NEW USGA Ruling Eliminates Penalty for Accidental Ball Movement
Origins of the term "Hit the Ball Alice"
The derogatory "Alice" statement has been part of golf for decades. But who is Alice? And what did she do to get immortalized in a golf insult that frequently follows a putt left short? Contrary to one frequently offered explanation, this "Alice" has nothing to do with the Jackie Gleason sitcom The Honeymooners. Gleason was a golf fanatic, and his character on the show, Ralph Kramden, played golf, too. Ralph's wife was named Alice. It’s a good guess, but the phrase does not refer to Alice Kramden. It turns out that "Alice" isn't a she at all. "Alice" is a he, and it's not "Alice," it's "Alliss." As in Peter Alliss. Peter Alliss is the famous English golf broadcaster, the voice of golf on the BBC for decades. But before he became internationally famous as a broadcaster, Alliss was famous in Britain and Europe as a touring pro. And a pretty good one, too: Alliss won 21 times on the precursor to the European Tour and played on eight Ryder Cup teams. At the 1963 Ryder Cup in Atlanta, Alliss played Arnold Palmer and Tony Lema in back-to-back singles matches and won 1.5 points, halving with Lema and beating Palmer. At some point during his match against Palmer, Alliss - for whom putting was not a strength - badly missed a 3-foot putt.
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Pace of Play
Being a short hitter isn’t the cause of slow play, being inaccurate however does add time to the round. What you do – or fail to do – between shots sets the pace of play, not the number of strokes you take. Following the guidelines below will keep things moving along smoothly, earning you the approval of the marshal and the gratitude of the group behind you.
Things you can do to keep up the pace of play:
• Before starting the round, load up your pockets with tees, divot repair tool, ball markers and an extra ball.
• Play “ready golf”: whoever is ready to hit, goes ahead – especially shorter hitters who can’t reach the group ahead.
• Develop a concise pre-shot routine and limit the number of practice swings you take.
• If you think your ball may be lost or out of bounds, hit a provisional ball, so you don’t have to go back.
• Limit the time you search for a lost ball.
• When riding a cart, drop off your partner at her ball and proceed to yours. If you’re the one riding along, take several clubs with you and start walking down the fairway after you’ve hit instead of waiting to be picked up.
• If you’re playing into the green, take your putter with you as well so you don’t have to go back to the cart.
• Leave your bag or cart on the side of the green that is towards the next tee.
Study your putting line while others are putting and hole out instead of marking your ball.
• The first one to put out, picks up the flagstick and replaces it when everyone is done.
• Don’t linger on the green to mark your score card. Proceed to the next tee and mark cards there.
And the best way to keep up the pace of play? Always, ALWAYS keep up with the group ahead of you!