Welcome to Max’s Intermediate 1 Course Page!
Week 1 Notes:
The USGA determines all rules in golf.
This guide will provide a basic overview of the rules of golf. The rules are covered in greater detail in the Intermediate 2 course.
To preserve the traditions of the game of golf, we should practice good golf etiquette before, during, and after our round of golf. Your behavior will have an effect on everyone around you.
Slow play affects everyone playing behind you. A conscious effort to play your round at a good pace will make the game of golf more enjoyable for everyone. Please be aware if the course that you are playing has been issued a USGA Pace Rating by the regional golf association in your area and follow the time par.
Etiquette is a standard of behavior, or an unwritten code of values, one should uphold during play. One CANNOT be penalized for poor etiquette, while one CAN and WILL be penalized for a breach of rules. We will discuss major rules during this course, but examples of etiquette are included below.
Examples of etiquette include: raking the bunker when you finish hitting, tending the flagstick for your opponent or partner, saying good job when your opponent or partner hits, upholding honors in order of play, marking your ball, allowing whoever is farthest from the hole to hit first, shaking hands with your opponent or partner before and after play, stepping over each others’ putting lines, moving your shadow when it interferes with another player’s line, repairing ball marks and filling divots, using fore appropriately, etc.
This week, we studied Aim and Alignment, and how you can use your clubs, ball, and alignment stick to practice more efficiently. Please try to come out to West Point and PRACTICE this week!
Week 2 Notes:
Teeing Ground- the starting point of the golf hole
Click for an image
The teeing ground is composed of several tee boxes, usually some variation of black, gold, blue, white, red, and green. Each tee box has two tee markers, and these markers, which are always colored, define where you may tee up the ball.
You may tee the ball up to two club-lengths behind the tee markers. This means you cannot tee up the ball in front of the markers, more than two club-lengths behind the markers, or outside the markers. To clarify on the last point, you can stand outside of the markers, but the ball itself must lie between the two markers. The penalty for breaking this rule is two strokes.
If a ball, when not in play, falls off a tee or is knocked off by the player while addressing it, it may be re-teed without penalty. But if the player intended to strike the ball, then a stroke was made and the stroke counts but no penalty is incurred.
Addressing the ball means you have taken your stance. Intending to hit the ball means you have already taken your stance and are now going to hit the ball. The ball is in play once you have intention to hit it.
Playing the Ball
Play the ball as it lies. This is the MOST important rule in golf and your ULTIMATE goal!
Play the course as you find it. Do not improve your lie, the area of your intended stance or swing, or your line of play by moving, bending, or breaking anything fixed or growing, except in fairly taking your stance or making your stroke.
Do not press anything down or build a stance. The penalty for improving your lie is two strokes.
If your ball lies in a bunker or water hazard, do not touch the ground in the bunker or water before your downswing. The penalty for grounding your club in a hazard is two strokes.
If your club strikes the ball more than once in a single stroke (double-hitting), count the stroke and add a penalty stroke.
If you play a wrong ball, you incur a two stroke penalty and must then play the correct ball.
Tools to Succeed in Golf: ball, tee, ball marker, divot repair tool
This week we talked about the difference between pitching and chipping, and how we use the swing to generate loft. You should be able to determine whether to chip or pitch given your lie on the course. Please PRACTICE this week. PRACTICE makes PERFECT, right?
We also talked a bit about putting green etiquette. Click here for a quick video on the basics, but we will return to this later on in the course.
Week 3 Notes:
Put an identification mark on your ball. The first thing you should do in your round is identify your ball, because if you cannot identify your ball, it is lost.
The maximum number of clubs you can carry during your round is 14. It is a two-stroke penalty for each hole you have more than 14 clubs in your bag. This penalty is incurred for two holes, so a four-stroke penalty total is the cap on this penalty.
Don’t ask for advice from anyone except your caddie. Likewise, don’t accept advice from anyone except your caddie. Penalty is two strokes.
During a hole you can take a practice swing but not a practice stroke. Between holes you may practice chip or putt on or near the putting green of the last hole played or the tee box of the next hole, but not from a hazard. Penalty is two strokes.
Slow play is penalized two strokes.
Parts of the golf course: click here
We introduced sand shots and flop shots this week. By now you should have a basic understanding of the differences between putting, chipping, pitching, and sand/flop shots.
Week 4 Notes:
Loose impediments are objects that are (1) natural, (2) physically and easily moveable, and (3) NOT touching the ball. If the object were touching the ball, by moving it you would be improving your lie, which we know is not allowed. You can move loose impediments anywhere except in hazards (water or sand). Penalty is 1 stroke. On the putting green, if your ball moves when you remove a loose impediment, you are not penalized.
Honors in golf is an etiquette policy. Whoever gets the lowest score on a hole goes first on the next hole. If players tie, whoever went first on the last hole goes first again. There is no policy as to who goes first on the first hole, but often we flip a tee or play alphabetically.
Today we began our survey of full swing. We also covered uneven lies. To recap:
a. Uphill- more club, ball forward, lean into slope, aim right
b. Downhill- less club, ball back, lean into slope, aim left
c. Ball below- same club, ball in middle, lean into slope (butt down and forward, weight on heels), aim left
d. Ball above- same club, ball in middle, lean into slope (grip down, weight on toes), aim right
Week 5 Notes:
Regular Water Hazards
In the middle of the fairway
Marked by yellow stakes
1 stroke penalty if you choose not to play it as it lies
Play it as it lies (don’t ground club though)
Stroke and distance (rehit previous shot)
Drop a ball along a line created by the following two points: the flag and the point of entry
Lateral Water Hazards
On the side of the fairway
Marked by red stakes
1 stroke penalty if you choose not to play it as it lies
Same three as regular hazard
Drop the ball two club lengths from point of entry
Drop the ball two club lengths from point of entry on opposite side of the hazard
Casual Water- temporary and must be visible on the sides of your shoes when you stand in it
Free relief one club length from where you can make a stance, unaffected by the water
Dew is not casual water
Week 6 Notes:
Out of Bounds (OOB): defined by ground that is beyond the boundaries of the course or any part of the course so marked by the Committee. Defined by WHITE…the line itself is OOB but if defined by white stakes/markers, the INSIDE of the marker is OOB, NOT the stakes/markers themselves. I’ll 100% use this weird rule to trick you on the quiz, sorry.
Options for OOB are straightforward: stroke and distance. But wait, if you don’t know where the ball is, it is considered LOST. If the ball is lost, play a provisional ball, which is basically rehitting your last shot in case you can’t find the original ball. If you know your ball is OOB, you don’t play a provisional. If you know your ball is in a water hazard, you don’t play a provisional. You only play a provisional ball if you don’t know where your ball is…hence it is LOST. The penalty is 1 stroke, regardless.
When in doubt, play a provisional. If you aren’t sure you will find your ball, don’t waste everyone’s time trying to find it (note: you have 5 minutes to search for a ball before it is declared lost). Play a provisional, and if you find your original ball, you can play that ball without a penalty. If you can’t find your ball, you must declare the provisional ball your new ball in play, and only then is the penalty incurred. Make sense?
The most important rule is to play the ball as it lies. But sometimes that simply isn’t possible. Maybe you aren’t ALLOWED to play the ball as it lies (OOB). Maybe you have no idea where your ball is, so you can’t play it as it lies (LOST). Water hazards are a special case, because you have a few more options in your toolbox.
Week 7 Notes:
Putting Green Rules and Etiquette…anything with a penalty is explicitly stated so!
Never run on the green.
Always place your bag on the side of the green, towards the following hole, when you are putting.
Whoever is further away should go first.
If you are not putting, you should mark your ball immediately.
Always repair at least two divots before you begin putting, assuming you have time.
Ask your partner if he’d like the flagstick out, in, or tended. The penalty for hitting the flagstick is 2 strokes.
You can move loose impediments anywhere on the green unless they are in your line. Never touch your own line, because it is considered improving your lie and results in a 2 stroke penalty.
Don’t walk in someone else’s line. It’s rude. Make sure your shadow isn’t in someone’s line. It’s also rude.
When you remove the flag, place it relatively far away so no one hits it on accident.
You can repair ball marks and hole plugs on the green. You cannot repair spike marks on the green. 2 stroke penalty.
Ball Unplayable- you can declare your ball unplayable anywhere on the course, except a hazard (water/sand). You have three options, each penalized 1 stroke.
Stroke and distance
Drop a ball along the line created by the nearest point of relief (from where your original ball is) and the flagstick, no nearer to the hole.
Drop a ball 2 club-lengths from the nearest point of relief (from where your original ball is), no nearer to the hole.
Week 8 Notes:
Abnormal Ground Conditions- there are THREE types; you have one option: take free relief one club length from the nearest point of relief
Hole made by a burrowing animal
Ground under repair- “'Ground under repair' is any part of the course so marked by order of the Committee or so declared by its authorized representative. All ground and any grass, bush, tree or other growing thing within the ground under repair are part of the ground under repair. Ground under repair includes material piled for removal and a hole made by a greenkeeper, even if not so marked. Grass cuttings and other material left on the course that have been abandoned and are not intended to be removed are not ground under repair unless so marked.
"When the margin of ground under repair is defined by stakes, the stakes are inside the ground under repair, and the margin of the ground under repair is defined by the nearest outside points of the stakes at ground level. When both stakes and lines are used to indicate ground under repair, the stakes identify the ground under repair and the lines define the margin of the ground under repair.
"When the margin of ground under repair is defined by a line on the ground, the line itself is in the ground under repair. The margin of ground under repair extends vertically downwards but not upwards.
"A ball is in ground under repair when it lies in or any part of it touches the ground under repair.
"Stakes used to define the margin of or identify ground under repair are obstructions.
"Note: The Committee may make a Local Rule prohibiting play from ground under repair or an environmentally-sensitive area defined as ground under repair."
Obstructions- artificial objects (manmade) on the course (as opposed to impediments)
Moveable- if it’s moveable, move (you can move moveable obstructions wherever they are) (examples include yardage markers, rake, signage)
Immoveable- you get free relief on club length from nearest point of relief (examples include bathrooms, cart path, bench, lightpost)
Cart path- type of immoveable obstruction- you can play it as it lies in addition to the option above
Week 9 Notes:
Week 10 Notes:
I’m Max Meier, a second year Information Systems and Economics major at UF. That sounds complicated, so to break it down, I am studying technology and computer science, as well as the processes that make our country successful. I also have a degree in history, so if you have any questions on your history homework, I can gladly help you!
I’ve been teaching golf for nearly 5 years, and I have taught hundreds of students ages 2-70 from all skill levels and backgrounds. I was manager of the largest junior golf program in Palm Beach, where I developed and led beginner, intermediate, advanced, and tournament-level golf classes from 2015-2018. I am excited to be your instructor and to help you learn more about golf as well as develop skills you can carry with you for the rest of your life.
I don’t really sleep, so you can contact me whenever with questions! My cell is 561-719-8578 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I am looking forward to getting to know each of you this semester!