Asked & Answered: Two Rules This Week!

Question: A player tees off and the ball strikes a maintenance vehicle parked in the left rough. What is the ruling?

Answer: When a player’s ball in motion accidentally deflects off an outside influence (the maintenance vehicle in this case), there is no penalty and the ball is played as it lies.

Question: My ball landed next to a tree trunk, do I get a free drop?

Answer: A tree is part of the challenge of golf, so there is no free drop if your ball comes to rest near a tree trunk or a tree stump. Remember, a tree stump is just a short tree! But if you are out there to have fun and not playing in a competition, I say take the free drop!!!

Submit a Rules question for Todd to answer here.

Todd Stice is our in-house Rules of Golf Expert. You can learn more about Todd here.

Three USGA Championships, | One Year

Martha Linscott is no stranger to USGA Championships, having played in her first event in 1990, but this year she added three championships to her resume, making her the first woman in Kansas golf history to compete in three USGA Championships in the same year.

“When you get to the USGA Championships, they make you feel like you’ve done something really worthy,” Linscott said, “it’s just another reassuring fact that you’ve done something big that you’ve wanted to do and you are rewarded for your efforts.”

Linscott is certainly a player worth rewarding. In 2020, she won the Kansas Women’s Senior Amateur and has earned multiple Low Senior awards, including the 2022 Kansas Women’s Amateur and 2022 Prairie Invitational.

Linscott is in her second year as the Head Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach at Park University, she serves on the Central Links Golf Board of Directors and is a member of the Prairie Invitational Committee. “Martha is one of the most consistently good players in our area and a great ambassador for the game. Not only does she compete and represent Kansas in a positive way on the national stage, but she also works as a mentor to encourage young people to compete as well,” said Central Links Golf Executive Director, Doug Habel.

At 52 years old, Linscott is fairly new to the scene of senior competitions. She spent the years before turning 50 competing with younger golfers to qualify for events like the US Women’s Amateur and US Women’s Mid-Amateur. Where previously she wasn’t eligible to compete in the Women’s Senior Amateur and Women’s Senior Open, Linscott says “The best part is that when you turn 50 you think that your career might be coming to an end, but it gets a lot better because now you can qualify for two more tournaments!”

She enjoys competing because “It’s all me, either I’m going to play well or I’m not. It’s an individual thing, and I like that. If I’ve worked really hard, it pays off, and if I have slacked off in an area, it’s going to show up,” Linscott said. One key to her success through the years has been learning how to control her mind to think positively throughout the round. She comments that it’s something she is also trying to teach her team at Park University, “You’ve got to be able to control your body and mind and I think that’s fascinating. You have to have enough confidence in your ability.”

Martha’s 2022 Resume


  • Qualifies for US Women’s Senior Amateur


  • Kansas Women’s Amateur Low Senior
  • Prairie Invitational Low Senior
  • Qualifies for US Women’s Senior Open
  • US Women’s Senior Amateur – Anchorage Golf Course, Alaska


  • Qualifies for US Women’s Mid-Amateur
  • US Women’s Senior Open – NCR Country Club, Ohio


  • US Women’s Mid-Amateur – Fiddlesticks Country Club, Florida

Linscott’s husband, Randy, travels to the USGA Championships with her as her caddie. “You need somebody in your corner reassuring you that you are doing a great job,” Linscott commented. It’s something they enjoy doing together, “he’s my number one supporter,” Linscott said through tears, “he’s always rooting for me, So that’s why I get emotional, he’s really encouraged me and supported my effort. He’s been there telling me that I’m a good player.”

There’s more to come from Linscott who hopes to win locally in addition to earning Low Senior awards. “I’m sure some people are saying ‘why does she keep doing this?’, but it’s fun. I want to see how far I can take it,” Linscott said, “Not everyone finds something that they’re good at or passionate about, and then excel at it.”

Linscott’s USGA Championship Appearances

US Women’s Amateur Public Links – 1990, 1996
US Women’s Mid-Amateur – 1999, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2022
USGA Women’s State Team Championship – 2013, 2015, 2017
US Senior Women’s Amateur – 2021, 2022
US Senior Women’s Open – 2022

Linscott is the first woman in the state to appear at three USGA events in the same year. According to archives, the only other golfer to make three appearances was Kansas Golf Hall of Fame Member, Bryan Norton who played in US Senior Open, US Amateur, and US Senior Amateur in 2015.

During Round Golf Nutrition

While golf is not exactly a high-intensity sport, it is still a sport that can deplete your fuel sources when playing a round.

Here are a few recommendations for your next round of golf.

Once you have established level blood sugar before your round of golf, snacks on the course will help maintain blood sugar. The biggest mistake I see is a player waiting too long to eat a snack >> Shoot for every 4-6 holes.

Oftentimes a player will wait until he or she has symptoms such as shaky hands or feeling lightheaded before eating a snack. If you wait this long it is too late and it may take several holes for symptoms to subside.

Follow these guidelines when on the course:

·       Drink water at every hole with Celtic sea salt

·       Eat easily digestible foods

·       Avoid high GI foods such as chips, crackers, pretzels, and candy

·       Avoid all sugar drinks – (many sports drinks have too much sugar)

·       If eating fruit, always combine it with nuts


  • Any jerky – beef, bison, deer, elk, turkey
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Cup of chicken salad at the turn
  • Trail mix with dried fruit
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Carrot and celery stick with peanut butter

Hopefully, this helps you finish the last few holes strong and win the final bets instead of being ‘juiced’ and giving it all away.

Hit em’ straight,
Dr. Roberts

Click Here to Set Up a Call

Dr. Wade Roberts is a contributing writer for Central Links Golf. Dr. Roberts is the owner of Roberts PT, a golf PT and Performance Center in Kansas City. He graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology. He then earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Lynchburg College. Dr. Roberts is able to provide specialized therapies for a variety of patients but has a special interest in decreasing pain, increasing speed, and achieving longevity in the golf community.

Asked & Answered: Stroke and Distance

Question: When is it allowed to re-tee other than OB off the tee? Stroke and distance. Ball in the woods or water off the tee?

Answer: Good question. A player may ALWAYS re-tee without exception, and you don’t even have to know where your ball is. No matter where the ball ends up (except in the hole of course) a player always has the option of replaying a stroke with a 1-stroke penalty (stroke and distance). The ball could be in the woods or water or even the fairway, and you can proceed under stroke and distance. A good example of this would be you tee off and hit a tree immediately and your ball goes 100 yards behind you but is still in bounds. Instead of playing the ball, for 1 stroke you may re-tee and play from the teeing area, even though your ball is in play 100 yards further from the hole! This is true of any stroke on the golf course, not just tee shots.

Submit a Rules question for Todd to answer here.

Todd Stice is our in-house Rules of Golf Expert. You can learn more about Todd here.

Do You Swing To Warm Up….Or Warm Up To Swing? A Proper Warm-Up In Golf

The goal of a warm-up: is to prepare the golfer mentally and physically for the demands of a 9 or 18-hole round.

Traditionally, an effective warm-up has also been thought to decrease the risk of injury. While this remains unclear, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that a positive effect may exist. Recent evidence is suggesting, however, that a well-designed warm-up can actually result in a number of physiological responses that can potentially increase subsequent performance on the golf course.

A couple of positive effects and how it relates to golf from a well-designed warm-up:

  • Faster muscle contractions = increased speed –> increased distance
  • Improvements in rate of force development = increased power –> increased distance
  • Lowered viscous resistance in muscles and joints = increased mobility –> increased turn
  • Improved oxygen delivery and blood flow = decreased stiffness to muscles and joints –> increased turn
  • Increased psychological preparedness for performance (Don’t underestimate the game between the ears!)

What should a golf warm-up consist of?

  • Part 1 = 5 minutes of slow aerobic activity
    • The aim of this is to increase heart rate, blood flow, muscle temperature, and decrease viscosity of joint fluids
    • Examples: If your longest walk is from the parking lot to the golf cart and then to the driving range (or worse straight to the first tee) that most likely isn’t long enough. Get creative, take the long way to the clubhouse from the parking lot…walk up a steep hill near the putting green is a fast way to get the heart rate going and blood flow pumping

  • Part 2 = 5 minutes of general stretching
    • The aim of this is to replicate the ranges of motion required for the upcoming activity – a.k.a. full turn
    • In the game of golf, there are 4 areas you need to be able to rotate well in – in this HOME ASSESSMENT GUIDE I go into detail about these 4 areas. A good warm-up doesn’t have to be long if you do it specifically for the game of golf.

  • Part 3 = 10 minutes of hitting balls
    • What’s the best order of clubs to use or how many balls should you hit to be ‘warmed up’?
    • While this varies from person to person depending on many factors, a general rule of thumb is 7,7,7
    • 7 shots with a wedge-9iron, 7 shots with a 7-5iron, and 7 shots with a 3wood-driver
    • Why 20+ balls?
      • Maybe this is experience talking, but after watching a lot of golfers hit balls on golf simulators and Trackman, most golfers hit their ‘average/top’ club head speed between balls 20-30.
      • Very few players, regardless of how in shape they are, can step right up and reach the higher end of their club head speed without an appropriate amount of swings

  • Part 4 = 5 minutes of chipping and putting
    • You know this is where the strokes add up…chip a few to get your feel going and then putt a few to get the speed of the greens and boost your confidence in seeing a few putts go in

**(Note: a warm-up should end no more than 15 minutes before the start of the first swing)

Take Home = You can do the math…but YOU HAVE TO GET TO THE COURSE EARLY.

  • This takes discipline
  • We’ve all done it where we’re flying out of the office or house to catch a tee time. Obviously, life happens and you’re going to go from ‘trunk to tee’ every now and then. But don’t make it a habit. Discipline yourself and your game to get to the course early
  • 10:00 am Tee Time Example
    • 9:50 – 10:00 – Show up to the first tee to check in/get the bets lined up
    • 9:30 – 9:50 – Complete Parts 2-4 in the practice area (Note: Parts 3 and 4 can be reversed based on preference)
    • 9:15 – 9:25 – Park, 5 min of aerobic activity, golf shoes on, check-in, go to the bathroom, get your clubs, etc.

So on your next round of golf, try showing up to the course 45 minutes minimum before your round of golf. Be ready to go on the first tee, not the 5th after you’ve ‘loosened up’.

Click Here to Set Up a Call

Dr. Wade Roberts is a contributing writer for Central Links Golf. Dr. Roberts is the owner of Roberts PT, a golf PT and Performance Center in Kansas City. He graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology. He then earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Lynchburg College. Dr. Roberts is able to provide specialized therapies for a variety of patients but has a special interest in decreasing pain, increasing speed, and achieving longevity in the golf community.

Asked & Answered: Ball Mark Repair

Submission: A player can repair a ball mark on the green at any time. The player’s ball does not need to be on the green to allow the repair. A player cannot repair a ball mark on the fringe if it is in the player’s line of play. Unless the mark occurred after the ball came to rest.

Question: What if any one of your playing partners repairs the mark without being requested to do so? On the other hand, are you allowed to ask a playing partner to repair the mark?

Answer: I assume you are referring to players in your group of a stroke play event who are NOT your partners (the answers will be different). 

Someone who is in your group but not your partner is an outside influence, and if they improve your line of play, that will get them a 2-stroke penalty, but nothing to you.  Additionally, you get the benefit of the repaired pitch mark.

If that person is your partner, you will both get a penalty of 2 strokes.

If you request the player to fix it for you and he does just that, both you and he will get the 2-stroke penalty.

Todd Stice is our in-house Rules of Golf Expert. You can learn more about Todd here.

Not Just About Mowing Grass | Three Local Superintendents Share Their Stories

September 13 is Thank A Golf Course Superintendent Day

There are a few common themes among golf course superintendents: they love spending time outside, they take amazing pictures of sunrises, and they all wake up (very, very) early. Although each superintendent is unique, they all maintain a common goal to make the course the best it can be.

Matt Gourlay
Colbert Hills Golf Course | Manhattan, KS

You might know him on Twitter from the sunrise pictures of Colbert Hills or as the guy with the cutest #GolfDog (Lexi) in the business, but what you don’t know is the work he’s doing behind the scenes – his before 5:00 AM wake up call, the water conservation efforts, and the education of future golf course superintendents.

Since its inception in 2000, Matt has helped Colbert Hills reduce its water usage by nearly 72 million gallons per year. How? When asked, Matt began listing several reasons: the addition of 50 acres of native area, the removal of about 1,000 irrigation heads on the property, the use of wetting agents to help distribute water uniformly, the use of warm season grass (Zoysia), and more.

Matt leads the next generation of golf course superintendents by serving as an adjunct faculty member who shares his experience with students at Kansas State University in the Golf Course and Turf Management programs. Colbert Hills is also home to a unique internship opportunity for students pursuing a career in Golf Course Operations. The program allows interns to be “Superintendent for the Week” and make all decisions related to the entire golf course turf operation. Matt consults with the interns during their week, asking them questions and helping them think through their decisions. This opportunity allows them to come out of their internship seeing a lot more than just a task that needs to be done, truly giving them a full picture of what it is like to be a superintendent.

“I’m kinda a morning person, I love seeing sunrises on the golf course.”

When asked, “What is the best part about your job?”

Photo taken by Matt Gourlay

Vance Marlin
Cimarron Valley Golf Club | Satanta, Kansas

About an hour from Dodge City on Highway 56 you will find Cimarron Valley Golf Club, a 9-hole course with about 60 members nestled into the hills of Southwest Kansas.

Vance Marlin is the guy doing it all; he serves as the general manager, “clubhouse guy”, and (most importantly) golf course superintendent. Formerly in the agriculture industry, Vance was looking for something new to do with his career when he became a golf course superintendent in 2019. He has quickly learned through on-the-job experience while consulting with his brother who is also a superintendent.

With the exception of a local teacher who helps during the summer, Vance is a one-man show who is responsible for all turf management, mowing, chemical applications, mechanics, and clubhouse operations.

“I like that I get to choose what the most important thing to work on is. [My job is] a new challenge every day….there’s always something to figure out,” Vance said, “Most people don’t know how much work it is – it’s not just about mowing grass.”

When asked, “What do you wish more people knew about your job?”

Photo taken by Vance Marlin

Clay Payne
Buffalo Dunes Golf Course | Garden City, Kansas

He answered the phone a little out of breath, he said he was laying sod (alone) on Friday afternoon and because it has to get done – he is the one doing it. He commented on the small staff size and expressed immense gratitude for his team – but if there is something that needs to get done, he will likely be doing it too.

Buffalo Dunes is undergoing a six-year complete golf course renovation, all while remaining open to play and on a municipal budget – the brain behind the operation is golf course superintendent, Clay Payne.

Growing up in Garden City and having worked at top 50-rated clubs throughout the United States, Clay wanted to make a top-tier venue available to people living in his hometown.

Each year of the renovation will include three greens getting reshaped, resurfaced, seeded, and bunker changes or repairs. Clay noted that typically the cost to reseed new greens would cost around $140,000 but they are doing it for close to $1,200 by growing their own grass. Through progressive renovation practices, Clay and his team are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a top-quality golf course that is open to the public to play for only $25. The renovation is set to be complete in 2026 – just in time for the course to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Everyone deserves to come out and have an affordable world-class experience.

When asked, “Why are you undergoing this renovation?”


Often being a golf course superintendent is a thankless job. Many golfers can play multiple rounds without thinking about the people behind the operations. At Central Links Golf, we work with superintendents across the state to conduct our championships. These are people we get to know and love working with — we feel that they deserve all the thanks in the world for making golf happen. We encourage golfers to thank their local superintendents and maintenance crews today and every day.

For more information about golf course superintendents, please visit the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America at

Asked & Answered: Tiffany Greens Approach Shot Dilemma

Question: When playing at Tiffany Greens last weekend I hit my approach shot just off the left of the green on a par four. When looking for the ball I was unable to find it but there was a creek on the left side of the green. After a couple of minutes of looking for it, I just assumed bounced into the creek. I took a drop and finished out the hole. As I left the green and went towards the cart I found my ball. Am I able to finish the hole with my original ball at that point?

Answer: The short answer is no, once you drop a ball with the intent of putting it in play, the original ball can no longer be played, and this is true if the 3-minute search time has passed or not.  Additionally,  it sounds like the 3-minute search time was up so your original is now lost and cannot be played under any circumstance.

Long answer: Now if you dropped a ball and were not sure it was in the creek, then you find the original ball within 3 minutes of searching, it is your lucky day!  The original ball is still in play and there is no penalty to play it. 

But if you are sure (at least 95% sure) the original ball is in the creek and you drop a ball, it becomes the ball in play no matter what.  If you then happen to find your ball outside the creek, it is NOT your lucky day, that ball is no longer in play.  If you find your original ball in the creek, you still can’t play it, but it may change the reference point where you must drop the ball. Great Question!!

Todd Stice is our in-house Rules of Golf Expert. You can learn more about Todd here.

Youth on Course Member Spotlight: Savannah Gentry

Savannah Gentry is a freshman at the University of Kansas. She recently completed the three-month USGA Boatwright Internship with Central Links Golf and is an Evans Scholar. Among her many achievements, Savannah benefited from the access to golf Youth on Course provided her.

How did you get started playing golf?

I got involved with the game when I was about 10. My sister and I were looking into sports we hadn’t played or given a try yet, and a golf academy opened right next to where we were going to school at the time. She and I were their first swing lessons! Ever since then it’s stuck and become my favorite sport.

What do you enjoy about playing golf?

I love that it’s more than just a game and that I am reminded of that every time I play or am involved with it. There are so many aspects to it from meeting new people, playing, going to new places, getting involved in more ways than just playing, and so on. 

How have you benefitted from Youth on Course?

I found and was introduced to Youth on Course in the parking lot of a golf course during my first year playing by another junior golfer and his dad. It has been a huge benefit being able to have the opportunity to play for such a low rate and so many courses throughout the city. I definitely would not have been able to play as much as I have without it. I was extra appreciative especially after my first time paying for a full greens fee this summer!  

“Even though I’ve aged out of Youth on Course, I still encourage anyone I’m around to get signed up if they haven’t, because it really is a great program and seeing youth golfers is always an awesome thing!”

What are your next steps after having graduated from the YOC program?

I had an awesome internship with Central Links Golf this summer. Aside from focusing on school in the fall and upcoming year, I plan to stay involved with golf in any way I can. I also plan to major in business and sports management to later end up somewhere in the golf industry!

Tell us about the scholarship you received.

This spring I received the Chick Evans Scholarship from the Western Golf Association Evans Foundation. It’s a full tuition and housing scholarship for high-achieving caddies. I’ll be attending the University of Kansas this fall with it and living in the Evans house on campus. Very excited!

For more information about how to join Youth on Course click here >>,

To make a donation, click here>>

“How Do I Get More Turn in My Golf Swing?”

By Dr. Wade Roberts

This is perhaps one of the most common questions I get from golfers about their game as it relates to the physical side of golf.

The golfer will often say, “Wade, I’m not making a big enough or efficient turn and it’s killing my consistency and distance. I need some stretches to help improve my flexibility.”

It’s at this point that I reassure them that they’re in the right place and that there are a lot of things we can do that will improve their turn.

However, this golfer is making a bold assumption…that their lack of turn they may be feeling is because of muscle tightness and that stretching will help improve it….Sounds reasonable right?

It does if, in fact, it’s the muscles that are what’s tight and that stretching is the most effective remedy.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of different reasons why someone may not have good ‘flexibility or mobility’ in their body.

To name a few, it could be due to:

  • Joint limitations
  • Neural tension
  • Fascial tension
  • Trigger point activity
  • Hypertrophy
  • Scarring and fibrosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Guarding
  • Overload
  • Fusion
  • Inflammation
  • Ischemia

While I don’t expect you to know what each of these means, the point is, there are multiple reasons why a person can have a limited range of motion in a particular part of their body.

The Key: Know the underlying problem that’s limiting YOUR mobility.

I can’t emphasize enough that only once you know the underlying cause of your limited mobility, can you be prescribed an effective ‘flexibility’ routine. Some mobility problems cannot simply be solved by exercise or stretching alone.

Specific to stretching, it may feel good when you’re done, and it may in fact be the right intervention for you, but that’s only if that was determined by a thorough evaluation to sort through all the potential problems listed above. Otherwise, you may not ever make a lasting change, chasing your tail stretching over and over again, never realizing your full potential for a complete turn in your swing.

Getting to the root cause of why someone is lacking the mobility to make a good turn in their golf game, fixing it through whatever appropriate intervention is warranted, and then following that with a good stability/strength routine afterwards to hit the ‘save’ button on your gains in motion, is one of the most common things I do.

Do you think something is limiting your turn? Let’s get you on a path to success with a targeted, golf-specific mobility program put together by a Doctor of Physical Therapy and TPI Medical Professional.

Hit em’ straight –

Click Here to Set Up a Call

Dr. Wade Roberts is a contributing writer for Central Links Golf. He graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology. He then earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Lynchburg College. Dr. Roberts is able to provide specialized therapies for a variety of patients but has a special interest in decreasing pain, increasing speed, and achieving longevity in the golf community.