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Don't be an Alice, try some kinder, gentler golf rules and have fun

By Bert Brown,

Fun Golf is for people who have lived, and by living have fractured a few bones and picked up some ailments from the "Ritus Brothers," Arthur and Rheumy. It's golf for the 55-plus crowd who want to drop the dream of challenging Tiger and company to simply enjoy the game. Sort of golf for duffers, beginners, and those who have a challenge with slaying the three-digit game score.

This is golf for those who want to play without the frustration of slow play as a result of distance-challenged shots and embarrassing encounters with dreaded course marshals with orders to pick up their balls and move on. It's golf for those routinely intimidated by errant missiles from impatient "Tiger & Mike Wannabees" that almost cold conk them.

Alice's rules may produce indignant howls of derision from pretenders to The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of Saint Andrews purity. Those who "never cheat," who never improve a lie with a toe wedge, never ever forget a stroke or two or three...those whose gimme putts stretch from the defensible to the absurd. Face it, those who don't cheat are only a figment of their own imagination.

Pros and golf clubs will love these new golfers and maintenance crews will want to marry them. Alice's rules are simplicity itself. They will dramatically reduce divots and speed up the game for the occasional golfer and the addicted, indignant purists behind them.

Golf equipment sales will soar as rich "boomers" buy the new highest tech lightweight drivers and graphite shafts. Alice's rules are the "Viagra" of golf. They will allow the occasional golfer and the duffer to "get it up" every time. The over-55 men will find they don't need stiff shafts, and many of their female partners will be relieved, even pleased, with the speed of more flexible shafts.

Alice's rules eliminate most of the shock from contact with unforgiving turf and its attendant vibrations moving through arthritic joints and old fractures into sore backs. They will allow many to play 18 holes without feeling like they have been run over by a truck. Golf will no longer be a torture test for those who pay for divots with pain.

Alice's first rule:

Tee up the damn ball! Tee it up with 3-inch tees and use forgiving "Big Momma drivers."

Tee the ball on fairway wood shots with 2 1/4-inch tees and titanium woods that have shock absorbers in graphite shafts.

Tee up the ball on 1 ¼-inch tees for iron shots.

Tee it up for approach shots and wedge shots.

And yes, tee it up in the damn sand traps! (1 ¼-inch work well)

Alice's rules follow regular rules on the greens. DO NOT TEE UP PUTTS! Golf addicts and green maintenance crews could have heart attacks, apoplexy, or seizures. (You will also be summarily removed from the course.)

With Alice's rules, gimme putts are still inevitable. Make your personal tolerance 4-inch or 4 feet. Then stick with it. Any putt less than your putter length could be a gimme that speeds up the game. When your putter is meaner than a bear with a sore paw, lay the flag stick down behind the hole to help you finish!

Alice's rules for scoring take the hypocrisy out of the game. Accept the already prevalent Mulligan for what it is - a second chance. Why not just forgive attempts to make every shot perfect? Use the Mulligan freely and honestly by scoring a 3M on a par 3 you bogey or a 4M on a par 4 etc. At the last hole you will know how many pars you would have had if you'd made that one shot right the first time. You will be able to relax and still have the challenge to reduce the number of M's you used in each game.

As Alice's pro said, "Who pays your green fee? You or the guy trying to give you his expert, but unsolicited, advice on how to play the game? Pay your green fee, then play your own game. When you hit a thousand balls a day, Tiger and Mike will welcome you to the tour and you will have lots of people keeping your score for the PGA"

Until then, relax and enjoy the game. Forget the penalty stroke for a lost ball; Alice says you have been penalized enough already. Alice says never take a double-digit score. Nine is enough abuse to the ego on any one hole..move on to the next challenge. You might get a 3 M or a 5M.

Remember...If the Gods of Golf are going to send all those to "golf hell" who forget strokes, everyone who ever held a "golf stick" is destined for that place where they will never make that "perfect shot."

Alice's rules will take 10-plus strokes off your game and dramatically reduce the expletives that fly through the air while eliminating many irrational fits and temper tantrums now exhibited in public places. They won't make you play par golf or hit 300-yard drives but you will feel like it.
Alice's rules are trademarked under the UGADG (Unprofessional Golfers Association of Duffers and Goofers.) Try them for less pains and more fun golf. Enjoy the game, and if anyone criticizes you, invite them to pay your fees.

Last rule: Be neat and pick up your tees. (You'll need them on the next shot.)

Alice says, "Above all, ENJOY your golf!"

Alice's rules of golf

Regular golf rules apply except for individual club rules and in the following circumstances

Use any tee off position, blue, white, red, or gold, but use only one color per game.

Use any club and any ball for any shot.

Tee up the ball in all shots except for the greens.

Use tee lengths golfer feels most comfortable with when changing clubs. (This rule does apply to sand traps as well.)

Be neat and pick up your tees.

Do not tee up putts.

When putting use Ready Golf. Keep pace.

Move the ball to a convenient place to hit as long as it is not moved forward.

Never score more than nine strokes per hole. No double digit scores.

Lost balls do not count in score. Losing the ball is penalty enough.

Mulligans are allowed on each hole. Golfer must use second stroke except when teeing off. Mulligan strokes should be scored separately on card. ( i.e. 3M, 4M, etc. This will help golfer score more honestly.)

Don't give other golfers tips unless asked, and never assume a woman golfer needs help with her game.

Only play with other golfers who play Alice's Rules or know you play by Alice's Rules.

Pay your own green fee and play your own game.


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