Teeing off – What a weekend for golfers!

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THIS WEEKEND saw the first round of the Matabeleland golf league being held at Hwange Golf Club&Elephant Hills in Victoria Falls.

Teeing Off with Mufaro Chivonivoni

The level of competition displayed was of a very high standard.

Unfortunately for the travelling teams Harry Allen and Bulawayo Country club they returned to Bulawayo empty handed as they failed to get a single point in the eight games that they both played.
Elephant Hills who are the defending champions, showed why they have been dominating the league over the last few years.

They have even renamed a part of their golf course the Bermuda Triangle, as no team manages to go through it in one piece.

What was pleasing to see was that there are young golfers interested in playing competitively, as the Bulawayo Country Club team consisted mainly of golfers in their twenties as compared to the other teams whose average age was around 40.

The golf governing body recently announced the banning of using the anchored putting stroke.

This ban comes into effect in 2016.

In simple terms, anchored putting refers to putting while the putter is resting on the belly or the chin, this action will be prohibited as of the first of January 2016.

Obviously this rule change has not gone down well with golfers with some professionals even threatening to take legal action against the governing body to try and get the rule change reversed.

Only time will tell if they will succeed with their course of action or whether they would accept the rule change.  Fortunately the golfers affected have been given a two-year period in which to adjust to the requirements of the rule change. Over the years the number of local and international players using this form of putting stroke has increased meaning there is an advantage in using the stroke.

I for one believe that sports are games of fun, skill and overcoming challenges.

In conquering the challenges, the player has to practice in the area of the game where they have a weakness, if we were all to rush to create alternatives or using new technology to overcome our deficits, then in a few years the sports that we enjoy now will be unrecognisable.

I believe that in order to protect the aspect of natural talent this ban was overdue and the next area that needs revising is the issue of the advances in the equipment that is being used.

I am sure the majority of us have become confused when golfers start discussing golf using all sorts of complicated and weird terms.The most popular question is always what is a handicap?

In simple terms a handicap is a numerical representation of a golfers ability. The lower the handicap the better the golfer.

In men’s golf the highest handicap is 24 while the lowest is zero meaning  that the zero handicap is the better golfer while the 24 is the worst.

The handicap system allows amateur golfers of different abilities to be able to compete on a level field.

So in an amateur competition the golfer who wins is the one who will have played the best golf relative to his usual ability. As we go along I will try and explain more of the weird words like birdie, bunker and eagle that are used in the  golfing world.