How much range time would it take to master the game?
QWhile addressing his ball under a tree, a playing partner was dive-bombed by a large red-tailed hawk. Rather than have him risk his hat being clawed off, we allowed him to move the ball away from the tree without penalty. Were we correct?
ATo truly understand the gravity of the situation, we did some research on redtailed hawks. Did you know they can have wingspans of more than a metre, are also known as a chicken hawk, and frequently cause damage to Foghorn Leghorn? Regardless of what the Rules of Golf says, we believe you made the right call. No gap wedge in the world was going to save his hat, or his hide, from those talons. But Decision 1-4/10 confirms you were in the right.You can take relief from a “situation dangerous to the player.” It doesn’t cite hawks specifically, but let’s not split hairs or, in the hawk’s case, hares. Get it? The correct procedure is to drop in a spot not nearer the hole that isn’t dangerous, not in a hazard, and not on a putting green. Or run like hell. I work at a golf club and see members practising two or three hours, three to four times a week on the range. Is there an amount of time where there is a limited return on all that work? ▶▶▶ There has been a lot of research on what types of practice are best, but we don’t know of any studies on how much to practice. Malcolm Gladwell famously wrote in his book Outliers:The Story of Success that it takes 10 000 hours of practice to master something. For example, it took us that long to figure out you could take apart a Rubik’s Cube and put it back together with all the colours matching. If you believe Gladwell, your members would have to hit balls for three hours every day for more than nine years to master golf. During that time, they would likely lose their jobs, go through two divorces, need spinal surgery and change their names toVijay. Is that a limited return? Hmmmm. As my brother-in-law started his swing, a gust of wind blew his ball off the tee, and he had a big whiff. He said he could re-tee without penalty. Was he right? ▶▶▶ Two things apply, to your question.The first is Rule 11-3 in the Rules of Golf.The second is Rule 2-6 in the Procedures for In-Laws,Volume III. Let’s get the golf stuff out of the way. If the ball fell off the tee while he was making a stroke, it counts as a stroke. He should have played it as it lies.
What matters here is the definition of a stroke: the forward movement of the club with the intention of hitting the ball. So if the ball fell off the tee in the backswing, it’s not a stroke. If he stopped his swing short of the ball – like Tiger used to do when he heard sounds in the gallery or in his head – it’s also not a stroke.You follow?
Now, back to the brother-in-law thing. Do you really want to make your family holiday gatherings more awkward than they already are? Don’t be that guy; let him re-tee without penalty.