Golf Australia has released details relating to the second package of changes to the Australian mens’ and women’s handicap system that all clubs must have implemented by January 1, 2011.
Over the next few days we will have a closer look at a few of these implementations but regular Aussie Golfer readers will know how happy I am to see #3 in the list (Why are handicap rounds restricted to competitions? – 10/02/2010) .
1. Complete overhaul of existing four-ball handicapping regulations.
2. Requirement for each affiliated club to have a Handicap Committee.
3. Start to allow widespread use of non-competition scores.
4. Simplification of method for extending score for round of 9-17 holes into 18-hole score.
5. Requirement to process for handicap purposes those eligible scores played at any non-Australian course with a USGA Course Rating.
6. Clarification of which scores are eligible for Handicap Purposes.
The allowance for non-competition scores to be entered for handicapping purposes is a huge change in the Australian golfing landscape and brings us into line with the rest of the world. Golfers can pre-nominate their round for handicapping outside of competition rounds provided a playing partner with an official handicap can mark their card.
This give golfers who like to play to improve their handicap during social rounds but personally it means I don’t have to get up early, force my way into a crowded weekend competition and endure a 5-hour round in order to make a change to my handicap!
The memo from Golf Australia states; “Effective immediately, each club HAS THE OPTION to require its members to submit ALL of their non-competition scores”. Ignoring the liberal use of upper-case for one moment, I’m guessing some pro-shops who rely on a large amount income from club competition rounds may chose to wait until January 1, 2011 to implement this option.
But when they do, won’t it be lovely to play a great round of golf on a hot summer evening of the Australian summer, knowing it will count.