Golfer Pacific

Slow play needs a quick fix

Posted in Australian Golf,Golf,Golfer Pacific,Slow Play by golferpacific on March 26, 2009

OK, so what constitutes slow play in golf these days and where do we draw the line?

Admittedly, the problem isn’t nearly as bad as it is made out to be in competition golf.

But for those having a social bash, like I did at the weekend, this problem is becoming increasingly worse and course marshalls need to do their job.

Groups of four or more, slow walkers, intoxicated hoons, people scoring cards on the greens – not the next tees – and those who feel the need for a few practice putts after they have already holed out…aarrrhhh! It does my head in.

Like most of you, I have had some bad experiences playing socially.

But on the weekend I encountered by far the worst of these.

I got stuck behind a group of nine….YES…. NINE!

This extended family of friends felt the need to all pair up in a nonet (that’s a group of nine by the way).

Throw in six motorised carts, 123 air swings and a dash of no idea and you have the recipe for possibly the most ridiculous tee grouping of the year.

I sat with my playing partner on the tee for nearly 20 minutes while this group of morons tried to locate their balls, strolling ever so casually across the fairways, back-and-forth to grab clubs.

Truth is – they could have used toothpicks – it wouldn’t have mattered.

One bloke had five air swings then backed that up with a shank onto the next fairway.

The result?

A few laughs and an extended conversation about how he accomplished such a feat, without moving in a forward direction.

Throughout this marathon these pillocks were constantly looking back to see us and a growing trail of golfers banked up behind…but no….no need to panic or even wave to let us play through.

Instead, they were more than happy to continue their motorcade to the 19th.  

After seven unsuccessful phone calls to the clubhouse at 4.30pm to try and get an official to get off his high horse and push these guys along, we surrendered and tried another tee.

It appeared it was an early knock-off day for the pro shop, but not for me and my playing partner.

As it was, we walked off the course in pitch black darkness after completing just 13 holes.

I’m willing to give the club the benefit of the doubt – they simply wouldn’t have been stupid enought to allow a group of nine tee-off together.

But they should have monitored the situation to ensure they didn’t slow down what was a busy afternoon of bookings.

As for the green fees I paid…thanks for nothing.

I won’t be back for a while.

  • What’s the worst case of slow play you have experienced?

Is $3m a bargain, or too much for Tiger?

Posted in Tiger Woods by golferpacific on March 25, 2009

Tiger has every reason to be pumped up after agreeing to play in Australia later this year for a reported $3million.

Tiger has every reason to be pumped up after agreeing to play in Australia later this year for a reported $3million.


Reports suggest Woods will get $3million to play in the 2009 Australian Masters at Melbourne’s Kingston Heath – a tournament that will probably offer about a tenth of the purse he will command just to tee it up in the sandbelt.

And while Victorian Tourism and Major Events Minister Tim Holding would not confirm the money involved, it is believed to be around the $3million mark.

Holding said the cost of bringing Woods to Melbourne for the third time would be more than offset by the benefit he brought to the economy, suggesting his appearance in Victoria could be worth as much as $19 million to the state. As a taxpayer, are you happy to be funding the biggest name in world sport to tour Down Under?

Is the US Course Rating System a winner?

Posted in Australian Golf by golferpacific on March 25, 2009

THE smiles will be seen at golf clubs all over the country this month.

That’s because Golf Australia has ended one of the most controversial topics in club golf by agreeing to adopt the United States Golf Association Course Rating System.

Now this is not to be confused with the topical US Slope Handicap System, but it looks like we’re halfway to resolving that too.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a topic that has generated so much response than course ratings and handicapping.

The landmark decision to change our course rating procedures last month follows a lengthy period of review and will see the existing Australian Women’s Course Rating System and Australian Men’s Course Rating System put on the scrapheap where, the general consensus suggests, they rightfully belong.

Whether or not the old system was fair and accurate is now irrelevant because Golfer Pacific readers will be over the moon by this latest development, based on the letters I receive slamming the old systems.

“We’ve spent the past three years on a process which has involved inviting feedback and then listening to what everyone has to say,” Golf Australia’s Anne Lenagan said.

“This outcome is a genuine good-news story for the industry, and takes us further down the path of removing unnecessary inconsistencies between women’s and men’s handicapping in Australia.”

I think ‘inconsistencies’ is the key word here and I applaud the sport’s governing body for taking action and allowing us to link up with the rest of the world’s golfing population.

I would think Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt shares a similar view and he said Australian golfers could now look forward to the many benefits of the new system.

“The USGA Course Rating System is considered world’s best practice and is the result of significant financial and scientific investment,” he said.

“It is exciting that all Australian clubs and handicap players will now be exposed to the benefits experienced by most golfers around the world.”

So, what exactly can Golfer Pacific readers expect out of the popular US system?

“Fundamentally, this will see the ‘actual measured length’ of a course being replaced by ‘effective playing length’, and that’s important because the course rating will now reflect what it is that the golfer encounters,” Golf Australia Handicapping and Course Rating Committee chairman Ian Read said.

“This means giving greater consideration to the factors we all know make such a difference.

“And I’m talking about the obvious things such as roll, elevation, prevailing wind, altitude, and forced lay-ups caused by dog-legs and dams or streams, etc.

“It really is a major step forward.”

A step forward all right – we will now have a course rated with logic, taking into account everything that makes it unique and difficult, not just its distance or lack of.

Clubs will use the new scratch ratings immediately when their course has been re-rated, with the implementation timetable being as follows:

• Approximately 120 personnel to be trained throughout

Australia between June and October 2009.

This will include the USGA conducting seminars in Australia in June.

• September 2009, begin rating courses with an initial concentration on new and changed courses.

• By the end of 2011 it is expected that all courses will have been completed, with most metropolitan courses to be finished by the end of 2010.

Golf Australia will determine the future direction of the Australian handicapping system (and CCR) following a state forum to be held at the end of the month, where it is anticipated they may choose to adopt the most talked about topic in club golf – the

US Slope System.

What are your thoughts on these changes?

Do you think it will benefit club golf in Australia?


The Ultimate Golfing Hazard – Carbrook Golf Club Australia

Posted in Australian Golf by golferpacific on March 19, 2009
Tags: ,

editors_blog2This takes the cake for ‘extreme’ sports….only in the toughest environment in the world; Australia

Aussies have what it takes to break the US Masters Drought – or do they?

Tell me what you think

Tell me what you think

Is Adam Scott the one to home the US Masters trophy

Is Adam Scott the one to bring home the US Masters trophy

Ogilvy, Appleby, Allenby, Scott or maybe that bloke called Norman?

Is 2009 the year Australia finally breaks its US Masters drought? Or will our best golfers again come up short of wearing that prized green jacket?

Tell us who you think will win and why?