Here’s three important developments from August 2022

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 1, 2022 10:35

Here’s three developments that have been significant for the golf industry in the last month:

A club is crowdfunding to cover its energy costs

Newburgh-On-Ythan Golf Club in Aberdeenshire, one of the oldest golf courses in Scotland, says it is “looking for donations to help stabilise and secure the future of the club … [due to] the increased cost of energy and course materials.”

Even though participation has increased significantly since 2019, could some clubs go under due to soaring energy costs?

This has been a difficult summer for greenkeepers

A couple of months ago a survey found that one in three greenkeepers are considering leaving the industry.

Since then, the UK has had one of its hottest and driest summers in living memory, making greenkeepers’ jobs even more challenging.

Clubs have faced water usage restrictions and even fires, while activists in France vandalised golf courses and at least one politician in the UK has called for the number of clubs to be reduced.

It might be time for more clubs to look at how they can harvest particularly winter rainwater to use for irrigation in the summer.

The World Handicap System has ‘created a more level playing field’

Several readers disagreed when we posted this story online, but analysis of nearly two years of data since the World Handicap System was launched has shown it has effectively made club competitions fairer, particularly by reducing an unfair advantage Category 1 players used to have.

The HowDidiDo data shows that the average Stableford points score in competitions has gone from favouring those in the lower categories to being ‘almost equal’ (this year until the end of July, Category 1 players posted the lowest average Stableford score of all categories – 27.48, compared to the highest of 29.62 in Category 4. In 2020, Category 1 players averaged more than six points more than Category 4).

“No system is ever going to give every amateur of every standard an absolutely equal chance,” said a spokesman. “But the numbers show the World Handicap System is doing a better job of keeping things level across the board and giving more players a chance. The Category 1 players might not like it but any disadvantage they now have is far less than the advantage they had under the old system.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 1, 2022 10:35
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