Some Interesting articles in the May Partner update from NZ Golf sent to all clubs

Autumn Turf Notes for Administrators and Turf Practitioners

New Zealand Golf Insurance Programme

In partnership with the GMANZ, New Zealand Golf and Apex Insurance have worked together to create a quality insurance programme for your club.

This programme generally offers greater, golf club specific coverage at highly competitive rates.

The team at APEX are no strangers to the sports world and currently support 111 bowls clubs across New Zealand.

With offices in both the North and South Island, APEX has the country covered.

Attached is a brochure that provides more information about what they can do to keep your club safe.

If you have any queries please contact New Zealand Golf or APEX directly;

09 520 9441

Handicap Match Play and Where Strokes are Given

Since the introduction of the new rules this year there has been some misunderstanding regarding match play and where strokes are taken.

Since 1950, which includes twenty one updates to the Rules of Golf, it has been stated that in match play the lowest net score wins the hole. This has not changed in the new 2019 code and is covered under 3.2c(2)

For all those years the R&A had no involvement in handicapping and how strokes were to be disseminated, therefore we needed guidance on how strokes were to be taken. This is covered in the handicap system manual.

The interest in the new 2019 Rules of Golf has perhaps confused some, as the reference to the lowest net score wins the hole has been interpreted incorrectly. Many believe that there is an unwritten statement, declaring that we all play off our full handicap and then compare net scores. THIS IS NOT CORRECT.

As has been happening for many years, the lowest handicapper in the group, or the lowest of the two players in a match, play from scratch and the difference in the handicaps represents the number of strokes to be given. Using this method more holes will be halved, however if we play off our full handicaps, the better player will have an advantage. This is backed up with thorough research and continued analysis by the handicapping department at the USGAS.

The following is the correct procedure:

The higher handicapped player receives the full difference in course handicap between the two players; the lowest handicapped player plays from scratch.


LOVE Membership

Club health is one of our key priorities and golf club membership remains especially important for golf, which is why we launched LOVE Membership which celebrates the stories of golfers across the country on how playing and belonging to a golf club has enriched their lives.

Please click this link to view our LOVE Membership video.

To complement these stories, we have designed a LOVE Membership Tool Kit to provide support and guidance for all golf clubs to grow and retain members. These resources will be updated regularly and include topics such as:

  • Good practice for recruitment and retention
  • Value of club membership
  • Modern membership models 
  • Research undertaken to understand what makes a positive club member experience
  • Competitions and course set up
  • Tools and technology available to support golf clubs
  • Case studies to showcase learnings, challenges and successes.

Please click this link to view the LOVE Membership Tool Kit


Tips for the Winter

 For most of us our winter golf is going to be in challenging conditions. It might be the temperature, the casual water or the soft fairways, meaning the course is likely to play longer.

Our first recommendation regards course set up. Your course has been rated for conditions in spring and autumn, so if the ball is not rolling as far as usual, then move your tees forward. The objective is to present a challenge as close to the course rating you have for each set of tees, so if that means moving the white tee markers closer to your yellow tees, then do so.

One of the most common local rules in golf is to allow preferred lies, more commonly referred to as “clean and place”. Whilst most clubs allow a 15cm relief area, there is a growing trend to increase this measurement to a one club length measurement. At all New Zealand Golf championships, when preferred lie is in use, we use a relief area of one club length. Most courses in the United States use this distance and if you follow the USPGA Tour or European Tour, you will note that they use one club length. So just as you are trying to help your golfers in the set-up of the golf course, also consider this measurement. Another advantage is less ground under repair to be marked.

The correct wording for your local rule is:

Model Local Rule E-3 (Preferred lie)
“When a player’s ball lies in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less (or general area if expanding the relief area), the player may take free relief once by placing the original ball or another ball in and playing it from this relief area:

  • Reference Point: Spot of the original ball.
  • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: [Specify size of relief area, such as one club-length or 6 inches] from the reference point, but with these limits:
  • Limits on Location of Relief Area:
    • Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and
    • Must be in the general area.

In proceeding under this Local Rule, the player must choose a spot to place the ball and use the procedures for replacing a ball under Rules 14.2b(2) and 14.2e.


Stroke and Distance Local Rule Recommendation

When a provisional ball has not been played, significant issues with pace of play can result for a player needing to take stroke-and-distance relief for a ball that is out of bounds or cannot be found.

The purpose of the Stroke and Distance Local Rule is to allow a golf club or Committee to provide an extra relief option that allows a player to play on without returning to the location of the previous stroke.

This Local Rule is appropriate for general play where golfers are playing casual rounds or playing their own competitions. The Local Rule is not appropriate for competitions limited to highly skilled players (that is, professional competitions and elite amateur competitions).

Where a golf club or Committee has introduced such a Local Rule for general play, and removes it for competitions, it should ensure that all players are aware of this before play begins.

A golf club or Committee may introduce such a Local Rule for all play on the course or only for one or two specific holes where it may be especially useful (for example, where players are unable to see the landing area and therefore may not know whether or not to play a provisional ball).

This option allows the player to drop in a large area between the point where the ball is estimated to have come to rest or gone out of bounds and the edge of the fairway of the hole being played that is not nearer the hole.

The player gets two penalty strokes when using this relief option. This means that the relief is comparable to what could have been achieved if the player had taken stroke-and-distance relief.

This Local Rule cannot be used for an unplayable ball, or for a ball that is known or virtually certain to be in a penalty area. If a provisional ball is played and neither the original ball nor the provisional ball can be found, then the Local Rule may be applied for the provisional ball that cannot be found.

It is New Zealand Golf’s recommendation that the Stroke and Distance Local Rule is introduced for all play at golf clubs in New Zealand, with the exception of elite play.

Elite play is defined as:

  • Club Championships
  • Interclub Pennant Competitions where play is ‘off the stick’
  • Club and District Opens
  • National Championships

While it is New Zealand Golf’s recommendation to introduce the Stroke and Distance Local Rule, it is still at the discretion of each District Association and individual golf clubs to introduce as and when they choose.

The effect the Local Rule will have on handicapping is minimal and it has no effect on a Course Rating.  New Zealand Golf does not interpret that qualifying competitions played at different clubs for a national event are played under different conditions.  A similar example of this is if some clubs have qualifying events using preferred lies and others do not.

The full wording for the new Local Rule is below.  It is New Zealand Golf’s recommendation that golf clubs do not use the full wording if they wish to put this on their scorecards.  If they do the following wording is recommended:

‘The Model Local Rule for Alternative to Stroke and Distance for Lost Ball or Ball Out of Bounds is in effect for [insert hole or hole numbers if required].  The player may proceed under the Stroke and Distance Local Rule for a penalty of two strokes, rather than proceeding under stroke and distance.  This Local Rule is not available if a provisional ball has been played.  See Model Local Rule E-5 for full details of the Local Rule.’