Make The Change---In case you have missed it, it has been snowing in Marana, Arizona. Actually really snowing, up to four inches, possibly more on its way.
And why is this significant. Marana, Arizona is the home of the WGC-Accenture Match Play on the PGA Tour, played at the Jack Nicklaus designed Dove Mountain course, where the tournament is going on this week.
This is an important event on the PGA Tour and has a wonderful field. It is no secret, or perhaps I am revealing the secret, this is not the most favorite stop on the PGA Tour for the players and not their favorite golf course. Many PGA pros will tell you privately they would love to see this event moved.
And if moved, I have the perfect spot. How about Bandon Dunes, on the Oregon coast. The legendary golf courses that make up Bandon Dunes are perfect for match play. I can also pretty much assure you that at Bandon Dunes in the middle of February, it will not be snowing four inches. And I am not trying to fool anyone, weather on the Oregon Coast can be unpredictable, but so can match play, if I dare say, a perfect MATCH.
I think the players would totally embrace this change. Great golf courses, it is still on the west coast and a wonderful spot to visit. So let's get it done, hopefully Bandon Dunes would want a great event like this and I know golf fans in Oregon and all over would flock to see this, just too great of a field not to be present.
Golf Lesson---Another great golf lesson and tip from David Ogrin in Crawford's Clubhouse, as he answers a reader's question.
"Mr. Ogrin I am just beginning the game and Mr. Crawford through this column has made me think lots about getting good in golf. I always read your tips about how you need to refine your wedge play, so I work on them constantly. So how should I figure out a target, if the target is there or not?" Thanks, Jon--Portland, Oregon
"Jon here is a short game primer. On shots we call pitch and runs I have found a rule of half in the air, half on the ground is a good rule of thumb. Then on chip shots look for the first 4 feet on the green and use the club that will get it onto the green and run all the way to the hole, just like a putt. For pure wedge shots you "fly" the ball to the hole as a rule. Even for a beginner, a WELL STRUCK wedge shot will stop.
The idea though is as a learner keep it simple and use the actual flag as a target. From bunkers I suggest at the start, get it out in one shot and the whole green is the target. As you get better and more experienced then we can fine tune. And there is no substitute for practice. Play well. David Ogrin---Director of Instruction, Three Crowns Golf Course---Caspar, Wyoming.
Charity Golf----As many of you are preparing your tournaments this summer, which will benefit a charity, Crawford's Clubhouse is glad to give you some advance publicity and recognition on your charity. Please just email me the information, at least three weeks in advance. Thank you and we are here to help. always.
Rules Question---Just like David Ogrin, we are lucky to have Jim Gibbons answering your rules questions. Jim Gibbons is one of the foremost authorities on golf rules in the world.
"Mr. Gibbons, a little different question for you. How can we bring out etiquette on the golf course? It seems like we are losing the battle at both public and private clubs. Thank you, Sylvester---Baltimore, Maryland.
"Sylvester, your question is so important to the true basis of golf. For hundreds of years, how golfers behave on the course has been as important, or more so, than how they play. The R&A and USGA must feel strongly about this. The Rules of Golf book has three sections. The first section is on etiquette. I feel it is placed first, because of its importance. This is followed by sections 2 and 3, the definitions and then rules.
Many golfers compare playing golf over time as being similar to living life and the challenges we have to overcome. As we learn to deal with and overcome adversity, we ourselves become better in life and golf. As such, golf reflects much of society and vice versa. Currently there is less focus on formal behavior in sports, politics, television shows, concerts and so on. While that may affect some golfers, it is important that many of us continue to set an example around golf.
Golf gives us an escape from hectic everyday life. Also we can support programs that foster fine characteristics in new and young golfers. The First Tee programs offer a structure to teach young golfers honesty, integrity, respect, confidence, responsibility, courtesy and judgement, all core values of their program and of life. If we all engage in these traits and set examples off and on the course, it can be contagious-which in this case would be a nice thing for all of us to catch. To learn more, visit www.thefirsttee.org and support your local organization. Thanks---Jim Gibbons
Greg Crawford, Golf Insider, CSNNW.com