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Golf 3rd ed for dummies


Golf
FOR

DUMmIES
3RD



EDITION

by Gary McCord
Foreword by David Feherty


Golf For Dummies®, 3rd Edition
Published by
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
111 River St.
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
www.wiley.com


Copyright © 2006 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Published simultaneously in Canada
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ISBN-13: 978-0-471-76871-5
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About the Author
“Life is full of ups and downs, good and bad, but it wouldn’t be fun
any other way.” Living by this optimistic philosophy, Gary McCord
persisted through years of mediocrity before finding success. An
outstanding player, television announcer, instructor, author,
speaker, and even movie actor, he has become a golf celebrity.
McCord is well known for enduring 23 years and 422 tournaments
on the PGA Tour without nabbing a single victory. A man of good
humor, he sported a “NO WINS” license plate for years to poke fun at
his less-than-glamorous work as a professional golfer.
“Trapped in the headlights of bankruptcy,” as he liked to put it, McCord pursued other avenues in golf, and found himself launching a broadcasting career.
He scored big when a CBS Sports executive tossed him a headset and asked
him to do golf commentary — giving him only 15 minutes to prepare. A friend
of failure, McCord jumped in with no fear and impressed CBS with his performance. Twenty years later, he is still providing color commentary for CBS golf
events. Fans and critics alike praise him for his knowledgeable perspective,
refreshing humor, and sometimes irreverent wit toward a game known for
taking itself too seriously.
Broadcasting changed his perspective on golf. Realizing that a better understanding of the golf swing would help his TV work, McCord studied under
Mac O’Grady, a legendary guru of the game. After two years of study he
emerged with knowledge, confidence, and an improved golf game.
Gary’s own golf really came together just as he began his career on the
Champions Tour after his 50th birthday. In 1999, his first full season on that
tour, he won two events — the Toshiba Senior Classic and the Ingersoll-Rand
Senior Tour Championship — to finish 17th on the official money list with
nearly $1,000,000 in prize money. Since then, he has continued to play well,
usually finishing in the top 30 on the money list while playing a limited schedule of 10 to15 events per year.
When he isn’t broadcasting or playing golf, McCord keeps busy with myriad
other projects. He portrayed himself in and served as technical director for
the golf movie Tin Cup, starring Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, and Don Johnson.
He is also a writer. In addition to writing Golf For Dummies, he is the author of
a collection of essays about his life on tour, Just a Range Ball in a Box of Titleists.
His bestselling Golf For Dummies was released in DVD form in 2004.


McCord and his friend and CBS Sports colleague David Feherty are known
to millions of golf fans and gamers as the voices of EA Sports’ Tiger Woods
PGA Tour video games. McCord also instructs and consults with more than
20 PGA Tour players. Along with another friend and fellow CBS commentator,
Peter Kostis, he co-founded the Kostis/McCord Learning Center at Grayhawk
Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Gary brings a sense of fun to everything he does and never takes himself too
seriously. He and his wife, Diane, share the “ups and downs” of a busy life
together at their homes in Scottsdale and Denver.


Dedication
I dedicate this book to my mom, Ruth, and to David Feherty’s make-believe
best friend, Flossy — his pet goat. They light up our lives.

Author’s Acknowledgments
It is a smart dummy who surrounds himself with good people. This book was
taken to the next level by Kevin Cook. Very good people. Here’s hoping we’ll
keep up with our readers’ ascent to the top of golf’s food chain. Grip it and
read it!
My wife, Diane, is simply the best. Her patience with my work and understanding with my schedule I am unable to comprehend. She is my life’s caddie, and
a better one I could not have. To my mom, Ruth, my daughter, Krista, and
my four granddaughters, Breanne, Kayla, Jenae, and Terra: You will all get
still more free books. Thanks for thinking about me when I’ve been away
my whole life.
Many thanks to the Wiley team: Acquisitions Editor Stacy Kennedy, Project
Editor Elizabeth Kuball, Technical Editor John Brott, Photographer Daniel
Mainzer, Project Coordinator Kathryn Shanks, Editorial/Acquisitions Intern
Jenny Baylor, Associate Graphics Processor Lauren Goddard, and Supervisor
of Graphics Shelley Lea. They worked hard to get this book just right!


Publisher’s Acknowledgments
We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our Dummies online registration
form located at www.dummies.com/register/.
Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:
Acquisitions, Editorial, and
Media Development
Project Editor: Elizabeth Kuball

Composition Services
Project Coordinator: Kathryn Shanks

Acquisitions Editor: Stacy Kennedy

Layout and Graphics: Andrea Dahl,
Denny Hager, Stephanie D. Jumper,
Clint Lahnen, Barbara Moore,
Lynsey Osborn, Heather Ryan

Consultant: Kevin Cook

Special Art: Pam Tanzey

Technical Editor: John Brott

Photography: Paul Lester, Scott Baxter
Photography, Daniel Mainzer Photography

(Previous Editions: Pamela Mourouzis and
Colleen Totz)

Editorial Manager: Michelle Hacker
Editorial Supervisor and Reprint Editor:
Carmen Krikorian

Proofreaders: Laura Albert, Leeann Harney,
Joe Niesen, TECHBOOKS Production
Services

Editorial Assistants: Hanna Scott, Nadine Bell,
David Lutton

Indexer: TECHBOOKS Production Services

Cover Photos: © Steve Belkowitz/Taxi/Getty

Special Help
Jenny Baylor, Lauren Goddard, Shelley Lea

Cartoons: Rich Tennant (www.the5thwave.com)

Publishing and Editorial for Consumer Dummies
Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher, Consumer Dummies
Joyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director, Consumer Dummies
Kristin A. Cocks, Product Development Director, Consumer Dummies
Michael Spring, Vice President and Publisher, Travel
Kelly Regan, Editorial Director, Travel
Publishing for Technology Dummies
Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher, Dummies Technology/General User
Composition Services
Gerry Fahey, Vice President of Production Services
Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services


Contents at a Glance
Foreword ....................................................................xix
Introduction .................................................................1
Part I: Getting Started: No, You Can’t Hit the Ball Yet ....7
Chapter 1: What Is This Thing Called Golf? ....................................................................9
Chapter 2: Gearing Up......................................................................................................17
Chapter 3: Do I Need Lessons? .......................................................................................33
Chapter 4: Getting Fit for Golf.........................................................................................47
Chapter 5: Where to Play and Who to Play With..........................................................71

Part II: You Ain’t Got a Thing
If You Ain’t Got That Swing .........................................81
Chapter 6: Getting into the Swing of Things .................................................................83
Chapter 7: Refining Your Swing ....................................................................................115
Chapter 8: Putting: The Art of Rolling the Rock .........................................................123
Chapter 9: Chipping and Pitching ................................................................................153
Chapter 10: It’s Your Sandbox: Bunker Play................................................................165

Part III: Common Faults and Easy Fixes......................175
Chapter 11: Typical Problems and Simple Solutions .................................................177
Chapter 12: How to Beat Bad Luck and Bad Weather................................................197

Part IV: Taking Your Game Public..............................215
Chapter 13: Ready, Set, Play!.........................................................................................217
Chapter 14: Rules, Etiquette, and Scoring...................................................................235
Chapter 15: Gamesmanship and Sportsmanship .......................................................255

Part V: Golf: It’s Electric!..........................................267
Chapter 16: Golf on TV...................................................................................................269
Chapter 17: Golf on the Web .........................................................................................285
Chapter 18: Tiger versus Golden Tee: The Best of Virtual Golf................................301


Part VI: The Part of Tens ...........................................305
Chapter 19: Golf’s Ten Commandments ......................................................................307
Chapter 20: Gary’s Ten Favorite Courses....................................................................311
Chapter 21: Gary’s Ten Favorite Public Courses........................................................317
Chapter 22: Gary’s Ten All-Time Favorite Male Players ............................................323
Chapter 23: Gary’s Ten All-Time Favorite Female Players ........................................327
Chapter 24: The (More Than) Ten Worst Golf Disasters ...........................................331

Part VII: Appendixes .................................................341
Appendix A: Golf Speak .................................................................................................343
Appendix B: Golf Organizations....................................................................................361

Index .......................................................................365


Table of Contents
Foreword.....................................................................xix
Introduction..................................................................1
About This Book...............................................................................................1
Conventions Used in This Book .....................................................................2
What You’re Not to Read.................................................................................2
Foolish Assumptions .......................................................................................2
How This Book Is Organized...........................................................................3
Part I: Getting Started: No, You Can’t Hit the Ball Yet........................3
Part II: You Ain’t Got a Thing If You Ain’t Got That Swing.................4
Part III: Common Faults and Easy Fixes...............................................4
Part IV: Taking Your Game Public.........................................................4
Part V: Golf: It’s Electric! ........................................................................4
Part VI: The Part of Tens .......................................................................4
Part VII: Appendixes...............................................................................5
Icons Used in This Book..................................................................................5
Where to Go from Here....................................................................................6

Part I: Getting Started: No, You Can’t Hit the Ball Yet .....7
Chapter 1: What Is This Thing Called Golf? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
The Goals of the Game ....................................................................................9
Why Play Golf?................................................................................................11
What You’ll Find on a Typical Course..........................................................12
How You Can Become a “Real” Golfer .........................................................13
Living the Golf Life .........................................................................................14

Chapter 2: Gearing Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Golf Balls: The Dimple Derby........................................................................17
How to Choose Your Weapons .....................................................................20
Find an interim set of clubs.................................................................21
Try this on for size ...............................................................................21
Build your own clubs ...........................................................................23
When You Know Your Game .........................................................................24
When to Use Each Club .................................................................................25
Tradition versus Technology: Keep Tinkering with Success....................26
Clothes: How to Dress Like a Pro .................................................................30
Accessories: The Stuff You Need..................................................................31


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Golf For Dummies, 3rd Edition
Chapter 3: Do I Need Lessons? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
Finding Out What You Need to Work On .....................................................34
Where to Go for Lessons ...............................................................................36
Golf schools...........................................................................................36
Driving ranges.......................................................................................37
Local clubs ............................................................................................37
What’s a playing lesson?......................................................................37
Getting the Most from Your Lessons ...........................................................39
Be honest...............................................................................................39
Listen up ................................................................................................40
Drop your doubts .................................................................................40
Ask questions........................................................................................41
Be cool ...................................................................................................41
Other Sources of Golf Info.............................................................................42
Golf books that are almost as good as this one ...............................42
Monthly magazine fixes .......................................................................42
Videos and DVDs: Feel the rhythm ....................................................43
Instructional gizmos ............................................................................44

Chapter 4: Getting Fit for Golf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Why So Many New Golfers Give Up .............................................................48
Five Secrets to Success .................................................................................49
The Keys to Golf Fitness................................................................................49
Structure governs function .................................................................50
Physical training improves structure ................................................50
Exercise programs must be golf-specific
and, ideally, customized ..................................................................51
Tests and Exercises........................................................................................52
Test 1: Club behind the spine .............................................................53
Test 2: Standing balance sway ............................................................62
Test 3: Seated trunk rotation...............................................................64
Test 4: Seated hip rotation ..................................................................67

Chapter 5: Where to Play and Who to Play With . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71
Driving Ranges................................................................................................72
Public Courses................................................................................................72
Tee-time policies...................................................................................72
I’m here! Now what? .............................................................................73
Country Clubs.................................................................................................74
Resort Courses ...............................................................................................75
How to Fit in on the Course ..........................................................................76
When You’re the Worst in Your Group ........................................................77
Pick it up! ...............................................................................................77
Find your own ball................................................................................77


Table of Contents
Never moan ...........................................................................................78
Never analyze your swing ...................................................................78
When You’re Not the Worst ..........................................................................78
Jerk Management ...........................................................................................78
Who not to play with ...........................................................................79
How to survive......................................................................................79

Part II: You Ain’t Got a Thing
If You Ain’t Got That Swing..........................................81
Chapter 6: Getting into the Swing of Things . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83
It All Starts with Balance ...............................................................................83
Different Strokes for Different Folks ............................................................85
Flight School ...................................................................................................85
Hitting the ball ......................................................................................86
Getting the ball airborne .....................................................................86
Generating power .................................................................................87
Building Your Swing .......................................................................................89
The grip .................................................................................................89
Completing your grip ...........................................................................94
Aiming ....................................................................................................95
The stance .............................................................................................96
Knee flex ................................................................................................98
Ball position ..........................................................................................98
The bottom of the swing .....................................................................99
The eyes have it..................................................................................101
One hand away ...................................................................................102
Starting the Swing: First, Break It Down....................................................104
Miniswings: Hands and arms ............................................................104
Test your rhythm................................................................................105
Unwinding ...........................................................................................106
Finishing: Go ahead and pose ...........................................................107
Get yourself together .........................................................................107
Swing triggers: What’s a waggle?......................................................108
Visualizing shots.................................................................................110
A near-perfect swing — Hey, that’s me! ...........................................112

Chapter 7: Refining Your Swing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115
What Type of Golfer Are You?.....................................................................115
Establishing Your Swing Plane ...................................................................117
Mastering the checkpoints................................................................117
At the top.............................................................................................119
Going Where Others Have Gone Before ....................................................121

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Golf For Dummies, 3rd Edition
Chapter 8: Putting: The Art of Rolling the Rock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123
You Gotta Be You..........................................................................................124
Mind Games ..................................................................................................124
The Most Important Club in the Bag .........................................................125
Your stroke shape tells you which putter you need ......................125
High-tech putters: From MOI to you ................................................126
Long putters and belly putters — it’s a long story ........................128
Building Your Stroke ....................................................................................129
The putting grip..................................................................................129
Putting posture: Stand and deliver ..................................................132
Getting up to speed............................................................................136
Reading the break...............................................................................138
Reading the grain ...............................................................................139
Bobbing for plumbs ...........................................................................141
Short Putts: Knee-Knockers ........................................................................143
Long Putts: Lags ...........................................................................................145
Shh! Nobody Mentions . . . the Yips ...........................................................146
The Art of Aiming the Ball...........................................................................148
The eyes like lines ..............................................................................149
Speed kills .....................................................................................................151
Points of the roll .................................................................................152

Chapter 9: Chipping and Pitching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .153
Golf Has Its Ups and Downs........................................................................153
Chips Ahoy! ...................................................................................................155
Pick your spot.....................................................................................156
Choose the right club ........................................................................157
Lies and instinct .................................................................................158
Now hit that chip................................................................................158
Make Your Pitch ...........................................................................................160

Chapter 10: It’s Your Sandbox: Bunker Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .165
Bunkers: Don’t Call ’Em Sand Traps! .........................................................165
The Problem with Sand Play.......................................................................167
To Be — Or Not to Be — Handy from Sand ..............................................167
The Splash.....................................................................................................169
Buried Alive!..................................................................................................172

Part III: Common Faults and Easy Fixes ......................175
Chapter 11: Typical Problems and Simple Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . .177
Skying Your Tee Shots: The Fountain Ball.................................................178
Slicing and Hooking .....................................................................................179
Topping the Ball ...........................................................................................182
Duffing and Thinning Chip Shots ...............................................................182


Table of Contents
Can’t Make a Putt?........................................................................................185
Shanking ........................................................................................................186
The Push .......................................................................................................188
The Pull .........................................................................................................188
Power Outage ...............................................................................................189
The “Worm Burner” .....................................................................................189
Spraying the Ball ..........................................................................................190
Hitting from the Top ....................................................................................190
The Reverse Pivot ........................................................................................192
Swaying Off the Ball .....................................................................................193
The Belly-Button Twist ................................................................................194
A Swing That’s Too Long .............................................................................194
A Swing That’s Too Short ............................................................................195
Not Enough Backspin ..................................................................................195

Chapter 12: How to Beat Bad Luck and Bad Weather . . . . . . . . . . . .197
Eat Your Roughage! ......................................................................................198
Tree Trouble .................................................................................................199
Special Shots.................................................................................................199
Altitude adjustment ...........................................................................200
Gyroscope golf: Sidehill lies ..............................................................202
You can dig it: Hitting out of divots..................................................204
Toupee Alert: Strong Winds Reported.......................................................206
Waterworld: Swingin’ in the Rain ...............................................................208
The right equipment: Smooth sailing or choppy seas...................208
Wet course conditions .......................................................................208
A Game for All Seasons: Weathering the Elements ..................................209
Swing into spring: Time to thaw out and get to work....................209
Summer golf: Fun in the sun .............................................................210
Have a ball in the fall..........................................................................211
Winterize your game ..........................................................................212

Part IV: Taking Your Game Public ..............................215
Chapter 13: Ready, Set, Play! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .217
Warming Up Your Body ...............................................................................217
Warming Up Your Swing ..............................................................................221
First-Tee Strategies ......................................................................................222
Strategy 1: Don’t be a sucker ............................................................223
Strategy 2: Think before you drive...................................................225
Strategy 3: Play three easy shots .....................................................225
Know your strengths and weaknesses ............................................228
Beat the first-tee jitters......................................................................228
Playing Games ..............................................................................................231
Keeping Score ...............................................................................................231
Practicing ......................................................................................................232

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Golf For Dummies, 3rd Edition
Chapter 14: Rules, Etiquette, and Scoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .235
Blimey, It’s a Stymie: The Ancient Rules of Golf.......................................235
The Rules Today...........................................................................................236
Marking a score card..........................................................................238
Teeing up .............................................................................................240
Finding a lost ball ...............................................................................241
Dropping a ball ...................................................................................241
Taking advice ......................................................................................242
Etiquette: How to Play the Right Way........................................................244
The Handicap System ..................................................................................246
Getting a handicap .............................................................................247
Calculating your handicap ................................................................248
What your handicap means ..............................................................249
How to Keep Score.......................................................................................249
Match play...........................................................................................251
Stroke play...........................................................................................251
Penalty Shots ................................................................................................252
Out-of-bounds .....................................................................................252
Unplayable lies ...................................................................................253
Water hazards .....................................................................................253
Lateral water hazards ........................................................................254
Airballs: The dreaded whiff...............................................................254

Chapter 15: Gamesmanship and Sportsmanship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .255
Wanna Bet?....................................................................................................255
The first tee .........................................................................................256
Nassaus, skins, junk, and other wagers...........................................256
Giving putts .........................................................................................257
Picking Partners ...........................................................................................258
Match-Play Smarts .......................................................................................258
Never Give Up...............................................................................................259
Playing with Your Boss................................................................................260
Surviving a Pro-Am ......................................................................................262
Get a caddie ........................................................................................263
Be ready to hit ....................................................................................263
Toss the cell phone ............................................................................263
Get a yardage book.............................................................................264
If you’re out of the hole, pick up!......................................................264
Don’t sweat your score......................................................................264
Watch your step..................................................................................264
Don’t coach the pro ...........................................................................265


Table of Contents

Part V: Golf: It’s Electric! ..........................................267
Chapter 16: Golf on TV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .269
Why Golf Is So Popular ................................................................................273
Golf and Television ......................................................................................274
Behind the scenes ..............................................................................275
Let’s make a deal ................................................................................277
What to Watch for on TV.............................................................................279
What to Look for in the Top Pros...............................................................280
Take Your Punishment.................................................................................281

Chapter 17: Golf on the Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .285
Cool Cyber-Golf Sites ...................................................................................285
The PGA Tour......................................................................................285
The LPGA.............................................................................................286
GOLFonline..........................................................................................287
GolfObserver.com...............................................................................287
ESPN .....................................................................................................289
Sports Illustrated................................................................................289
The Golf Channel Online....................................................................290
The PGA of America ...........................................................................290
Golf.com...............................................................................................292
Golf Digest ...........................................................................................293
World Golf............................................................................................293
Online Course Guides ..................................................................................295
About.com: The course-guide helper ..............................................296
The Golf Magazine Golf Course Guide .............................................296
GolfCourses.com ................................................................................296
Fore! Reservations..............................................................................296
PlayGolfNow.com................................................................................296
GolfClubAtlas.com..............................................................................298
Virtual Pro Shops: Buying Golf Gear Online .............................................298
eBay......................................................................................................298
Dick’s Sporting Goods........................................................................298
GolfDiscount.com ...............................................................................299
Golf Galaxy ..........................................................................................299
Edwin Watts Golf.................................................................................299
Nevada Bob’s Golf ..............................................................................299
Planet Golf ...........................................................................................300

Chapter 18: Tiger versus Golden Tee: The Best of Virtual Golf . . . . .301
The Leader: Tiger Woods PGA Tour ..........................................................301
Golf Simulators: Almost Reality? ................................................................303
The Golden Tee Phenomenon ....................................................................304

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Golf For Dummies, 3rd Edition

Part VI: The Part of Tens ............................................305
Chapter 19: Golf’s Ten Commandments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .307
Take Enough Club to Get to Your Target ...................................................307
If You Can Putt the Ball, Do It .....................................................................308
Keep Your Head Fairly Steady ....................................................................308
Keep Your Sense of Humor .........................................................................308
Bet Only What You Can Afford to Lose......................................................308
Keep the Ball Low in the Wind ...................................................................308
Take Some Golf Lessons ..............................................................................309
Do Not Give Lessons to Your Spouse ........................................................309
Always Tee It Up at the Tee Boxes .............................................................309
Never Blame Yourself for a Bad Shot.........................................................309

Chapter 20: Gary’s Ten Favorite Courses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .311
Pebble Beach (Monterey, California).........................................................312
Pine Valley (Clementon, New Jersey) ........................................................312
Cypress Point (Monterey, California) ........................................................312
Shinnecock Hills (Southampton, New York).............................................313
Pinehurst No. 2 (Pinehurst, North Carolina) ............................................313
Whistling Straits — Straits Course (Kohler, Wisconsin) .........................314
Bandon Dunes (Bandon, Oregon) ..............................................................314
Royal Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia) .................................................314
Harbour Town Links (Hilton Head Island, South Carolina) ....................315
Long Cove Golf Club (Hilton Head Island, South Carolina) ....................315

Chapter 21: Gary’s Ten Favorite Public Courses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .317
Alvamar Golf Course (Lawrence, Kansas) ................................................317
Bethpage State Park, the Black Course (Farmingdale, New York).........317
Cog Hill No. 4 (Lemont, Illinois) .................................................................318
Grayhawk Golf Club, Talon and Raptor (Scottsdale, Arizona) ...............318
The Homestead, Cascades Course (Hot Springs, Virginia).....................319
Ocean Course (Kiawah Island, South Carolina) .......................................319
Pinon Hills Golf Course (Farmington, New Mexico) ................................319
San Luis Rey Downs (Bonsall, California) .................................................320
Torrey Pines Golf Course, South Course (San Diego, California)...........320
Tournament Players Club (TPC) at Sawgrass, Stadium Course
(Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida)..................................................................321

Chapter 22: Gary’s Ten All-Time Favorite Male Players . . . . . . . . . . .323
Walter Hagen.................................................................................................323
Fairway Louie ...............................................................................................324


Table of Contents
Phil Mickelson ..............................................................................................324
Jack Nicklaus ................................................................................................325
Mac O’Grady .................................................................................................325
Arnold Palmer...............................................................................................325
Sam Snead .....................................................................................................325
Titanic Thompson........................................................................................326
Lee Trevino ...................................................................................................326
Tiger Woods ..................................................................................................326

Chapter 23: Gary’s Ten All-Time Favorite Female Players . . . . . . . . .327
JoAnne Carner ..............................................................................................328
Laura Davies .................................................................................................328
Juli Inkster.....................................................................................................328
Nancy Lopez .................................................................................................328
Meg Mallon....................................................................................................329
Annika Sorenstam ........................................................................................329
Kathy Whitworth..........................................................................................329
Michelle Wie..................................................................................................329
Mickey Wright...............................................................................................330
Babe Zaharias ...............................................................................................330

Chapter 24: The (More Than) Ten Worst Golf Disasters . . . . . . . . . . .331
Jean Van de Velde, 1999 British Open at Carnoustie ...............................332
Greg Norman, 1996 Masters........................................................................333
Gil Morgan, 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach............................................333
Mark Calcavecchia, 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island............................334
Patty Sheehan, 1990 U.S. Women’s Open at Atlanta Athletic Club ........334
Scott Hoch, 1989 Masters............................................................................334
Jeff Sluman, 1987 Tournament Players Championship at Sawgrass......335
T. C. Chen, 1985 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills..............................................335
Hale Irwin, 1983 British Open at Royal Birkdale ......................................335
Jerry Pate, 1982 World Series of Golf at Firestone ...................................336
Tommy Nakajima, 1978 Masters.................................................................336
Billy Casper, 1968 Bob Hope Desert Classic .............................................336
Roberto DeVicenzo, 1968 Masters .............................................................337
Marty Fleckman, 1967 U.S. Open at Baltusrol...........................................337
Arnold Palmer, 1966 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club ...............................337
Arnold Palmer, 1961 Los Angeles Open at Rancho Park .........................338
Billy Joe Patton, 1954 Masters....................................................................338
Byron Nelson, 1946 U.S. Open at Canterbury...........................................338
Sam Snead, 1939 U.S. Open at Spring Mill .................................................339
Ray Ainsley, 1938 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills .............................................339
Roland Hancock, 1928 U.S. Open at Olympia Fields ................................340

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Golf For Dummies, 3rd Edition

Part VII: Appendixes..................................................341
Appendix A: Golf Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .343
Appendix B: Golf Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .361
Associations..................................................................................................361
Golf Schools ..................................................................................................362
Component Companies ...............................................................................364

Index........................................................................365


Foreword

P

ossibly the only saving grace for this publication is the fact that I’m writing the foreword, and I’m only doing it because the nimrod who wrote it
has threatened to publish pictures of Peter Kostis shaving my back in the
shower. Bearing in mind that this book was written by a man whose advice
helped me off the PGA Tour in both Europe and the United States and into a
TV booth, if I were you I wouldn’t set my hopes too high. To be honest, I’d trust
an Octoberfest-addled polka fiend with my beer before trusting McCord with
any kind of instructional manual, but this thing is a For Dummies book, so it
might just work.
To be serious for a nanosecond, I must say this book is the best guide for new
golfers that the world has ever known. I hope reading the following pages will
at least help you correct the most common error in golf, which is taking the
game — and more importantly yourself — too seriously. Just remember, you
are meant to suck at golf. Anyone who doesn’t is a freak of nature.
Yours with deep reluctance,
David Feherty


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Golf For Dummies, 3rd Edition


Introduction

W

elcome to Golf For Dummies, 3rd Edition. If this is the first golf book
you’ve ever read, don’t worry. I’ve read more of them than I can
count. Plus, I’ve had a chance to go back over everything I wrote in the first
two editions and make it even clearer and funnier.
My first thoughts about writing Golf For Dummies were no doubt similar to
your present feelings about golf. I knew that I wanted to do it, but I also knew
that it would take a lot of my time and attention. Did I want to devote most of
my spare time to an endeavor that was so hard? Why not? I haven’t given anything back to society in a while!
Besides, the whole thing sounded like fun. So is golf.

About This Book
I want this book to appeal to players at every level. Although my buddies on
the PGA Tour will probably read it just to see if I can construct a sentence, I
like to think that I have something to offer even the best golfers. The guys I
grew up with at San Luis Rey golf course in Southern California will check out
Golf For Dummies to see whether I’ve used any of their funniest lines. And I
hope that the title will pique the interest of many people who have never
played the game.
In any case, you have in your hands a sometimes-funny, instruction-packed,
wide-eyed look at a game full of fascination that will serve you for the rest of
your days on the links.
This, then, is no ordinary golf-instruction book. Most of the volumes you can
find in your local bookstore are written by professional players or teachers.
As such, these books focus solely on the golf swing. Golf For Dummies covers
a lot more than the swing. This book ought to be the only book you need
before you develop a golf dependency. (Please contact a physician when you
feel the first symptoms coming on — frustration, talking to yourself after
missing a shot, that kind of thing. These are the warning signs. Remember:
From a medical standpoint, this book is cheaper than a visit to the doctor.)


2

Golf For Dummies, 3rd Edition
Having said all that, I’m assuming that you have dabbled with golf, have
found that you like it, and would like to get better. In my experience, most
people give golf a try before they pick up the instructions. It must be an ego
thing, kind of like those people who don’t like to ask for directions when they
get lost because they feel that it’s an admission of failure. Most people want
to see what they can achieve on their own before they call in the cavalry.
Then if they still can’t find their way, they get frustrated.
My aim is to get you beyond whatever stage your golf game is at without your
having to resort to other texts. Golf For Dummies will build for you the solid
foundation needed to become not just someone who can hit a golf ball, but a
real golfer. There’s a big difference between the two, as you’ll soon discover.

Conventions Used in This Book
When this book was printed, some Web addresses may have needed to break
across two lines of text. If that happened, rest assured that I haven’t put in
any extra characters (like hyphens) to indicate the break. When using one of
these Web addresses, just type in exactly what you see in this book, pretending that the line break doesn’t exist.

What You’re Not to Read
The publishers and I have put this book together with your convenience in
mind. Nice, huh? What that means is simple:
ߜ When you see the Technical Stuff icon (shown later in this Introduction),
you can skip that text if you want. It’s not essential to understanding the
rest of the book.
ߜ The same goes for sidebars, which are scattered through the book,
printed on gray backgrounds. Sidebars are extra added attractions. I’ve
tried to make them fun and informative, but they aren’t crucial to the rest
of the book. Feel free to skip over them — you won’t hurt my feelings.

Foolish Assumptions
Because you picked up this book, I assume that you’re interested in golf. I
also assume that you’re not already a great golfer, or else you’d be out there
making millions on the PGA Tour. Beyond that, I’m going to figure that you’re
a little like I was when I became a professional golfer.


Introduction
When I started out on the PGA Tour in 1974, I was full of fight and enthusiasm
but lacked a basic knowledge of golf-swing mechanics. A warm panic would
start to rise in me about ten minutes before I was due to tee off. Doubt and
dread would accompany me to the first tee. My brain would be racing, trying
to figure out what swing thought (that one aspect of the swing that you meditate on to keep focused) to use that day. Most of the time, I’d be left with a
thought like, “Keep the left elbow toward magnetic north on the downswing.”
Usually, that action resulted in a silly-looking slice into a parking lot. I swung
the club that way for most of my career. So I know what it’s like to play without knowledge or a solid foundation. Believe me, I’m a lot happier — and
having a lot more fun — now that I know what I’m doing.
The reason I’m qualified to help you now is that I have made a serious effort
to become a student of the game. When I started working on golf telecasts for
CBS, I didn’t know much about the inner workings of the swing. But my new
job forced me to learn. My odyssey led me to seek advice from some of the
world’s greatest teachers.
One of them was Mac O’Grady, a golfer I grew up with in Southern California.
He has developed a knowledge of the golf swing that, in my opinion, is
unequaled. O’Grady has researched his method with passion since 1983. The
result is a swing model that has been tested and never found wanting. I have
been lucky to study under O’Grady, and I can’t thank him enough. But I do
not cover Mac’s model in this book; his knowledge is for advanced golfers. No
one has ever called me advanced, so I’m gonna stick to basics in this book.

How This Book Is Organized
Golf For Dummies will lead you through the process of becoming a golfer.
Beginners need many questions answered as they take on the game. I’ve organized this book so that you take those steps one at a time and can return anytime for a quick reference. May this walk be a pleasant one!

Part I: Getting Started: No,
You Can’t Hit the Ball Yet
Where do I play, and what’s the course record? Wait a minute! First you need
to know what this game is about. You need clubs. You need to know how to
swing the clubs. You may want to take a lesson to see whether you like the
game, and then find golf clubs that fit you. In this part, I show you where to
shop for clubs and give you some tips on the questions to ask before you
make your purchase. Then I give you some ideas about what kind of golf
courses to play. Picking up golf is a never-ending process of discovery, and it
starts right here.

3


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Golf For Dummies, 3rd Edition

Part II: You Ain’t Got a Thing
If You Ain’t Got That Swing
This part gets right to the point. I give you a close look at the workings of the
golf swing and help with your mental preparation. You also get a good look at
the short game, where most scoring takes place. I show you how to blast
your way out of bunkers and make those 4-foot putts.

Part III: Common Faults and Easy Fixes
In this part, I tackle the tough shots and help you deal with bad luck and bad
weather. You’ll develop many faults during your golfing life, and this part
addresses a majority of them. (You bought this book, so I won’t fault you for
that.)

Part IV: Taking Your Game Public
In this part, you get the final touches of your education as a golfer. You see
how the rules were established, how to conduct yourself on the golf course,
and the fine art of betting. You even get the do’s and don’ts of golf-course
etiquette. After you read this part, you’ll be able to walk onto any golf course
and look like you know what you’re doing.

Part V: Golf: It’s Electric!
A sad fact of life is that you can’t always be out on the course. In this part, I
show you how to tap into the best of golf on television and online. Turn on
the TV to see tournaments to fantasize about and, of course, my smiling face.
Boot up your computer, and I’ll introduce you to a world of information, golf
forums, and more.

Part VI: The Part of Tens
This part contains the best of, the worst of — and some things that don’t
mean anything to anybody except me. I just thought you might enjoy knowing
about them.


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