We’ve spent a few days investigating winter qualifying competitions & whether they should be played throughout the winter period. Firstly CONGU (handicapping body) recommend:
Congu expects that all Medal, Stableford and Par/Bogey competitions (played over 18 holes or a designated and measured 9 holes) wherever possible will be run as Qualifying Competitions and that CSS and Handicap Adjustments will be made accordingly.
Clause 13 – Allows the length of the measured course to be reduced by no more than 100 yards to allow work on the course and specifically the use of a maximum of 2 temporary greens.
Clause 15 – Clubs Should, wherever practical, play competitions as Qualifiers during the Preferred Lie period.
Bearing the above in mind & with the course conditions still being very good in October this year, we will endeavour to keep qualifying competitions running through until the 1st November in 2017 & then revert to the one per month system that we currently have throughout Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan & Feb when conditions can be more challenging. I spoke with a member from Darlington Golf Club during the week who mentioned that they don’t play ANY club competitions (qualifying or not) between October to March, simply the occasional Pro’s Stableford. To the other extreme, playing qualifying competitions every week throughout the off season is very hard going & there wouldn’t be many wanting to play a qualifying medal on a cold January morning with their handicap on the line. Hopefully the balance of qualifiers/non-qualifiers & ‘fun’ format competitions throughout the off-season is about right – please see Alex or myself if you have any further thoughts or feedback.
Finally, a couple of people have asked why we can’t play ‘reduction only’ competitions throughout the winter season? It’s a myth – there isn’t such a thing in regards to competition setup. Reduction only comes along as a consequence of a competition outcome & there are 2 main reasons why this would occur:
- Only a proportion of the field finish the competition
- Standard scratch increases beyond a certain level
I hope the above is of use to you all.