USGA adds instructional feature to its website

January 18, 2012

The United States Golf Association added a new video clip feature to its popular website for 2012. Based on the first example, the addition looks very promising in its ability to provide clear, understandable instruction on the Rules of Golf.

When viewing the home page at, the main section is divided into small picture segments that nest from left to right, underneath an enlarged view of one of them. By clicking on the Rules of Golf Explained photograph, viewers will be linked directly to a short video.

The first one in the series, viewed this past week, covers the often-misunderstood regulations concerning loose impediments. In addition to a good mix of visual depictions of typical scenes on a golf course, it is also easy to follow the nicely paced narrative explaining how to deal with common problems such as pine cones, fallen leaves and branches.

To see for yourself, type in this link:

Three different signs of golf’s reaction to the recession
The Cape Region’s experience with public golf during the ongoing recession is mirroring what’s happening elsewhere.

The Heritage Golf Club in Midway, a nine-hole executive layout, is closed for the time being, with local golfers assuming it won’t be reopening any time soon.

Course closures also continue in the golf-mad Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach, S.C., with the Island Green Golf Club being the 22nd layout in that area to shutter its doors. According to the Myrtle Beach Golf Association, more than one million paid rounds of golf per year have disappeared from the ledgers since Myrtle’s peak in 1998.

In addition to closing down, two other common schemes for handling the downturn are also in evidence in Myrtle. This fall, the Sea Trail Golf Resort and Convention Center filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, largely to deal with debt-service issues. The three courses at Sea Trail are longtime favorites of the trips to Myrtle with the Conlon brothers’ gang that I have enjoyed for so many years. I hope that the company manages to escape Chapter 11 status in good shape.

The other preferred option is to consolidate and take advantage of potential economies of scale. That’s also happening in Myrtle, with the recent announced merger of two companies whose combined holdings include a long list of Strand favorites. The merged entity will own 14 courses outright and manage 10 others.

The owned courses are Aberdeen, Litchfield C.C., Long Bay, SouthCreek at Myrtle Beach National, West Course at Myrtle Beach National, King’s North at Myrtle Beach National, Pawleys Plantation, River Club, Waterway Hills, Willbrook Plantation, Resort Course at Grande Dunes, Pine Lakes, Myrtlewood Palmetto and Myrtlewood Pinehills. The to-be-managed courses include Blackmoor, Tradition Club, Wachesaw Plantation East, Wild Wing, Tidewater, Members Club at Grande Dunes, River Hills, Arcadian Shores, Farmstead and Meadowlands.

There are a few courses in that collection I would not play again, but for most of those in this collection that I have tried, I would like a return trip someday.

Private country clubs are not immune to economic upheaval, either. In the near future there may be some additional news about a Cape Region club or two and how their members are dealing with the recession’s effects on their clubs.

Very nice problem to have
Suppose a golfer strolls up toward the green with no idea where his ball is located. After a diligent search of the bunkers and the rough, he gives up and plays another ball from where he last hit the missing one. When he holes that ball out, he discovers his first ball, snug as a bug in the hole with his second one.

According to the USGA’s Rule of the Day, this is a very nice problem to have: “The score with the original ball counts. The play of the hole was completed when the player holed that ball.”


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