regardless of boat ownership.  Throughout the season the YA hosts a series a fun events including parties and cruises.  These events are a great opportunity to meet fellow CIC members and see some really cool places.  Click Here to see the the 2016 Calendar.  If you would like more information email Holly Geary, Membership Coordinator

Catawba Island Club Scorecard (Click to view)

Catawba Island Club Combo Tee Scorecard (Click to view)