By: Charles W. Boatright

 

Importance of Situational Awareness in Golf

The 2017 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship indicates the importance of The Mental Rules of golf for situational awareness and sportsmanship. The Mental Rules of Golf teach the player about the game of golf and, more importantly, fundamental life skills. There is one important lesson that everyone needs to be cognizant of, and that is, the situational awareness of the sport of golf. With every opportunity to make par or better comes responsibility and awareness of the consequences of our decisions. Even the minor decisions that we make on the golf course can have unintentional consequences. Such was the case with the 2017 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship on the 19th hole.

Erica Shepherd

Erica Shepherd the winner of the 2017 U.S. Girls’ Championship held at Boone Valley Golf Club in Augusta, MO.

In the quarterfinals of the USGA 2017 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship that was held at the Boone Valley Golf Club in Augusta, Missouri, the match was between Erica Shepherd and Elizabeth Moon. On the 19th hole, Shepherd missed her putt that was conceded to her by Moon. Moon attempted a three-and-a-half-foot putt that she missed by five inches to the right of the hole. Moon, not waiting for Shepherd to concede the putt to her, took her putter and retrieved her putt to practice the same putt from approximately the same distance and location.

 

The Controversy at the U.S. Girls’ Championship

Shepherd’s golf coach asked Erica, “Did you concede the putt to her?” Erica replied to her coach, “That she didn’t.” Juli Inkster right in mid-sentence stated, “Just a little quick and Erica Shepherd lives …” Moon was assuming her putt was conceded, as she moved her golf ball to practice the putt again, and this is when the controversy started.

 

Situational Awareness is one of the golfer’s most important mental rules of golf to be developed. This includes knowledge of the rules of golf, while adhering to procedures governing both stroke or match play. Under the rules of golf, a putt can’t be implied, but has to be verbally given. Once a concession is given, it is irrevocable.

 

It was clear from the video that Moon retrieved her putt that she had missed before it was conceded. It appeared that Shepherd didn’t have time to inform Moon of her decision on the concession of the putt.

 

From the video replay, Moon retrieved her ball as soon as the ball came to rest, to within about five inches of the cup. Shepherd, who stated that she was going to concede the putt, didn’t have time to inform Moon of the concession before Moon retrieved her ball. The delay of Shepherd notifying Moon of her decision to concede was Moon prematurely moving her ball before the concession.

 

Importance of The Golfer’s Mental Rules of Golf

A great procedure to develop in one’s mental rules of golf is:

  • If you are going to make an assumption, assume that you are going to have to make the putt under match or stroke play. Also, make a mental rule not to even look to your opponent for their decision. Make your opponent call you off the putt with a concession.
  • If you have completed the hole and your opponent is in the process of making their putt, don’t walk off the hole until you have either conceded the hole or allowed your opponent to complete the putt.
  • If your opponent has conceded the putt, use echo-protocol and confirm their concession (i.e., “Can I pick-up the ball?”). This will confirm the putt has been conceded.

 

2015 Solheim Cup Controversy

In the 2015 Solheim Cup, the European player walked off the green as soon as the American player missed her putt. Thinking that the putt was conceded, the American player picked up her ball. The other European playing partner stated that the putt hadn’t been conceded. True, it hadn’t been, but one of the European players had walked off the green.

 

As a part of golf etiquette, in either stroke or match play, don’t walk off or away from the green until your opponent has either putted out or you have conceded the putt to them. Erica Shepherd was within her right to either concede or not to concede the putt to Elizabeth Moon, even for five inches putt. But in this case, Moon retrieved her ball before a decision could be rendered from Erica Shepherd on conceding the putt.

Mental Rules of Golf

The Eighth Mental Rule of Golf

There is a Proverb that states- Be sure that everything is done properly and in order. This is one of my eight Mental Rules of Golf in Section 5.8 of my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach.

 

Two of the biggest allies the golfer has on the golf course, besides displaying sportsmanship, are patience and situational awareness. Both of these allow the golfer to utilize their Mental Rules of Golf and Game Management to make the best decision and give them a mental edge. Take your time to verify all situations and ask questions, don’t assume anything on the course or in life.

 

To learn how to develop your Mental Rules of Golf and situational awareness, purchase your copy of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach from the links below, or visit your local bookstore:

My book can also be purchased at Edwin Watts Golf Store in Jackson, Mississippi. Phone No. 601-956-8784

820 East County Line Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157

My book can also be purchased on-line at:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

This book is a self-coaching forum that provides basic and advanced fundamentals to help you play golf with confidence and start lowering your handicap.

 

Please take advantage of my SR-925 Diet Program, where I lost 6 inches in my waist in 3- months (FREE of CHARGE) with the CASPER Workout Program, detailed in Section 20 of my book:

sr925 diet plan  casper workout program

 

Please include an exercise routine in your weekly schedule.

 

Also, learning The ESPY Golf Swing Coach process is an excellent way to develop Rhythm without experiencing the Blues in your golf game, learn how to take your baseball-style swing from the batter’s box to the tee box.

 

Please visit “The Locker Room” for an Index of all my golf articles to improve your golf game and life. Discover how you can take your baseball swing from the batter’s box to the tee box.

the locker room

The Golfer’s Locker Room

 

 

For Comments or questions please contact me at 1-888-514-1228 Mon – Fri from 9 am to 4 pm CT Zone.

 

 

Check out my full library of BLOGS @ www.espygolfapp.com/blog or purchase your copy of “The ESPY Golf Swing Coach” @ www.espygolfapp.com/store.

Facebook – The QATSPY Golf Approach
Twitter – @cwboatright
Google+ – ESPY Golf Swing Coach
YouTube – ESPY Golf Swing Coach

Once you learn WHY, you don’t forget HOW!

YouTube Videos:
https://youtu.be/ZGVNrIw_wlo (Cam & Cam-over elements)
https://youtu.be/K2FDHZ3AX9w (Figuring your proper swing plane)
https://youtu.be/TO82PMO6G8M (Developing muscle memory)

Two decisions that you can make for yourself and your kids are to get a copy of my book and place the book and a golf club into their hands. You will never look back, but only forward. You will not miss with this for yourself and/or your kids.

A Recommendation for your Golf Game:

I would like to recommend a wonderful radio program that I regularly listen to on my I-Heart Radio app on KARN 102.9 FM station, out of Little Rock, AR. They air a golf show called “Arkansas Fairways and Greens,” at 7:00 AM CT each Saturday morning, hosted by Bob Steel, Jay Fox, and Charlie Crowson.

Until next time– Be Synched, Tee-to-Green, with The ESPY Golf Swing!