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

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 carpet.

Dr. 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. He devised 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.

Golf 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.

THE EUROPEAN 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 cause.

Until next time, happy golfing.

Contact Mick for your regripping and repairs. Tel. 638 859 475

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45345/

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