Lets be Frank


QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Every week we will select the best question and Frank will send one lucky golfer a personally signed copy of 'Just Hit It'. Last week's lucky winner was Jim, with his question about 'toe up' on putters and drivers.
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Touching the Line of Putt
I enjoy reading your column each and every week. I have purchased your book Just Hit It and plan on reading it on my trip to Europe. Now for my rules question. If a player is unable to touch the line on which the ball will be traveling while putting why is it permissible to place the putter head in front of the ball at address?
Thanks and keep up the good work.
--Dan from Kansas

Thank you for the kind comments about my column and I hope you land in Europe better informed and having unlocked the door to the secrets of equipment technology and all sorts of other fun information. Let me know how you enjoyed the book.
Regarding touching the line of putt; I am not going to give you an explanation of why the exception to the rule but rather let you know that it is an exception to touch the line in front of the ball with your putter when addressing the ball before making a putting stroke .
Before you make the putt, however, you should know, that it is a violation of the rules if anybody indicates what your line should be by touching the green.
I would like to refer you to Rule 16-1 General, in the Rules of Golf which states in part;
a. Touching Line of Putt
The line of putt must not be touched except:
(i) the player may remove loose impediments provided he does not press anything down;
(ii) the player may place the club in front of the ball when addressing it, provided he does not press anything down;
( iii) ..

Dan, there are all sorts of rules we have to contend with on the green but the most important challenge we have is to sink the putt with the fewest number of strokes.
In an effort to help you sink more putts and build some confidence on the green, I have a very helpful putting guide which you can review and download for future reference. Just Click Here to e-mail us your request and we will send you a complimentary link to the Frankly Frog Putting Guide.
Hope this helps you have more fun on the green.
What Set of Tees?
Mr. Thomas,
I am 64 and have an index of 14.1. How do you determine the correct set of tees to play? I hit my driver (average) carry & roll about 227.
Thank you,

One of the problems with most of us is that our ego gets in the way of having an enjoyable round of golf, but at 64 you should be wiser and enjoying your game more than ever.
In our recent research study (see www.GrowingTheGame.org ) we found that the average male golfer drives the ball, on average, a little less than 200 yards but thinks he drives it a little less than 240 yards.
This optimistic over-estimate of the average distance we hit the ball extends to most of the clubs in the set and is based on a memory problem. Yes, we may have hit the ball the distance we think is our average, once or twice but certainly nowhere close to our average.
As a result of this ambitious estimate we generally pull a club out of our bag which leaves us at least ten to fifteen yards short of our target. We also play from the wrong set of tees.
Our research also shows that the average male golfer would enjoy his game more from a 6,200 yard set of tees than a 6,800 yard set. Yet we seem to gravitate to the longer set.
A good way to establish the set of tees which best suits your game, is to determine if you can make the green in regulation with your best shots. If this is not possible, then move to the next forward tees and dont worry about what your buddies are doing or the fantasy force of your ego. Your buddies should probably also move up if they want to have more fun.
This more realistic set of tees will not only allow you to enjoy your round more but also speed up play which is one of the biggest problems the game faces today.
Kirk, I want to thank you for this question, the answer to which I hope will rings some bells and thus help speed up play, make our rounds more enjoyable and help grow the game rather than it remaining in a stagnant state.
Tee it up from the right set of tees and then Just Hit It.
Frank Thomas, inventor of the graphite shaft, is founder of Frankly Golf, a company dedicated to Helping Golfers. Frank is Chief Technical Advisor to The Golf Channel and Golf Digest. He served as Technical Director of the USGA for 26 years and directed the development of the GHIN System and introduced the Stimpmeter to the world of golf. To email a question for possible use in an upcoming Let's Be Frank column, please email letsbefrank@franklygolf.com
Frank Thomas