10 October 2007

Budget Golf 101 Series - Part 3 of 5

Ok. Once we are settled with the basic logistics, time to swing!

Fourth - PC and Handicap. I wrote about this as well in the SPUG Forum earlier this year.

Extracted from my post at SPUG Forum dated 04 Jun 2007

If you want to get up to speed in the fastest possible time, you need to hit the green fast. However, in order to do that, you need to get at least a Proficiency Certificate (PC) or a handicap of 24 or lower.

I think 10 lessons is a good number. However, if you wanna get the most out of it, here's where I recommend

1) Stretch out your lessons. Get in 2 driving range sessions of your own in between each lesson. e.g. Mon and Wed and your lesson is every Friday. If, like many for work reasons, you are not able to commit to such a hectic schedule or if you are not in a hurry to get up to speed, book your lessons further apart. It is a real waste of money if you have to use your lesson time for your own range practice.

Another thing you can do, is to arrive 1 hour earlier than your scheduled lesson. Drive a bucket of balls or two. That would get you suitably warmed up before your lesson as well. After your lesson, drive another bucket to go through what you have learned.

2) Next is to get your PC which is relatively easy. You should be familiar with etiquette by now. Dress appropriately for the test and that include golf shoes. Give a good impression and all the more easier to pass.

3) First time on the green is like a virgin. It is going to get messy. You will realise that the fairways is nothing like the range. The ball doesn't sit nicely on top of the grass and more often than not, neither are you standing on perfectly level ground. Also, unlike the range where you have 100 balls to get that one stroke right, you get only that one chance to get the ball out.

Don't worry if your score end up such a big number, you will lose count. We all did.

4) Stupid things are bound to happen. Air ball. clubs fly further than the ball. Ball end up behind you instead of ahead, etc. Don't worry about it. We have all done it. Sure, your friends will be laughing at you. That's only because they are forwarding the favour. Next time, you will have your own newbies to laugh at.

5) Submit your score cards whenever you play. Don't worry if you lose count. Do your best. Otherwise, just put down the hole as a 10*.

* By right, you are not supposed to do that as you have a duty to report accurate score. But what you going to do if you really lose count? Anyway, if you can play a hole of more than 10, your total score would probably be screwed and invalid for handicap calculation anyway. See point 6.

6) Score card will only be valid for handicap calculation if it is under 35 handicap i.e 107. Submit 10 (18 holes or 20 9-holes game) of the sub-107 score and you should be ready for your handicap test.

7) Don't be nervous during the test. You don't have to play exceptionally well to pass. Club captains or mgmt committee member or club pros will play a courtesy round with you and observing your etiquette, your knowledge of the rules as well as your knowledge of scoring. Where to apply what penalty etc. As long as you don't play a super disastrous round that would remind them of Mr Bean. You should be ok.

8) There are only 2 outcome to the test. Either you fail or you pass. If you pass, they will normally start you off with a handicap of 24. Some people are known to start off lower but those are usually refresher candidates i.e. they haven't been playing for a while and their handicap lapsed.

For some clubs like Warren Golf & Country Club, they have a in-between status. It is for those who didn't play too badly but not good enough to get a 24 handicap. These folks will get a handicap of 25. The significance of the 25 handicapper is that they are not allowed to play during prime time i.e. weekends (like a PC holder) but they no longer need to take another handicap test. All they need to do is to start submitting cards for the games that they play and as they improve, their handicap will be adjusted to 24 and below eventually.

9) You need to actively submit your cards in order to maintain your handicap. Otherwise, usually after 1 year of inactivity, your handicap will lapse and you may have to retake the handicap test. See point 8 wrt refresher candidates.

10) In most cases in Singapore, White tees are for men with handicaps up to 24. Blue tees are for men 18 and under. In Ch1na. Blue tees are for men 65 yrs old and below. White tees are for the old folks and women who beat you at arm wrestling.

Image Credit:
- Voxeros

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