Today is Election Day.

For the last year and a half, presidential candidates have slung mud like it’s an Olympic sport. At the end of today, one party will celebrate, while another party braces for the next four years.

That’s why, in the midst of all this divisiveness, bias, and finger pointing, I find it absolutely appropriate and refreshing to champion unity and solidarity. Of course our politicians can’t create peace—they can’t even get along with each other. So we have to do it ourselves.

One way: This here Chip Shots column. You see, some say golf and grammar don’t belong together. These same people might think Ted Kennedy doesn’t belong in a church, or George W. Bush doesn’t belong in a classroom.

But I scoff at them. You may think golf and grammar have no place in the same written piece, but you don’t know Chip Shots—bringing golf and grammar together since September 16, 2008.

Let’s get started.

Don’t just hate it when…

…you address the golf ball and then it moves. Man, that sucks.

What if it happened when you were in the lead at the final round of a PGA Tour tournament? I bet that would suck even more, wouldn’t it? Sure would.

But Ryan Palmer doesn’t need to imagine such a scenario. Nope. Sure doesn’t. It happened to him on Sunday.

Palmer had a two shot lead in the final round of the Ginn sur Mer Classic when he reached the tenth green. After addressing his 30-foot birdie putt, Palmer backed away when he felt a strong wind gust.

From what I’ve read, Palmer was the only one that noticed when the wind caused the ball to turn half a revolution. But apparently he’s an honest guy. So, in the spirit of golf’s code of honor, Palmer called a rules official.

Since he had already addressed the ball before it moved, he had to take a one shot penalty. Rule 18-2 says, “if a player’s ball in play moves after he has addressed it (other than as a result of a stroke), the player is deemed to have moved the ball and incurs a penalty of one stroke.”

Had Palmer been able to back away and mark the ball before it moved, then he would have been in good shape. But the ball moved after he addressed it, so he got drilled by the golfing gods. He took the one shot penalty and made a bogey on 10 and a double bogey on 11.

The good news is that Palmer birdied 18 and ended up winning the tournament. So unlike Joe Daley, an example I discussed back in Chip Shots, Fourth Edition, the unfortunate break didn’t end up biting him in the booty.

Speaking of getting bit in the booty, this next little grammar tip will keep you from making a dreadful mistake.

The Dreaded i.e. Versus e.g. Dilemma

I’ll be honest. I just learned this week’s topic a couple of months ago. And, really, it’s not a grammar issue, just more of a common misunderstanding. So I jest when I say this is a “dreaded dilemma.” It’s really a small issue, but you should still know how to distinguish these two.

The deal is this: i.e. means “that is” or “in other words” and e.g. means “for example.”

Most people write out i.e. when they are trying to say “for example.” A correct example would be: Justin Leonard loves to play links style courses (e.g., St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Turnberry).

The three courses listed are examples of links style courses. There are potentially thousands of links style courses, but these are just three examples. Follow?

Here’s an appropriate usage of i.e.: Tiger Woods always seems to perform better in the biggest tournaments (i.e., the four majors). As I mentioned, i.e. means “in other words” or “that is.” So you would use it when you have to be more specific or make your statement more clear.

Another way of saying the biggest tournaments is “the four majors”. No need to list examples, or use e.g., there.

I feel like I did a crap job of explaining this one. It’s late, and I’m much more tired and grumpy than I was when I started writing this week’s column. So feel free to send hate mail to Or just check out the Grammar Girl’s discussion of this subject.

That should do it.

Hope your candidate gets elected. Or not.