During the winter season I tend to indulge in two of my favourite things:
- I hit thousands of practice balls
- I participate enthusiastically in the "golf club purchasing season"
This winter has been especially busy on both fronts as I have been trying to change my irons. My previous irons (Ping Eye 2's from 1987) do not conform to the 2010 Conditions of Competition which come into force for Elite Amateur events for the 2014 season... and it is possible that one or two of the events I try to enter this year (e.g. the European Mid-Amateur championship) will consider themselves as Elite Amateur events. I have the feeling that it would be rather inconvenient to arrive at an event and be told that I could not use my irons... so I decided to make the change to a new set durign the winter.
In November I was rather excited to get a shiny new set of Titleist AP2 2014 irons... but by the middle of February, after thousands of shots, I was rather less excited and decided that they were not for me.
One thing which has been a source of some confusion during 2012 and 2013 has been the way that the handicap allowances are calculated for the Nelipallo Cup. The Nelipallo Cup is a fourball-betterball matchplay event where one pair of golfers plays against another pair. The logic of how the handicap allowances are calculated seems to have been very difficult for many players to grasp (despite the fact that it is calculated according to the recommendations of the Suomen Golfliitto).
In this format you play in pairs… but the handicap allowances are done on an individual basis - each player receives strokes based on the difference between their handicap and the handicap of the lowest handicapped player. This is the first major confusion factor.
The second major confusion factor is that 90% of the handicap difference is the right way to calculate the strokes received. Even if people get past the first major confusion factor they tend to get lost with this.
There has even been one case where the players played the entire match without ever knowing the score, recorded their scores on a card and then asked the caddiemaster at the end to tell them who had won!
I want to make sure that people can play in the Nelipallo Cup this year on the correct basis, without having to do the calculations themselves and without giving headaches to the caddiemasters... but I also want us to play these matches on the basis which is defined in the rules of the golf union... so I have made a simple calculator which can be used for this purpose. All that you have to do is enter the names of the players and their slope handicaps and then it will tell you how many strokes every player receives. It should be simple. It is linked here... try it out!