All's Fair In Love And Golf

By Stina Sternberg Illustrations by John Ritter
September 20, 2012

__Q: My husband has back problems but insists on carrying his golf bag. "Pullcarts are for girls," he says. Then he's in bed for a day of recovery after every round. I get so mad. What should I do?

__ A: Make him sleep on the couch? I'm sorry, but any golfer who won't embrace the benefits of the modern pushcart (not pullcart) deserves a visit to the doghouse. I applaud your husband for walking while he plays golf. Unless it's 100 degrees, he has an injury or is playing a cart-only course, he should walk. But it's time he rethink his idea about pushcarts. We have a few converts here at Golf Digest (all of them men), and they'll tell you that pushing their bag on one of the new, lightweight carts (three or four wheels) has greatly reduced their post-round recovery time and made their scores drop, too. I suggest you buy your husband a cart. (Click here to review for our picks) Then make him a bet: If he doesn't feel significantly better after playing his next three rounds pushing his clubs instead of carrying them, you'll do the dishes for the remainder of the year. If he's honest, it'll be the safest bet you'll ever make.

Q: What's the proper etiquette for putting out when two balls are about the same distance from the hole?

A: It depends on the situation. If you're playing a friendly round, the golfer who's ready to putt should go first. Playing fast should be your priority. However, if you're playing a match, the rules say the golfer who is farthest from the hole plays first. If the balls are equidistant, order is determined by lot. Play out of turn in match play, and your opponent can make you replay the shot. When in doubt, just ask your playing companion who should putt.

Q: I play a lot of business golf with men, and sometimes there's a dinner after. The guys shower and change in 20 minutes, but I need a lot more time. How do I tactfully ask for an extra half-hour?

__A:__Unless these colleagues are really good friends, don't ask. You simply have to come prepared and try to get ready as fast as they do, even if that means skipping the hair-washing and makeup application. The guys probably expect you to take a little longer--say, 10 minutes--but if you ask for extra time, they might hesitate to invite you next time.

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Ever wonder why you can't get rid of that slice no matter how you change your swing? The problem could be the size of your grips, which come in as many as six diameters. The clubs for sale off the rack likely have "standard" grips, but don't assume they're right for your hands. Scott Ward, president of Performance Club Works in Brookfield, Conn., says a grip that's too big will prevent you from rotating your wrists fully through impact, which can result in a slice or fade. If your grips are too small, you'll squeeze the club harder and re-grip at the top, altering the orientation of the clubface. To check your grips, hold a club in the address position with your top hand. Ward says your middle finger and ring finger should just touch the pad of your palm under your thumb (right). "If there's a gap, your grip is too big," he says. "If the fingers dig in, your grip is too small." To get your clubs re-gripped, consult our list of America's 100 Best Clubfitters.