Golf club defends its handicap system following comments

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 6, 2021 17:40

An Irish golf club has defended the handicap system it has after a podcast said ‘that should not happen’ because it won its third title in less than a decade.

Spanish Point Golf Club won the Pierce Purcell Shield last month – its third title since 2013. The Golf Ireland competition involves five teams of foursomes playing off a combined handicap of 27 and the minimum handicap being 12.

With well over 300 golf clubs in Ireland, it is unusual for a single club to win repeatedly, but it is not unique – Royal Portrush won it three times in the 1970s for example.

However, The Irish Golfer Podcast labelled the scores achieved by the club this year as “wild” and stated “the handicaps are all over the shop”. Of the three titles in recent years, the presenters stated, “all things being right that should not happen” and continued, “(there is) something absolutely dodge about handicaps, it is not right”. It was also stated that Spanish Point were strong enough to play in higher competitions: “It is a good win for them but it is tarnished for them when they get scores like that.”

Spanish Point member Seamus McMahon said the comments were “disappointing”. He told The Clare Echo: “The win was a phenomenal success for Spanish Point Golf Club, it was a hugely positive experience for the club. The commentary has been in relation to the final which was the biggest win of the year, throughout the year there has been some titanic battles all year not least the Munster Final which was so close that the final match went to six extra holes and had to be played over two days, there was very little between some of the teams, a bounce of the ball here or there decided some of the matches. If you looked at the final and the results of the final on paper, it wasn’t a true reflection of how close it was throughout the year and also in the final you had a links team playing links golf on a links course in windy conditions against a team that were from a parkland course which was a big advantage.

“It is not the same ten people that have played [over the last seven years], some lads’ handicaps will vary throughout competitions and there will be adjustments made based on success, either individual success or team success, handicaps will be adjusted based on that, those adjustments will all be made in conjunction with the Munster Golf and match handicap authorities, they will be reviewed and come under scrutiny with the authority for handicapping, those reviews are ongoing the whole time and will be constantly audited the whole time in relation to the handicaps.”

Club secretary Noel Connellan added: “The first time they won it was a fantastic achievement, they tried for many years to do it and failed, the second year they knew what to do and did it, it wasn’t going to a course and playing a practice round, the lads went to the course and played it five or six times so they would know every part of the course which gave them a great edge going forward. To win an All-Ireland is the greatest accolade you can hang in the club; a huge achievement.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 6, 2021 17:40
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