Welcome to Chip Shots, eighth edition. After a week off, we’re as passionate as ever about the marriage of golf and grammar into one unified column (please note sarcasm). To check out past editions of Chips Shots, click here.

Now, on to the fun.

Anthony Kim Disqualified

Two weeks ago, Anthony Kim—one of the stars of the Ryder Cup—was disqualified for a rules violation at the HSBC Champions in China.


Image: tbd7182/Flickr

According to Kim, he tapped his driver on a sprinkler head while walking down the fairway.

“I wasn’t angry or anything, just walking down the fairway,” Kim said. “The toe hit the sprinkler, hit the top of the sprinkler, and I looked at it and it looked a little bit different. But I wasn’t sure and I put it in my bag.”

Kim proceeded to use the driver on the next hole, poking his tee shot out of bounds only 150 yards away. Kim struck a provisional shot poorly and carded a triple bogey 8 on the hole. Obviously, the altered club didn’t help much.

But here’s where the golf rules get strange. Kim was disqualified for playing with an altered club—rule 4-3b.

The rule states: If, during a stipulated round, a player’s club is damaged other than in the normal course of play rendering it non-conforming or changing its playing characteristics, the club must not subsequently be used or replaced during the round.

So if Kim would have bagged the club and stopped using it, he would have been fine. But since he used the driver on the following hole, he had to disqualify himself after discussing the situation with a rules official.

It’s too bad common sense can’t prevail. Sure, the rules are the rules. But it’s obvious this rule was created so a player wouldn’t get an advantage from altering a club. Kim was at an obvious disadvantage after tweaking his driver—how often does he make triple bogeys?

So there you have it. Next time you slam that driver against a tree or throw your putter against the cart, put that baby in the bag and leave it there. I’m sure you fellow Country Clubbers would love to DQ you from the Club Championship.

Who or That?

Last month, I discussed the ever-controversial which versus that issue. Don’t we all hate that one. Along the same lines, I present to you two more commonly misunderstood words: who and that.

Here’s a test. Fill in the blank:

Tiger Woods is a guy _______ never quits on the golf course.

Would you use who or that in the preceding sentence? If your answer is who, then you are correct, sir!

Remember, use who for a person and that for an object. One of the most common mistakes I see is when writers replace who with that. In other words, Tiger Woods is a guy that never quits on the golf course. Not right.

Rarely, if ever, will you see the reverse mistake. For example, Augusta National is a golf course who must be played in the spring. Huh? That one is a little more obvious.

But many people write that when they mean to say who. Use who when you are talking about a person and that when you are talking about an object.

Simple enough.

As always, send your hate mail to robert.bruce@gameunderrepair.com. I’ll be glad to respond if your hate email is free from typos, comma splices, and run-on sentences. Until next time…