Play the ball as it lies!
Unless...it's on an alligator.
North Port, Fla., resident Jack Dupre was playing out at Myakka Pines golf course when he hit a somewhat wayward shot. A shot that could have very well ended up in the hazard ended up - well, in a different kind of hazard. Pretty sure it's a free drop (if you can get the ball).
His playing partners did what all good playing partners would do. No, not consult a rule book, call the pro shop, caution their friend about safety....no, they grabbed their phones and started taking pictures.
Flashback: Golfer loses fingers to crocodile in Cancun
Happy birthday Payne Stewart.
Golfer, gentleman, icon, champion. Can't really add too much to that list...nor would you want to.
Stewart, who won eleven PGA Tour events (including three major championships) showed that hard work and perserverence could - and should - be rewarded in the game. Even more, class and humility would always be a part of golf's culture as well.
His throwback fashion style, complete with plus fours and ivy caps, made him distinctive. His engagement with fans made him popular. His fiery passion made him a champion. And of course, his fist pump at Pinehurst (the '99 U.S. Open) made him a legend.
Each year, the PGA Tour recognizes a player who "shows respect for the traditions of the game, commitment to uphold the game's heritage of charitable support and professional and meticulous presentation of himself and the sport through dress and conduct." The name of the award? The Payne Stewart Award...naturally.
The then 42 year-old golfer was in his prime, coming off one of the most memorable U.S. Open wins of all time - and being a part of one of the most incredible Ryder Cup comebacks ever (Brookline), when he was taken from us in a tragic airplane accident in Oct. 1999. But his legacy and spirit still live on. Very strong in fact.
Pinehurst, which has immortalized that fist pump with a now famous statue off the 18th green, will be hosting both the men's and women's U.S. Opens this year. There will be much talk about Payne Stewart and his place in the game. As there should be.
Stewart would have been 57 years-old today. Hoping he's teeing it up somewhere and celebrating with a fist pump.
John Kim's Twitter avatar includes Payne Stewart (and once he tried to change the avatar and was shamed into not doing it by many). You can follow him on Twitter at @johnkim.
How many times throughout the course of an 18-hole round of golf do you three-putt? If the answer is anything more than "zero," that's probably too much.
Even if you rarely three-putt, you can always use more consistency on the greens.
That's where a company called "CS2" comes to the rescue. "CS2" stands for: "Consistent Stroke/Consistently Square" (putter face at impact).
CS2 offers an incredibly helpful putting aid that's sure to improve your stroke, which will result in more confidence on the greens and less strokes recorded on your scorecard.
The CS2, essentially, is a board that is designed to give golfers a great visual as well as intuitive feel as to what is happening in their putting stroke.
Watch the video below where European Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter, who has been known to make some huge putts under pressure, explains how you can use the CS2:
The CS2 is basically a two part training system.
"The first part is what we call the base plate," explained Ronnie Mathews, one of the men behind CS2. "We recommend that golfers start with this only, as it will help them to understand their own preferred putting path. We do not believe that there is one perfect putting stroke -- rather that each golfer needs to find his own preferred path. The guide rails on the base plate are completely adjustable to accommodate any putter head size, and also the golfer's current skill level. In addition, you will see that the rails can be set up for a 'square to square' stroke, or can be arced to accommodate an 'in to square' stroke. This arc can vary from slightly inside, to quite radically inside."
Once the preferred putter path is determined, Mathews recommends that the golfer record the preferred setting and set up to those specific numbers for each practice session. Golfers should become so comfortable with the setting that they can make a putt with their eyes closed.
The second part of the CS2 training system involves learning how to return the putter face to square at impact.
"In this stage, the runway is clipped onto the base plate, and the two adjustable end gates are clipped onto the runway," Mathews said. "To start, the end gates should be set at their widest setting. The objective now is to roll the ball through the end gates without hitting either side. Once the golfer is regularly doing this, the gates can be made tighter. Once the golfer is getting the ball through the tight setting most of time, they are already vastly improved putters."
CS2 also teaches the golfer proper alignment and aim. The base plate has lines which show a square putter face at address, as well as a reflective patch to give an indication of where there head is.
"We do not believe that every golfer's head has to be directly over the ball, therefore the reflective patch is not an 'eye mirror,' but rather a guide as to where your head is," Mathews said. "The line on the runway gives the golfer a great visual image of the intended line of putt."
The beauty of the CS2 is that it works just as well indoors as it does outdoors -- welcome news for those of us who can't get out to the course in brutal winter weather conditions.
To learn more about the CS2, visit www.cs2putting.com.
The CS2 Putting Aid is available for $89 and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
CS2 also offers a Putting Cup (included with the putting aid, or sold separately for $12.99).
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.