British Open Golf – Oops for Calcavecchia

A major faux pas was made by a seasoned PGA Tour professional in the recent British Open – one he will not soon forget.

Calcavecchia had hit his drive on one hole in the gorse and proceeded to hit a provisional.

Thinking his original would never be found he went immediately to play the provisional which was in the fairway.

Before playing the shot one of the spectators shouted, “Hey! Here it is!”.

Without thinking twice Calc picked up the provisional ball and went over to find the ball that spectator thought was his was not at all.

Guess what happens then? He has to go back to the tee once again and put a ball into play.

Let’s count.

Lost ball on the first. Stroke and distance. Picked up the provisional. Stroke and distance again. Hitting five off the tee to finish with a 9 on the hole.

Lesson to learn? Don’t pick up your provisional until you are sure your first ball is lost or out of bounds.

Secondly, don’t pick up your ball in any case before knowing what you will do with it.

Common mistake: player hits a ball into an area marked “GUR” – or Ground Under Repair – and automatically picks the ball up looking for a place to drop. Now he MUST do something with the ball.

A player is not required to take relief from this area and MAY play the shot – if the alternative is in a possibly worse lie.

So before declaring your ball unplayable, declare it is in casual water, relief from GUR – always – check what position the ball would be in if you took relief before picking the ball up.

You learn things like this by reading golf blogs and from experience. Let’s hope you never have to learn the hard way.

Visit The Village Pro for more golf improvement tips at or check out the website for Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club at

If you love golf and live in Pinellas County Florida you will want to visit the website at Chi Chi’s for coupons to receive:

$2.00 off any size bucket of range balls at Chi Chi Golf & Sports Complex

A FREE small bucket of range balls for any junior golfer (ages 5-18) at Chi Chi Golf & Sports Complex

$8.00 off a regular round of golf at Chi Chi Golf Club (valid before 11:00 a.m. and good for 2 golfers)

Call Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club at 727-726-4673 for your tee time and call the Golf & Sports Complex at 727-216-6389 to schedule a professional golf lesson with Tony Simpson, PGA.

To Good Golf,

Coach Tony


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