The great golf handicap conundrum – News

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Historically, as the game developed, the rules relating to handicaps often varied from country to country

One of the greatest draw cards of the game of golf is that the best player in the world can play a round of golf with a player who plays the game as a hobby and they can have a competitive match.

In what other sport can you do this?

This can be done partly by playing off different tees but the real ingredient that makes this possible is the ‘Golf Handicap.’

Historically, as the game developed, the rules relating to handicaps often varied from country to country.

As a result of inevitable anomalies and inconsistencies, as international competitive golf and golf tourism became more prevalent there was a requirement for more formulated and consistent handicap rules, and the game’s governing bodies, the USGA and the R&A, alongside the various existing handicap authorities, devised a new World Handicap System which was introduced globally in 2020.

One important point on this hot topic that always generates active discussion, is that a golf handicap is intended to reflect a player’s potential or average best, not a player’s average score!

Golfers who are members of golf clubs, are entitled to have a handicap, but the initiative first introduced in 1996 in the UAE and by many other golf federations around the world, is to also accommodate the non-member of the golf club.

With today’s ‘accessible and affordable’ mantra for the game of golf, why should these floating golfers not be embraced by the game of golf?

The traditional private golf club for members only, is not the way to see growth of the game as we see exciting initiatives especially in this region, such as ‘Learn Golf in a Week,’ TOPGOLF and other golf club and golf academy initiatives to attract new adult and junior golfers at all ages, levels etc.

The typical route to the game is not to take a few lessons and then join a golf club, it is a much longer journey.

The solution is surely the Direct EGF Membership (www.egfgolf.com) which allows a golfer to have an official golf handicap, be able to play in open tournaments as well as corporate golf days.

Both golf club members and non-members are essential to the UAE golf eco-system and industry. These days, the global stakeholders of golf are discussing and implementing updates on dress regulations, using Rangefinders in professional tournaments plus professional tournaments for both men and women together.

But the Golf Handicap lies at the core of the amateur game and should never be ignored or underestimated.

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GOLF AROUND THE WORLD THIS WEEK

PGA TOUR

March 4-7,

Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard

Venue: Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida, US.

Purse: $9.3 million

EUROPEAN TOUR

No event this week.

PGA CHAMPIONS TOUR

No event this week.

LPGA

March 4-7, 2021

LPGA Drive On Championship presented by Volvik at Golden Ocala.

Venue: Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, Ocala, Florida, US.

Purse: $1.5 million



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