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We look forward to receiving your messages to the pros, comments on our site or general queries. If you have an opinion or response to messages already posted, then email us and we'll post up your comments.

I am returning back to golf after 7 years and wondered if you could help me? I am looking for where I can obtain a rules book. I had a small pocket size book before but it was stolen along with my clubs, Please can you help?

Editor: The R&A publish a booklet entitled "The Rules of Golf" it is sponsored by Sun Alliance and as far as I know is free!. Contact any Sun Alliance Insurance office and I'm told they should have supplies. Alternatively I think most professionals shops have them available or contact the R&A at St Andrews direct.

A query about a commentary made by the BBC team at the Open, when Fred Couples made a hash of a bunker shot, it was said he would have been better taking a penalty as the ball was unplayable. Does he have to drop the ball in the bunker, or does he take normal relief as for unplayable balls ie two club lengths not nearer the pin, back to where the original shot was played, or back in a line from where the ball lay? The has created great discussion amongst members of our Golf Society, at The York, Easingwold, North Yorkshire.

Editor: The answer is Rule 28 "Unplayable Ball" Penalty 1 shot. When in a bunker the player has the choice of A) Dropping the ball within 2 club lengths but not nearer the hole. B) Drop as far as you like behind where the ball lay keeping that point and the hole in line. BUT in both A & B the ball MUST be dropped in the bunker. The third alternative is to play the shot again from as near as possible to the point where the previous shot was played.

Can you tell me the dates and location of the Open next year?

Editor: The Open next year will be played at Muirfield, the equivalent week in July. Suggest you access the R&A's Open Championship site at http://www.opengolf.com where I'm sure you'll find the information.

I am returning to London after living abroad, and would like to join a private golf club within a reasonable drive from London. I do not wish to purchase an equity stake in a club as I may be required to relocate again within a few years. Do you know of a good listing of private clubs, and would you have any recommendations.

Editor: In fact in the UK you are not usually required to purchase an equity share in a company. There are so many courses around London that are private clubs that it is almost impossible to list. Take a look at our golf course directory: http://www.golftoday.co.uk/clubhouse/coursedir/ukindex.html This will give you some idea for the courses. I would suggest possibilities would range from the Addington, near Croydon (not Addington Palace or Addington Court), Wentworth, Royal Mid-Surrey, Ealing, Finchley, Hampstead and Muswell Hill.

Message from a reader:
I think Turnberry would be a great venue for the 2009 Ryder Cup. It has got the space,amenities,travel infrastructure and accommodation for the public. Not to mention it is a brilliant and scenic course and would create a brilliant atmosphere. it staged the 1994 british open. I totally agree with Colin Montgomerie having been to the turnberry course only 2 months ago. It is the only one which stands out in my mind.

FOR SALE
Two tickets for the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond on 13 July 2001.
Paid £25 each - Will sell for £20 each.

If you are interested please contact laverica@csd.bedfordshire.gov.uk

A few years ago when Tiger Woods burst onto the scene, the media over here were falling over themselves to try to find the UK equivalent and the next great black hope. Around that time I seem to remember that some older black golfers set up their own golf society and it is this group that I am eager to contact. Do you have any information about them or any such golf societies - names, addresses, phone numbers, websites - any info would be gratefully received.

Editor: I have seen reference to a society which I thought was called the Afro-Carribean Golfing Society but I can't find their url. I know the society I am thinking of had a website. It may be worth your contacting the English Golf Union who have a record of golfing societies registered with them and see if they can help. The url for the EGU is: http://www.englishgolfunion.org/

STOLEN GOLF CLUBS & EQUIPMENT
David Bright - Junior Captain of Chalgrove Manor had stolen from the Club on Thursday 5th July to include Maxfli Revolution Iron 3-SW Jordan TI Driver Benross 3 Wood Ping Anser 2 Putter Taylor Made Hellum Bag Please pass any information to Dunstable Police or to David on 01525 876556

I am a researcher for a wildlife film making company called Peartree Films. I am working on a project about animals on golf courses. I am looking for stories and Golf courses which have unusual features to do with animals/Funny stories. Maybe you know of some courses which have unusual rules because of animals - Hazards to do with animals in England and worldwide. Please can you help!! Thankyou for your time. Sheralee.

Editor: Offhand I can't think of any really funny incidents about animals on golf courses, except that I have seen reported for tournaments in Florida, incidents with aligators that have either been in sand traps or on the verge of water hazards that have caused golfers to give them a wide berth. I have also read stories, but do not know where, of crows picking up golf balls. At Wilmslow Golf Club in Cheshire they had a particular bird who regularly stole golf balls until someone eventually shot the offender Dogs have also been cited as culprits in stealing golf balls. There are various instances reported in the Golfers Handbook where golf balls have killed animals and fish which includes such instances as a cow being killed after being struck on the forehead by a golf ball. A man playing at Troon who killed two gulls at successive holes with is tee shot. An 11 year old schoolboy in Scotland who killed the first grouse of the season with his tee shot on a local course. Other strange instances such as a 2 lb trout being hit and killed by a ball which went into a river. There is an incident of a man playing in Massachusetts who struck a goose standing by a water hazard. Apparently the bird took revenge by waddling over to the ball and kicking it into the water. Other instances mention cows and monkeys chewing golf balls but none mention any specific cases. Hope this is of some help.

Having just read Doug Ferguson's article saying that nobody will ever challenge Tiger for at least the next decade or so, it sounded to me like it was Earl Woods who wrote that article,for Ferguson to say that there is no way Garcia or anybody else can challenge Tiger for the next 10 years is the stupidest thing I've read in a long time,Garcia is only 21 years old and your trying to compare his talent to that of Joe Durant who up until this year almost quit playing golf all together,Ferguson is just another reporter who is so blinded by Woods that he can't see anybody else,I'm in no way trying to diminish Tiger's achievements but I sure would like to borrow Ferguson's crystal ball so I can play the lotto,he seems to know what's going to happen in the future,I suggest he take his blinders off because Garcia has not only the talent but the balls to look Tiger in the eye, not like most of the guys on the tour,of course Ferguson probably thinks that Tiger is a better athlete then Kobe Bryant or Vince Carter for that matter. Joe Carneval

Editor: Anyone else have any views on this?

I'm trying to find out how I could purchase tickets for ANY golf tours next year in the UK or easily accessible in Europe. this is for a 50th birthday present so a weekend at a tour in the UK or a day ticket would be wonderful. Any info you could give me would be so much appreciated. I'm not a golfer and trying to find info. on 2002 tours has been v. difficulty. Many thanks in anticipation. Denise Cooper

Editor: Thanks for your e-mail of 12 June. The schedule for next year's European Tour is not announced until probably December of this year. However, if you buy any of the current golf magazines or look on www.golftoday.co.uk/tours/index.html the venues and approximate dates are reasonably closely followed the next year. Normally you don't need to purchase tickets in advance except for something like the open championship where golf magazines usually carry ticket information from November/December of the previous year and offer you the opportunity to buy tickets at a discount until probably the end of April. For all other tournaments you really don't need to buy tickets in advance. They can always be purchased on the day, but if you do want to buy in advance then probably two weeks prior to the tournament there will be advertising to the sponsor in the national and in the golf press giving you the opportunity to buy a season ticket and again probably get a discount on the full price. The one real exception to the rule is the Ryder Cup where you can only get tickets on a very limited basis and the demand far outstrips supply so you have to apply for tickets probably 18 months in advance and a ballot is then held probably 12 months prior to the Ryder Cup and tickets allocated.

Where did the term "mulligan" come from and when. Is it really a Canadian term or invention from the Royal Montreal Golf Club. Please send me info on the history of the "mulligan" . Thank You Philip Bascott

Editor: The provenance is not entirely certain. I had understood it originated in America when a man called Mulligan decided it was an appropriate course when you had a poor tee shot off the first. His friends accepted it and then his club,hence the term.


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