Longtime golfers are going to have to make some adjustments this season.
“The USGA this year has instituted a whole bunch of new years. Generally, when that happens they’re very obscure things. But this group of rules that they’ve introduced seriously affect the weekend golfer,” said Annemarie Kissane.
She’s the assistant coach for the men’s and women’s’ teams at the College of St. Rose, as well as an instructor at Pinehaven Country Club and longtime golfer. From the first time her father took her golfing at the age of three in Albany, she was hooked by the sport. Kissane started competing at eight years old and played on the Albany High School’s varsity golf team for six years before playing at UAlbany.
On Sunday, Kissane will be holding seminars at the 50-Plus Living Expo at Rivers Casino & Resort. Some of the short seminars will be on the recent rule changes from the United States Golf Association.
“A couple of the biggest changes that are going to affect the average player is going to be the process by which you have to now drop the golf ball,” Kissane said. The old rules stated that players had to drop the ball from about shoulder height. Now players can drop it from knee height.
“It’s supposed to stop it so that if you’re on a big hill it doesn’t roll into the water and you don’t lose another golf ball,” Kissane said.
Golfers can now remove rocks or other impediments in a sand trap, which might make things easier for golfers, said Kissane.
“Those are two big rule changes that I think have been a long time coming in making golf more user-friendly,” Kissane said.
She’ll also give out a handout from the USGA that goes over the rule changes and how they differ from prior rules.
Beyond the rule changes, Kissane will also discuss the uses of rarely used clubs and how they can impact gameplay.
“Understanding the technology you have in your hand and what it’s meant to do is going to be massively helpful for people as they’re golfing ability changes,” Kissane said.
Even though people tend to lose strength as they get older, they can make up for it in other ways, say by honing their skills on the green.
She’s seen this work for players like her father, who is still able to play at the level he was playing at decades ago, his technique is just different. It’s one of the reasons Kissane loves the sport; people don’t have to stop playing as they age.
“I like the longevity of the sport. It’s something you can learn to play as a kid and continue playing well past retirement. It’s just not the case with a lot of other sports,” Kissane said.
Beyond that, Kissane will give a few warm-up techniques that don’t involve merely swinging the club. As she’s worked at many country clubs over the years, she’s noticed that many people arrive at the course just a few minutes before tee off, which doesn’t give them time to stretch or warm up.
“You’ve got to know what stretches work for you,” Kissane said.
Each of the seminars will be between 15 and 20 minutes and there will be time to ask questions.
About the 50-Plus Living Expo
The 50-Plus Living Expo will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today (Sunday, April 28) at Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady.
Featured will be informative vendors, educational demonstrations, live musical entertainment with Elvis tribute artist Don Romines, a raffle to win a round of golf for four people at The Edison Club and $1,001 in scratch-off Lottery ticket giveaways to the first 250 people.
The Gazette Golf Guide will be available for pick up at the show, which is sponsored by MVP Health Care, Ellis Medicine and Rivers Casino & Resort.