December 5, 2013
This is my favorite time of the year. When it comes to holidays, it is like having three majors all in a row! The best part of this trifecta of opportunities to over-eat is the chance to spend time with loved ones who are close by and to reach out to our friends and out-of-town relatives.
What the holidays mean to me…
Thanksgiving is the kick-off major – no pun intended but there is some good football to watch over that weekend! While enjoying time with family, it is also time to say thanks to the great volunteers of the GSGA who work so hard all year to help the staff. We cannot do what we do without their help.
Then comes the December Holidays – and whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukah, December is a time to take stock of what we have and realize how fortunate we are. As I shop for the perfect gifts for my loved ones, I want to remember what this crazy game called golf has meant to me. Having played it for well over 50 years, I cannot imagine life without it – and forget who won or lost; the friends who share our passion matter far more. Family, friends, and this GSGA staff – how lucky I am to go to work each day. There are some long hours, but there is always someone in here willing to help out with a last minute project.
Then comes the New Year, and time to take down the decorations and get to work on making 2014 a great year for our golf association. It is also time for resolutions, so along with exercising more and eating less, I pledge to PLAY MORE GOLF in 2014! And I plan to play from the forward tees more – it is a lot more fun! And I plan to help a junior find out about what golf can mean to her. This game and all it involves has been very, very good to me!
Happy holidays to all!
December 4, 2013
How long are my scores good for? When is it too late to submit them?
Scores are good as long as they are in the golfer’s scoring record of last 20 scores. Tournament scores are good if they are either made in the last 12 months, or are in the record of last 20 scores. Always post scores as soon as possible.
Explain Equitable Stroke Control. How do I figure it if I don’t yet have a handicap?
Equitable Stroke Control is the USGA’s system for limiting your maximum score on any one hole so that your handicap reflects your true proficiency. It is the first line of defense against sandbagging because it prevents a golfer from deliberately recording a high score on one hole.
A player with a Course Handicap of 9 or less can post up to a double bogey on any hole. 10-19 handicappers can have a maximum of 7 on any hole, 20-29 an 8, 30-39 a 9 and 40 or more a max of 10.
A player without an established USGA Handicap Index uses the maximum Handicap Index of 36.4 for men, or 40.4 for women, converted to a Course Handicap to determine this maximum number.
Should I play my real handicap or my “trend” – what I believe it will be as soon as my most current scores are processed?
Play your official USGA Handicap. It does not change until the new index is updated on the 1st and 15th of each month. “Trend” is for information only and should not be used for play.
Senior Director, Handicapping
November 26, 2013
As we wrap up the competitions season in the Rules and Competitions Department with the recently concluded Senior Four-Ball Championship, the masses may think we take a vacation this time of year and show up again in March ready to go. Ah, not the case and let me tell you why. I think I may have written a similar blog to this in the past, but today I will focus more on just one particular off-season project (of many) that keeps our heads spinning throughout the holiday season (and it’s not all the carbs and sugar)…IT’S RULES SCHOOL PREPARATION!!
Some of you may know that the USGA recently released information pertaining to the upcoming revision for the Decisions on the Rules of Golf for 2014-2015. You can find the exact details by going to http://www.usga.org. The two-year cycle of new decisions goes into effect on January 1, 2014, and included are 87 changes with 3 new decisions, 59 revisions and 1 re-numbered and 24 decisions withdrawn.
So, while the pros no longer have a silly season on their calendar with the wrap-around season tournament schedule, we here in R&C never had a silly season to begin with. Rules school is at the end of January and while we have been administering the rules at championships and competitions throughout the year, it is a perfect time to refresh ourselves with the rules and the new changes to the decisions for the next two years. On a side note, for those of you going to rules school this year in Atlanta, it is more important than ever to prepare well in advance. The test is the day after the Super Bowl. Study hard, but do it in advance. Not really sure who scheduled it like that, but I am going on record saying I don’t like it.
Best wishes to all for a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.
Director, Rules and Competitions
November 18, 2013
The GSGA Foundation’s Annual Fund Drive is underway. Our Annual Fund has raised more than $500,000 since its inception in 1999. The GSGAF has been granting Moncrief Scholarships for 37 years and Yates Scholarships for 26 years. The Foundation has supported hundreds of scholars and has surpassed the $2 million mark in cumulative financial assistance.
Our website has been upgraded and it just launched this month! One of the new features on the upgraded site it that the GSGAF now offers online scholarship applications. The deadline for the 2014-15 school year is March 3, 2014. Please take a look at our upgraded site. You can also see if we have a Scholar from your GSGA Member Club. If not, we would love your help spreading the word about our scholarship programs!
The GSGAF is working every day to make a difference in the lives of our scholars. Please consider supporting our scholarship programs with a tax-deductible donation. Imagine what we could accomplish together if we all chipped in for our scholars! Please click here to make a secure online donation or to visit our website www.gsgafoundation.org.
Yates Scholar Jaretta Shaw at her graduation from Kennesaw State University
Director, GSGA Foundation
November 5, 2013
It’s fall and it’s fabulous. Everyone has a favorite time of year and mine is FALL. What’s not to like – this season offers everything, including dramatic scenery, excellent weather, creativity and candy. The colors this fall, particularly the past week, have been spectacular and if you haven’t had a chance to notice them then you need to step outside quickly as the show is about done.
A person can actually enjoying outside activities without sweating although you can break a sweat if you choose the right day. Fall allows for the sun summer people to slowly ease their way into winter with surprise summer days in September. And winter people are accommodated by those early morning frosts in November.
Fall is probably the most creative of the seasons as it provides the opportunity to decorate the house, yard, pets and vehicles along with allowing you to unleash your “Faceoff” and “Project Runaway” in self designing and dressing the kids and perhaps yourself. I ask you what’s not to love?!
Director, Finance and Operations
October 31, 2013
It’s time for the Most Improved Golfer Awards – which brings up the question – what is the USGA recommended method for determining the most improved player?
1. Add 12 to each player’s handicap index at the start of the season. This is value A.
2. Add 12 to each player’s handicap index at the end of the season. This is value B.
3. Divide A by B, calculating to three decimal places. This is the improvement factor.
The player with the highest improvement factor will be your most improved player. Continue this process for every player who improved during the year.
Note: Add 6 instead of 12 in the case of a nine-hole handicap index.
Michelle S. Loggins
Manager, Handicap Services
October 29, 2013
Like Jason said earlier, here we are wrapping up another tournament season. One of the constants this year was that our events were hosted by fantastic member clubs and won by worthy champions. Unfortunately, another common theme of our championships in 2013 was that they were played in the rain, or suspended by lightning, or both.
Too often my computer screen looked like this:
Which led to this:
Obviously, too much rain is better than not enough, but at times it felt like I worked for the Weather Channel rather than the GSGA. I’m also pretty confident all of our volunteer rules officials were able to test out our air horns at least once.
Thank goodness we worked with so many great course superintendents – it was amazing to see some of the grounds staffs who were able to make their courses tournament-ready despite very difficult conditions.
We have only the Team Championship and the Senior Four-Ball remaining on our schedule, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask for some nice weather for those events. Come on Mother Nature, you owe us one!
I’m hoping for plenty of sunshine in Athens this weekend and in Columbus in a couple weeks. However, I’ll still bring my rain gear just in case.
Manager, Rules and Competitions
October 24, 2013
What a pleasant surprise it has been the last few days with the cooler temperatures as I walk to my car every morning for work. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I really enjoy the late fall-early winter time of year…
As the leaves continue to change, the college football season heats up and the World Series gets underway, you know the year is starting to wrap up. One would think that this time of year means slow time and not a lot of excitement at your neighborhood golf association. Oh think again my friends! The end of one year only means the start of another – which involves quite a bit of prep work!
We at the GSGA have two competitions remaining on the calendar: the Georgia Team Championship returns to The Georgia Club in Statham for the ninth-straight year, as Cartersville Country Club looks for their third-straight victory. The Georgia Senior Four-Ball Championship heads to both the Country Club of Columbus and Green Island Country Club. Something new this year we hope the senior’s will like is a Super Senior division.
One big event coming up in the not-so-distant future is the 25th annual Georgia Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony in January. Before you sigh in disbelief or mumble under your breath, “January, that’s like so far away.”, it’s only three months away and there is a lot of planning that is required! We make sure we give the inductees the experience of a lifetime with first-class treatment they deserve.
I could go on and on mentioning what all is currently on my to-do list, but that would probably bore you to death. Just know that we at the GSGA work hard year-round to bring our members, member clubs, volunteers and everyone else involved the very best we have to offer, and we thank you all.
Be sure to check back to this blog often for new entries!
Until next time sports fans…
Director of Marketing/Communications
October 15, 2013
As another year draws to a close, the staff at GSGA wants to acknowledge the tremendous effort of our volunteers. Without them, the services provided by the golf association would look far different than what our members see today.
Over 300 people give of their time and talent to assure that we run the very best championships, issue accurate and timely USGA Course and Slope Ratings, provide guidance and playing opportunities to our junior golfers, and meet or exceed the expectations of our member clubs and the golfers who call them home. We have expanded our Member Play Day Program and volunteers were the driving force behind that effort.
The traditional “Thank You” for our volunteers has been a day of golf – this year we tried something different by expanding that offer to three different sites in an attempt to cut down on travel time for some of our volunteers. Participation in these events is low – space remains available as less than 20% of our volunteers have signed up to play.
So – the question – if not a day of golf, what other thank you gift would be well received by our volunteers?? All ideas welcome – we want to get this right!
In a survey among staff, one question asked what is considered the best part of the job. Across the board, the answer was “the people” – we work with the very best volunteers and we call a great many of you “friends”. It doesn’t get any better than that!
So, to our wonderful volunteers… especially to those who I will not see at a volunteer appreciation day, a very sincere “THANK YOU” for a job well done. GSGA’s greatest untapped resource is the volunteer program. I look forward to working with each of you to make 2014 a great year for the GSGA!