WIN­NING LET­TER AL­LO­CA­TION OF STROKES AT COUR­SES NEEDS TO BE RE­VISED BY SAGA

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Gallery -

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

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