League has been embraced by clubs
AUTUMN and winter golf is not like it used to be back in the day.
Courses have better drainage, better sand, better grass, more informed course staff and rising numbers looking to play.
Unfortunately it appears the courses also have worse weather to contend with which seems to be able to balance out all the positives more frequently than most would like however this has not stopped the rise of the now common Winter Leagues.
This concept has been embraced by many clubs, if not all, and has brought a vibrancy back to golf clubs helping to keep their doors open in the off season.
The Winter League offers players to opportunity to play in teams of three, five, seven or whatever number the club decides over a sustained period with the best teams usually playing off for the honour of being crowned winter league champions.
As with most amateur golfing competitions the winter league doesn’t offer the victors spoils worthy of a king however that is far from the point.
The Winter League offers club members the chance to strive for something over the off season that until recently wasn’t on offer.
The Winter League forces players to commit to turn out on a weekly basis in order to keep their team in with a chance to win.
The league brings players into the club and the clubhouse, players that may often have chosen to pack away the golf clubs till the following St Patrick’s Day.
The Winter League is far from a life saver but what it brings to a club can often not be counted in a till.
The old adage of “Build it and they will come” really applies to the Winter League.
In my own club of Mallow, the Winter League sees up to 400 counting rounds of golf being played on a weekly basis for the first 10 weeks of competition. The top eight teams out of the 25 competing then play off in the quarters, semis and ultimately the final to see who will be crowned the Winter League Champions.
Mallow Golf Club wasn’t the first club to embrace a Winter League concept and it won’t be the last however the enthusiasm from many quarters of the club for a competition like the Winter League has shown many outside Mallow Golf Club just what can be achieved when it is done in the right way.
Winter golf isn’t here just yet but clubs will be turning to shorter formats of the game real soon so keep at it through the colder months – your game will benefit in the long run.