Golf News

Stratford Golf Club hosts the second round of The Senior Invitational Matchplay Series this Sunday. Early pacesetters Jennian Homes Hornets will be looking to build on their winning start when they take on Revital Fertiliser Coasters. Pick of the match ups in this game sees Hornets No1 James Malone take on New Plymouth professional Dominic Barson, who is covering the Coasters No1 Tim White who has been unavailable for the first two rounds. Whilst it will not be an easy task for Malone a good performance would help him stake a claim for representative consideration. Taranaki Hardcore Rebels are in action against Pita Pit Pirates. Both sides had a half in the last round and will want to record a victory. The number one and two contests could cancel each other out, so the outcome of this contest will probably be decided lower down the order. In the final match Vanburwray Vipers will be eager to get some points on the board after their loss in the first round, due largely to being a man short. They will be strengthen by Brook Gray’s availability this weekend at no2 and his inclusion should give them the edge over the Taranaki Golf Centre Pumas.

Following an 18 month review of the Golf handicapping system by NZ Golf, a series of changes are due to come into effect over the next six months. The first change to be implemented will be the use of tournament scores being weighted in the handicap system. NZ Golf is just awaiting final testing results from Dot Golf before initiating the change; hopefully by 1st July. One of the most significant changes to be introduced is the scrapping of 9-hole handicaps, meaning that all members of golf clubs in New Zealand will only hold an 18-hole handicap. This change is earmarked to come into effect from 1st January next year.


 It was interesting to see the coverage leading up to the US Open at Pinehurst No2 last week. Much was made of the restoration of the course carried out by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore. They spent a great deal of time removing the introduced Bermuda grass rough and allowing the rough areas to return to their scrub like state. Clumps of wild grass on hard sand rough made for challenges that most of the field succumbed to at some stage. Whilst the course may not have had the aesthetic appeal of the manicured courses that appear on our television screens most weeks, it did have a much more natural look and should serve as an example to courses in our region.  Coupled with the removal of most of the fairway irrigation system, it was very much a case of “play the course as your find it”. Perhaps those who look after our courses in Taranaki could look at allowing nature to determine what look their course should take. I wonder if the layout of some courses would benefit from allowing native plants to thrive rather than introducing species of plant that may prove to be detrimental to the course in the long term. Whilst it may not be every ones idea of improving their course, it is certainly food for thought and may help to reduce course maintenance and upkeep costs.


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