WINNING LETTER ALLOCATION OF STROKES AT COURSES NEEDS TO BE REVISED BY SAGA
Iam no more than an active social golfer. With my infrequent competitive play I was interested to read the views of the Handicaps Network Africa website which said the following (September 2016 newsletter): “The strokes on the holes have, of course, no impact on individual Stableford scores and are mainly there for matchplay games. If you consider that just about every game of golf played in South Africa has a “private game” between the players, where players get these strokes is important. Most games have a fairly small difference in the handicaps and so the strokes tend to come on the low stroke holes.”
It might be true that strokes on holes are not relevant for individual Stableford, but from what I have seen the majority of competitive handicap golf is either betterball or alliance, where strokes on the holes are relevant, particularly when double strokes are taken.
I agree that there are many side-bets in these rounds, but would suggest the majority of these privates are played within the confines of the overriding handicap event and therefore these matches are played off full handicap. I have not seen any privates reduced to scratch, which would be the only reason for the location of low stroke holes to be relevant.
If most matches are not played off scratch and most handicap golf played as BB or alliance, is there not a case to stroke holes based on BB scoring rather than match play games with the low handicap moved to scratch? Even if this means rounds start or end on the lowest strokes for the respective nines.
Durbanville GC in the Cape have ignored the SAGA recommendations when it comes to stroking holes. Their strokes are all over the place. Strokes 1-2-3-5-8-9 are all on the back nine, which the club recognises is the stronger nine.The only low strokes on the front nine are the first (stroke 7), third (6) and ninth (4).
King David Mowbray GC has strokes 1-3-5 in the last four holes of the round, recognising the strength of their finishing holes, even if this contradicts the SAGA recommendation that odd strokes go on the front nine, and low strokes should be avoided near the end of each nine.
In my opinion, all holes should be stroked based on actual difficulty and need for strokes, rather than the current system. And do we really need to have odds and evens on separate nines? – Stuart Casteling, Cape Town
Arnot Golf Club in Mpumalanga boasts whSaitshween bGeolilefvCe the longest par 5 on a 9-hole course in South Africa. It’s 601 metres, and not only is there the length to master, you also have to keep your tee shot straight. There is a dam bordering the left side of the fairway, with out-of-bounds right. Golf Digest invites readers to contribute to the Gallery with photos or stories of unusual holes they have encountered on their travels. Piet Theron at lutob.be