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The Golfer Who Died And Came Back To Life

Source: Golf Digest
By Max Adler

Lightning won’t strike the same place twice, but what about a higher force? If one exists, it’d be hard to say it hasn’t taken some swings at the third hole at Kennett Square Golf & Country Club near Philadelphia.

There, during three months in 2012, a straightforward, slightly elevated tee box to a downhill par-3 green, framed by two bunkers and a backdrop of oak, transformed into a stage for the unfurling of all life’s tragedy and comedy. Vic Dupuis, now 57 and still playing to an 8, can’t get to the third tee without taking a moment. He just stares at the ground.

“When you tell people the story, they just look at you and say no way. But it’s true. I was there to witness all of it,” says Jeff Hollander, a member for 25 years and the father of the current women’s club champion.

It was a July Friday, and Dupuis—normally an outgoing and positive person—was harried from battling traffic returning from a business meeting in Harrisburg. He wolfed a turkey wrap in his car and ran to the first tee with shoes untied. His oldest daughter was moving to a new apartment, and he felt conflicted about not being there to help. But he’d committed to a partner, his neighbor Tom Henry, to play in The Devil’s, a much-ritualized club event featuring six holes of alternate shot, six holes of scramble and six of better ball (6-6-6). Dupuis apologized to his partner for his uncharacteristic state, for there was a not-insignificant pot up for grabs. But the agitated financial advisor appeared to settle, sinking a slippery 15-footer for bird on No. 2. In almost all other possible worlds, it would’ve been the last golf shot of his life.

Kennett’s halfway house is really a quarter-house, as the routing passes it four times. The first look comes after the second hole. You then cross a road to get to the third tee.

“The last thing I remember is walking out of the restroom, sweating,” Dupuis says. “My thought was, I’ve never been this hot on my golf course.” He sat in the cart’s passenger side, crossed the road, and at the third tee rested there while the rest of his group got out and gabbed, the logjam on the first par 3 predictable in events like this.

At first, no one noticed Dupuis die. When you stop breathing and have no pulse, the complete cessation of brain activity isn’t far behind. Henry glanced at the cart and saw Dupuis’ head back, his eyes oddly fixed.

“My first thought was, he was sleeping,” Henry says. After a good-natured taunt got no response, his partner’s earlier complaint of mild indigestion now clicked as a major harbinger. Henry, a burly man, immediately pulled Dupuis from the cart and began pounding his chest. Henry didn’t have CPR training, but his twin teenage boys had been recertified just weeks earlier. On the pick-up from the YMCA pool, they’d given Dad a decently thorough explanation. “I’m hitting hard, screaming at him to Come back! and all I can think about are his four kids,” Henry says. “Vic’s too young. They’re too young.”

Paul Dittmer—the remaining member of the foursome—called 911 as Hollander sped away in the cart. Back at the halfway house was a wall-mounted AED (automated external defibrillator) and the last sighting of William Ashton, M.D., whom they’d watched tee off on 17. Hollander delivered the AED, then went for Ashton. For more than a decade, in his car, at home and in his golf bag, Doc Ashton has stored a syringe of epinephrine. Not an EpiPen, but a more powerful dose for cardiac emergencies. He’d never used any of these. Never removed the box. It was just something an anesthesiologist like him did.

In the second fairway, Lee Russell wondered why play had stalled. He couldn’t see the crowd of 30 around the third tee, but did he hear shouting? A fistfight? That bizarre notion dissipated the moment he arrived and saw the row of stricken golfers relieving one another of the physical agony of compressing Vic Dupuis’ chest (effective CPR is performed at 100 beats per minute, or about the same tempo of the Bee Gees’ song “Stayin’ Alive”). Most onlookers were frozen, not knowing what to do other than maybe cry and say, “Vic’s gone.”

“His face was navy blue,” Ashton says. Speaking about the realities of medicine and statistics and death, you get the sense this doctor has never used hyperbole in his life. “By a traditional definition, he was dead. We were attempting to reverse it.”

Unable to find a vein, Ashton stuck the syringe under the tongue, the next-fastest way to infuse the drug. He repositioned the electrode pads of the AED on the chest. Each charge nearly lifted Dupuis’ 210-pound body off the third tee.

Kennett Square’s head pro at the time, Tom Carpus, had played a tournament that morning at another course and was driving back when he saw the ambulances and commotion. “When you consider the configuration of our course, it was very lucky it happened where it did. There are so many holes where he would’ve been a lot farther from the defibrillator, far from a spot where the ambulances could drive right up and, of course, Doc Ashton.”

That Dupuis took his first breath in 10 minutes, that his color changed from purple to red to dark pink, that he then opened his eyes and said, “What’s going on?” even though he has no memory of it, isn’t a miracle. That comes later. But for the story to make sense, we need to pick it up at Chester County Hospital, where Dupuis’ wife, Faith, was driving after listening to a series of increasingly frantic voicemails from Henry. What happened there is almost crushingly mundane. Dupuis didn’t report walking toward any white light or tunnels. Awaking a bit groggy to the familiar sight of his wife of 29 years, he asked her to call his assistant to cancel the appointment he’d intended on making after golf.

“I love you, too, honey,” she said.

A former nurse, Faith wasn’t surprised when the cardiac-catheterization test for her husband, who maintained a balanced diet and drank moderately, returned as only 10-percent blocked. As in, nowhere near clogged enough to cause a heart attack. Over the weekend, as the blisters on his chest caused by the waves of electric current began to subside, the prevailing diagnosis was that severe dehydration on a hot day had caused this golfer to faint. Faith wasn’t buying it, and on Monday morning she expressed her skepticism to fresh personnel. Dr. Clay Warnick agreed the case warranted more investigation and even suspected, correctly, a far rarer thing.

Sarcoidosis is a collection of inflamed white-blood cells that collect in little lumps called granulomas. More often they’re found in the lungs or skin, and just as often there are no, or only mild, symptoms. But when one migrates to the heart, it’s a deadly matter. At the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania—where Dupuis was transferred by ambulance despite the mischievous and nearly successful attempt of a male nurse with whom he’d bonded over Penn State football to secure him a helicopter—he’d spend a week awaking each morning with a team of doctors and students alert at the foot of his bed. “We only ever get to study cardiac sarcoidosis in cadavers” was a line Dupuis heard too many times. He and Faith discussed laminating a synopsis of his account to show new medical staff who always asked, “Please explain to me how you’re alive.”

What most concerned Dupuis was the prohibition against swinging a golf club for 90 days, lest his newly installed pacemaker not settle right. Every country club has its “mayor,” and the gregarious Dupuis had earned the nickname at Kennett for making things happen wherever he stepped on the property, be it at the golf course, tennis courts, pool, and the men’s and mixed grills. Staying away in the glory of late summer was hard. As soon as he was able, he started coming to the club to chip and putt. He also went back to work, and five weeks after his cardiac arrest, he sipped one glass of cabernet.

Carpus, the head pro, felt for the guy. So he said, “Come on, Vic, let’s get you fit for a new set of irons.” Swinging isn’t the only requirement for a custom-fitting, so the two killed a playable afternoon paying extra-persnickety attention to lies, lengths and grips.

“It was important to capitalize on his excitement about playing again. Give him something meaningful to look forward to,” says Carpus, who recently became a rules official on the PGA Tour Champions. In all, he worked 20 seasons at Kennett Square, all of them close with Dupuis.

“Vic was the chairman of our junior golf committee for 19 years. He’s the kind of guy who’s always giving back and volunteering,” Carpus says. “When I tell Vic’s story, people think it ends there.” With a new set of clubs. Or with the dinner party Dupuis threw at a local orchard to thank everyone who had played a part in saving his life.

Dupuis returned to golf the first day he was permitted, which happened to be an unseasonably warm one in November. Unwrapping the plastic from his new set of Ping i20s couldn’t be performed without a sense of ceremony, but everything else about the day was loose.

Several of his closest golf buddies were playing in—ironically, if you choose to see it that way—a memorial paddle tournament for a former member. Despite that draw, the first tee was packed. So Dupuis and two others snuck off No. 10. Walking off this first hole, whom did they see teeing off No. 9? None other than Ashton.

“I had seen everybody since the event except Doc Ashton, so that was an emotional intersection,” Dupuis says. After a long hug, the doctor removed a syringe from his golf bag, raised it for them all to behold, and said, “Don’t worry, Vic, I’ve reloaded!”

Maybe because Dupuis was free from three months of negative swing thoughts, or maybe just because, he played a decent nine holes. At the turn, they picked up Hollander, who’d finished his paddle match early. Given the routing, Dupuis shouldn’t have been surprised for the reencounter. Still, it was eerie passing Ashton on the 17th tee as they drove across the road to the third. The doc back in place like it was all happening again.

Dupuis asks Hollander to show him. “Right here,” Hollander says, and points to a spot of rough on the bank of the box, a few paces up from dead middle. “That’s where you were lying.” Dupuis presses. He needs to know more. Needs to know everything. Who was standing where? What was the exact sequence of events? But more happened in that eternity than can be reliably relayed.

All Hollander can say is, “Your first breath was the greatest relief I have ever felt in my life. In my mind, I had just seen you die.” Hollander doesn’t dwell on what happened next, at least not in this first retelling.

Tom Henry will say it later. “The ambulance has taken Vic away, the crowd has dispersed, and the three of us are standing there. Vic is with the people he needs to be. For us, it’s either go drink all afternoon in the bar or keep playing. I told Jeff [Hollander] and Paul [Dittmer] I’d be their marker for the tournament. So we teed off.”

Everyone bogeyed the par-3 third, understandably, but then the duo of Hollander/Dittmer had a red-hot card the rest of the way and won The Devil’s. “I feel a little guilty about that,” Hollander can now joke, “but to keep playing was the right thing.”

Months later, all’s well that ends perfect: 162 yards with a slightly helping breeze, Dupuis knows it’s a 6-iron. Always better to be short than long on this green. Plus, he hasn’t hit the 6 yet. Not this 6. Ever.

When it’s in the air, Hollander says one word: “Perfect.”

Two hops and in.

“I should’ve retired that 6-iron then and there, because I haven’t hit it anywhere near as pure since,” Dupuis says.

There’s yelling. And expletives. Dupuis falls flat to his back, and from the obscured vantage of the 17th tee, Ashton has a dreadful thought: Not again. But it flips when he sees the high-fives. These shouts of “Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” are for something wonderful. They call the golf shop, and the word spreads. The remaining six holes are a blur. When the group reaches the 19th hole, there’s a crowd waiting unlike any other.

“It happened to be a busy day at the club, and so everyone is in there, yet we walk into a room of total silence,” Hollander remembers. “Everyone was in awe. People kept asking me, ‘Did Vic really get a hole-in-one on 3?’ “

As the hole-in-one insurance is claimed and reclaimed, again and again, the men’s grill turns boisterous. Doc Ashton, scotch in hand, gets a glint in his eye followed by a loss for words. “To come back for the first time to the hole he died on and make a hole-in-one, and with a brand-new club, well . . .”

Dupuis has attended church all his life. Sometimes it can be impossible to believe in God more than one already does. “He’s not a changed person. He’s just more himself,” Faith says. “He’s always been a glass-half-full kind of a person. Since the event, we both like to say his cup runneth over.”

“My belief is that the great fisher of men threw me back, and that he has an incredible sense of humor to add a hole-in-one,” Dupuis says. “But if I’ve come to realize anything, it’s that the people around me were most affected. They had to watch me die.” One witness quit smoking that day. Another had AEDs installed at each of his four business locations. More than 50 members have since taken CPR training. What can’t be counted is how many appreciate life with greater preciousness.

Every year on the last Friday of July, the anniversary of his “death,” Dupuis plays with the same foursome of Henry, Hollander and Dittmer. On the third tee, he has the club leave champagne on ice. The tradition started with one bottle and four glasses, but more and more members have requested to join the celebration, so now there’s a case.

If there is anyone who can raise a glass and not believe there is a higher force, then theirs is half empty.

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Making sense of golf’s new rules

PGA TOUR rules officials guide you through the process of understanding the significant changes in 2019

Source: PGA Tour
By Staff

In mid-December, roughly two weeks before significant changes in the Rules of Golf were to officially take effect, Jim Furyk – a 17-time PGA TOUR winner, a major champion, the only TOUR pro with two sub-60 rounds, and a long-time U.S. representative in both the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup – made an admission.

“I’m probably a little ashamed to say that if you asked me what the rule changes were, you’d probably surprise me by telling me about a couple of them,” Furyk said. “I need to be a little bit more well-versed in what’s going to happen.”

Not to worry, Jim. It’s understandable. Golfers at all levels are still trying to grasp the scope and breadth of the rules changes, which go into play today with the calendar flipping to 2019. Consider this: In an eight-page document that offers a summary chart of the changes, there are 37 new rules – and those are just the most significant changes as outlined by the USGA and the R&A.

Some of the new rules have already generated discussion (you may have heard that Bryson DeChambeau plans to leave the flagstick in for some putts). Some may generate controversy the first time a player accidentally violates one of them. And some are already head-scratchers.

While Furyk may not be well-versed in every rule, he already has one circled for the water cooler. “If I had to be skeptical of one rule, it’d be tapping down spike marks,” he said.

There will be, of course, a learning curve, as players get used to and understand the changes, which seemingly hit all areas – equipment, player behavior, pace of play, taking relief, balls in motion/at rest, to name a few. Change is always difficult but the rationale behind the changes is noble.

“They don’t change rules just because it’s going to make it difficult,” insisted World Golf Hall of Famer Vijay Singh, who became a force on PGA TOUR Champions in 2018. “I think it’s going to be easier. We just have to get used to it. It’s going to take time for us to learn it.”

Some players have more time – and perhaps a bit more incentive/patience – than others. The legendary Jack Nicklaus, long past the days of his competitive prime, has yet to really immerse himself in the rules changes. He may never do so.

As the Golden Bear said, “I’m not going to play golf. I don’t care about rules right now. My rules are about the same as when I finished. If I don’t like the shot, I hit another one. If I hit the first putt and it’s not very close, then I just pick it up. That’s the rules I play. It’s great.”

Sounds like fun. But at least in pro golf, it’s best to abide by whatever rules are in effect. To that end, PGA TOUR rules officials put together this easy-to-read tutorial along with accompanying videos from members of the TOUR’s Rules Committee. It might be good to keep this link handy starting with this week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions — the first pro event utilizing the new rules. — By Mike McAllister, with reporting from Andrew Tursky

DROPPING A BALL

The ball must be dropped straight down from knee height.

Knee height means the height of the player’s knee when in a standing position.

The ball must fall straight down, without the player throwing, spinning or rolling it.

The ball must not touch any part of the player’s body or equipment before it hits the ground. If it rolls against the player’s foot or equipment accidentally after striking the ground, the ball is in play.

DROPPING AGAIN

Once dropped, the ball must land in and come to rest in the relief area.

If the ball rolls outside the relief area it must be dropped again, then if it rolls out a second time, the ball must be placed where it first struck the ground on the second drop just as we do today.

If the placed ball will not stay at rest on that spot, it must be placed on that spot a second time and if it still will not stay there, it must be placed on the nearest spot where it will stay at rest, no nearer the hole.

If a Drop Zone is being used, the ball when dropped must land and come to rest in the Drop Zone.

THE RELIEF AREA

The Relief Area is the area where a player must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule.

The Relief Area is a defined area that is equal to the length of the longest club carried by a player, other than a putter.

No matter what club is used to measure, the ball must come to rest within the longest club, other than a putter. Using a putter or sand wedge will not provide a smaller relief area.

The one club-length Relief Area will be uniform for all procedures, except when a player is using the two club-length “Lateral Relief” option from a red penalty area or from an unplayable ball.

This change makes the Relief Area consistent.

No matter if a player is dropping a ball from an immovable obstruction, from an embedded ball, from a wrong putting green, when using “Back-On-The-Line Relief” under penalty, or when using the “Stroke-and-Distance Relief” option under penalty, the Relief Area is one club-length.

When taking free relief or penalty relief, the original ball or another ball must be dropped in the relief area.

ELIMINATION OF PENALTIES

There is now NO penalty for an accidental double hit.

All accidental deflections are treated the same way; NO penalty and the ball is played as it lies.

During a search for a ball, there is NO penalty if a ball is moved by the player or his caddie. In all cases, the ball will be replaced, it will never be dropped.

There is now NO penalty if a ball in motion accidentally hits the player, caddie, his equipment, or the flagstick whether removed or attended.

There is only a penalty if it is deliberate or if the player or caddie deliberately positions equipment to stop a ball in motion.

There is still NO penalty for a ball or ball-marker accidentally moved on the putting green.

There is now NO penalty for carrying a non-conforming club, penalty applies only for using it.

On the putting green a ball which strikes a moving leaf after a putt, is NO longer cancelled and replayed. The ball will be played as it lies.

If a ball has been moved by an Outside Influence, it must be replaced in all cases including when the spot is not known. It will NEVER be dropped.

BUNKERS

Loose impediments in a bunker may now be removed or touched, provided the ball does not move. If the ball moves as a result, there is a one stroke penalty and the ball must be replaced. Hence, a Local Rule for Stones in Bunkers will no longer exist as the Rules will allow their removal.

The Rules will now allow the player to generally touch the sand in a bunker with a hand or a club, but there are limitations. For example:

— You cannot touch the sand in a bunker when making a practice swing or in the backswing for the stroke.

— You cannot deliberately touch the sand in the bunker with your hand, club, rake or other object to test the condition of the sand to learn information for the stroke.

— You cannot touch the sand in a bunker with a club in the area right in front of or right behind the ball, except when searching or removing a loose impediment or movable obstruction.

There is NO longer a penalty for striking the sand in anger or frustration, or for leaning on a club in the sand away from the ball while waiting to play.

PENALTY AREAS

Penalty Area is the new name for Water Hazard.

Penalty Areas will still be marked either Yellow or Red.

In a Penalty Area the player can now ground the club lightly behind the ball, move a loose impediment, take a practice swing and touch the ground or the water.

Opposite Margin relief from a Red Penalty area is not available by the Rule. This option must be noted on the Local Rules sheet each week for each specific Red Penalty Area.

NOTE: As was the case previously, the player cannot take relief from Abnormal Ground Conditions including Immovable Obstructions or an Embedded Ball within a penalty area.

DROPPING OPTIONS

Important Note: Opposite Margin relief from a Red Penalty area is not available by the Rule. This option must be noted on the Local Rules sheet each week for each specific Red Penalty Area.

PUTTING GREENS

Damage to a putting green may be repaired.

Damage is described in the Rule and it means any damage caused by a person or outside influence and includes ball marks, old hole plugs, turf plugs, shoe damage (such as spike marks) and scrapes or indentations caused by equipment or the flagstick. Any repair must be done promptly.

It does NOT include natural surface imperfection, disease, aeration hole or natural wear of the hole.

The line of play on the putting green may now be touched, including when pointing out a line for putting, but the line must not be improved beyond what is now permitted when repairing damage, i.e.: the player may NOT create a pathway or channel to the hole.

If the player’s ball on the putting green moves after the player had already lifted and replaced the ball, the ball MUST be replaced on its original spot, which if not known must be estimated. This is the case no matter what caused the replaced ball to move, including natural forces (wind).

GREENS READING MATERIALS LIMITATIONS

There are new limitations on mapped Greens Books, including green diagrams in a traditional yardage book. ANY putting green image that is used during the round MUST be limited to a scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards. A yardage or greens book must also meet a size limit of 7 inches x 4.25 inches.

Any hand-drawn or written information by the player or the caddie is allowed, but only if contained in a book or paper meeting this size limit (other than a hole placement sheet). Magnification of putting green information is not allowed, other than a players normal wearing of glasses.

FLAGSTICK

The player can now putt leaving the flagstick in the hole, but the player must decide this before making the stroke.

There is NO penalty if the ball strikes a flagstick left in the hole prior to the stroke, or for a ball accidentally striking a flagstick that is attended or removed.

If the player elects to putt with the flagstick in the hole, it must NOT be moved after the stroke to affect where a ball in motion may come to rest. It may only be removed when there is no reasonable possibility that the ball will strike the flagstick.

If a ball rests against a flagstick in the hole and part of the ball is below the level of the lip, the ball will be considered holed, even if the entire ball is not below the surface. There is no longer a requirement to move the flagstick to see if the ball falls into the hole. The ball may be simply picked up.

LOST/PROVISIONAL BALLS

The time to search for a ball is reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes. The time of search still starts when the player or caddie begin to search. If the original ball is found, the provisional ball must be abandoned.

Once the search time has begun, there is NO penalty if the ball is accidentally moved during the search by anyone including the player or caddie. Simply replace the ball in its estimated position.

The player can now go back to where the ball was last played and play a provisional ball at any time before the original ball is found.

The player must still announce that the ball about to be played is a provisional ball. The player must use the word “provisional” or otherwise clearly indicate that he or she is playing the ball provisionally.

EMBEDDED BALL

The relief procedure has changed for an embedded ball.

The relief area starts at the spot right behind where the ball is embedded. A ball must be dropped in the one club-length relief area, not nearer the hole than this spot, and in the General Area.

There is NO longer a requirement to announce to your marker or another player your intention to mark and lift the ball to check if it is embedded, but it is still good practice to do so.

A ball is NOT embedded if it is below the level of the ground as a result of anything other than the player’s previous stroke, such as when the ball was dropped in taking relief under a Rule.

As with other relief procedures, a ball may be substituted and dropped when taking relief. The original ball may be used, but it is not necessary.

DROPPING OPTIONS FROM AN UNPLAYABLE BALL

When using the “Stroke-and-Distance Relief” option (No. 1 option above), the player must now estimate where the previous stroke was played and drop a ball within one club-length of that spot not nearer the hole.

When using the “Back-on-the-Line Relief” option (No. 2 option) or keeping the place where the ball lies between you and the hole, the player can now drop in a one club-length relief area rather than exactly on the line itself as was done previously.

The player can go back on the line as far as he wants, select a point on the line and drop within one club-length of that point, not nearer the hole. (The player should indicate the point on the line by using an object such as a coin or tee.) The ball when dropped cannot go forward of this point.

Using the 2 club-length “Lateral Relief” option (No. 3 option) when a ball is unplayable, the ball must stay in the 2 club-length relief area when dropped.

It can no longer roll 2 club-lengths from where it strikes the ground.

ALIGNMENT

No one can help the player with his alignment for the stroke. This is an essential skill which the player must do for himself.

A caddie is NO longer allowed to stand behind the player to help with alignment. At the moment the player begins to take his stance, the caddie must not deliberately stand directly behind the player. The penalty is two strokes in stroke play.

There is one exception which applies only on the Putting Green. The penalty can be avoided if the player backs away and starts again without the caddie directly behind him. Provided the player backs away and starts again on the Putting Green, there is no penalty.

The player cannot set something down (such as a club) to help with alignment for a stroke. Once this is done the penalty is two strokes in stroke play.

CLUBS AND BALLS

CLUBS

No matter how a club is damaged, even by abusing it, the player can continue to use the club in its damaged state for the rest of the round, but he will NOT be allowed to replace it.

There will be NO replacement of a club unfit for play (such as a cracked driver face), unless the damage is caused by an outside influence or natural forces. No matter what the nature or cause of the damage, the damaged club is treated as conforming for the rest of that round only.

The player will be allowed to have the damaged club repaired but the repair is limited to the original components of the club – the same grip, shaft and clubhead. Damage that existed prior to the round must not be repaired.

A club MUST still conform when starting a new round or when starting a play-off in stroke play, if it is to be used. There is NO penalty for carrying a non-conforming club, only for using it.

BALLS

The player is NO longer required to announce that he is lifting the ball to determine if it is cut or cracked or for identification. Simply mark the ball and lift it.

Cut or Cracked replaces the term Ball Unfit for Play. Hence a ball out of shape may not be replaced. A ball can only be replaced if it is cut or cracked and that damage happened on the same hole.

CADDIESA caddie will now be able to mark, lift and replace the player’s ball (if he lifted it) on the putting green ONLY, without needing authorization. The player is still responsible for any related breach of the Rules.

A caddie will NO longer be able to align the player while he is taking his stance for any stroke. There are strict Rules about where the caddie may deliberately stand when the player begins to take his stance. Other than on the putting green, there is no way out of a penalty if the caddie is deliberately standing directly behind the player when he starts to take his stance.

DISTANCE MEASURING DEVICES

Although in 2019 the Rules of Golf will allow the everyday use of Distance Measuring Devices (DMD’s) without measuring elevation changes; the PGA TOUR will be adopting a Local Rule on our Hard Card which will prevent the use of DMD’s during any tournament rounds.

Penalty for first breach of this Local Rule during a tournament round is two strokes in stroke play; second breach during the same round Disqualification.

DMD’s without elevation change, will still be permitted in PGA TOUR pre-tournament Pro-Ams, Open Qualifying rounds and stages of Q school, except the Q school finals.

TEMPORARY IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS

The TIO Local Rule was recrafted to enable a player to treat a TIO as an Immovable Obstruction when any physical interference exists, if the player so chooses. This should simplify the process for players when taking relief.

When a player has both Physical Interference and Line of Sight Interference, he has a choice of either procedure. However, once this choice is made, the other option may not be used.

PREFERRED LIES

The position of the ball may be marked before being lifted, but it is not required. Simply lift the ball and place a ball once within one club length of the original spot, but not nearer the hole. As with other relief procedures, a ball may be substituted when a ball is lifted under this Local Rule.

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Mis-hit your driver — on purpose! — to find the sweet spot

A new practice method helps you learn faster by — get this — avoiding the sweet spot. Here’s how.

1. The theory

Instead of trying to pound the sweet spot practice swing after practice swing at the range, try catching a few on the heel and toe as well. By giving your brain multiple reference points to think about, you force it to work harder — so you can learn faster! It’s called variable training. Multiple studies prove that it can be wildly effective.

2. How to put it to good use

Tee the ball in its regular spot and try hitting it off the toe. After a few attempts, switch it up: Hit some clankers off the heel. Then go back to your quest to locate the center. For a real test, tee two balls off the clubface and see if you can knock them in tandem. Now you’re really putting your noggin to work! If you can teach yourself to create off-center hits on command, it’ll be easier to find the center when it counts.

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How to hit a high & soft bunker shot like LPGA Tour winner Jenny Shin

Source: Golfweek
By Jenny Shin
Here’s how Jenny Shin’s leading the LPGA Tour in sand saves

I hit these shots differently. My philosophy is that you don’t need to chunk it out with a lot of sand. You can control a bunker shot better if you take less sand. You’ve probably done this by accident and hit a great shot that popped out with spin and checked up by the hole. The big chunk tends to roll out too much, so it’s hard to control.

To try my technique, there are a few things you need to do in your setup. Take a wider stance than usual, and dig in your feet a bit for stability, with your weight about 50/50. To find that balanced body position, close your eyes and shift your weight a little left and right until you feel neutral.

Play the ball just forward of center in your stance, and open the clubface by rotating it to the right. Then drop your hands back a touch, away from the target. When you move your hands back, the open face, which was pointed to the right, is square to the target again.

Go ahead and make a big arm swing, but maintain the angles in your wrists that you set at address. Make sure you turn your lower body, too. Your goal is to hold the clubface open during the backswing, so keep those wrist angles intact.

Coming down, don’t think about hitting two inches behind it—that’s too much sand and too unpredictable. Instead, focus on letting the bounce on the bottom of the club slide through the sand. You want the clubhead to bottom out directly under the ball, not behind it.

Finally, keep the swing going through the sand. A lot of people forget to follow through, and they just dump the ball in front of them. Swing to a nice, full finish. When you do it right, it doesn’t feel like the sand is grabbing your clubhead. It feels crisp and clean. Give it a try.—With Keely Levins

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