PATRICK REED’S Ryder Cup opponents collared him last week
when he returned to the UK for the Volvo World Matchplay and had their photo
taken mimicking Reed’s gesture to the crowd at Gleneagles. Reed took it all in good part. For the camera anyway. Back in his hotel room he probably chewed the
FRANK STABLEORD deserves to be remembered by amateur golfers everywhere. Dr. Stableford was a surgeon in the Boer war
and WWI, afterwards becoming Captain of Wallasey Golf Club on the Wirral. Hedevised a system of points scoring
after realizing one day that many players were getting very little fun out of
their golf, often tearing up their score cards after a few holes, especially at
Wallasey, where strong winds could make play extremely difficult.
handicaps had originally been used for the purpose of wagers but eventually
there was a need for a central handicapping authority. In 1881 the use of three rounds and then take
the average was adopted. Many clubs
played medal competitions, hard for the less formal golfer, or they played
against bogey, based on the best average scores over a particular course, which
was very individual, with widely differing standards.
Dr. Stableford’s points system was first
played in competition at Wallasey on 16th May 1932, and was an
instant success. At the time the maximum
male handicap was 21, but not liking the idea of anyone receiving 2 strokes at
a hole, he restricted the allowance to 7/8th of handicap, giving a
maximum of 18 shots. Gradually he
refined the system to give 4bbb, foursomes and mixed matches.
The great advantage of Dr. Stableford’s
system is that it enables a player to continue after a few bad holes, and
speeds up play by letting a player pick up when he is out of contention. It was Henry Longhurst’s opinion that “No
single man did more to increase the enjoyment of the more humble golfer.”
GOLF IN AMERICA can be interesting. Approaching the 16th green in
Montana a golfer came across three bear cubs wrestling with the flag (no sign of Goldilocks.) And in Oregon an eagle landed on the green,
picked a player’s golf ball up in it’s beak and flew off. The
surprised golfer said: “I’d been hoping
for an eagle all day.”In case you’re wondering, rule 18/1 has it covered: If a ball at rest is
moved by an outside agency, there is no penalty and the ball must be replaced.
RORY McILROY has pulled out of the Shanghai HSBC
and BMW Masters to prepare for his forthcoming courtroom battle against Horizon
Sports Management. Horizon is
countersuing for breach of contract. For
both protagonists millions are at stake.
For the lawyers Christmas has come early.
FATHER AND SON Championship returns to Valle del Este, Almeria, from 27th
October to 1st November. Over 50 teams compete for the title of best
scratch and handicap Father and Son team in Europe. Last year’s winners, both from England, will return
free as part of their prize.
Open to any
pro or amateur team, maximum handicap 24, contestants’ ages range from 10 to 90 (not a
team presumably) The 54 hole 2bbb Stableford event brings golfers and their families
over for a great week in the sun. Sky
Sports cameras, press and announcers all make it as close to a pro championship
as possible, and with evening entertainment, spas and a carnival atmosphere it
is proving a popular annual fixture.
“Columbus went round the world in 1492;
that isn’t a lot of strokes when you consider the course.” Lee Trevino (Who else?)
Just a reminder folks that any loose
change dropped in to the poppy boxes this month will all help this very worthy
Until next time, happy golfing.
Contact Mick for your regripping and repairs. Tel. 638 859 475.