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The GrunkleGuru

Grunkle is a slang term for the thick rough on a golf course that I have been using for many years. Given my penchant for inaccurate tee balls, I have become a bit of a guru out of the thick stuff, hence the name. This is a site for my random thoughts about sports (espeically golf) and life in general. While nothing special, it will hopefully offer a break from the daily drudgery for both you and me.

December 07, 2005

Rule of the Week - The Guru Gets Tripped Up

Once again, we find the Grunkle Guru in a situation where the rules are going to come into play.

In the middle of his round he finds himself with a 15 footer for birdie. After marking his ball and looking at the line from all possible angles he is confident of his read. Slightly uphill putt that will break about one cup to his left. This putt is in his wheelhouse, and he places the ball back on the green and picks up his mark with confidence. It is early in the morning and there is still some dew on the green.

As the Guru goes through his routine of looking at the ball and then back at the hole he notices a grain of sand right on his line about three feet away. While this particle might not have an effect on his putt, it has put doubt in his mind. He decides to remove the sand, as is his right.

He leans on his putter and bends down to remove the annoyance from his line, but since the green is still moist his putter slides on the green under the weight of the Guru. With the grace of a drunken sailor on his first shore leave in three months, the Guru stumbles around, twists, and falls to the ground in a heap of embarrassment. Suddenly he realizes that his foot struck his ball and has moved it.

With his face flush with humiliation, the Guru got up, dusted himself off and proceeded to replace the ball, and somehow manage to overcome the circumstances.

“Birdie” the Guru states as he strides to the hole to retrieve his ball.

“Actually,” says a smirking playing partner. “That was a par. You had a penalty stroke for moving your ball.”

“No I didn’t,” the Guru incredulously replies. “ I was removing a loose impediment from the green, and there is no penalty if the ball moves while conducting this action.”

The two stare at each other and decide to consult the rulebook.

Who was right?

If you guessed the Guru, you would be wrong this time. The Guru had the right rule in mind, but misinterpreted it. The waiver of the penalty stroke only happens if the movement is directly attributable to the removal of the loose impediment (example: a leaf falls on the ball, and in the process of removing it the ball moves). In this case the ball moved not because of the impediment, but rather due to the lack of coordination possessed by the Guru.

Nice par.

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