Instead of my regular “Notes from Nancy” format, I decided to take a new approach in this month’s newsletter. I promise you will learn a lot. It’s a fun TRUE/FALSE quiz. And, the best part is that you don’t have to report your score – unless you want to.
If your answers agree or disagree with mine, tweet back to @womensgolfcom or just tweet your own opinion about a question. If you don’t have Twitter, please leave your reply in the comments section below and we’ll tweet them for you.
1The U.S. Women’s Open, July 4-10 in California, is just for professional women golfers.
FALSE: The U.S. women’s Open is open to both amateur and professional golfers. In fact, in the upcoming Open, July 7-10, there are 25 amateurs in the opening round of 156 entrants! There also are no restrictions on the country that a golfer is from. But there is one important caveat: She must have a USGA Handicap Index of 2.4 or less, which is pretty close to par on every hole! Some golfers – are “exempt” from qualifying for the Open because of previous top performances in other tournaments. But if not exempt, a golfer – including amateurs – may try to qualify in one of the 25 sectional qualifiers in the U.S. as well as in England, China, Japan, and Korea. About one/third of the field in the upcoming Open will have won a spot through a sectional qualifier.
2If you regularly only play nine holes of golf, it is very difficult to improve your game.
FALSE: It’s about time we get rid of the 9-hole reputation as just being for old people or poor golfers. How about nine holes for busy people? The USGA has just embarked on a campaign “Let’s Play Nine”. Many golf instructors confirm that nine holes is just fine for improving your game. And, nine-hole scores can be used to establish an official golf handicap.
3Most golfers do not follow the USGA official “lost ball” rule.
TRUE: The USGA Rules of Golf (January 2016 edition) Rule 27-1.a. is very short and clear on this point: “At any time, a player may, under penalty of one stroke, play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played…” Here’s an example: Let’s say I hit a long drive but off to the right. I think it’s safe but when I get there I find lots of tall grass and can’t find my ball — sound familiar? According to the rules, I should go back to the tee and re-hit. But, the problem is that going back to where I last hit from (especially if there are golfers on the tee) slows the game down. No one wants to do that. So many times, a golfer will just drop a new ball about where the first became lost and take a one-shot penalty. My suggestion is that if you are going to just re-drop a new ball, take a 2-shot penalty. That’s a more probable score. However, if you are playing in a serious, competitive match, you must play by the rules and take the stroke and distance penalty. And, this is a good time to make sure you understand Rule 27-2 about hitting a “provisional ball.”
4The LPGA International Crown tournament among golfers from 8 countries is named in honor of the Queen of England.
FALSE. The International Crown Tournament – played in alternate years – has absolutely nothing to do with the Queen of England or even Princess Kate. The name and concept of this tournament comes directly from LPGA Commissioner, Mike Whan, who wanted a tournament that has “meaning.” This tournament is about team competition among countries with the best golfers. See my interview with the Commissioner. The second International Crown tournament is coming up soon: July 18-24 at the Merit Club just outside Chicago. The 4-person teams that will be competing are from: Korea, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Australia, England, China and the US. The Crown is a match-play format so you will be ready for next year’s Solheim Cup – also exciting match play. Article about this year’s international events here.
5The Ricoh Women’s British Open (July 25-31 about one hour north of London) is the only “Major” LPGA tournament outside of the United States.
FALSE. In addition to the RICOH British Open, the Evian Championship in France in mid-September is also a major on the LPGA Tour. The LPGA Tour has five majors in its current season. What makes a “major?” The answer is good prize money, a particularly good field of players, increased points on Rolex Rankings and more points for the Race to the CME Group Tour Championship. The LPGA Tour has had two “majors” so far this season: The ANA Inspiration and the KPMG PGA Championship. Next is the U.S. Women’s Open with the biggest purse of all — $4 million. And, then the RICOH Women’s British Open at the end of July and the Evian Championship in Evian les Bains, France in mid-September.
6The “Race to the CME Globe” is a brand new tournament on the LPGA Tour this season.
FALSE. The Race to the CME Globe is an LPGA Tour season-long points race. The CME Group is a financial securities corporation based in Chicago with world-wide operations. The CME Group has been a key supporter of the LPGA Tour since 2011. As the season moves along and the “majors” and the Olympics are behind us, expect to see and hear more about the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida at the end of November. A special tab on the LPGA website explains it all.
7The “Road to Rio” has some mosquitoes on it that are causing problems for some Olympians.
TRUE. That Zika mosquito is a dangerous one IF you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant in the near future. The World Health Organization and the International Olympic Committee express confidence, however, that Rio’s cooler climate in August in addition to the insect-control-spraying PLUS common sense precautions should not keep athletes or visitors away. But several top golfers from several countries have announced that they will not participate in the Olympics. The LPGA has stated that the decision whether or not to participate in the Olympics is a very personal decision that should not be questioned. One of the problems is that there does not seem to be firm evidence as to how long the virus stays in a person’s body. In addition, apparently it is not easy to test and determine if you have or have had the virus. Accordingly, the Center for Disease Control (the CDC) suggests to wait until 6 months after having the Zika virus to become pregnant – this advice applies to the future moms and dads because the virus can be transmitted sexually by both females and males. For all those unmarried Olympians and tourists in Rio, I support “full disclosure.” My suggestion is a souvenir tattoo that says “I have been to Rio” – a tattoo that fades away in six months. Problem solved!! Let the games begin!!!
Hope you enjoyed the quiz and remember to leave your scores and comments below or tweet them to @womensgolfcom.
Nancy Berkley is an expert on women’s golf and junior-girls golf in the U.S. A special interest of hers is encouraging business women to enjoy golf with colleagues and clients. Nancy is a member of the World Golf Foundation Women’s Committee and a member of the National Golf Foundation. Nancy is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Harvard University, Rutgers Law School and has a degree from the Professional Management Program of Harvard Business School.
Describing herself as a good bogey golfer with permanent potential, Nancy shares news about women’s golf – along with her opinions on www.berkleygolfconsulting.com and www.nancyberkley.com. You can also follow Nancy on Facebook and Twitter.