Arrow-right Camera

Area golf pros sound off on hottest topics on the links

Back by popular demand, and the fact that my initial column idea fell through, area golf pros take their swings at a variety of topics in our first Pros Roundtable of the season.

The panel – Sun Dance’s Chris Runyan, Liberty Lake’s Kit DeAndre and Stoneridge’s Tim Morton – sounds off on the best club in their bag and Tigers Woods’ rules violation at the Masters. The pros also offer putting tips and recount the funniest thing they’ve seen on a golf course.

Let’s tee off.

What’s the best club in your bag, and why?

Runyan: I love my sand wedge. When I was growing up, I used to spend hours near the putting green at Downriver practicing wedge shots.

Morton: All my clubs are the best clubs in my bag. Why? Because whatever club I choose to take out is going to be my best club, but if I had to choose one it would be my driver. It puts you in position to either have an easy shot or a really hard one.

DeAndre: My wedges. I miss too many greens in regulation so I have to be good with the wedges.

Should Tiger Woods have disqualified himself for his rules violation at the Masters?

Morton: Tiger Woods should not have DQ’d himself because that’s the rules committee’s decision.

DeAndre: No, the officials were satisfied at the time with the drop.

Runyan: That is a hard question to answer. If it was anyone other than Tiger, who is on TV for every shot, no one would have noticed him performing an incorrect drop.

Everyone wants to avoid three-putts. Do you have a tip or practice drill for first putts beyond 30 feet?

DeAndre: Three-putts are a hazard of the game. I enjoy practicing 4-foot putts to build confidence with the long lag putts. If you can make 4-footers with regularity you won’t let 30-foot putts intimidate!

Runyan: I imagine the cup being a garbage can lid approximately 3 feet across. That way, if I get the ball within 3 feet, nine times out of 10 I can get the 3-footer in the hole.

Morton: Pick a spot at the back of the cup. Keep your eyes on the back of the cup and don’t look back at the ball and then putt it. That will help you with distance control.

What’s the funniest thing (that’s printable in the newspaper!) you’ve seen on a golf course?

Runyan: Playing in the 2012 PNWPGA section championship at Circling Raven with Matt Bunn, Steve Conner and Brian Copley, we came to the sixth hole. When we teed off, the wind was blowing hard. When we got to our tee shots, it started snowing. And by the time we got to the green, it had snowed an inch.

Morton: In a men’s club event in years past one of my players’ ball was up against a stump. We were all trying to tell him that the stump was too close and he was going to hit it. He ignored us and proceeded to hit his shot. The ball hit the stump, came back and hit him right between the eyes and knocked him out. We put a plaque on the stump and it’s been his stump.

DeAndre: Many funny things. I always like the one where the bag falls off the cart and it’s not until halfway down the fairway the golfer believes he’s been the victim of foul play.