Roberto Van Heugten

Roberto Van Heugten, emerging writer with many publications to his credit, writes of game on the pages of Italy4golf, in the column "Lost balls in Italy".
The narrative is different: in fact, in its pages it speaks of sport, but above all of territories and hospitality.

Rake, people, rake

LOST BALLS IN ITALY – DI ROBERTO VAN HEUGTEN

Spring begins to warm our hearts, dear fellow golfers.

April brings many parties and a lot of joy, with a great desire to resume playing great to recover muscle tone, skills on the field and a wonderful swing, much more elegant than the upcoming swimsuit season.

Unfortunately, in so much joy often plants that off-key detail, a small accessory that multitudes of players forget to dust after winter. Some even deny having ever heard of it, having had the player’s license and the handicap of the champion for too many years now.

This detail is called “etiquette”.

Of course, golf is one of the most complex sports in the world, with a rules manual that year after year begins to weigh like a dictionary – maybe that’s why nobody keeps it in their pocket? – by dint of adding paragraphs, clauses, sentences and interpretations.

Time and experience have combined behavioral rules ranging from dress code (now Victorian) to not parking in the club president’s parking space, to speaking politely and to being quiet when the player throws his shot.

However, the label also means something else, as it is also linked to the use of devices.

I would therefore like to dedicate the first post of this educational series to the tool that most of all is too often neglected: the rake.

Object with a shape known from early childhood, when on the beach it is used to spread the sand or demolish the castle of that kid next to your umbrella, after puberty the rake is progressively disdained and relegated to the anonymous role of a tool for gardeners, useful at most to pick up the dry leaves from the front of the house door.

In golf, on the contrary, the rake is a contraption whose use is essential for maintaining decorum, manners and respect on the court.

Easy to use, intuitive in movement, it is normal to find at least one for each bunker along the path, one every two when you are in a Nicklaus where the sandpits are sometimes more than the meters of fairways.

Nevertheless…

How many times have we seen the ball fly in a bunker and then find it badly lying in a cyclops footprint or in the clumsy scratch of a previous shot made with the wrong iron?

Net of rules or feelings – I place it or not, I move it, or I leave it – remains the fact that leaving the bunker messy is one of the most serious forms of rudeness that the golfer can show.

Still, malpractice is widespread. However, the solution is just as simple, and it is perfectly explained in this video where we learn from the PGA Tour champion Ian Poulter the simple technique of restoring our disasters in the sand.

Ah! Let’s not forget it. The etiquette is universal, so it applies both to our beloved and jealously supervised club and to golf courses where we will go from now on, perhaps with a golf trip organized by Italy 4 Golf!

Buon viaggio, e buon golf!

RvH

Roberto Van Heugten
Italy4golf Italian Ambassador
buonavita.me

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