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Competitions Committee Weekly Newsletter - September 11th

Saturday Competition – 13th September:

The Richard Burton Trophy

This is an 18 hole medal event. Entry fee is £3. White tees.

Last Year’s Winner: Frank Brookes 82-14-68.

This competition represents the 9th round of the 10 that count towards the Sir William Proctor Smith Golden Jubilee Plate, aka Golfer of the Year. The current standings are on the noticeboards and HowDidiDo.

Other Competitions:

City Glass Alliance Foursomes Semi-Final - Sale drawn away to Worsley: Sunday 14th September

Archie Preston Mixed Foursomes Semi-Final - Sale drawn at home to Blackburn: Sunday 14th September

Supporters are welcome at both Sale and Worsley on Sunday.

Midweek Stableford: Wednesday 17th September

Club Finals Day: Sunday 21st September – A list of the participants and tee times will be published shortly.


This is the first of a number Q&A articles with our Handicap Committee - Chris Leonard and Dave Parsons.

Q: How is a new member allotted a handicap?

A: First, it’s important to point out that most golf clubs, including Sale, follow the guidelines, rules and regulations of the CONGU Unified Handicapping System. This system is controlled by the Council of National Golf Unions, otherwise known as CONGU. If a new member already has an active CONGU handicap from their previous club, they will keep that handicap.

Q: So you follow CONGU guidelines when you allot a handicap to a new member who doesn’t have a handicap?

A: Yes. By following the guidelines we require a new member who does not have a handicap, to submit three 18-hole cards. Each card must be marked and signed by a responsible person acceptable to the Handicap Committee, and total 110 or less. The cards should normally be submitted within a period of six months.

Q: What do you do with the three cards?

A: We take each card and adjust the scores on individual holes to a maximum of double bogey.

Q: So, if for example the total score on a card was 90 but the player scores 7 on the 2nd hole and 8 on the 12th hole, both scores would be reduced to 6, so the overall score would be reduced to 87?

A: Correct. When we have adjusted all three cards, we then take the lowest card and deduct the standard scratch score (SSS) of the tees the golfer played from.

Q: So if they played from our yellow tees, which have a SSS of 68, then 87 minus 68 equals 19. Would they be given a 19 handicap?

A: Yes. We do have discretion to allot an initial handicap less than the best adjusted score if we have reason to consider that a lower handicap is more appropriate to the player’s ability.

Q: What else can you take into account?

A: Factors the guidelines say we can take into account include: Previous playing history if available and any lower handicap previously held at Sale Golf Club or at any other club; time of year and prevailing weather conditions when the rounds were played; information from peers. However, in most instances a new member’s initial handicap is based on the three cards they submit to the Handicap Committee.

Q: You also have to trust that the golfer was trying their best on every hole, don’t you?

A: Yes. We would not expect a golfer to deliberately 3 putt the final 4 greens or tee off using just irons when they are competent with, and usually use, woods for tee shots. This would not be in the spirit of the game or fair to other golfers.

Q: What if it becomes apparent that you have grossly under or over-estimated their ability?

A: We always keep track of each new member’s progress and, as we shall discuss next week, the computer programme used to record handicaps is designed to automatically adjust any golfer’s handicap following a period of exceptional performance. We also carry out an annual review of all handicaps which we will cover in a later article.

Q: There is probably never going to be a foolproof system for allotting a new handicap but do you believe the CONGU guidelines are adequate?

A: Absolutely. New members want a handicap as quickly as possible and the guidelines allow this. People often forget that most new members are keen to improve. They tend to have lessons and spend time practising. So if you notice a new member has collected a few prizes in a short period of time, it could just be that their extra efforts are bearing fruit rather than the Handicap Committee getting their initial handicap wrong!!


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