Shay’s Short Game: Handicapping awareness campaign launched

Caolan Rafferty wins the Laytown & Bettystown Scratch Cup for a second time

Caolan Rafferty receives the Latyown and Bettystown Scratch Cup Trophy from Bryan Collins, captain of Laytown and Bettystown GC and sponsor Scott Kirkpatrick.

Caolan Rafferty receives the Latyown and Bettystown Scratch Cup Trophy from Bryan Collins, captain of Laytown and Bettystown GC and sponsor Scott Kirkpatrick.

 

Handicapping awareness campaign launched

Handicapping, one of the hottest topics in golf, is the subject of a new awareness campaign from the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) and the Irish Ladies Golf Union (ILGU). The governing bodies for golf in Ireland have joined forces in an effort to tackle cheating and safeguard integrity in the handicapping system.

“There is still a culture of tolerating handicap cheating in golf. Just because others are cheating the system does not make it okay,” said Pat Finn, CEO of the GUI.

Sinead Heraty, CEO of the ILGU, said: “For club golfers, the integrity of the game depends on each individual observing the spirit and intent of the handicapping system,” says Sinead Heraty, CEO of the ILGU.”

The awareness campaign runs to April 4th. Golf clubs and their members will have access to key information and resources on handicapping through the GUI and ILGU website, www.thefairway.ie.

Handicap secretaries will find a how-to guide and players can access an index of key definitions as well as an extensive list of frequently asked questions. Your Golf Handicap, a pocket sized handicap booklet produced by the GUI and ILGU, is being published and issued to all clubs as part of the campaign.

Handicapping is a fundamental aspect of the game. The GUI and ILGU, through their member clubs, are responsible for the administration of The Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) Unified Handicapping System (UHS) in Ireland.

The main focus of the handicap awareness campaign is player responsibilities.

Heraty said: “Consistent handicapping demands the return of all scores from players with a CONGU handicap. It is the obligation of the player to ensure that all scores, both home and away, are returned to ensure fairness for all within the game.”

Meanwhile Finn said: “Handicapping committees in the Union work extremely hard to ensure that clubs are compliant with the system. Compliance Reviews are conducted by officials on a regular basis to ensure that the handicap system is being applied consistently by Clubs. Despite this significant workload, the onus still rests with players to try their best every time they play.”

Unlike most sports, golf is largely played in the absence of a referee. As with the Rules of Golf, the handicapping system relies on the integrity of the individual for the game to be fair and equitable. The GUI and ILGU guide club handicap committees about the application and implementation of the handicapping system.

Golf’s unique handicapping system provides a means for every player to compete on an equal footing, making the game as inclusive as possible. Not only does it level the playing field, the handicap system makes allowance for beginners, children and adults alike, players of declining ability and golfers with disabilities. It is because of the handicapping system that parents get to compete side-by-side with their children or grandparents get the chance to tee it up alongside a grandchild.

Access to a copy of the CONGU UHS Manual I available free online at www.thefairway.ie

Two in a row for Rafferty at Laytown and Bettystown

In perfect playing conditions Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty produced an excellent five under par second round to win the Laytown & Bettystown Scratch Cup for a second time on Sunday. The Irish international birdied his final three holes to capture the 36 holes competition by one shot after shooting rounds of 70 and 66.

After an opening round of 70, Rafferty produced some excellent golf as he raced around the Co Meath links with a five under par 66 that included seven birdies. After parring his opening two holes, he then birdied the fourth, fifth and sixth, to move to four under for the tournament. A dropped shot at eight was cancelled out by a birdie 11 but he then bogeyed the 12th to move back to three under.

After birdieing the 17th, Rafferty hit a drive and an eight iron to set up a birdie on 18 and he then birdied the first, his last, to finish on six under and take the tournament by one shot.

It was his second victory in the competition having won it previously 2013 and he was delighted with the way he played and finished the final round.

“It’s always nice to finish strong. Winning the Laytown & Bettystown Scratch Cup in 2013 was a big breakthrough moment for me and it means a lot to have won it again,” said Rafferty.

“I have never seen greens like it at this time of the year for anything and I’ve played overseas. They are a credit to the club. It’s one of my favourites in Ireland, I just love it.”

While most of Ireland’s top amateurs are heading to Rosses Point this week for the West of Ireland Championship, Rafferty will be heading to St Andrews in Scotland with Maynooth University for the R&A’s Scholars Championship.

“To win in Laytown is a nice boost heading to St Andrews. I played there last year in the St Andrew’s Cup and made the cut so I’m hoping that experience will stand to me this week.”

Ronan Mullarney from Galway finished second, just one shot back after carding rounds of 69 and 68 for 137, with Portmarnock’s Jack Pierse a further shot back on 138 after signing for rounds of 71 and 67. Two shot back on 140 were Gary McDermott (Carton House) 72 68, Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little) 70 70 and Colin Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire) 69 71 for 140.

Roddy wins Hilary outing to Co Louth

Elm Park’s Paul Roddy won RaboDirect sponsored Hilary Golf Society outing at Co Louth. Taking advantage of perfect spring conditions, the four-handicapper mixed four birdies with three bogeys for a nett 67 and a one-shot win over Dundalk five-handicapper Clem Walshe.

Hermitage’s Alan Dowling, playing off plus one, shot a fine 71 to capture the gross.

Walshe also won the team prize, scoring 63 with Slade Valley’s Terry Lilly and Greenore’s Sean Murphy.

The next outing takes place on Sunday, April 8th at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links.

Irish Open Grandstand tickets go on sale

Fans hoping to get an exclusive front-row view of the action for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation can now ensure they see the drama unfold at close quarters at Ballyliffin Golf Club after 18th grandstand tickets were released for the Rolex Series event.

The Irish Open runs from July 5th-8th and, with early tournament ticket sales going faster than expected, limited tickets for grandstand access are now available at www.europeantour.com/ticket.

Tickets for the 18th grandstand for the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation begin at €10 for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while fans can secure their seat for Sunday’s final day action for €15.

Clean sweep for Irish in Chile

It was a long but ultimately successful trip to Chile for an Irish Pitch and Putt contingent last weekend as they contributed to a European victory in the first intercontinental style tournament against South America for the Fernando Morgano Trophy. The concurrent Chilean Open was won by current Irish Senior Mens Strokeplay Champion Mark Millar from the Cement club in Co. Louth.

Millar won with a 54-hole total of level par at the demanding Puerto Velero course as Ireland locked out the top-four positions in the Singles event. Former European Strokeplay Champion Ian Farrelly was the only player in the field to shoot a round under par with a one under par 53 eventually helping him to the runner-up spot. Irish Matchplay holder John Ross Crangle from Loughlinstown, Dublin, was third as his team-mate from Ireland’s 2016 World Cup success Eamon Gibney of Castletown, Co Meath finished fourth.

All four contributed to the Morgado Trophy win alongside Dublin native Alan Hanlon of the Collinstown in Westmeath club, who won two of his four matches in the event. Both Irish Individual Champions in Millar and Crangle won their four matches as Farrelly won three out of a possible four points. Millar was co-captain for the 24½ to 9½ European win over South America alongside Catalan Manuel Amor.

Meadow sixth in Florida

Stephanie Meadow finished sixth in the season-opening Florida’s Natural Charity Classic on the Symetra Tour in central Florida. Recovered now from the pars fracture that cost her LPGA Tour status last year, she followed rounds of 73 and 70 with a 69 to finish six shots behind American Lauren Kim on four-under par.

Kim shot 63 to win by a shot from Daniela Iacobelli on 10-under par.

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