by Stewart Grant (St. Marys Golf & Country Club member)
As some of you are already aware, we have a new golf handicap program in place for the 2014 golf season. The Tee-On system is no longer an option; instead, player handicaps are to be maintained through Golf Canada’s website: golf canada.ca.
From what I can see, there are a number of positives with this change. First of all, the rollover of previous scoring data was skillfully completed, so we all still have our prior golf rounds in the system and we aren’t all starting from scratch. Secondly, the Golf Canada handicap system offers far greater functionality than what was available through Tee-On.
The “Find a Course” module for inputting out-of-town scores seems to function very well for Canadian, USA, and international golf courses. I had no trouble inputting scores from my winter golf rounds in Arizona and Florida at various courses. This also means that if you are coming to play the St. Marys golf course from outside, for example from Stratford, London, Kitchener, Waterloo or Woodstock, you will be able to input your scores easily.
The “My Player List” segment of the website is a nice feature in that it allows users to look up handicap and scoring information for any player within the handicap system all across Canada. A friend of mine who lives in Nova Scotia always beats me by a couple of strokes when we get together. I was able to look up his golf handicap easily on Golf Canada’s website and see that his golf handicap is two strokes lower than mine. I’ll have to make sure to get enough strokes from him next time we get together.
Tracking detailed golf statistics such as Fairways Hit, Greens in Regulation, and Putts per Round is also possible within the Golf Canada system. Give it a try and perhaps you can use these statistics to help highlight the areas of your game that need improvement.
In summary, I encourage you to take a few moments to check out the new golf handicap system at golfcanada.ca. If you are a member at the St. Marys Golf & Country Club, you should have already received an email with instructions on how to login. If you have any difficulties, give Kellen a call at 519-284-3704.
Most importantly, please do use the system regularly throughout the year, and post all of your golf scores. There is a great list of Frequently Asked Questions about Golf Handicaps on the Golf Canada website that is worth a read (click here). A lot of people don’t realize, for example, that you must post an 18-hole golf score if you have played at least 13 holes of a golf round. Many people also are not aware that golf Match Play scores are also to be entered in the golf handicap system. If your golfing competitor concedes a given hole to you, then you are supposed to record your most likely golf score. All the details are available on the FAQ page of the website.
The handicap system in golf is an excellent way for golfers of different abilities to have an evenly matched golf competition. Secondly, your golf handicap index is one of the best methods to measure your improvement as a golfer over time. So post all of your golf scores, keep your golf handicap honest, and have a great golf season.