Fun and Games
There’s a lot more you can do inject more fun in your golf game. Golf has a long and storied history. Although its origins are celebrated as one of Scotland’s great cultural contributions to the world (others like haggis are less popular, scotch whiskey arguably more celebrated), the game is thought to be based on the Roman game paganica. Various nations claim that golf-like games originated in their countries but it’s really hard to disprove that the Scots can lay claim to the development of what we now know and cherish as golf.
Gambling and golf are as old as the game. While as a club, we do not promote, nor condone, wagering of any kind, we do understand that there may be the odd bet placed on games between consenting adults. We prefer that you play these games for fun rather than gamble, they can be a challenge even without actually placing any stakes on the outcome.
The handicap system has its origins in betting. The term handicapping originated in horse racing; a jockey was handed his odds for the race in a cap (hand-in-cap). Early on, the act of allowing strokes in golf was called ‘assigning the odds’. In the nineteenth century the game and betting on matches were evolving in lock-step. Eventually, odds on games developed into strokes gained or given and the modern handicap system was created to allow parity for golfers of varying skills to play competitively against each other. In the 1800’s and early into the twentieth century, professional golfers largely made their living by playing matches against amateurs and giving strokes to help even the odds against their opponents. The reputation of professional golf was sufficiently low that one of the greatest players in the game, Bobby Jones, never became a professional golfer and won all of his many tournaments as an amateur.
Developing your handicap, and ensuring it is up to date, is important; not only does it allow you to play in sanctioned matches but allows for fair competition in friendly games as well. The main reason the holes are ranked in order of difficulty on the score card is so that strokes can be assigned to even-up the matches between players. For example, if there is a handicap difference of five between two players in a match, the lower handicap player gives one stroke on each of the five most difficult holes, netting the higher handicap player one on each of those holes.
Some games to try.......
Total points win the game, no handicaps. You can play this for a whole game or just the par 3’s or even one hole.
There are many more games that have developed over the years that add a little fun to your round on the course. Everything from Wolf, Six Point Scratch, Dogmeat (usually for one hole and for adult beverages), Vegas and Rabbit, just to name a few.
These games are a lot of fun and add some spice to your outings on the course. One thing to remember is to be mindful that you need to observe place of play. All of these games involve a little extra calculation, so please advance to the next hole before you tally any scores or statistics from the hole you have just played.
The main consideration in all of these games is to have fun. So happy golfing everyone and we look forward to many interesting conversations on the deck after your rounds.
And speaking of fun.........
Keystoke Golf Academy
Click to read Robert Keyes article "The Shadow Knows" , another in his series of Straight Ahead articles. For more information about Robert and Keystroke Golf Academy, visit our website or click here .
Need more information on what's happening at The Club?
Picton Golf & Country Club