DUKE UNIVERSITY: Creativity in a Golf Crisis


Last Saturday night, a tournament at Duke University took an unexpected turn and called to attention the ingenuity of college students on the golf course. It was growing dark when the final group came up on the 18th hole at the Rod Myers Invitational. Ben Corfee of UC Davis decided to putt his 10-footer, but the dimly lit green presented a problem. At that moment, the crowd came to his rescue, forming a circle around the green and shining the built-in flashlights from their smart phones. And while he may have finished with a disappointing 77, he made that final putt!

Golfers often have to get themselves out of jams and ingenuity is key. Here are six more creative solutions to common problems on the course.

  1. Put a Cookie in Your Mouth – No, we’re not suggesting you eat a snack while trying to putt. But…if you’re someone who typically tenses up when trying to make a shot, try placing a cookie between your teeth. If you clench so hard you that you break the cookie, you need to loosen up. The cookie serves as your reminder.
  2. Prop Your Club with a Divot Tool – Sure it’s handy for replacing divots, but it can also keep your clubs dry. If you’ve ever picked up a club from the ground only to find that the grip is wet and sticky, you will appreciate this tip. Stick your divot tool in the ground and lay the club grip on the divot tool. No more wet, sticky clubs.
  3. Hang Gloves on Umbrella Spokes – Most golf gloves have a Velcro closure. To keep your gloves dry in soggy weather, attach them to the spokes of your umbrella.
  4. Wrap Gauze Tape on Putter Grip – If you really want your hands to stick to your grip, try wrapping gauze tape around it. You may also like the more bulky feel of the grip.
  5. Use Your Towel to Help You Swing – When you’re out hitting balls, tuck your towel under your left armpit. Hold it there as you swing and don’t let it fall. Doing so will help you stay connected with the upper body and your arms.
  6. Practice Chipping While you Wait – While you wait for the group in front of you on the teeing ground, drop a ball and practice chipping. It is perfectly legal to practice chipping or putting between holes (Rule 7-2). You won’t be bored and you might save strokes by improving your chipping. Aim at the tee markers and see how close you can get. 

No matter what the course or circumstances throw your way, you can be ready to solve the problem with just a little creativity and clever thinking.