Tee to Green

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: 2016 Season Kick-Off


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)


Golf was meant to be fun. Therefore, we are instituting a new Junior Golf Program Philosophy....Fun and Fundamentals. This season, junior golfers will learn the fundamentals necessary to play the game by pairing golf specific drills with fun activities. Throughout a 9-week program, kids will learn the fun- damentals needed for each aspect of the game and have a lot of fun along the way! We hope that your children, grandchildren and their friends join us for a summer filled with the two F’s...Fun and Fundamentals!!


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


Women's Golf Association

Men's Golf Association

The Catawba Island Club Women's Golf Association invites YOU to participate in our weekly golf league.  Any interested female member of the CIC is warmly invited to join our friendly group, which tees off every Thursday morning from May through September.  Whether you are a beginning golfer, a social golfer, or a low handicap whiz, we welcome you to join the CIC WGA.  Both 9 and 18 hole league opening are available.  We have a large and growing membership and we have FUN!

The Men's Golf Association league is a two man best ball match play format. Teams are organized into flights based on total handicap index and compete season long within the flights.  Field size is limited to 32 teams. Teams must be registered by April 24th.  The first few weeks (May 5th to May 19th will be "fun nights". Competition nights will begin on May 26th.  Contact us if you would like to substitute.  

 Email Ben Moore, Head Golf Professional
Call the Golf Shop (419)797-9813 
Email Patrick Griffin, Assistant Golf Professional
Call the Golf Shop (419)797-9813 

For more information or to receive a registration form please contact the Golf Shop at (419) 797-9813


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


World Champion Sailor, Skip Dieball will speak at Catawba Island Club

At 3:30pm on May 7th Skip, a Toledo native, will speak about the journey that took Team Aretas to their victory in the 2015 ETCHELLS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP in Hong Kong.  Skip has earned 37 Major One-Design Titles and twice nominated for the ROLEX YACHTSMAN OF THE YEAR. 

Reservations and additional information contact:
CIC Member Tim McKenna (412) 951-1235 or CIC at (419)797-4424

 Catawba Island Club Scorecard (Click to view)

Catawba Island Club Combo Tee Scorecard (Click to view)