The Drax Journal – Issue 3

Welcome to the third issue of The Drax Journal, the new newsletter that will be circulated periodically around the club to keep you, the members up to date with what is going on.

Competition Result Update

The summer holidays creep slowly towards us and then proceed to rush by in a blink, so here we have July and August teamed up in a bumper results edition from the ever busy Drax Golf Club!

The highlight of the July programme was Kevin Harrison's Captains Charity Fun Day with nearly 100 players revelling in the occasion! This was a mixed competition with members and their guests enjoying delights such as 3 Mulligans and a goody bag. The day was enriched by the presence of the Captain's wife Donna and sister in-law Amanda Corbett hosting a superb halfway house. The winner was former member Sue Randall whose 41 points put the rest of the predominantly male field in the shade!

July also saw the ever popular Senior Open which was won by the Thorne duo of Martin Shaw and Richard Blake, both Drax members. Thorne also provided the winner of this month's Senior Cup in Ken Williams. The Senior Medal was won by Snaith's John Tate. The club likes to spread the trophies around the region and Selby provided the winner of both the prestigious President's Trophy in Dave Minto, and the Station Manager's Cup won by Kevin Kozicki. The quirky Yellow Peril competition was won by the persistent Neil ‘Gawain’ Tams. The annual Jubilee Pairs competition was clinched on countback by the last-minute pairing of Craig Shelton and Matthew Forde who pipped Phil Skilbeck and Neil Alexander.

July's Medal winners were led by Dave Lawson whose nett 60 took Division 3 honours. Other winners in July were Tex Williamson, Neil Alexander, David Gisbourne, Ian Mileham and the consistent Richard Blake. They were joined as Medal winners in August by the familiar faces of David Minto and Neil ‘Gawain’ Tams as well as a new name in Martin Rusling. On the Seniors front, there were the perennial winners in Colin Taylor, Kevin Hudson, Peter Greenwood and Greg Pickston, all winners of Senior medals. Senior Captain David Littlefair, of Goole, continued his impressive form with victory in August's Senior Cup.

The biggest prize in August is the John Scott Cup and former Captain Garryk Slaywe clinched the trophy in style, pipping current Captain Kevin Harrison on countback! The corresponding competition for Rabbits, the Barlow Cup was also won on countback, with a return to form, by Club Chairman Roger Elliott who shaded out that man David Littlefair with the better back nine!

Drax Golf Club hosted the Ladies Invitation Day on Saturday 29 July.

The weather was kind after the heavy rain the day before, and the course was in excellent condition. All ladies and their guests had a good competition with Jenny Hammond taking first prize for the Drax ladies, closely followed by Maxine Wagstaff and Denise Robinson and Muriel Walton, Geraldine Barker and Sandra Kitching took the prizes for the guests.

All ladies found the course challenging, especially the new tee on the 18th hole, but everyone enjoyed the day immensely and the excellent meal afterwards.

Don’t forget, if you would like to play on a competition day but not directly play in the competition, you can still play casual golf so long as you book a tee on the entry sheet.

Rules and Competition Update

As we all know, our members are at the forefront of everything we do and where the committee has declared that all constructions on the course, including the green-keeper's shed, shelters, halfway house, electricity substation building, and man-made constructions around tees (e.g. sleepers) are 'integral parts of the course' and therefore players are not entitled to free relief. The ball may be played as it lies, or deemed unplayable and then proceed under Rule 28 under penalty of one stroke.

Handling of additional non-qualifying cards

England Golf have made the decision that as of 1st January 2017, all players are required to return away non-qualifying scores to their home club. To do this England Golf will enforce Clause 4.5b and 8.12 of the CONGU UHS: –

Clause 4.5b - The Union has some discretionary powers. It may require a player to return to his Home Club information regarding scores in Non-Qualifying Competitions as provided by Clause 8.12.

Clause 8.12 - The player must: Provide to his Home Club information regarding scores in Non-Qualifying Competitions if so directed by a Union – see Clause 4.5(b).

Although England Golf have introduced the above, in no way have they advised on how to record such scores. We will be speaking to other clubs to see how they handle this process.

The UHS is based on players returning their own cards for review. We need to further investigate how we can enter this into our Handicap master system. We currently carry out an annual review of handicaps and apply the continuous observation method.

These scores must not directly affect a player’s handicap, but should be used as ‘supporting evidence’ of performance when it comes to a handicap review.

Individual scores or Team results must be returned in all Singles, Am-Am and 4BBB except for Texas Scrambles, Foursomes and Greensome competitions, or casual social rounds.

In addition to this, clubs should also be aware of regular roll-ups that take place at their club, and the performance of players in the various formats of those roll ups, without the need to formally record individual scores.

To assist with the return of scores, we advise that clubs outline a process to allow players to record these scores. It is recommended that this is done directly to the Handicap Committee, and that the Committee keep a copy of all information for the current year and one previous year.

The information does not have to be recorded on the handicap software, but should be stored in a format that can be used for any handicap review.

Information to be recorded:

  • Date of Competition

  • Format of Competition (inc Handicap Allowance)

  • Venue/Course

  • Tees used

  • SSS of Course

  • Names of playing partners (if a team/pairs event)

  • Score returned

Failure to return these scores by the player could result in loss or suspension of handicap under clause 24.1.

Ready Golf. What’s it all about?

Using the R&A’s ‘Ready Golf’ Method to Speed Up Play

As you may already be aware, the R&A have proposed the ‘Ready Golf’ approach to help speed up play, but only for non-match play formats.

Below is a summary of this approach, but for full details, visit the Ready Golf section of the R&A’s Pace of Play Manual at

“Ready Golf” is a commonly used term which indicates that players should play when they are ready to do so, rather than adhering strictly to the “farthest from the hole plays first” stipulation in the Rules of Golf.

“Ready Golf” is not appropriate in match play due to the strategy involved between opponents and the need to have a set method for determining which player plays first.

In stroke play formats, it is only the act of agreeing to play out of turn to give one of the players an advantage that is prohibited. On this basis, it is permissible for clubs to encourage “ready golf” in stroke play, and there is strong evidence to suggest that playing “ready golf” does improve the pace of play.

When “ready golf” is being encouraged, players must act sensibly to ensure that playing out of turn does not endanger other players.

“Ready golf” should not be confused with being ready to play, which is covered in the Player Behaviour section of this Manual.

The term “ready golf” has been adopted by many as a catch-all phrase for several actions that separately and collectively can improve pace of play. There is no official definition of the term, but examples of “ready golf” in action are:

  • Hitting a shot when safe to do so if a player farther away faces a challenging shot and is taking time to assess their options

  • Shorter hitters playing first from the tee or fairway if longer hitters should wait

  • Hitting a tee shot if the person with the honour is delayed in being ready to play

  • Hitting a shot before helping someone to look for a lost ball

  • Putting out even if it means standing close to someone else’s line