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On-Demand: Using Golf for Business

Aug 2, 2021

The New York Chapter Women of EisnerAmper presented the different aspects of golf–how to use various clubs and best practices for hitting the ball on the course.


Jill Schneider: Good morning, everyone. I just wanted to first introduce ourselves. I'm Jill Schneider, a director at the PBS Long Island office. And Lois?
Lois Clinco: My name is Lois Clinco. I am a partner in the PBS Long Island office as well.

Jill Schneider: So, as many of you are familiar with, every year EisnerAmper has been doing a women's golf event. It's been a live event with the chance to play golf, do a clinic and learn about golf etiquette and lots of networking. Obviously, this has not taken place due to COVID. So, we thought we would just try to bring you a little golf virtually to you. So, temporarily, this is taking the place of our golf event, which next year we hope to return to. So, this event is going to tell you a little bit of golf, a little bit about the different shots, show you a little about being on the course, teach you some etiquette about golf and also how to network on the golf course. So, when you leave here today, hopefully you'll know a little bit more what you would learn in a golf clinic and how to present yourself on a golf course.

We want all of you to be comfortable doing a golf outing. You do not need to be a good golfer to be in a golf outing. Most golf outings are scrambles where you're using the best ball. So, if you don't have a good shot or you get one good shot the whole day, that's great. That's enough. As long as you know how to move your ball along, have proper etiquette, have proper dress and how to network on the golf course. So, that's what we're here to teach you. And as you start to learn golf, which hopefully many of you will, don't forget, golf is a day-to-day thing. You could be great one day. You could be bad the next day. You can have an amazing shot one time and your next shot is horrible. It's called golf.

That's just what happens. So, what we're going to do now is show you a short video from a golf pro at Cold Spring Harbor Country Club. Her name is Jane, and she's going to take us through the different things that would happen on a golf course, how to drive the ball, how to hit the ball on the fairway, what to do when your ball's in the rough, when your ball's in the sand, in the water even also, and your short game and putting, which is the basic concepts of golf. So, hopefully this will just give you a little familiarity with the golf course.

Jane: Hi, my name's Jane. I'm going to be your golf pro for the day. I want to introduce you on how to go out on the golf course and play in an outing. And it's rather simple. I'm going to show you the clubs to use, where to tee off, and hopefully by the end of this you'll be quite comfortable with going out and playing.

Okay, we're going to start out with our first shot. It's usually going to be with the driver. The driver is the longest club in your bag, and it's designed to hit the ball the furthest. So, as you can see out of all these clubs, I'm going to go with this one. It's much taller than the other ones in the bag. We're going to start the hole out with this club. This is the driver. Now, we're going to go to the first tee. Come with me. When we tee off on the first hole, we want to tee off from between these two markers. We can't go in front of it. The hole's in that direction. So, we got a tee up our ball between these and somewhere between one, two club lengths behind it. Generally though, you'll need as close to the front as you can get. So, I'm going to take the ball and I'm going to tee it up just behind these two markers.

Now, tee height is very important with the driver. As you can see, I have the ball teed up just about halfway above the club head, maybe just a little bit more. You can go a little higher or a little lower, depending on how high you want to hit it. I'd say if you're starting out, just starting, I'd definitely tee it up a little higher. It's a little more forgiving. Getting ready to tee off. And you want to be quiet when everybody else is hitting. That's unique to golf. In any sport, everybody's kind of quiet. You don't talk when other people are hitting. You're going to stand behind the ball. You're going to look down where we want to hit it. We want to hit it right down the middle, hopefully. Can see the flag way, way down there. And then I'm going to set up and you can see that the ball is halfway up the club head still.

I'm going to play the ball with my driver. I'm going to play a little closer to that left foot, not in the center of the stand. So, a little closer to the target foot. And then I'm going to go ahead and try to hit it down the middle of the fairway. Okay, you've hit your tee shot into the fairway. And now we're going to go with our second shot. And what I'd recommend beginners hitting is a hybrid. This particular one is a five hybrid. It's got just a little more loft on it. It's a smaller club head and the shaft isn't quite as long as some of the other ones, making it a little bit easier to hit. I'm going to do the same thing here. I'm going to stand behind it for a second, look where I want to hit. I'm going to wind up. I'm going to put the ball just a little bit to the left of center this time because it's my hybrid. And then I'm going to hit it down to the green.

Now, I might have to get this shot two or three times, maybe even four, to get it down to the green, but that's okay. You just keep going until you're closer to the green, and then we'll get to a different club. My ball ended up in a fairway bunker. So, it's not up next to the green. I've got a long shot to the green still, but I have to get it out of this fairway bunker. So, I'm going to go with a lofted iron. I'm choosing an eight iron here, just enough to get it over the front of that bunker, which is a lot higher than my ball right now. So, I'm going to walk into the bunker. You can take a practice swing in the bunker and hit the sand. So, if you're going to take a practice swing, you're going to take it outside the bunker and then you're going to walk in.

I'm going to get my set up and I'm going to dig my feet in a little bit so that I don't slip, and I'm going to try to hit the ball first and then the sand, just like I would a fairway shot. Okay, now I hit my shot. So, now I have to prepare the bunker for somebody else that's coming in. So, I'm going to pick up the rake, and I'm going to rake my footsteps so that they go away, make it nice and clean where I hit from, and then set the rake just outside the bunker. On this shot, my ball ended up in the rough. The rough is this high grass here. This is where you can see how you can barely even see the top of the ball there. It's very, very deep in the rough. The rough runs along both sides of the fairway. And you typically have three levels of rough. You have this higher rough. You have this intermediate rough. And then the short grass, the beautiful grass where we prefer to be, is the fairway. But our ball, unfortunately, our tee shot ended up in the rough.

So, in order to get it out of there, we're going to have to get the ball up in the air and we're going to have to use a more lofted club. So, this time I just want to get it out of the rough back into the fairway so I'm going to go with a pitching wedge. If you look at the pitching wedge, it's got a lot of loft in there and it'll get the ball up into the air very, very easily back into the fairway. I'm going to aim towards the fairway and then I can continue to play with my hybrid down the fairway.

Uh-oh. Okay, I took a divot here. There's a big divot piece of grass that's missing. What we want to do now? We don't want to leave it like that. Sometimes they'll have a bucket of sand on a cart and you'll get a little bit of sand off the cart and you'll put it down into the divot. Or you can go pick up pieces of your divot, the larger part of your divot, and you're going to bring it back and you're going to replace it into your divot and that grass will grow back. It also makes it easier if somebody behind you lands where you did, at least they still have a little bit of grass to hit off of. That's good etiquette.

Unfortunately, I just hit my tee shot or my shot here into the water. So, I can't get my ball back. I obviously can't play it out of the lake. So, where am I going to drop it? What I'm going to do is keep where my ball crossed the water, it went in right here and it went in down by that piece of grass, I'm going to keep that point between me and the flag and I'm going to drop another ball to put it in play. So, in order to drop it, I want to hold it about knee height and I just drop it that way, and then the ball is in play. A lot of courses that you'll play will have a drop circle or an area where you can drop the ball if you hit it into the water that's a little closer to the green. And our hole, this is our 17th hole and this is our drop area for the 17th hole.

And what you'll do is the same thing we did back here. This is a square, but it's really the drop circle. We'll take the ball and you're going to do the same thing. We'll drop it from knee height well, let it fall down, and the ball's in play. Then I go ahead and hit it. Now, my ball's up by the green. I took two clubs out of the bag. I took a wedge because I'm not on the green and I'm going to need to hit a chip shot, and I also took my putter out so I wouldn't have to go back to the cart to change clubs. This will really helped with the pace of play. Now we're close to the green. I don't want to take a great big shot because I don't want to hit the ball very far. A big swing is going to make the ball go way, way too far. So, we're going to hit a little shot. It's almost like I was just going to take my hand and toss the ball up there.

What I'm going to do, I'm going to take a practice swing, just like I was tossing it. It's going to feel about the same way. I'm standing a little closer to the ball, feet closer together. I'm going to feel like I'm just tossing the ball up next to the flag. We're on the green. We're on the putting green. We're completing our first hole. But first we have to put. The person that's farthest from the hole puts first. So, I have my playing partner's up there and I'm back here. But that ball's kind of in my way, so my playing partner would take a ball marker, would place it directly behind the ball, it's a flat object, then pick up the ball. That gets it out of my way. Now when I put, it's not going to hurt me. And if my ball hits that flag marker, it'll be fine. So, now it's my turn to put. I'm going to line it up. I'm going to take a couple practice putts, practice strokes, and put it. And that's the completion of the hole.

Jill Schneider: Okay. So, that was Jane giving us a great example of how to play all the different shots in the hole. Now, what we're going to do is discuss some golf etiquette, because this is information that you need to know when you get out on the golf course if you want to make a good impression with the people you're playing with, with a client, whoever it may be. It's good golf etiquette. The first thing is to keep it safe, okay? Make sure that when you're swinging the club, whether it's a practice swing or your actual swing, that there's no one around you. When practicing. Never swing in the direction of another player. Look around. Make sure there's no pebbles, twigs or anything else that you could hit.

Another thing to do is a lot of times in the course, it gets very tight. It could be very crowded. There's people playing in front of you. There's people playing in back of you. Some people are slower than others. Don't hit the ball until you know that the people ahead of you, you can't reach them. I mean, they're way beyond your reach. So, if you're not sure, just wait. The last thing you want to do is hit up to other people. If your ball, and we all have this, goes left, right, it goes in the wrong direction, not where you're expecting to hit it, and there's people there, what you supposed to do is scream "Fore" really loud so that whoever hears it will just at least turn around to know, "Maybe it's coming towards me. Let me be aware so I don't get hurt."

Whatever golf course you're on, observe the safety suggestions posted in the golf cart. Sometimes they don't want you going on the rough. Sometimes they don't want you going on the fairway. They want you staying on the rough. This usually happens in par threes or if there's been a lot of rain. There are specific rules to the course. So, please pay attention to that. Another thing which you'll see it a lot, you see it in tournament's, you see it on TV, people get angry. They get upset at their shots and they throw that clubs. This is something that you should never, ever do on the golf course.

Lois Clinco: Thank you, Jill. As Jane said, I think when she initially started her video, she talked about maintaining a pace, about keeping things moving, and about being quiet. So, that's what we're going to talk about in this slide, as well as the etiquette slide. Jill mentioned it also. You want to keep the play moving. So, you want to keep the round moving by always being prepared to hit your shot when it's your turn. So, if Jill and I are golfing together and our balls are close to each other, you want to get out of the cart. You want to have your club ready. You want to be looking at your shot before it's your turn to make your shot. The player who was away, as Jane referenced also, when she talked about it on the putting green, who's ever the furthest away from the hole usually shoots first. Unless you have something called ready play, which most of the time in a friendly match or in tournaments, outings, you do ready plays.

So, this way, again, it just keeps the ball moving. And Jill mentioned it in the introduction that it's usually called scramble, right? Where you hit the ball and you play the best shot out of the four people that are shooting. But usually then in scramble, when you get to the putting green, everybody then putts. Do not spend a lot of time looking for a lost ball. This happens to me. I'll hit the ball. I'll go down. When I hit the ball, I know where the ball is. I know what tree it's by. When I go down there, all the trees look the same and you can't find the ball. So, you look for maybe 30 seconds or a minute, and then you just want to drop a ball. Just have a ball ready in your pocket to go so that if you can't find it. Now, this says five minutes. Usually we don't usually take that long because you just want to keep the play moving.

Always keep pace, which Jill mentioned, right? You want to stay aware of the group in front of you. You want to look and see what they're wearing so you know who's in front of you. And you want to pay attention to the group that's coming up behind you as well. Again, trying, to maintain the pace. It's all about maintaining the pace, about keeping it moving. Because if the foursome in front of you is slower then you're waiting on them, and you just want things to keep on moving. It mentions here about the two players in the cart. Usually now with COVID you're back to playing, or after COVID, you're back to playing two people in a cart. And the funny part is, you talk about cart management, right? So, cart management is when you both hit the ball in the same area.

So, you're not dropping one person off and then going to your ball. When walking from a cart, which Jane mentioned, right? When you get closer to the green, in certain cases, you're going to take a pitching wedge and a putter. So, this way you could pitch the ball, hopefully you don't get it in the sand because that's usually a different club. And so this way, again, it just keeps the pace moving. And always leave the putting green as soon as you're done. So, if you want to discuss a shot or discuss something, just as you're discussing it, just keep walking off the green. Let me move it. Hold on. Oh, you got it? Wait, I moved it too fast.

Lois Clinco: These are when, as Jill said, when we did this in person, this was just a little funny snippets of just, "Bro, you play like a girl. Yeah, really? I'm that good?" So, it's just a little funniness. Jill?

Jill Schneider: As Jane mentioned in her video, you want to really be kind to the course. The golf course that you're playing on, they spent a lot of time and a lot of money maintaining it. So, you want to do whatever you can to help. One thing is observing the cart rules. Like I said before, sometimes it says "cart path only." Some says "90 degree rule," which means you can only go directly across. You can't drive down the fairway following your ball. But you could go 90 degrees from one fairway to the other across the court. If it says "stay on the rough," stay on the rough. And a lot of times, most times on the course, you'll see almost stands in the ground or little signs that say "carts this way. You can't go past here." You can damage the area by not paying attention to this.

So, it's really important that you observe what they're doing. Sometimes you'll be in these carts and they're GPS carts. This is the new thing. So, if you start going to a bad area, your cart freezes and you'll get stuck there. It slows down and it just stops, and you have to back all the way up and it's very frustrating. But it's how they're keeping their courses in better shape. Repair your divots in the fairway. I had Jane show you what a divot is. So, when you rip up the grass, which you're supposed to hit the ground when you hit the ball. You can't be scared of the ground. But if you rip up the ground, you have to fix it, either with sand or by replacing your divot. If you're putting the bull and you rip up some ground when you're putting, there's little tools and you can fix that also.

As she showed you, when you go into the sand, make sure to always rake the bunker so that there's no footprints where you are. That's important because the next person, if they hit the ball and they hit it into your footprint, now it's deep in the sand. You want to be able to keep the surface similar for everyone else. And when you're just practicing, try not to dig into the ground deeply because that just creates more divots, which we don't want. On to you, Lois.

Lois Clinco: General golf etiquette hints. Again, the first bullet Jane mentioned, and even if you're playing a friendly game, you want to try to keep quiet. When somebody is hitting the ball or when it's their turn to swing, you just want to pause the conversation. It takes a few seconds. They hit the ball and then you could go back to networking. I mentioned before that during COVID, networking was a little more difficult because it would be one person to a cart. Now that it's hopefully post-COVID and it will continue is that you're back to having two people in a cart. But you want to still be mindful of the time when you're talking to the person you're in the cart with, just to keep the ball moving. That if it's your shot, you want to, again, be ready to hit because time does get away from you where you don't realize that those few extra minutes on 18 holes does add up. Do not yell out following a shot unless, like Jill said, you're yelling "Fore."

Even if the group you're with, it's okay, just, you could usually hear on the other courses. And depending on where the tea box is, you don't want to be on hole 15 and then on 16 where they're teeing off, it's loud. Be aware of the shadows. So, these are things you may not think of, right? So, depending on which way the sun's coming down, as you're standing waiting to put your ball, your shadow could be in the way of somebody else's shot. And so just to be aware of where you're standing and just the different etiquettes that take place. And this top photo up here shows you just how the shadow lines are. Never walk through a player's shot. I think, Jill, I think this is not as critical anymore where it's not as taboo, although I still do it just because that's the way I grew up, not walking in somebody's line.

Jill Schneider: When you're in a tournament it's very important. That's when people could get upset. Very competitive golfers, tournaments, stuff like that, that's when they get upset about walking in the putting line, because you're changing the feel of the ground.

Lois Clinco: Right. So, it's still something you want to be aware of. And if you get used to it as you're learning to play, then it's just going to become second nature of, "Okay, we're looking to see where the person's ball is in relationship to the hole," and just walking around it or stepping over it. Again, like Jill mentioned in the beginning in the keeping it safe, when you're practicing swinging or putting, try to stand out of his or her line of vision. And just again, you want to remain quiet when they're hitting the ball. Jill?

Jill Schneider: Okay. So, certain things that you would need to play. Now, you don't necessarily need to own golf clubs. If you get invited to a golf outing and you want to attend and you don't own golf clubs, reach out to the person. Reach out to the clubs. Many times the club itself will rent you clubs for $30 for the day. Sometimes they'll loan new clubs. If you're trying out clubs and you want to buy clubs, a lot of places will also loan them to you for the day. You can put a credit card down and they'll loan you clubs. You give it back just when you're trying out things before you actually buy them.

It's very important to have proper golf shoes. Just any sports store you go to, you say you want to buy a golf shoe, they have specific bottoms. That's very, very important. A golf glove keeps your hand from slipping off the club. Some people wear two. Some people hate them. Some people wear one. I wear one on my left hand, which is the most common. Having a visor or some kind of hat is very, very important. Just for that sun. Keep it out of your face. Keep the shadows better. It keeps you cooler. I talked about the clubs and the bags.

Golf balls. I personally like white balls. Some people say neon pink, these funky colors are easier to find. I like pure white. I think I find them better, but either way. A towel to wipe off your balls if it's particularly a muddy day or a dirtier day. You can hang one off your golf bag. And tees. Everyone's different. They make tees that are just basic plain tees with different tops. Some they call these martini tees, which are set. You put it in and it's a certain height. You'll find what works for you as you continue on.

Oh, and one other thing is for golf clothing, there used to be a rule that you had to have a collar, okay? And now if you go into a store and you do buy golf clothes, a lot of times golf stuff, it has a modified collar. So, that is okay and is acceptable as long as you buy it in the golf section. They will know. For women, shorts have to be longer. Skirts have to be longer. Not 15, 16 inch. Not the little ones for tennis or that you run in or anything like that. Pants, and obviously always acceptable. Pants, capris. And layer up if it's cold. And that's that. And now we will pass it back to Lexi who will get us into the different networking groups.

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