In the Swing

By staff August 23, 2010

Waterford Golf Club can best be described as a "serious" golf facility, namely because it features 27 championship holes instead of the usual 18.

Whichever two courses you choose to combine for your 18-hole round, you won't be disappointed. Whether you're a low-, middle-, or high-handicap player you'll enjoy the round, because no nine-hole course of the three is overly long. However, each and every hole is uniquely designed and features enough trouble lurking to prompt you to take some extra time to think strategically when driving off the tee or playing approach shots into the greens.

If you're smart you'll keep the driver in the bag and hit three-wood shots off the tee on some of the tougher holes boasting especially narrow fairways. That way, you'll avoid water and trees, land your ball on the "short grass," and be in position to hit attacking approach shots.

Waterford boasts the usual amenities-driving range, putting green, restaurant and lounge-with one bonus. If a couple of your summer house guests didn't plan on playing golf but changed their minds once they landed on our turf, the pro shop rents sets of clubs.

Waterford Golf Club, 1453 Gleneagles Drive, Venice (941) 485-6803

THE LINGO In order to feel and act like an experienced golfer, learn the language of "Golf-speak" so that you can talk-the-talk on the course.

Bite: Backspin imparted on the ball makes it bite, or stop quickly on the green.

Break: The degree of slope in the green that makes the ball curve left or right toward the hole.

Cut shot: A shot that curves slightly from left to right in the air and lands softly on the green.

Dance-floor: A fancy term used by veteran golfers to describe the green.

Halved: A hole is halved in a match when two players shoot the same score on a par-three, par-four, or par-five.

One ball out: Caddies or low-handicap playing partners will say this to explain how much break to allow for, say on a left to right putt. "Play it one ball out to the left."

Sandbagger: A player who regularly scores well below his or handicap and sometimes is considered a cheater. In England, this type of player is referred to as a bandit.

THE RULES One of the things you have to be careful about when playing a head-to-head, hole-by-hole match against another competitor, in, say, your club's annual championship, is asking your opponent a question, especially one involving club selection, as you'll appreciate when reading the following.

Situation: Player A has just picked the tee peg out of the ground after hitting an iron shot on a par-three hole. Player B is Player A's match play opponent.

Common mistake: Player B, who's ready to play next, breaches Rule 8-1 of the rules of golf by asking Player A what club he hit. You're not allowed to ask or give an opponent advice on club selection. The penalty for asking advice during a match play competition is loss of hole.

Correct procedure: In the aforementioned situation, Player B is allowed to watch what club Player A selects from his bag. As a matter of further interest, you're allowed to seek advice on the rules or matters of public information, such as asking an opponent what is the yardage number on a sprinkler head he or she is standing next to.

JOHN ANDRISANI is the former senior instruction editor of Golf Magazine and the author of nearly 30 books, including his latest, Tiger's New Swing.

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