Mid Season Reminders

I just got back from a week of fishing and after a couple of rounds it looks like a few reminders to Members are in order.

Pace of Play

The average pace of play for all rounds at Niakwa for the last two seasons is under 4 hours. With the new rules for 2019, which are designed to speed up play, a 3 hour 45 minute pace is reasonable for a foursome. Four hours or more should be considered slow.

Divots and Pitch Marks

Please remember to fill your divots and fix your ball marks on the green. I noticed a lot of unfilled divots on my rounds this week. Filling a divot is one of the easiest things you can do to help maintain the course. Please take care not to overfill your divot, as this can damage mowers. Here’s a primer from the USGA website:  https://www.usga.org/course-care/forethegolfer/2017/to-fill–or-not-to-fill–there-is-no-question.html

Properly Filled Divot

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Raking Bunkers

Please remember to rake the bunker – and by “raking the bunker” I don’t mean leaving a pile of sand in the middle of the trap. And please leave rakes in the trap at the entry point of the bunker like so:

Rakes in the Bunkers Please

Driving Range

Some members feel compelled, it seems, to leave their mark all over a hitting station – like a cheetah on a tree stump. Remember there will be other players using the hitting station when you leave. A linear pattern of divots helps with maintenance and leaves more grass for the next people using the spot on the range.

Linear Divot Pattern on the Range Please

Taking the Ball out of the Hole

Shawn and his crew have taken pains this year to make sure the inside of the hole is painted properly. It looks good doesn’t it? Shawn, myself and Terry Reilly have all spoken and written about taking care when removing the ball from the hole when the flag is left in. Please either remove the flag before taking your ball out of the hole, or lift the ball out with two fingers in a scissors manner, taking care not to touch the side of the hole. Don’t pull the flag and try to “pop” the ball out of the whole and certainly don’t stick you putter in the hole to dig the ball out.

Match Play Scores for Handicap – Holes not Completed

There has been quite a bit of confusion this year about how to record an incomplete hole for handicap purposes. Yes, Golf Canada requires that Match Play Scores are entered for handicap purposes and yes, incomplete holes are to be recorded.

For an incomplete hole a player records the most likely score he or she would have made from the point at which the ball is picked up or the hole is conceded. Many players have been entering par plus handicap stroke(s) for that hole, which is incorrect. Here’s an excerpt from Section 4-1 page 23, 24 of the Golf Canada Handicap Manual:

“A player who starts, but does not complete a hole or is conceded a stroke must record for handicap purposes the most likely score. The most likely score may not exceed the player’s Equitable Stroke Control limit, defined in Section 4-3. This most likely score should be preceded by an “X.” (See Decision 4-1/1.)

Example 1: A and B are partners in a four-ball stroke-play competition. On a hole on which neither player receives a handicap stroke, A lies two, 18 feet from the hole. B lies two, 25 feet from the hole. B holes a putt for a 3. A picks up on the hole, because A cannot better B’s score. A records X-4 on the scorecard because 4 is A’s most likely score.

Example 2: A and B are playing a match. On a hole on which neither player receives a handicap stroke, A has holed out in 4; B has a 30-foot putt for a 5. B has lost the hole, and picks up. B records X-6 on the scorecard because 6 is B’s most likely score.

Example 3: A and B are playing a match. On a hole on which neither player receives a handicap stroke, A is one foot from the hole, lying 4. B is 10 feet from the hole, lying 3. B putts and misses. They both concede a half. Both players record X-5 because that is their most likely score.”

Here’s a link to the manual https://golfcanada.ca/app/uploads/2016/02/2016-Handicap-Manual-6×9-ENG-FA-web.pdf See section 4-1 on page 23 and page 24.

Finally, please remember the etiquette of golf at all times and please respect your fellow members. Last week I flew to a remote northern lake, teeming with fish, looking forward to two meals a day of delicious walleye fresh from the cold water. When I first opened a cupboard to find a frying pan what do I see, but a shelf full of canned tuna! – now that’s disrespectful.

Enjoy your golf this week, but please do your part to keep the course and playing conditions in great shape.


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