Educating golfers is the latest step in the GUI's campaign for #TheFairWay during their first ever Handicap Awareness Month.
The Golfing Union of Ireland, arbiters of men's amateur golf, launched their innovative Handicap Awareness Month on 1 March. Under the banner: #TheFairWay, clubs across all four provinces have rowed in behind the campaign and have roundly endorsed the GUI¹s campaign through social media.
“The message we are getting from clubs is that this is exactly the kind of initiative what they've been waiting for,” says Pat Finn, CEO of the GUI.
“Handicap cheating is affecting the integrity of the game, and consequently there's a view out there that it's hurting playing. So it's something we've got to collectively tackle.”
One of the biggest obstacles facing club handicap secretaries is the non-return of scores, a problem which has become endemic.
"Reporting of away scores, that's a common problem for a lot of clubs,” reveals Padraic O'Sullivan, who serves as handicap secretary at Kanturk Golf Club in Cork. Speaking on the GUI Podcast, O'Sullivan said: “A lot of the time when people have scores in other clubs or team competitions or corporate events, you¹re trusting that the members will come back with the information.”
O'Sullivan's club, like many, keep a notebook in their locker room so that members can report away scores. However, it¹s imperative that all scores are returned in a timely fashion.
O'Sullivan adds: “It's not (just) the reporting, it¹s the timing. You might hear about it at the end of the year.”
Apart from filling about the club notebook, members can report their away scores by taking a picture of the scorecard and sending it through to their handicap secretary by email or text message. Clubs that host open events such as golf classics and corporate outings must also report the results.
“The club in question must return scores to the home clubs of their players despite the fact that they¹re not the organiser of the event,” Pat Finn explains. ³Home clubs should be getting scores on the double: from the host club and from the player.”
You can keep up to date with Handicap Awareness Month at www.thefairway.ie
<http://www.thefairway.ie> and by following the GUI on Facebook (Golfing Union of Ireland) and Twitter (@GUIGolf)