ASK GOLF DIGEST

I would like to putt like Jor­dan Spi­eth. I’m cu­ri­ous about his le-hand-low grip. Can you ex­plain what he’s do­ing?

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We want to putt like him, too! There must be some magic po­tion for al­ways mak­ing that 25-footer when you re­ally need it. As for the technical as­pects of Spi­eth’s cross-handed grip, the young Texan over­laps his right in­dex and mid­dle ngers over the ring and pinkie knuck­les of his left hand. (The more com­mon meth­ods of go­ing left-hand low are to place all 10 ngers di­rectly on the han­dle or over­lap just the top in­dex nger.) “Jor­dan does this be­cause he’s ac­tu­ally left-handed, so the more he can feel the put­ter in his left hand, the bet­ter his touch and con­trol,” says Cameron McCormick, Spi­eth’s long­time coach. That’s right: Spi­eth played base­ball left-handed as a kid and still shoots a bas­ket­ball left-handed. We hear he gets a hot hand there, too. ●●●●

Our club plays a com­pe­ti­tion over two days where the golfers can choose which day to play. Can the tees and pin po­si­tions change be­tween the two days?

It de­pends what kind of com­pe­ti­tion it is. If it’s stroke play, holes and tee­ing grounds must be the same for all com­peti­tors (Rule 33-2b). If it’s match play, tee­ing grounds or holes can be changed if needed as long as the golfers in each match com­pete on the same setup (see De­ci­sion 25-1b/4). ●●●●

What hap­pens if your fel­low-com­peti­tor is your marker – that is, he’s keep­ing your score – and he loses the score­card? Is there a penalty?

As long as you sub­mit a score­card at the end of the round with your name and scores on it, signed by you and your marker, it will be ac­cepted, even if it’s not the o cial card, ac­cord­ing to Rule 6-6a/7. Keep in mind that you are re­spon­si­ble for mak­ing sure an ac­cu­rate score­card gets handed in. If your marker is as ir­re­spon­si­ble as he sounds, you might want to check those num­bers again. ●●●●

After a bad hole, my buddy will often say, “I’ll just take the max of a triple on this hole.” Is this a real thing?

Well, tak­ing a max­i­mum score for hand­i­cap pur­poses is a real thing. (And it’s a good thing be­cause it helps with pace of play.) But in South Africa no­body’s max score is a triple on ev­ery hole.The SAGA hand­i­cap sys­tem has a fea­ture called Equitable Stroke Con­trol, which lim­its the num­ber of shots you can take on a hole when post­ing your score. If your course hand­i­cap is 18 or less, the most you can take is a dou­ble bo­gey. For hand­i­caps of 19 and more, you are al­lowed a triple bo­gey only on those holes where you re­ceive a dou­ble shot. A 20-hand­i­cap would be al­lowed to record triple bo­geys at the stroke 1 and 2 holes.

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