Inside Golf : Inside Golf July 2017
starters box www.insidegolf.com.au | July 2017 5 Richard Fellner Group Editor firstname.lastname@example.org @insidegolf State to state, a slippery slope www.insidegolf.com.au/opinion Best Opinion (2015-16) Best Column (2011-12) Best Photojournalism (2006-07) www.insidegolf.com.au Distributed to over 425 golf clubs, social golf clubs, driving ranges and retailers Australia wide every month It’s official: 42,812 Inside Golf Magazines distributed each month for the period: October 2016 to March 2017 Cover Photo: Courtesy of John W Fischer III Archives. Outdoor Sports Publishing Pty Ltd ACN 113 836 301 ABN 30 043 104 919 PO BOX 437, Miami, QLD 4220 EDITORIAL: Group Editor: Richard Fellner P: 0407 000 440 email@example.com PO Box 363, Mount Evelyn, Vic, 3796 Chief Writer: David Newbery firstname.lastname@example.org Design & Layout: Stacey Fortescue, Rhys Martin, Rob Kirk COnTRIbuTORs: Larry Canning, Michael Court, Andrew Crockett, Denis Dale, Steven Jeffress, Karen Lunn, David Merriman, Richard Nizielski sALEs: national sales: Sam Arthur P: 1300 4653 00 | F: (07) 5535 4922 M: 0410 575 303 | E: email@example.com QLD sales: David Ross M: 0439 612 458 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org nsW/ACT sales: Megan Symington M: 0419 575 000 | E: email@example.com VIC/TAs/sA sales: Jon Perrett M: 0402 852 637 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org Australia/nZ sales: Lisa Coleman E: email@example.com | M:0406 031 344 Accounts: Sheridan Murphy M: 0404 075 823 E: firstname.lastname@example.org AusTRALIA’s MOsT-READ GOLF MAGAZInE Winner of multiple Australian Golf Media Awards -- including “Best Column” for his monthly Starters Box –Group Editor Richard Fellner is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and the Golf Society of Australia, and he is a regular guest on many Australian “sports talk” radio shows. Links Drive, Noosa Heads, QLD 4567 P: 07 5440 3333 email@example.com www.noosasprings.com.au Hope Island Road, Hope Island QLD 4212 P: 07 5530 9000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.linkshopeisland.com.au 2 unique experiences + 2 world class golf courses = ultimate golfing escape 2 of Queensland’s most prestigious golf courses, Noosa Springs Golf & Spa Resort & Links Hope Island, are now offering unique packages that you can visit individually or combine to create the ultimate golfing experience SUNSHINE COAST GOLD COAST Afewissues back, I raised some points about the Slope System and handicap indexing. To summarise, I proposed that, instead of using the current (and potentially outdated) American Slope system to determine the relative difficulty of courses here in Australia, we instead turn to the real-world statistical data of rounds played at each course. Basically, I believe we should look at actual posted scores (using MiClub or GolfLink, etc), and compare the results of, say, scratch golfers to those of bogey golfers, and use that data to determine the course’s relative difficulty (and thus handicap stroke allotment) between those two segments. The responses I’ve received via email and in person would seem to validate that opinion, as nearly everyone I’ve communicated with has an anecdote about how the Slope system doesn’t seem to work here in Australia. for the record, I’ve stated before that the Slope ratings at many courses never felt quite right. And this is due, I believe, to two main reasons: A) The slope system is, in essence, an opinion-based, theoretical formula devised to rate/rank a course according to a variety of obstacles like course length, hazards, landing areas, etc. And while it takes many measurements/factors into account, the problem, I believe, is that it essentially boils down to a rater’s “opinion”, formulated by walking the course, not actually playing it. I think it’s safe to say that, until you actually PLAY a golf course, and play it multiple times, you can never really get a feel for how difficult it is, or understand the actual bounces/rolls/breaks throughout the course. B) The system is largely based on the difficulty/playability of American courses, which as we all know play far differently (by and large) to Australian courses. A US-style parkland course with ultra-soft greens, fluffy bunkers and lush fairways plays vastly differently to a bump-and- run links-style course here in Oz. As a result, I believe that some of the measurements/factors used in Slope calculations aren’t quite suitable/ applicable in Australia. following some recent events, I have become more impassioned about this subject, as I believe there is a serious imbalance between courses. I’ve heard anecdotal evidence of how, for example, members from one club will ALwAYS win (or “Clean up every single year”, in their words) when they play inter-club matches at a neighbouring club. They note that they often feel like they get far too many handicap strokes/shots for the club they are visiting, etc. And this seems to be reflected even more highly on an interstate level. Personally, I play in many golf events across the country, from Pro- ams to social games, etc., and I have come to notice that players of similar handicaps, from different states, have significantly different playing abilities. In essence, a 12-handicapper from one state may be a significantly better player than a 12-handicapper from another state. Not just in a one-off instance, but on a regular, consistent basis. I’ve also become more aware of it over the last few years during an annual Ryder Cup-style State vs State competition in which I play. following many rounds and matches, a common discussion in the 19th hole is “ That 12-handicapper was certainly NO 12 handicapper; he is more like a 9.” So it’s become clear to me that one state has a significant edge over the other. And I believe that the edge may be due to an imbalance in how many strokes are allotted to the players of each team, based upon their state’s Slope, which as we know may have been determined by a different set of raters. (And before you start accusing people of handicap manipulation, etc., keep in mind that this is not an isolated incident. I have heard dozens upon dozens of similar stories, from various sources, for a number of years.) So perhaps it’s time for a re- evaluation of Slope here in Australia. we have the data, so why not use it? Let’s compare apples to apples and see what turns up! If you or your club has experienced a similar situation regarding Slope, let me know. I’d love to hear the story See you on the fairways Share your (Cover) Story Inside Golf is giving one lucky golfer the chance to live the dream of being on the cover of a major golf magazine! Inside Golf is looking for inspirational people (and their stories) from across Australia. So whether there is a senior member who has dedicated themselves to the club over the years, a talented up-and-coming young star who simply can’t get enough of the game, a member who has battled the odds for the game they love, or simply someone who you think personifies the game of golf itself, we want to hear their story. They don’t have to be a “Superman” or “wonder woman”; they just need to love golf, and be truly inspirational in some way. The sky is the limit. If it’s an inspirational story, then it’s fair game! So if you know of someone who fits the bill, visit www.insidegolf.com.au/competitions for more information.
Inside Golf June 2017
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