LET­TER OF THE MONTH

Golf Australia - - AROUND THE TRAPS -

NINE IS JUST FINE THANKS

With a typ­i­cal round and post-round “de­brief” tak­ing five-six hours, ‘fam­ily friendly’ is not a phrase reg­u­larly used to de­scribe golf. I’m pas­sion­ate about golf, but have only man­aged a hand­ful of com­pe­ti­tion rounds in the past few months. A busy job and four chil­dren make it hard for me to find the time.

Sure, I could prob­a­bly duck out for a nine-hole so­cial round, but the chal­lenges of try­ing to im­prove my handicap and test­ing my­self in a com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment would not be there. These things are largely what at­tracted me to this great game in the first place. So, de­spite my love of golf, I re­cently re­signed my­self to let­ting my mem­ber­ship lapse at the end of the fi­nan­cial year and rack­ing my clubs for a num­ber of years.

That was un­til my club, Royal Can­berra, in­tro­duced a new ini­tia­tive. A nine-hole com­pe­ti­tion to be held on a weekly ba­sis, with the best scores of the week and the week’s win­ners be­ing de­ter­mined on the fol­low­ing Mon­day morn­ing by our golf shop staff. To en­ter the com­pe­ti­tion, mem­bers must book in for a nine-hole so­cial round, have a marker play­ing in the com­pe­ti­tion and sub­mit their com­pleted cards. A fee of half the usual 18-hole com­pe­ti­tion fee is payable to en­ter.

This ini­tia­tive is an in­no­va­tive way of en­cour­ag­ing a wider range of mem­bers to play com­pe­ti­tion golf more of­ten. The ini­tia­tive po­ten­tially has very broad ap­peal. For in­stance, it will at­tract time poor golfers like me, those who can’t eas­ily phys­i­cally man­age 18-holes and those for whom two-three hours of golf is enough of a good thing. For me, it means that in­stead of look­ing to rack my clubs and join a gym or take up cy­cling, I am look­ing for­ward to duck­ing out for a ‘cheeky nine’ ev­ery week or so. An­drew Berger Camp­bell, ACT

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