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SubjectRe: bkbits.net is down [OT, long: golf howto, addenda]
Linux Golf Howto appendix:

Ball Placement: You're standing there with your feet spread about the same distance apart as your shoulders, getting ready to hit the ball. You decide how far away from you the ball should be based on the length of your arms and the length
of your golf club. Should it be closer to your front foot, your back foot, or right in the middle
between them?

Depends on which club you are using. For a wood or long iron (2-3-4), you want it just behind an imaginary line(perpendicular to the intended direction of ball travel) extending out from your left heel (if you are right-handed and playing with right-handed clubs, ie the hole is to
your left as you face the ball). For a short iron (8-9-wedge), play it right in the middle (lined
up with an imaginary line that is equidistant
from each foot). Split the difference between those positions for 5-6-7 irons.

There are lots of special cases, like sidehill lies, hitting it out from under a low-hanging tree branch, playing in high winds, etc, where these general rules of per-club ball placement need to
be set aside, but there is no sense worrying about abnormal situations until you can actually hit the ball in the direction that you want from flat ground in the middle of the fairway.

Short game: if you are too close to the hole
to take a full swing without hitting it over
the green, you reduce the length of your shot
by shortening your backswing. Everything else
is the same.

Grip: Most players use a grip with both hands locked together. Assume that you are right-handed, so that your left hand is going to be at the end of the club and your right hand below it. Slide your left index finger in between the pinky and ring finger on your right hand, and push your hands together. Then lay the club in your palms
and close them over the grip. Your thumbs will naturally line up on top of the club, with the ball of your right hand on top of your left thumb.

This is called a "strong grip". It usually works
well for beginners.

For some players that is too strong of a grip,
however, and gives their lower hand too much influence on the club at the bottom of their swing, leading to a variety of ills that result from rolling the club face over at the point of impact. They use a variation where they lock their hands together the same way as the strong grip, then curl up the pinky finger on their lower hand and tuck the fingernail into the notch between the index and middle fingers on their top hand. The hand and wrist on the top hand need to be in better condition using this "weak grip", because that hand has to do more of the work that keeps the club lined up with the ball and the club
face square to the hole at the bottom of the swing. (No problem if you learned to swing the club with just that top hand alone before
using both hands.)

Etiquette: Turn off your cell phone ringer when other people are hitting, especially on the tee
or the green, where your group is all standing around together. In between tee and green, you
are probably too far away from each other for anyone to reasonably object if it rings in the middle of their swing. If you must be reachable
in an emergency, even on the golf course, consider using a miniature vibrating pager clipped to your belt and leaving your cell phone ringer switched off altogether. No one else notices the vibration on the pager, and you can call whoever it is back if necessary.

Some people take golf very seriously, and you
don't want to give them an excuse to blame you
for their wayward shot.

When you hit down into the grass with an iron, and a 6-inch long hunk of turf (divot) goes flying out in front of you, take your club and fish it back into the hole it came from. With any luck it gets watered before it dries out completely and reroots back into the turf around it.

When you drop an iron shot on a soft green with a lot of backspin on your ball, it frequently makes a little, miniature moon crater where it first hits. These make putting something of an
unwelcome adventure when they are between someone's ball and the hole. To fix it, take a tee, cleat cleaning tool, or what have you and poke around under the crater from the front, loosening up the turf and soil that was compressed by your shot. Then step on it to flatten it out again. The course greenskeeper will do the rest when he notices it on his normal rounds. (Probably has some magic juice to pour on it that induces a spurt of vigorous rooting, rejoining the disturbed spot solidly to the turf around it.)

Equipment: Golf shoes help a lot. If your feet
are moving around under you when you swing, it does not matter how fine-tuned your swing is,
you are not going to get the clubhead in the position that you want when it hits the ball, except by luck. Soccer or artificial turf shoes (lots of little round bumps on the soles) will keep your feet in place if you don't have golf shoes, without doing damage to the greens.

A golf glove reduces the incidence of blisters on the hand that does most of the work (left hand if playing with right-handed clubs and vice-versa) and makes it easier to keep a good grip on the club without your hands getting tired. (Baseball batters commonly wear gloves on both hands when batting, but golfers only wear one on the hand that is at the top end of the club when you
grip it. The lower hand doesn't have much work
to do in a proper golf swing.)

Take a hand towel with you. These come in handy when you wash your ball off in a ball washer that doesn't have its own towel attached, when what looked like normal turf under your ball turned out to be a patch of bog in disguise (gets mud all over the club face), and just generally removes the temptation to wipe things off on your pants leg.

Refreshments: You can take beer, but expect to get tired before the end if you drink it before the last hole. (Hiking on beer is not so wonderful.
It is like drinking a milk shake or a soda just before a football game. The refined sugar rush lasts for about 5 minutes, using up a bunch of enzymes and whatnot that would have served you better over the course of the game than the
sugar.) Mineral water, fruit or vegetable juice, and fortified sports drinks are all better
choices for refreshments during a round of golf than beer. (No comment on the possibility of finding a cappucino stand near the 10th tee.)

Consider taking salt with you. If you are down
in the sunbelt somewhere, you are going to be out under the sun most of the time for about 4 hours, hiking and swinging a golf club. If you sweat out too much salt without replacing it, you become nauseated and weak from electrolyte deficiency. Kind of takes the fun out of golf. Have some salt with you, salt tablets if you have them, else a small container of plain table salt and something to wash it down with. (Sea salt is fine too.)

Unhittable lies: If you can't possibly make any kind of useful shot where the ball is sitting,
pick it up, step back until you have a place that you can hit from, and drop it over your shoulder.
Costs a stroke penalty if you are keeping score.

Finally: playing expert golf takes endless hours
of practice. The only golfer I ever played with
who qualified as a pro played a round of golf
every day that there wasn't snow on the ground
for about 10 years, with practice sessions
on sand shots, putting, and so on in the morning or evening. Don't expect to play scratch golf
(0 over par) after hitting a few buckets of balls at a driving range and spending an hour on a putting green. If you par one hole or play 18
holes with less than 100 strokes in any of
your first five rounds, congratulations.

Regards,

Clayton Weaver
<mailto: cgweav@email.com>

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