My Golf Instructor

Rules of Golf Lessons

  • Ball in Motion Stopped or Deflected

    As I'm sure you know by now, anything can happen in a round of golf. In any give round there is both good luck and bad luck. There are good bounces and kicks and some unfortunate bounces and kicks. Whether a bird swoops down and picks up your ball or an alligator carries it away, there is a rule for everything. While the rules are lengthy and somewhat complicated, they… continue reading

  • Ball Moving After Address

    Many, many years ago (unfortunately) I was playing in a college tournament in Memphis. I had just missed the green off to the side and my ball had rolled across the cart path and up under a small pine tree. I knew the ball was in a precarious position and that I shouldn't even attempt to ground my club. I went through my pre shot routine, stepped up to the ball, got in my… continue reading

  • Grounding Your Club in a Hazard

    As if golf wasn't hard enough, there are certain instances in the game where you cannot ground your club. This means that you can't rest your club on the ground, but rather must hover it in the air behind the ball. Most players naturally sole their club on the ground by letting it rest softly on the grass before beginning their take away. This action naturally gives… continue reading

  • Hitting the Flagstick

    One would think that a rule as simple as "don't hit the flagstick with your ball while you are on the green" would be an easy rule to follow in the game of golf. Actually though, it is probably one of the most confusing and debated rules in the game. Search engines are loaded down on the internet with questions as to how to proceed with the flag when a player is on or off the… continue reading

  • Hitting the Wrong Ball

    It's funny how often when I sit down to write an article about a rule that I remember and instance when I was in fact affected by that very rule in competition. I guess when you've played as long as I have (38 years at the time of this writing) and competed as long as I have (36 years) that you are bound to come across almost every rule in the book at one time or another. Back… continue reading

  • Lateral Water Hazards

    With nearly every round of golf you play you will encounter some type of body of water. Whether it's a small creek, a lake or the ocean, it's rare to play a course without some sort of water source. Water that runs along the side of a hole (laterally) is considered a lateral hazard. The USGA defines lateral hazards as: "A "lateral water hazard" is a water hazard or that… continue reading

  • Out of Bounds

    When playing day to day rounds there are penalties that occur regularly such as lateral hazards, water hazards and out of bounds. These are penalties that golfers are faced with on every single course they play and affect almost every player at least once in a round. Of those penalties, Out of Bounds also known as OB is considered the most penalizing. With hazards,… continue reading

  • Play It As It Lies

    There is almost nothing more demoralizing in the game of golf than hitting a great shot and feeling like you're being penalized. If you have played for any reasonable amount of time you've experienced it. You've striped a ball down the middle of the fairway only to find it in a divot. Or maybe your ball ended up in a foot print that someone before you didn't take the… continue reading

  • Playing Outside the Tee Markers

    You've heard many times that "golf is a gentleman's game" or "golf is a ladies game." While this may mean different things to different people, it is supposed to represent the dignity and respect that is commanded by the nature of the game. After all, there are no referees out there, so honesty, honor and rule abiding are a must for a fair game. Beyond that though is… continue reading

  • Quick Tips to Play Golf the Right Way

    Nobody likes a jerk on the golf course and people certainly do not like to play with golfer that doesn't follow the rules. Don't be a jerk or a cheater on the golf course! Learn the proper etiquette and the most common golf rules with our quick tips infographic.… continue reading

  • Searching For and Identifying Your Ball

    One of the first things I teach my junior golfers when they are preparing for their first competitive round is to mark their ball. I remember my college coach reminding us to do it before we teed off on every single round. While it's of course important to be able to distinguish your ball from your competitor's (you may both be playing Titleist 1 for instance) it's… continue reading

  • Taking Relief From a Cart Path

    Cart paths. Nearly every course has them whether concrete, asphalt, limestone or just plain dirt. While the vast majority of them are located out of normal play or along the sides of the course (yeah, like we're that accurate) some do cut right through the fairway or even right by the green. When your ball does come to rest on a cart path or if the path affects or interferes… continue reading

  • The 14 Club Rule

    Many of you may remember the 2001 British Open when Ian Woosnam had just eagled the first hole and moved into a share of the lead. Not but minutes later he was informed by his caddy Miles Byrne that he was above the legal limit for clubs (14) and was carrying 15 clubs in his bag. The unfortunate incident occurred because Ian was trying out two drivers on the driving range… continue reading

  • The Double Hit

    It was the Women's State Championship and my first trip as I was barely 18. I squeezed into the field by winning a sudden death playoff. The next thing you know I'm talking to reporters about being the "kid" in the field. This was the late 80s and pre-Tiger by a few years, so it wasn't often you had a teenager in the field beating up on all the adults. The next thing you know… continue reading

  • Unplayable Lie

    Many years ago I was competing in the finals of the District Championship and early in the round my well struck tee ball that was virtually right down the middle of the fairway landed in a yucca bush. The bush was just on the edge of the fairway where it dog legged and was used by the course as the 150 yard marker. I was of course beside myself as I learned that not only did… continue reading

  • Water Hazards

    Your ball won't be happy if you send it to a watery grave, but that's no comparison to how you'll be feeling. Knowing the right steps to take when faced with a water hazard however, will help keep that tally on your card to minimum. Hitting over a lake or creek is definitely one of the most scary times in a round for beginners and high handicappers. This is the point in… continue reading

Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
Basics
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
Driving
- Driving (68)
Putting
- Putting (127)
Rules
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Problems
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
Distance
- Lack of Distance (108)
Putting
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
Grip
- Grip (65)
Setup
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)