About Patty Ellis

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So far Patty Ellis has created 36 blog entries.

Are We Sure Winning Is the ONLY Thing?

Vince LombardiIf you’ve read my other blog posts, you know my dad taught me that “It’s not if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” In fact, that was the sports mantra of my youth.   But when Vince Lombardi said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing,” sportsmanship took a backseat.

I just played in one of the most enjoyable, competitive matches of my life because sportsmanship came first. And generosity of spirit was a close second.

It was during a 4-day, 6-round “Ryder Cup” type tournament with 16 very competitive friends – 8 per team.  In the final day’s singles match, I drew a woman whose nickname is Patti “Putts”. Yup, she’s such a good putter that her nickname is “Putts”. I have the same nickname…although mine is spelled with a Z.

I usually start out a match […]

The REAL Rules of Golf

pattyblogForget the 34 USGA Rules of Golf, the following are all you need to know:

The YOOL rule:  You’re Out Of Luck!  This one rule covers almost everything that can happen to you on the golf course.  On a rock?  YOOL Rule.  Behind a tree?  YOOL Rule.  Great shot that’s headed for the green but a lawnmower guy comes out of nowhere and deflects it into a bunker…. YOOL!

Lost Tee Shot Rule:  When looking for someone’s lost tee shot, always look 30 yards behind where they’re looking.  Most (if not all) golfers think they’ve hit their drive just about 30 yards farther than they actually have.  Note:  I’m no hypocrite, I’ve heard “Hey, Patty, you’re ball’s back here” more than once.

Water Hazard Rule:  Use old balls when hitting over water hazards.  I know, I know, teaching pros say never do this – […]

Controversy at the Solheim Cup

Suzann-Pettersen-Solheim-CupThere was a controversy over a “gimme” putt at the Solheim Cup and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen got slammed for it.

For my non-golfing readers, a player can concede their opponent’s next putt – one that is usually so short it’s virtually certain of being made anyway – by saying something like “that’s good.”

On the 17th hole of close match, American Alison Lee thought she’d heard one of her European opponents (either Pettersen or Charley Hull) say “that’s good”, so she picked up her 18-inch putt.  But neither Pettersen nor Hull had said it, so the Americans lost the hole and eventually the match.

The controversy stems from the fact that almost all competitors, especially professionals, concede 18-inch putts.  In fact, if your friends don’t give you an 18-inch putt, you need new friends.

But I’m not surprised this controversy was about Pettersen and failure […]

This is What I’m Talking About!

Roberta VinciIf you read my blog post titled Then Vs. Now, you know I take issue with the lack of spontaneity, authenticity and even enjoyment shown by today’s professional golfers.  Did you happen to catch Roberta Vinci beating Serena Williams today?  I know that was a tennis match and this is a golf blog, but Vinci’s post-match interview was everything I love about sports and athletes.  http://espn.go.com/

Serena Williams was on a path to make tennis history and seemed unbeatable.  Then Roberta Vinci, not even ranked and against all odds, beat her.

The victory itself was incredible, but the way Vinci dealt with it was just as impressive.   I can’t remember seeing as much pure joy, spontaneity and authenticity in an athlete as I did today.

First off, she said the unthinkable.  She apologized.  Yes, you read that right, SHE APOLOGIZED.  She actually had […]

Golf Is Not Perfect

TurtleIf you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I love golf as much as anyone.  And not just playing it – I love golf for its honor, traditions and sportsmanship.

But golf isn’t perfect.  The National Golf Foundation recently found two things:  1) the number of rounds played has dropped significantly from its heyday in the 90’s (some believe golf is in crisis), and 2) ninety percent of people surveyed said slow play is the biggest factor spoiling their enjoyment of the game.   While surely there are other reasons for golf’s decline, these two things must be connected.  Slow pace of play is negatively affecting the game.

When Mr. Egger took me out for my first round of golf (way back in the olden days), he was adamant that we keep up with the group in front of us.  He said […]

Honor

Umpires and managers for HonorThere are few sports where honor plays as prominent a role as it does in golf.  The reason?  There aren’t any rules officials – we’re on our own to call rules infractions on ourselves.  Even if we accidentally move our golf ball 1/16 of an inch, in the woods, 100 yards from our nearest competitor, we assess ourselves a penalty stroke.  And while officials are made available at some tournaments, golfers still call infractions on themselves when officials aren’t present.  This is why golf is known as a game of honor.

Compare this to other sports:

  • Football, where some say the mantra is “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge NFL fan and love football for its athleticism, power and speed.  But honor?  Not its strong suit.
  • Baseball, where even Derek Jeter (one […]

Special Advice to Women Golfers

poison-ivy-summer-6-14-14-6Over the years, I’ve discovered that playing golf with men has some subtle, yet significant, differences from playing golf with women. Here’s some advice for female golfers out with men:

Men spit.  Almost all spitting men are courteous, but once I was walking down the fairway enjoying the scenery when… Bammo!  I was hopping over incoming projectile saliva.  Keep an eye out.

If you’re playing with three men and you don’t see one, don’t look for him.  He’s in the woods – and he’s not looking for his golf ball.  I found this out the hard way.  “Hey, where’s Bob??”  Oh.

Speaking of woods, there may come a time when even you, who may have never considered it, might need to use Nature’s Ladies Room.   This is already an unpleasant experience, but I have three pieces of advice to make it bearable:

1) […]

Then Vs. Now

Louise SuggsI was very sad to learn that Louise Suggs passed away on Friday.   I’ve been a fan of the LPGA since I started playing golf and Ms. Suggs’ legacy, as a feisty competitor and quick-witted personality, is legendary.  But it’s not her golf I’ll miss – there’s great golf today – it’s her personality.  Players today just don’t seem to have the same spontaneity and, well, fun.

Ms. Suggs once said:  “Golf is very much like a love affair – if you don’t take it seriously, it’s no fun. But if you do, it breaks your heart.”   Can anyone picture Inbee Park saying this?

I’m not getting on her case – she’s a great ambassador of the game.  But today’s players are products of the times.  They seem to be unable to take golf seriously AND have fun.  They have “peeps” that […]

Butch

Friends

Butch.   No, this isn’t an autobiography.

It’s a snippet about friendship and golf.  Many golfers will tell you the best thing about golf is the great friends we make. That’s true, but even better is that through golf, we make friends with people whose paths we would never have otherwise crossed.

Butch Cole is one of those people.  Lou is his real first name, but when we first met he said his friends call him Butch.  It took everything I had not to say, “ME TOO!”

Would I ever have met Butch without golf?  He rides a Harley – God knows we would never have met doing that!  My idea of the excitement of the open road is opening my sunroof.  Butch takes cooking classes so we certainly weren’t meeting there. Butch spent his entire career in the Military – the closest I’ve […]

Getting to Know You

gettingtoknowyouThere’s an age-old golf adage that says you need only play 18 holes with someone to know who they really are.  Sometimes it doesn’t even take that long.

RAY:  I didn’t know Ray from Adam when we first played, but I found out everything I needed to know on the 6th hole when his perfectly struck drive wound up in a divot.  His friend saw his awful lie and told him to roll it out of the hole (gracious, but against the rules).  Ray didn’t say “no” or “no thanks,” he said “Never!”  That one word, so adamantly expressed, told me so much about Ray:  he’s honest, he plays by the rules, and he doesn’t have a sense of entitlement when things go wrong. Needless to say, I love spending time with Ray.

KEN:  I was paired with Ken at a public course […]