ASK GOLF DIGEST
Why do we call them “scratch” golfers?
QIf I make a hole-in-one but a frog in the cup knocks the ball out of the hole, does my ace count, or do I have to putt it where it lies?
AWe’re not sure if a hole-in-one on top of a frog is good luck or bad. Rules-wise, it’s tricky. For the ace to count, you must be sure the ball was at rest in the hole, and the frog was the reason the ball came back out of the hole (Rule 18-1). If the ball immediately pops out, and you’re still on the tee, you likely wouldn’t be able to con rm that the amphibian was the culprit and must play the ball from where it lies. Note: If the frog de ected the ball in motion after a stroke on the green, the stroke is cancelled, and you’d have to replay the ball from where you were. ▶▶▶ With my ball on the green and my opponent still chipping onto the green, he asked that I not mark my ball, that I simply leave it. Do I have to leave it? That’s some chutzpah, asking you to backstop his shot! No, you don’t have to leave it. In fact, if you do so in stroke play, there would be negative consequences. Under Rule 22-1, agreeing to leave a ball that might assist any player would result in DQs for the both of you. In match play, you aren’t required to leave it, but if you do leave it, and your opponent bene ts from it, the shot stands (Decision 22/5). ▶▶▶ Why do we call them “scratch” golfers? Because they usually win all the scratch. No, not really. This 19th-century term originated with other sports, according to the USGA. Boxing, cricket and racing organisers would scratch a line in the dirt to tell competitors where to start their match or race. Over time it became a gurative baseline in sports, where opponents had the same starting point with no advantage. Taken onto the golf course, the term refers to zero-handicaps who are expected to shoot par without any “head start” from handicap strokes. ▶▶▶ What e ect does being at 15 000 metres in an airplane’s unpressurised, heated (10 to 25 degrees Celsius) baggage compartment for three hours have on a ball? You’re ying at 15 000 metres, versus the usual 10 500 for most commercial
ights? Impressive trajectory! The altitude shouldn’t have any e ect on your golf balls. According to scientists at Bridgestone, temperatures on the low end of what you described (10 degrees) would negatively impact ball velocity by about 1.2 percent – or about three metres for a player knocking it 250 o the tee. However, after two hours, the balls should come back to room temperature, with normal performance restored. In case you wondered: Bridgestone notes the optimal temperature for a golf ball is around 23 degrees.