IG170 September 19

September 2019 www.insidegolf.com.au YOUR VOICE 88 Your Voice Have you got something to say? Then tell us! Write to us via email at ed@insidegolf.com.au . Tell an interesting story or something funny about golf and you could win a great prize, like this month’s one dozen Volvik balls! This month’s winner! Letters received by Inside Golf may be modified and edited for length and clarity. The opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Inside Golf. (Except for the good ones – we really like those!) This month’s Prize: 1 dozen Volvik S3 balls Australia’s Golf Attitude I consistently read about the various trouble golf (as an activity and business) is having in Australia. Rounds are too long, courses too hard, too expensive and dropping participation rates are the catch phrases used consistently. I wonder if Australian golfers appreciate what we really have. Golf is the fastest-growing sport in South Korea, despite even more restricted access to courses. The lucky few who do play on a course accept and embrace the time they have to play. In Australia, we complain each week we are playing a golf game for too long as we have supposedly become ‘time poor’. Golfers every round complain that membership fees and social games are just too expensive, then complain that the course may also be lacking in its condition. In the USA, Bethpage, Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach among others are municipality run courses maintained to a very high standard and attract thousands of golfers all willing to pay higher fees for the privilege. In Australia, council and public courses are poorly maintained and expected to be very cheap. Some, as a result, are being forced to close. We want fast greens, white sands and manicured fairways but not to have to pay for it. Clubhouse meals are often regarded as too time consuming and expensive yet it is this income from food and drink that the club needs to supplement the course costs. There no longer is time for the 9-hole break, that is for sure. We want more players on the course to grow the sport, but we want the course to not be crowded. We certainly don’t want players to be on the green when we are ready to hit… the group in front is, apparently, always slow. We all forget that, to the group behind, we are the group in front. We want more members at the club for stability, but we want the course to be open to non-members for social play for more income, reducing the availability for members to play, thus the decline of membership numbers. We want it both ways. “Courses are too hard nowadays,” I keep reading and hearing from my playing partners, as they continue to utilise the back-tee markers, never playing for position or laying up! The course is easier from the front tees. Golfers are complaining that most are not playing under or to their handicap each week. If all the competitors broke handicap each week, would we not see a lowering of our handicaps and a return to the problem of not playing under it each week? Shouldn’t it be that the winners and top performers each week are the only ones who beat par or their handicap? Oh, and don’t forget the complaints that the ball and driver is going too far for our courses, now making the game also too easy? Which is it? Players often complain about preferring nine holes to be home faster. They usually complain on the 18th, each week, after forgoing the opportunity to stop at 9. I enjoy being out on my magnificent, challenging, tournament designed home course to which I pay a decent membership fee to play. It’s a shame it seems I’m the only one. Maybe if we complain less we might enjoy the game more! John Mossa Thank you for your intelligent insight to golf. I have some of mine to impart. I recently played where“Ready Golf”was in play, but I refer to it as“rude golf”. When someone plays their shot and are in front of my ball and then is on the green putting before others are on the green, I call that rude. I was told I had to“move with the times”. Sorry, but I will not be doing that. I also noted that the one who wants to take their time just sits and waits. That did not happen when playing honour golf; that person was on the tee quick and smart. I have a theory:“Ready golf is being ready when it is your turn”. This happened way back, and it worked a treat… and we all walked. I also will not be told to putt or chip if it is not my turn; I will do this if I feel comfortable, not for the sake of some impatient person. It is not hard to see I am of the old school, but I can change only if it is to the betterment of pleasure and not for the betterment of the impatient golfer who then sits inside the clubhouse for as long as they wish to and carries on about how quick they played their game. Jan Stewart Ready…set…wait Just wanted to say I’ve finally stopped laughing after reading your 19th hole article (August Issue, pg 80). I never knew Cornholing existed. I saw 5 minutes of it at the end of one of my ESPN recordings and couldn’t believe what I was watching!! They talked about things such as“tournaments”and “world championships”and 12 months’worth of pizza for the winner. I was like, WTF??!! I even kept that recording so I could show a friend. Very funny/disturbing. So, thank you! You’ve opened my eyes to all the other“sports”that I didn’t know existed. I better watch them since I’m paying for them, right? Anyway, thanks for the laughs. Neil Gray Cornholing? PRIVATE CARTS FOR PUBLIC USE We recently had our NSWVGA ‘Week of Golf’ at Ballina, NSW with full fields. The final day, being a shotgun start, we exhausted the club-owned cart supply. (These players were 95% visitors). This required us to supply carts that were privately owned by our members. As we all know this is ‘Common Practice’ at courses that have limited supply of club- owned carts. *The Pro Shop and Club could not and would not condone the use of private carts, citing liability. *The supplying of carts was negotiated privately away from the pro shop. Perhaps you could open a discussion or answer queries in an open forum to help ourselves and numerous other clubs Australia-wide that organise tournaments regarding this important issue. We are aware that, by holding a Golf Australia handicap, golfers are covered for personal liability and damages; does this include golfers using privately-owned carts? Some senior golfers need to use a cart and if there are no carts available, they are deprived of a game. John Swan Editor’s Note: Thanks John. We are looking into it. In the meantime, let’s open the discussion here: if anyone has any comments on this point, please email them to us! Re your news piece about Brisbane Golf Club “Leading the way”regarding lady members and gender equality (Club News, May issue), I must say that they (and others) are actually many years behind recognition of lady members. As an example: The Collinsville Golf Club, Queensland, was formed in 1931. The lady members worked alongside the male members to build the golf course. In recognition of this, at the Annual General Meeting on 18th March 1935 the Constitution was altered to remove“Lady Member”from the definitions and recognising all ladies as members. The tradition of the ladies working alongside the men continued throughout the years including when a decision was made to convert from sand greens to grass greens the ladies were heavily involved in the planting of the grass. The ladies were never called“Associates”. Many a visiting golfer when addressing the club as“Members and Associates”was quickly corrected by the ladies. The ladies competed with the male members in competitions on equal terms under the same handicapping system whether it be single, pairs or match play events. There was no time sheet for tee times; all groups were by an honest draw. The Championships were divided into lady and men divisions. The annual break up day format was that the Ladies played golf and the men prepared High Tea. When the QLGU introduced the QGLU handicapping system, the Collinsville ladies had a club handicap and a QLGU handicap to allow them to compete at other clubs. The ladies were always noted for their presentation of catering meals and High Teas for Open events at the club. Many a male golfer from other clubs said “I am only here for the food.” The question now is are there any other clubs in Australia who recognised their ladies as members as early as this? Russell Buckley Collinsville Ladies, Not Brisbane, led the way I feel a need to add to the“Your voice”article of July, regarding“worn lips”. It’s NOT the players who“force their hands between stick and cup wall and pull the ball out”(as I do), who are responsible for fouling/ collapsing the cup lip. It is the player(s) who are either unable to, or too lazy to, bend down to retrieve their ball from the cup bottom and so use the flagstick to launch their ball out onto the green. It’s usually the flagstick and/or the ball that causes the lip damage. Sensible manners/etiquette is required. Great magazine, and particularly the Course descriptions and the Travel insights. GaryWestbrook Loose Lips Regarding the US Open being fun to watch (July issue), I must inform you that you got it wrong. I spent seven long days at the US Open. The long rough was fluffed up by commercial blowers. Four blowers per hole at 7pm each night. The only explanation for the low scores was the absence of wind. Four still days in a row. For a coastal course, this is rare. Administrators, volunteers and spectators were all hoping for wind to protect the great layout of Pebble Beach Links and make more of a contest. The postage stamp greens, long rough and challenging layout that is not excessively long is what golf should be and was historically. Dean Parsons An Open and Shut Case