January 2nd

New Year's Resolution: Play More Golf!

It's a brand new year! Time to make new goals for ourselves and for our golf games! My New Year's Resolution is to play more golf- whether it be more tournaments or just a casual round with all of you! 

If anyone is interested, the Minnesota PGA section has a great line up of Pro-Am tournaments for this coming year. Click "Tournament Schedule" below to check out all Pro-Am tournaments for 2023!

December 19th

Work Both Sides

The golf swing is a one sided motion, causing certain muscles on one side of your body to become stronger than the opposite. Whenever you are doing exercises that mimic the golf swing- like lunges with a torso twist- make sure you work the opposite side of your body. By doing so, we not only strengthen our golfing muscles, but we can prevent injuries to our bodies.

December 5th

2023 Rule Update: Rule 6.3b(3)

Rule 6.3b(3) has been updated for next year. This Rule now states that if a player makes a stroke at an incorrectly substituted ball, the player receives one penalty stroke- instead of the general penalty of 2 strokes- and must play out the hole with the incorrectly substituted ball. 

For example, you hit a yellow ball down the fairway and it comes to rest on a sprinkler head. You take the proper relief but replace the yellow ball with a white ball. In 2023, you will incur a one stroke penalty and must continue playing out the hole with that white ball. 

November 21st

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's officially the Holiday Season! I am very thankful to be a part of Bunker Hills and have gotten to get to know you ladies! 

It's also the time of year where we consume a bunch of calories from Thanksgiving dinner to cookies and cocktails. Now, I'm not going to give you any dieting tips or tell you you can't enjoy the season, but I will give you an exercise you can do while the cookies are baking.

Push Ups

Push Ups help build upper body strength. There are a lot of variations that can help you slowly build up to doing floor push ups. 

The easiest version of push ups would be to find a wall or a counter. Place your hands shoulder width apart and take a few steps back from the wall or counter. Remember to keep your back flat as you push down and up. Begin with a small batch of reps- 3 sets of 5- or any amount that is comfortable with you. 

As these get easier and easier, move to a chair or bench- or something that's shorter than what you were originally on. The idea is the higher your hands are, the easier the push ups will be.  

November 7th

2023 Rules Changes

The season is winding down, but now is a good time to study up on the 11 rule changes that will take effect in the new year. Below are 5 key changes that the R&A and the USGA have made to make the game more simple and more inclusive. 

  1. New Rule- Modifications for Players with Disabilities
    • These modifications will be covered under Rule 25
  2. Replacing Damaged Clubs
    • You may replace, repair or continue to use a damaged club (except when the club has been damaged by abuse)
  3. Ball Moved by Natural Forces
    • If wind, water or other natural forces cause your ball at rest after taking relief to move into another area of the course, you must replace it under no penalty
  4. Handicap on Scorecard (Stroke Play Only)
    • You are not required to put your handicap on your scorecard and there is no penalty if you return your scorecard with an incorrect handicap. This will now be the Committee's responsibility
  5. Simplified Back-on-the-Line Relief
    • If you are using this relief option, you must drop your ball on the line and can roll up to one club-lenght in any direction.

September 12th

The Golf Season is over... Or is it?

Fall is almost upon us. Time for football, tailgating, and golf too! Just because the league season is over doesn't mean it's time to put the clubs away just yet. Give the pro shop a call to make a tee time for any day of the week. 

Also keep in mind that even when the snow flies, Bunker Hills will still have golf available through our 4 AboutGolf Simulators starting in November. More information will be posted as we get closer. 

September 5th

Turf Management 101

There hasn't been much here about turf management, but it's a very important part of golf. Just as having the right equipment to play golf, golf courses need the right equipment to keep the course in great shape. However, sometimes things break. I'm sure many of you have seen this on West 6 by the green and West 7 on the tee box. 

This is the result of a hydraulic hose breaking and leaking hydraulic fluid. This hydraulic fluid is very toxic to the turf and can immediately kill the grass. The fastest way to repair this would be to cut the damaged grass out and replace it with healthy sod. Another way is to put sand, grass seed and fertilizer on the damaged area. 

August 29th

Congrats to the Champs!

It's championship season, not just for the PGA tour but for our league as well! 

Congrats to Barbara Patrow for fending off defending champ Nicki Reuterfeldt and claiming the title by one stroke!

Congrats to Ann Sievers for claiming the Morning 9 Hole Championship division!

 Congrats to Peggy Saporito who won the Evening  Club Championship. 

August 15th

What's the Ruling?

Everyone needs a refresher from time to time, especially the pros. My ball ended up in a similar spot like the one in the photo. I was near a drain covering and was not sure- and couldn't remember if I could take relief or not. Rule 16.1 allows for relief under abnormal course conditions, immovable obstructions (like a sprinkler or drain covering), dangerous animal conditions and embedded ball. 

If you find yourself with this same senario, you may take relief under Rule 16.1a because this sprinkler interferes with your intended stance or area of intended swing. If you were to make a stroke at this ball, you could do significant damage to the sprinkler, your club and possibly yourself. 

You are allowed to take relief with the following procedures:

  • Find the nearest point of relief (you must take full relief) and mark it
  • Measure 1 club length from that spot, no closer to the hole
  • Drop your ball in this relief area and play away. 

There is no penalty when taking relief under this Rule. 

August 8th

I Have No Idea... What's the Ruling?

Have you ever had a situation where you had no idea what the ruling was or was confused on any ruling? Have no fear! There is a rule where you can play two balls and work out the situation after your round. Meet Rule 20. Here's how it works:

Rule 20 covers what players should do when they have questions about the Rules during the round, including the procedures allowing a player to protect the right to get a ruling at a later time. 

If a player does have a question with a ruling...

  1. The player must not unreasonably delay play when seeking help with the Rules during the round (20.1a)
  2. All players actually have no right to decide rules issues by agreement. Players are encouraged to help each other but they have no right to decide a Rules issue by agreement. (20.1c(1))
  3. If a player is uncertain of what to do, the player may
    • Play two balls after the situation arises but BEFORE making a stroke
    • The player must determine which ball will count if the Rules allow the procedure by announcing that decision. If no declaration is made, the ball played first must count by default
    • The player must report the facts to the Rules Committee BEFORE signing and returning the scorecard (20.1c(3))


August 1st 

The Women's British Open- Fun Facts

The Women's British Open is this week at Muirfield, Edinburgh, Scotland, for the very first time. Did you know that no one has won this event more than three times. In fact, only two women have tied for the most wins at this event. Only Karrie Webb from Australia and Sheri Steinhauer from Wisconsin have won this event three times each. 

Webb won this event in 1995, 1997, and 2002. Steinhauer won this event in 1998, 1999, and 2006  

July 18th

Golf Handicap Index...What is this?

I received a question last week about handicapping and what is an Index vs. handicap, and honestly, it can be confusing, especially with the new World Handicapping System. So, here is an explanation of what it's all about.

So much like the Rules of Golf, there are the Rules of Handicapping. These Rules define a handicap index as "the measure of a player's demonstrated ability calculated against the slope rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty." This is what you will see when you sign into GHIN. 

Your course handicap will determine how many strokes you can subtract from your gross score to get your net score. This course handicap will change based on the slope rating of the course- the three digit number- and the course rating- the two digit number. 

For example, Player G has a handicap index of 29.4, and she's playing the red tees of the East and West courses at Bunker Hills, which has a rating of 72.0 and a slope of 126. Her Course Handicap is as follows:

Handicap Index x (Slope Rating/113) + (Course Rating-Par)

29.4 x (126/ 113) +(72.0-72)

29.4 x  1.115 + 0= 32.7

The Rules of Handicapping states that we must round to the nearest whole number. So her Course Handicap is 33. We can now use this handicap number to find her net score. 



July 11th

What's the Ruling- The Zalatoris/Fitzpatrick Incident

Did you see that? This past Thursday at the Genesis Scottish Open, Will Zalatoris' ball ended up coming to rest on top of the ball marker of Matt Fitzpatrick. So, what's the ruling? 

Zalatoris is allowed to lift his ball, under rule 15.2a(3), which allows for free relief if a ball is in or on a movable obstruction on the putting green. Then Fitzpatrick lifted and moved his mark  one putter head out of the way of Zalatoris' line of putt, which is allowed under Rule 15.3c. Finally, Zalatoris was able to place his ball on the estimated spot where the ball finally came to rest. After Zalatoris made his putt, Fitzpatrick moved his marker back to its original position and he too, made the putt. 

July 4th

US Presidents and Golf

Sixteen of the last 19 United States Presidents have been known to be avid golfers. Here are a few facts about these "Golfer's in Chiefs":

- TPC Harding Park in San Francisco is named after Warren G. Harding (29th President, 1921-1923)

- FDR (32nd President, 1933-1945) was an avid golfer until he contracted polio at age 39. He is responsible for funding public-works projects, including many municipal golf courses like Bethpage State Park in New York and FDR Golf Club in Philly. 

- It's been said that Lyndon B. Johnson (36th President, 1963-1969) used golf rounds to have four plus hours of uninterrupted time to strengthen or sway the opinions of his political friends or foes. This time may have been used to get senators to vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

- George Bush (41st President, 1989-1993) supposedly holds the presidential speed-golf record of 1 hour, 51 minutes for 18 holes for a foursome. His maternal grandfather- George Herbert Walker was president of the USGA and the founder of the Walker Cup. 

June 27th

What's the Ruling: Red Penalty Areas

Player 1 hit her ball into a red penalty area. What's the ruling?

Player 1 has a few options. She can either:

A) Play the ball as it lies without penalty, or,

B) Take relief under Rule 17.1d, which has three different options to choose from (see the diagram on right). A 1-stroke penalty shot must be added to her score

  • Option 1- Play the original ball or another ball from where the previous stroke was made,
  • Option 2- Drop the original ball or another ball in a relief area that is based on the reference line going straight back from the hole through the estimated point where the original ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area. There is no limit on how far back on the line she goes.
  • Option 3- Take Lateral Relief. This means you may drop the original or another ball, no closer to the hole, in a relief area that is no larger than 2 club lengths of the estimated point where the original ball last crossed the edge of the red penalty area.

June 20th

Did You Know...?

Do you know the origin story for bunkers? The very first bunkers were created by the very first grounds crew- Sheep! Harsh storms and strong winds would blow off the coast of the Scottish Links, causing herds of sheep to dig in and take shelter. Once the storms and wind died down, they would begin roaming around, leaving behind a small sandy hole. Over time, wind and rain would erode this small hole, turning it into a bigger, sandy bunker. 

June 13th

Pace of Play

Whether playing in a league, playing for fun, or playing in a tournament, the pace of play should be the same. In fact, time is the major deterrent for those who want to play golf.  At Bunker Hills, is should take around 2 hours and 15 minutes to play 9 holes, and 4 hours and 30 minutes to play 18. Here are a few things that you and your group can do to keep up the pace of play:

  • Play ready golf
    • Whoever is ready to hit their shot, they should do so. It’s okay to hit out of order to keep up the pace of play. 
  • Strategic Parking
    • Sounds strange, but parking your cart in a better location can help speed up the pace of play. Park your carts and push carts in a location that is near the next hole when you are on the greens. It helps to move your group along faster, and helps clear the green faster for the next group. 
  • Take a quick break
    • Make any breaks quick. Whether it’s a bathroom break or getting a cocktail, make it quick. 

These are just a few ways you can help keep up the pace of play. It is your responsibility as a golfer to help not just to care for the course, but to help with pace of play. It only takes one group to slow the whole day down. Please be mindful of the groups behind you, and later on in the day.