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Golf Australia Express : Issue 14
By Damian Shtie Editor-in-Chief VIEW THE EVERHAD an airswing? You know what I’m talking about: you’ve gone through your pre- shot routine, addressed the ball before giving it your all, only to look down and see your ball still sitting atop its tee. Missing or whiffing is one of the more embarrassing things that can happen to you on a golf course. And what’s always made it worse was the accompanying one- shot penalty that inevitably came with the unwanted airswing. Well, that might no longer be the case. Next time your playing partners tell you to add one stroke to your score, simply look at them, shake your head and say “Na”. That’s right, you’re invoking the Na Rule. The Kevin Na Rule to be exact. It’s the one that says you ‘re-routed’ the club on your downswing. The one that says—despite looking to the untrained eye like you just flat-out missed it—you had no intention of actually hitting the ball. According to a PGA Tour Rules official, thems the rules. The latest Na incident showed us yet again that golf is indeed a self-regulating game. And we love that aspect of the sport because all golfers are honest people (no really, they are). Of course those of us in the real world will attest that some of us are more honest than others. And this latest ruling could have genuine ramifications for your weekend round. Think about it. If a member of your foursome says he or she pulled out of a swing on the tee box—no matter how clearly he or she had not—you must accept it as only they knew their own intent. But here’s the kicker. This subjective rule applies even to those topped or shanked drives. That’s right, top one off the tee and it won’t count to your score—so long as you didn’t intend to hit the ball. Now I know a few blokes who’d take advantage of the Na Rule coming down the last if there was a game on the line. And while it’s clear to us that Na did not intend to hit the ball at the Shriners (see video above), the resulting ruling is going to see many of us amateurs shaking our heads out on course in the near future. TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS: firstname.lastname@example.org A WHIFF OF CONTENTION What does Kevin Na’s latest airswing mean for your weekend foursome? BIG THE HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE STATE OF THE GAME... Q