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What is your opinion on the "Breakfast Ball"? - Page 3

post #37 of 358

Interesting, and true, story -

 

Back in 1985 I was living in Juno Beach, FL right down the street from Frenchman's Creek Golf Club. My buddy stopped by my place & said hey, Jack Nicklaus is playing in a charity benefit thing at Frenchman's, let's go watch him. So we did. 

 

We got there as Jack's foursome was about to tee off on the first hole. Jack stepped up to the tee & hit a horribly ugly snap-hook that darted into the woods on the left, not even 100 yards off the tee. My buddy & mine's jaws dropped. Jack then teed up another ball & striped one down the middle. We followed him around the whole round & he played like, well, Jack Nicklaus. Didn't miss a single shot.

 

But that snap-hook on the first tee had me puzzled. 

 

I later found out that the event allowed a 'Breakfast Ball' off the first tee, so Jack said okay fine, and hit that snap-hook on purpose to get it out of the way. I thought that was pretty damn clever.

post #38 of 358
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Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post

What about local rules? One course I played at had no driving range, and if you duffed one on your No. 1 hole drive, the starter told you emphatically to "hit another one!" Idea was to make sure play didn't bog down on the first hole. Downside, if you hit a bad one into the trees, understanding was you didn't waste time looking for it. The next 17 holes: play that first shot.

 

The "no driving range" can be an unpleasant surprise. Solution: keep six wiffle golf balls in your bag, and hit a few shots with those. It's amazing how smoothly you swing when you realize your practice ball won't go very far.

 

I would refuse and point to the place on the scorecard where it says that play is governed by the rules of the USGA. 

 

 

There is no such thing as a local rule allowing a mulligan.  Courses are not allowed to change any rule they want to just because they feel like it.  I play mostly courses which do have a range and I still don't bother with it.  I worked at my home course for 5 years and got all the free range balls I wanted.  In 5 years I might have hit 200 balls, and that could be a high estimate.  The guys I played with most often didn't warm up either, yet none of us played a mulligan off the first tee or any place else.  I never even heard the term breakfast ball until it was mentioned by someone online a couple of years ago.  Just another way to rationalize breaking the rules.  Guys who do that always seem to have to find others who will support them so they feel justified.  

 

 

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Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

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I always chuckle at threads where people ask if it's acceptable to break this rule or that rule as if any of us have the right to authorize your decision to cheat.  If you're playing for fun you can break as many as you like, heck if you want a vanity cap I don't care if you submit your score (I would never do it, but I don't care what others do).

 

Yup, the age-old question:  how do we play by the rules when we aren't playing by the rules?

 
 

 

And they always ask these silly questions as if they are asking an actual rules question.  They know what they are doing is against the rules of the game, and they want support for their infractions.  When those of us who believe in playing by the rules point out the error, they get defensive, and when we don't buy into the excuses, then they get angry and tell us to "stuff it" or some similar friendly rejoinder.

 

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Originally Posted by Kletus View Post

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Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

Which makes your handicap meaningless.

 

From the strictest point of measure I would agree with you.  Since most of my rounds aren't played to the letter of tournament rules.  That means I guess.. that my handicap isn't "official".  By that measure though it is my opinion that 99% of all handicaps out there are aren't official.  Just like everyone here hits a 7 iron 200 yards, I'm sure everyone plays every ball down on every stroke.  Never plays a practice ball. Knows all of the rules to the letter of the rule book etc...  There are lots of people who try to play it correctly that don't know the rules... which also makes their handicap unofficial.  It would be nice to be able to say that I had a perfect xx.x tournament handicap.   I don't play tournaments... so it doesn't matter.

 

 

 

 

But they are at least trying to play by the rules as best they know them.  They aren't making weak excuses to try and justify it to the rest of us.

 

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Originally Posted by Kletus View Post

In my area, two off of the first tee is the norm.  I'm a member of two different courses and play in 3 to 4 different groups.  Every single one of them plays two off of the first tee except for the one group that plays "hit until you are happy" off of the first tee b1_ohmy.gif.   Funny thing is that  the group that plays "hit until you are happy" is the biggest stickler for playing as it lies and putting everything out after that.

 

 

Honestly... it doesn't bother me a bit as long as everyone in the group is playing by the same rules.   If you are playing in a tournament or in a group that specifies to play it by USGA rules... then that is what you should do.   If you are playing with a more relaxed group.. enjoy the round.

 

If money is on the table... then it should be clarified before hand how the round will be played and everyone should follow the same rules.   I know it stands to reason that everyone "should" play by USGA rules... but in my experience that is NOT the norm.   I would guess that on a percentage basis there are very few rounds that are played every day based entirely on the true rules.  Almost every group I've ever seen has some variation that they use.

 

Which makes your handicap meaningless.

 

And it means that he really doesn't have a clue just what his skill level is.   Any possible analysis is skewed by the lack of consistency in how each round is played.  You measure one time with a 36" yardstick and the next with a 30" yardstick.  The results are meaningless without a common standard for a constant.  For golf, that standard is the Rules of Golf.

 

 

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Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

We have a pretty good sized group that we play with regularly.  Some of us are serious about the game and maintain handicaps, some others, not so much.  Over the years we've allowed the not so serious golfers to take a breakfast ball if they like.  Those of us who are serious about the game......never. 

 

Interestingly, more and more seem to be self-transitioning to the serious side.....especially those that are working towards "threshold" personal best scores, because we are very clear, that a score with any kind of asterisk doesn't qualify as breaking that threshold......period.

 

 

Agree 100%.  A personal best scored by something other than the rules is meaningless.  I often wonder how many of those personal best scores on this forum were actually shot playing by all of the rules.  No cheap drops for lost balls, no breakfast balls, no foot wedges from tree roots or the like.  I'm guessing that there are probably fewer true "best scores" than we see posted.

post #39 of 358

If it is early in the morning and my buddies and I haven't had any range time (which we usually don't cuz it's way too early) we take two off of the first just to loosen up a bit.  One thing I did find interesting and might start using is if you DO elect to hit the second shot you have to play that one.

 

Learn something new every day

post #40 of 358
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Originally Posted by jimmer1609 View Post

If it is early in the morning and my buddies and I haven't had any range time (which we usually don't cuz it's way too early) we take two off of the first just to loosen up a bit.  One thing I did find interesting and might start using is if you DO elect to hit the second shot you have to play that one.

 

It seems it would be more appropriate to just declare the first one as practice, no matter how good it is.

 

I'm not sure that's even against the rules - would it be considered practicing during the round if your round hasn't started yet?  I.e., can't you say "I'm not starting the round until after I hit this first practice shot off the tee"? I've looked for an answer to this but can't find one - rulesmasters, what say you?

post #41 of 358

I don't get it If you're not ready to hit the ball then don't. Take a practice swing, stretch, talk yourself into it, whatever it takes. I've spent time at the range before teeing off and put it in the creek running along the 1st hole after nailing one good shot after another. I've jumped out of my car with untied shoes just minutes before my tee time and hit it so far it landed in a lake straight in front of the tee that's only in play for the longest hitters. If I feel jittery I'll hit my 4h, play it safe and get off to a good start. Mulligans are unjustifiably lame.

post #42 of 358
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Originally Posted by sacm3bill View Post

It seems it would be more appropriate to just declare the first one as practice, no matter how good it is.

I'm not sure that's even against the rules - would it be considered practicing during the round if your round hasn't started yet?  I.e., can't you say "I'm not starting the round until after I hit this first practice shot off the tee"? I've looked for an answer to this but can't find one - rulesmasters, what say you?
You can't practise on the course. That is the rule.
post #43 of 358
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Originally Posted by Shorty View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacm3bill View Post

It seems it would be more appropriate to just declare the first one as practice, no matter how good it is.

I'm not sure that's even against the rules - would it be considered practicing during the round if your round hasn't started yet?  I.e., can't you say "I'm not starting the round until after I hit this first practice shot off the tee"? I've looked for an answer to this but can't find one - rulesmasters, what say you?
You can't practise on the course. That is the rule.

 

Show me that rule please.

 

You may be thinking of the rule prohibiting practice on the course before a stroke play competition. Not the case here.

 

You may be thinking of the rule that prohibits practice during a round, but I'm talking about hitting a ball off the first tee before the round starts.

 

And btw, you most certainly can practice on the course as long as you're not playing a stipulated round. And even then, you're allowed to chip and putt between holes. (That's not relevant here of course, I'm just responding to your incorrect statement.)

 

The question here is what determines *when* that stipulated round begins.

post #44 of 358
The group I play with on the weekends does this and I don't see a problem with it. There is a range at this course, but it sucks. I rarely take on personally. I like to show up 40 minutes early, play hole #9 halfway down and back with two balls and a pw. Then, crank two drives into the woods with shitty balls I found on the course.

Mentally, I think the idea of the breakfast ball relaxes me and I end up hitting a good shot since I have another.
post #45 of 358
Also, I agree with the first iron shot sentiment. The drive generally isn't the problem. It's that first shot into the green. That's the one I'd like to have a breakfast ball on.
post #46 of 358

I solve the problem of 1st tee jitters by always hitting a 4 iron (even if I'm playing a course with a par 5 first hole). A first drive that yields a shot of respectable distance and on the fairway goes a long way to getting the round off to a decent start and calming the nerves.

 

Never heard of this "breakfast ball" business, but I really don't see the point in it. If you hit a wild slice with the first drive, the 1st tee gallery isn't going to change its opinion of you, just because you send the subsequent mulligan straight and long...Mulligans are mulligans - shots that aren't real in the sense you've already demonstrated that you'll just keep on hitting balls until you find a shot you like.

post #47 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post


You can't practise on the course. That is the rule.

 

I don't see the problem with saying, 'Hey this one doesn't count...I just need to make a swing.'

 

If practicable, hit one in the other direction, not down the fairway, just so it's NOT playable.

post #48 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post

You can't practise on the course. That is the rule.

I would think that as long as you don't turn in the score, and don't hold up play its okay to practice.

It probably depends upon the course.
post #49 of 358
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Originally Posted by zipazoid View Post

I don't see the problem with saying, 'Hey this one doesn't count...I just need to make a swing.'

If practicable, hit one in the other direction, not down the fairway, just so it's NOT playable.

I like this (well, actually I'm in the no mulligans camp but if we are seeking a compromise...). No range and you feel you need a warm up shot? Fine, hit a freebie off the first tee, but it doesn't count, even if its the best drive if your life. You have to use the second one, even if you top it.
post #50 of 358
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Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

But they are at least trying to play by the rules as best they know them.  They aren't making weak excuses to try and justify it to the rest of us.

 

 

And it means that he really doesn't have a clue just what his skill level is.   Any possible analysis is skewed by the lack of consistency in how each round is played.  You measure one time with a 36" yardstick and the next with a 30" yardstick.  The results are meaningless without a common standard for a constant.  For golf, that standard is the Rules of Golf.

 

 

 

Fourputt,

 

There is no reason to be so condescending.  I gave no "weak excuses".  I simply stated what we already both know if we are honest... very few rounds of golf are played precisely by the rules.  A breakfast ball is simply not going to make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things unless you are competing with someone else and they don't agree to it.  Otherwise, it tends to get washed out in the randomness that is a round of golf.  We've never played golf together, so we know nothing of each others games.  You would probably be surprised to see how strictly I do follow the rules and I imagine we would have a great time playing.  My scores are more accurate than most and I would be happy to play by the handicap I've established in any event I were to enter.   We are just simply discussing a difference of semantics.  You are looking at golf from a strictly by the rules standpoint, which I understand and agree with.  I am looking at golf from the standpoint that the golf/time continuum won't be destroyed if a group decides to play a breakfast ball.  As long as everyone in the group that is competing against each other plays by the same rules... then I see no issue.

 

In the last 4 months I've posted a perfectly legit 79 on my home course.  I've also posted a perfectly legit 103 that was only that low due to esc.  My game has been all over the place due to life issues.  A breakfast ball that may or may not get used surely isn't going to affect my handicap as much as that kind of variation.  My index was at 14.9 last month.  It has moved up to an 18.9 at the moment and is currently trending to a 16.4 thanks to a couple of good rounds that are back in my old range. 

post #51 of 358
Zipazoid wrote:

 

I don't see the problem with saying, 'Hey this one doesn't count...I just need to make a swing.'

 

If practicable, hit one in the other direction, not down the fairway, just so it's NOT playable.

 

 

EXcept for the fact that you can't do it. In a casual hit obviously it's OK. But you can't belt a practise stroke down the fairway or into the trees  in any direction ON THE COURSE during strokeplay. And that includes before you have started your round.

 

In social golf do whatever you like. 

post #52 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post

 

 

EXcept for the fact that you can't do it. In a casual hit obviously it's OK. But you can't belt a practise stroke down the fairway or into the trees  in any direction ON THE COURSE during strokeplay. And that includes before you have started your round.

 

In social golf do whatever you like. 

 

I take it you are talking about a violation or rule 7-1B, which prohibits you from practicing on the course before a stroke play event.  The breach of this rule results in disqualification.  So if I am playing a round with my buddies and one decides to takes a practice on the first tee before the round starts, We are suppose to disqualify him?  By casual hit i take it you imply you can't count that round for hcp purposes.

 

I am not a fan of the breakfast ball, but someone teeing one up and hitting it into nowhere before the round starts doesn't bother me.  How would it be any different if you hit one off the driving range.

post #53 of 358
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Originally Posted by sacm3bill View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacm3bill View Post

It seems it would be more appropriate to just declare the first one as practice, no matter how good it is.

I'm not sure that's even against the rules - would it be considered practicing during the round if your round hasn't started yet?  I.e., can't you say "I'm not starting the round until after I hit this first practice shot off the tee"? I've looked for an answer to this but can't find one - rulesmasters, what say you?
You can't practise on the course. That is the rule.

 

Show me that rule please.

 

You may be thinking of the rule prohibiting practice on the course before a stroke play competition. Not the case here.

 

You may be thinking of the rule that prohibits practice during a round, but I'm talking about hitting a ball off the first tee before the round starts.

 

And btw, you most certainly can practice on the course as long as you're not playing a stipulated round. And even then, you're allowed to chip and putt between holes. (That's not relevant here of course, I'm just responding to your incorrect statement.)

 

The question here is what determines *when* that stipulated round begins.

 

When you hit your first stroke from the tee, you have started your round.  It doesn't matter what you call it.  I guess if you play from outside of the teeing ground, then you can call it practice.  Kind of hokey to me, but I don't really care as long as you aren't holding up my group as each of you plays 2 balls. e3_rolleyes.gif  Once you play from the teeing ground your round as begun.

 

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Originally Posted by Kletus View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

But they are at least trying to play by the rules as best they know them.  They aren't making weak excuses to try and justify it to the rest of us.

 

 

And it means that he really doesn't have a clue just what his skill level is.   Any possible analysis is skewed by the lack of consistency in how each round is played.  You measure one time with a 36" yardstick and the next with a 30" yardstick.  The results are meaningless without a common standard for a constant.  For golf, that standard is the Rules of Golf.

 

 

 

Fourputt,

 

There is no reason to be so condescending.  I gave no "weak excuses".  I simply stated what we already both know if we are honest... very few rounds of golf are played precisely by the rules.  A breakfast ball is simply not going to make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things unless you are competing with someone else and they don't agree to it.  Otherwise, it tends to get washed out in the randomness that is a round of golf.  We've never played golf together, so we know nothing of each others games.  You would probably be surprised to see how strictly I do follow the rules and I imagine we would have a great time playing.  My scores are more accurate than most and I would be happy to play by the handicap I've established in any event I were to enter.   We are just simply discussing a difference of semantics.  You are looking at golf from a strictly by the rules standpoint, which I understand and agree with.  I am looking at golf from the standpoint that the golf/time continuum won't be destroyed if a group decides to play a breakfast ball.  As long as everyone in the group that is competing against each other plays by the same rules... then I see no issue.

 

In the last 4 months I've posted a perfectly legit 79 on my home course.  I've also posted a perfectly legit 103 that was only that low due to esc.  My game has been all over the place due to life issues.  A breakfast ball that may or may not get used surely isn't going to affect my handicap as much as that kind of variation.  My index was at 14.9 last month.  It has moved up to an 18.9 at the moment and is currently trending to a 16.4 thanks to a couple of good rounds that are back in my old range. 

 

The phrase I put in bold is a key to my way of thinking.  For me, I don't say "more accurate than most", When I talk about a score or a round, I can say that my scores are accurate, with no qualifications.  Maybe one round in 10 I find myself in that quandary of having lost a ball when it should be in plain sight, and the course is too crowded to return to the previous spot.  This is very rare for me, as I am quick to play a provisional if there is any possible doubt.  When that happens, for handicap purposes I pick up and go by the handicap manual for unfinished holes.  If I'm also playing for score against my buddies, I will finish out the hole from there adding 2 penalty strokes.  Such scores will never be counted for anything but handicap and the game within my group.  I won't bring them up here  Even if I ultimately shoot a 70-something, it just doesn't matter, and I don't go about bragging on it.

 

Like you, I've had some widely varying scores on the same course.  In 1989 I shot a 73 while carrying a legitimate 16 handicap (it was the first time I ever broke 80, and it's still my personal best for my home course).  It happened during the 3rd round of the club championship and was played completely under the rules ans I do use it a little bit for bragging rights.  As a player wh has never carried an index lower than 9.6, I feel that shooting a 73 is a significant accomplishment.  In 1991, in the first round of the club championship, carrying a legitimate 10 handicap, I shot a 104.   I not ashamed to mention that one either, although not in the same way.  

 

Here is my main gripe with the players who fudge their scores with cheap drops and foot wedges and then make excuses, or worse don't make excuses and still brag about those scores.  I once stood on the 18th tee at 1 under par.  I hooked my tee shot close to the OB stakes.  I played a provisional ball rather poorly, then went up to find that my ball was indeed out of bounds.  I wound up making a triple on the hole and didn't even tie that 73.  Had I played it as most of the posters on this board feel is acceptable, I'd have just dropped up by where it was OB and played in with a one stroke penalty.  Because that position would have actually been better than where my provisional ball was, I'd have probably made a bogey, and shot even par for the only time in my life.  However, I'd never have been able to talk about it, because it would never really have happened.  I played by the rules, scored a 74, and while that last hole left a bad taste in my mouth, 74 is still pretty good for a 10 handicap. a2_wink.gif

post #54 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post

 

 

EXcept for the fact that you can't do it. In a casual hit obviously it's OK. But you can't belt a practise stroke down the fairway or into the trees  in any direction ON THE COURSE during strokeplay. And that includes before you have started your round.

 

In social golf do whatever you like. 

 

I think that's what the OP was referring to - social golf. Obviously. Nobody's suggesting that a breakfast ball be allowed during competition. Duh.

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