Good evening to you all
Like it or loath it, but winter is here! However I believe that winter is not a time to put the clubs away and not use them until April comes around. Instead this is a great time to make changes to your swing or improve any area of the game that has been letting you down. Just last week a pupil and I decided on what needs to be done throughout the winter to make sure we are hitting the ground running in Spring. As it turns out, this game plan included improving flexibility to improve distance on the course. This will throw her timing out and will take time to bed in, therefore, winter is the perfect time to do this.
In last weeks blog I wrote about the forthcoming changes to the rules of golf that will take effect from the 1st January 2016. In the world of golf there are other changes that probably affect you more than the changes in the rules will. These changes come from the Council of Nation Golf Unions or, as I am sure you will know the handicap governing body better, CONGU. CONGU was form in 1924 and since then has been responsible for governing the rules surrounding handicapping covering the English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh unions.
The change to new handicap boundries state that men are now allowed to hold a 36 handicap, however this handicap will only permit players to play in club competitions and prevent them for playing in Open's and regional event. Therefore events such as the Hull & District and East Riding Alliance will not allow a golfer to play. I can understand that this is a way of keeping players in golf longer and will make golf a bit easier for people to be competitive. However, having a higher handicap will surely contribute to another of golf's 'problems' which is slow player. A player who takes between 100-110 shots will take a longer time on the course and slow other people down? Not to mention the pressure the 36 handicapper will feel when a group of players are very close behind. I think that a better way to speed golf up is to either play 9 hole competitions, have shorter courses or have bigger holes.
If you return a 9 hole score for handicap purposes (did you know you could do that?) that is in your buffer zone, 18 points will be added on to give you an 18 hole score. This will then go towards adjustment of your handicap. If your 9-hole score is outside your bufffer zone then you score will be double and then your handicap will be adjusted accordingly.
Currently your handicap is reviewed every year and, based on your performances in handicap qualifying competitions, the computer system may recommend a handicap increase or decrease. Now, instead of it being yearly, a handicap secretary has the ability to review a handicap if a player returns seven scores in a row outside their buffer zone.
Until the end of the year, players in a betterball competition will still be allowed 3/4 of their handicap, from January, this is changing so that players will now have 90% of their handicap rather than 75%. This will lead to a lot lower scores winning competitions so expect to see more 59's winning betterball competitions
Other changes have been made and if you wish to read the full list, please download the document to the right.
This week sees the start of my Winter Coaching trip to Portugal with some members from Hornsea Golf Club. Tomorrow we are heading off to Amendoeira Golf Resort in Southern Portugal for a week of coaching and playing. With this in mind I will not be writing a blog next week, but I will give a full report in the following weeks blog. Do not despair if you have missed out on this trip as I plan to run more next year, possibly at the end of March/beginning of April. If you are interested in coming on the coaching trip, please register your interest by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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