Thursday 31 October 2019

Scotland loses another 7500 registered golfers

By Martin Dempster - Scotsman Newspaper  

Golf club membership in Scotland is continuing to drop, according to an annual survery of the sport across Europe.

The KPMG’s Golf Participation Report for Europe reveals a loss of 7,521 registered golfers in the sport’s cradle between 2017-18,

The four per cent drop means there are now 180,281 golfers registered to Scottish golf clubs compared to 187,802 in 2017 and 209,812 in 2014.

In the equivalent report in 2016, Scotland topped the list of registered golfers lost with a fall of 6,711 while it was claimed that 19 courses had also shut in the home of golf.

With a drop of 4,731, the report for the following year put Scotland fourth on the same list behind England (38,784), Netherlands (12,913) and Ireland (7,422).

The latest report lists a total of 560 courses in Scotland, with an average of 322 registered golfers per course compared to 342 in England, 463 in Ireland and 297 in Wales.

The loss of members has led to a number of clubs being forced to shut in Scotland over the past few years, with others battling to survive.

The shutters were brought down at Mount Ellen in Gartcosh in August due to dwindling membership and a battle to keep Letham Grange in Angus afloat has also been lost in the past few weeks.

Earlier this year, Eastwood on the outskirts of Glasgow also went out of business while other Scottish clubs to close down over the past few years have included Carrick Knowe in Edinburgh and Brunston Castle in Ayrshire.

A damning look at the current state of golf club membership in Scotland was delivered at the country’s first national conference in Edinburgh just under two years ago.

“You have to confront the brutal facts if you want to change your performance,” said Stewart Darling, one of Scottish Golf’s non-executive director. “If you don’t and try to pretend it is something else, ultimately you will fail because you are tackling the wrong thing.

“The golf landscape is challenging. For the last ten years, membership has been declining. We have been losing roughly 5,000 full members every year.

“I’ve listened to people talking about the strategy that was in place for the last ten years but, if that worked so well, how did we end up here with 50,000 members less in that period?

“I kid you not, those membership statistics will not level out and there are some very good reasons for that. We need to choose to do things very differently.”

It’s a similar story on the membership front in England, Wales and Ireland.

England, the country with the most registered golfers in Europe, had a 1.63 per cent drop to 645,151, Wales suffered a 4.06 per cent loss to 42,743 and Ireland had a 0.58 per cent decline in dropping to 182,398.

The report reveals that overall the European golf market is still stable in 2018 in terms of numbers of registered golfers and golf courses in operation, with no substantial changes in the supply and demand figures.

The overall participation rate for Europe has remained stable since 2015. In fact, 54.5 per cent of local golf associations indicated that the level of participation in their country in 2018 had either stabilised or increased.

Based on the survey, the gender distribution of registered golfers in Europe is constant - 68 per cent of them are male, 25 per cent female and seven per cent are junior.

The KPMG report does not include “nomads” who golf on a pay-per-play basis.

Ayrshire past and Present teams Celebration dinner and Joanne Sharp is the new Ayrshire County Captain

Past and Present come together to celebrate the Success
of the Ayrshire Ladies Golf this season

From the Ayrshire Post - 30th October 2019

From the Ayrshire Post

A celebration dinner for Ayrshire County with retiring Captain Liz Wilson welcoming everyone to Royal Troon and Isabel Crawford who was in the winning 1970 team gives a speech

From the Ayrshire County Website

The Ayrshire Ladies County Golf Association held their AGM this week with their prize giving. 

The new Captain is Joanne Sharp from Kilmarnock Barassie Golf Club who takes over from Liz Wilson and her Vice Captain Ann Wallace from St Nicholas Golf Club.

Carmen Griffiths wins the Aberdeenshire County Girls Championship

Carmen Griffiths and Rachal Mathieson
The Aberdeenshire County Girls  Championship was played in wet and windy conditions at Portlethen Golf Club on Sunday 20th October. 

The 2019 champion, winning narrowly (by a better inward half) with an 80 was Carmen Griffiths (Aboyne).

Runner up, and winner of the handicap championship was Rachel Mathieson (Hazlehead) with 80-5, net 75. 

Close behind was Robyn Fowlie (Edzell) with an 83-4, net 79.

Wednesday 30 October 2019

Catriona Matthew set to captain Europe again at 2021 Solheim Cup

Catriona Matthew

By Martin Dempster - The Scotsman Newspaper

Europe's captain for the 2021 Solheim Cup will be announced next month at Gleneagles, where Catriona Matthew led the home team to a sensational last-putt victory in September.

The LET's venue choice for the announcement on 14 November suggests that Matthew, a popular captain for the event in Perthshire, is set to be re-appointed for the 17th edition of the match at Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio.

Norwegian Suzann Pettersen had also been tipped as a contender for the 2021 captaincy after she announced her retiral from playing immediately after holing the winning putt against Juli Inkster's American side in a dramatic finish on the PGA Centenary Course.

But, after admitting that she "wouldn't say no" to a second stint at the helm, it seems as though Matthew, who made five appearances in the fixture on the other side of the Atlantic and secured Europe’s first win on US soil in Colorado in 2013, has been given the nod again by the LET board.

The 50-year-old North Berwick woman had been tipped for the next match by former world No 1 Laura Davies, one of her vice-captains in the 14.5-13.5 at Gleneagles, where Matthew came up with some profitable pairings, notably Georgia Hall teaming up with rookie Celine Boutier to deliver three points out of three.

“My vote would go to Beany (Matthew) again next time, because everyone has enjoyed it so much," said Davies at the time. “I always think that, if you win, you deserve the chance to go and get the trophy back again."

Tuesday 29 October 2019

Scotland Ladies MGRanking Week 2019 - week 43


Scotland Ladies MGRanking Week 2019/43. -- Megan Ross (Banchory) regains her Number One position and Clober Ladies is still at  number one with Blairgowrie  Ladies at No. 2 on Scotland Ladies MGRanking

Please note that Week 19/44 will be the last weekly posting of MGRanking for the present 52 week cycle although the MGRankings for Weeks 19/48 and 19/52 will be posted.
Press releases for 2019/2020 will recommence on Week 20/05.
PLEASE NOTE that current MGR registered clubs are not required to re-register.
CLUBS that wish to join our merry MGR throng for MGRanking 2019/20 should either copy, complete and return the pro forma below to me at or phone/text 07789 373216 for more information.

On behalf of ...........................................GOLF CLUB
1)  We hereby permit the above golf club to be registered in the system.

2)  We hereby permit to extract such event data, as is required to drive the MGR system, from the HDiD/HM/IG/above golf club/Men's & Ladies' Results webpages.

Signed by ………………………………………

David Moir
Past President
Hon Life President
in LEAGUE with GOLF Ltd

Juniors playing in adult events is no brainer

Hannah Darling, who developed her game in competitions at Broomieknowe,
in action at the junior Solheim Cup. Picture: Jamie Squire/IMG

By Martin Dempster - The Scotsman Newspaper

So, the “Pillocks of the Year” prize goes to the lady members who wanted to stop juniors from taking part in their club competitions before someone with a grasp on modern-day life intervened.

Well done to John Clark, the managing director of Ping, for quickly stepping in and avoiding any further embarassment for Thonock Park, which is owned by the equipment manufacturer, but what on earth possessed those lady members at the Lincolnshire club to pass such a vote?

Was it because they are precious wee souls and don’t like losing out to youngsters in competitions? If so, they should hang their heads in shame because such an attitude is just not acceptable in the sport.
No wonder there were lots of people expressing disbelief over the decision before Clark issued a statement from Ping’s European headquarters nearby to say that it had been revoked due to the fact it was “completely against the values, principles and philosophies” of the company.

“This shouldn’t even be a debate/question!” declared Bradley Neil, the 2014 Amateur champion, on Twitter and, in fairness, he should know, having played in men’s competitions at Blairgowrie as he came through the junior ranks.

“Most of the best golfers – if not all – this game has seen will have played adult competitions as a junior. How can we expect to grow the game if we deny them the chance to improve?”
Exactly and how ironic that this story came to light on the same day that 15-year-old Englishman Josh Hill earned a place in the record books by becoming the youngest winner of an Official World Golf Ranking event with his victory in the Al Ain Open on the MENA Tour, one of the game’s third-tier circuits. Like many players of his age, Hill has seen his game flourish through competing against adults from an early age.

There’s more to it than just that, though. Youngsters can learn life skills from spending time in adult company and, speaking from experience, 
a golf course can be one of 
the best places to appreciate that.

Yes, of course, there are some people out there who aren’t necessarily the ideal role models but, in the main, the majority of people that play the game can be instrumental in that respect and, what’s more, are happy to do so.

It really is a no brainer that juniors should be allowed to play in adult competitions and even more so these days when older members should feel a sense of duty when it comes to doing everything possible to proctect the future of their golf club.

If Ping hadn’t stepped in, those lady members at Thonock Park would have been scoring a shocking own goal as far as the club was concerned and also for the game itself in the bigger picture.
At a time when attracting new blood into the game is vital, the sport needs more players like Hannah Darling, for example, who has been encouraged by her home club, Broomieknowe, and has seen her talent blossom as a consequence.

Would she be on the verge of breaking into the world’s top 100 if she’d been stopped from playing against older and more experienced players over the last few years? Probably not.

Monday 28 October 2019

D&A County AGM - Jean Leitch is the new Captain

Some of the prizewinners
Front row - Lorna McClymont, Ann Colthart and Sophie Murphy

The D&A County  A.G.M and Prizegiving took place at Douglas Park Golf Club on Wednesday 23rd October. 

Captain Ann Colthart welcomed the members. 

President Fiona Cowan presented the prizes to those winners who were in attendance. 

County Champion this year is Lorna McClymont who had another very successful year and Junior Champion is Sophie Murphy

Jean Leitch -- New D&A Captain
At the end of the meeting Ann passed the Captain’s badge to incoming Captain Jean Leitch

From the D&A Website  (also see more photos) 

Kelsey MacDonald's 2019 Season is nearing an end

Kelsey at Hero Women's Indian Open tournament

From Peak Scientific  - Sponsors

Kelsey MacDonald’s 2019 season is nearing its end as the year comes to a close. Three of Kelsey’s higher profiled events and prize funds allowed her to jump into 32nd spot on the ladies’ order of merit.

Being back to top 10’s has really given Kelsey the confidence to go into the last events and finish the season off strong. With positive results and two more tournaments to go, Kelsey gives us an update:

In September, I played at Golf du Medoc in the Lacoste Ladies Open de France and finished with a bogey free 67 on the final round to finish in 16th place. I finished my week with -5 67 on the final day which was one of the lowest scores of the Kelsey at Lacoste Ladies Open de France 

I was then off to Barcelona, Spain, for the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Open, where I scored a T10. Shortly after that I travelled to India for Hero Women's Indian Open. On my second round in the tournament, I made a hole in one on the 16th hole. I holed a 7-iron which was my second hole in one in tournament in my professional career. Unfortunately, I didn’t win a prize but it was great to have so many people congratulate me

I now have two more tournaments to go, with the Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open de Espana in Spain at the end of November, and the Magical Kenya Open in December – but I’ll be heading out to Spain a week before my event to try and find the sunshine and practise in warmer climes since it’s already cold in Scotland!

Congratulations on your recent scores Kelsey! Peak Scientific is proud to sponsor such a dedicated and talented female golfer – wishing you the best of luck in your last two 2019 tournaments!

Nikki Ferguson comments on a ban on Junior Girls playing in ladies Competitions

Nikki Ferguson -- Assistant Pro at Cathcart Castle

Ping have stepped in to overturn a widely criticised ban at Thonock Park Golf Club in Gainsborough. 

The golf club, which is owned by Ping, voted last week to prohibit junior girls playing in ladies competitions.
Ping seemed less than happy with the decision from the club and immediately stepped in to rectify the situation.
“Upon hearing news on the result of this vote, Ping (the proprietors of Thonock Park) immediately revoked the proposal and have it very clear that it goes completely against the values, principles and philosophies of Ping and would never permit this to go ahead,” read a statement from Ping Europe’s managing director, John Clark
“Ping will continue working very closely with the committees of Thonock Park to ensure the club provides every member with the highest quality experience.
The ban received heavy backlash, with many taking to social media to criticise the decision.
Nikki -- D&A county Champion, Milngavie and Clober Champion 2014

As Past D&A County Champion Nikki Ferguson said on social media 

"If I didn’t have the help from Clober and Milngavie GC growing up, I wouldn’t be where I am today! I won the Club Championship when I was a Junior. "

"Dunbartonshire & Argyll Ladies County helped me massively as well. I made so many friends growing up, many I’m still friends with today! "

"This should not be getting asked in this modern world!"

Aboyne Award Honorary Membership to Kimberley Beveridge

Kimberley Beveridge with the Scottish Women’s Amateur Championship trophy and Club President Justin Grant 

 Press Release 28th October 2019 

At the season end prizegiving ceremony held at Aboyne Golf Club on Saturday night, the club awarded Kimberley Beveridge ‘Honorary Membership’ in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the Amateur Game. 

Making the award, Club President Justin Grant said “Kimberley has had a fantastic last few seasons culminating in her being crowned Scottish Women’s Amateur Champion at Barassie this year. She is also the current Aberdeenshire Ladies County Champion, having won this at Murcar a few weeks earlier. 

Justin went on, “A talented junior, Kimberley was a 3 times Aberdeenshire Girls Champion and represented Scotland Girls and Schools teams. Amongst other highlights Kimberley has regularly represented Aberdeenshire Ladies and helped them win the Team County Championship for the first time in 32 years in 2018. She also won the prestigious St Andrews Junior Ladies Open Championship in 2018. 

Kimberley won her first full international cap for Scotland in 2014 and her recent form led to ‘Scottish Golf’ selecting her to win her second cap representing her country in the R&A Women’s Home Internationals at Downfield, Dundee in August of this year.” 

Kimberley, aged 24, is a former pupil at Aboyne Academy who still lives in the village and works part time in the professional’s shop at the course. 

In her acceptance speech Kimberley said "It has been a tremendous season and I am overwhelmed that Aboyne Golf Club have seen fit to present me with such a prestigious accolade. The club and members have given me so much support and encouragement in recent years and I am very proud to have been awarded Honorary Membership of this fantastic club." 

Sunday 27 October 2019

The Glasgow Golf Club finally agrees to let women become members

From the Scotsman Newspaper by Amy Watson

An  upmarket private golf club on the outskirts of Glasgow has finally agreed to let women become members.

The prestigious Glasgow Golf Club in leafy Bearsden had been one of the last bastions of male only memberships in world golf.

Formed in 1787, it’s the ninth oldest golf club on the globe, and only men could join and play the parkland Killermont course in the exclusive suburb and its sister course in Irvine, Gailes Links.

For decades members resisted the call to drag the club into modern life and it was only recently that youngsters under 18 were able to join.

However, last night at an emergency general meeting of the club, members voted unanimously in favour of adopting an open membership – meaning ladies can now join.

They have finally followed the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers – based at Muirfield.

The club it the headlines many times for its controversial approach to female membership.

In 2016, the golf's ruling body, the R&A, removed Muirfield as a host venue for the Open Championship as a result. That has since been reinstated.

They then voted for open membership in 2017 but it took until only a couple of months ago for the club to finally announce that 12 women would be joining.

Glasgow Golf Club’s Killermont House clubhouse was struck by a devastating fire a year ago that gutted the listing building that dates back to the 19th century.

A temporary clubhouse has only just been opened while a £6million renovation takes place.

Joining Glasgow Golf Club involves a strict process. A prospective, member needs to be proposed, seconded and six members need to sign an application book – and then the applicant is interviewed.

Friday 25 October 2019


From the P&K Ladies County Golf blog

The Perth & Kinross Ladies' County Golf Association AGM was held at Blairgowrie Golf Club last Sunday - 20th October 2019 -

They were delighted to announce that Dawn Butchart (Strathmore) - pictured above is their new Honorary President. 
Pam Drysdale proposed her appointment at the AGM. It was unanimously agreed. A former Team member, Secretary and Captain for our County, Dawn brings a wealth of experience to the post.

Her husband said --
"Dawn has done so much for for Golf at Club, County and Scottish level." 
"She has been Club Champion at Strathmore many times, P&K County Champion and was instrumental in Junior Development during her term on the board of the SLGA."

"This honour is so richly deserved. And if I had a 6ft downhiller to win I know who I would ask to knock it in"

To read more go to the Perth and Kinross Website

Thursday 17 October 2019


Cathkin Braes celebrate


The Annual Greenlees Lunch and prize giving  took place today, 17th October, at Douglas Park Golf Club. 

This was attended by 57 ladies representing the 25 Clubs that are in the 3 Greenlees Divisions.

Old Ranfurly's  Maureen Taggart and Merope Dunlop helped to collect in the Greenlees Fees and Douglas Park had Lindsay Mclean and Gill Hendry welcoming the visitors to the club.   

The tables were named after  the European Countries were represented in the victorious Solheim Cup and flower arrangements  were on all the tables courtesy of D Park's Jeannie Sutherland and Elaine Macewan

SCOTLAND: Lynda Smith, Denise Macnaughton, Maureen Mitchell and Carol Fell (Top Table)

SPAIN: Cathkin Braes, East Renfrewshire and Lanark
NETHERLANDS : Douglas Park, Troon and Old Ranfurly
FRANCE: Milngavie, Loudoun Gowf, Largs and Hilton Park
NORWAY: Erskine, Prestwick St Nicholas, Kilmacolm and Williamwood
SWEDEN: Ayr Bellisle, Kilmarnock Barassie, Cowglen and Cathcart Castle
GERMANY: Whitecraigs, Bothwell Castle and Cardross
ENGLAND: Haggs Castle, Ranfurly Castle, West Kilbride and Lenzie

West of Scotland Greenlees Secretary Maureen Mitchell (Old Ranfurly) opened the proceedings by welcoming everyone to the 79th Anniversary Year of the Greenlees Trophy. 

She then introduced the top table guests - Denise Macnaughton , the Lady Captain of Douglas Park , who welcomed everyone on behalf of the Club and announced that if everyone checked behind their seat if they found a card they were invited to take home the flowers after the lunch.

She then introduced Carol Fell and said "Carol does a fantastic job keeping her website CaroFellGolf up to date which includes the  Greenlees Results which are available for all to see."

Next introduction was that of  Douglas Park's Past Greenlees Secretary Lynda Smith who was there instead of Susan Griffin (DP Greenlees Secretary) who was down in London. Susan had been the main organiser of all the the lunch arrangements and table plans and with the help of a few others enabled the event to be held. 

Everyone then enjoyed an excellent lunch and much chat could be heard.

Prior to the presentation of Trophies Carol  Fell said a few words --
Elizabeth Fazzi and Aileen Wilson (Haggs Castle) - Runners Up Division 2

She welcomed Aileen Wilson from Haggs Castle who in her first Greenlees match played for Caldwell in the 1950's and over 60  years on still represented Haggs Castle this year -- a fantastic feat !!

She then read out a piece that past Secretary Fiona Roger had said in 2010  when it was the 70th Anniversary of the Greenlees -- 

In 1931 ten teams played in one division - Troon, Prestwick St. Nicholas, Douglas Park, Paisley, Drumpellier, Sandyhills, Kilmacolm, Ranfurly Castle, Cathkin Braes and Cardross. At the end of the season Troon and Prestwick St. Nicholas both had 62 points, they had a play off over Western Gailes and Prestwick St Nicholas won by one match. Mrs Greenlees, on behalf of her husband who donated the trophy, presented it to Prestwick.

Cathkin must have found it all too much because they withdrew after year one and were replaced by Balmore!! 
Fiona also found a report written after the 1934 matches, I presume by the then Secretary. It read ----- matches have not been so keanly contested this year and certain clubs are lacking in team spirit. ----------. Our recent Secretaries would not dare to write such a report as with the usual close fought matches we have it is right up to the bitter end to decide our winners 

Now a great Cathkin Braes Team has won the trophy for the  3rd time in 6 years — Many congratulations  
Carol said "I am not too sad to be out of the 1st Division after 41 years (Ranfurly Castle - 40 ) and now playing for Douglas Park— I have enjoyed 100s and 100s of matches and love the camaraderie."

Willeen McCallum took over as West of Scotland Greenlees Secretary in 1988 and in 1990 - the 50th anniversary took place and she organised a Greenlees Jamboree over Troon Portland. A highly successful day. 3 ball best ball competition with 60 competitors. Lunch provided for some 100 people. -- No mean feat of organisation She then retired in 2007 

In 2007 I was asked at that time by Isabel Crawford the then West of Scotland Secretary if I would be the Greenlees Secretary  — Results were no longer going into the Herald and a real difficulty in communicating the results. 
It was also decided  to try to make a change of Secretary every 3 to 4 years  — I then set up the spreadsheets for the results and Fiona Roger then took over in 2008 - 2011 when the 70th Anniversary was in 2010.  
Anne Dunn from 2012 - 2016 (75th Anniversary Tri Am was so well run at Cathcart Castle in 2015 ) and then Maureen  who will still be the Greenlees Secretary in 2020 when it will be the 80th Anniversary. 

After that Maureen will then step down and we hope to fill the role of West of Scotland Greenlees Secretary for 2021 so that no-one is ever in the job for too long - Maureen is enjoying doing her roll and we thank her for all her hard work during the season.

Also it would be greatly appreciated that with the ever growing age of technology --  I am quite willing to help iron out any communication problems   -- and if anyone has ideas they would be most welcome.

East Renfrewshire GC is the next club to hold the lunch and perhaps be able hold an 80th Anniversary Celebration at their club  All help will be available. 

Finally I would like to congratulate Donna Jackson from Troon who had a hole in one at the 4th hole at Williamwood against Julie Wilson  and Julie tells me the same thing happened to her last year when Lenzie’s Evelyn Crosbie had a hole in one at the same hole against her — Julie has been having a hard time  -- 
I was then also reminded that Lindsay Mclean (Douglas Park) had a hole in one against Cathkin Braes in their  final match and June Kerr (West Kilbride) also had one in a Greenlees match this year followed by an eagle I think !!!

Well done everyone 

Finally, I like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Williamwood Annodata Team who are through to the semi-final in Spain of the Annodata UK Golf Club Classic with a hard fought 3-2 win against Kenwood Park Golf Club in a home match in the quarter finals.They are now off to play their semi finals at the Montecastillo Resort near Cadiz in Spain on 20th and 21st November. 

Maureen then informed everyone that the Greenlees AGM would be on Tuesday 19th November at Old Ranfurly -- The exchanging of dates for matches would be first at 10:15 am with the AGM at 11am.

Maureen then invited the Captain Denise to present the trophies to the winning teams - see video. -  
Bothwell Castle, Whitecraigs, Troon and Cathkin representatives all said a few words  -- Apologies to Bothwell Castle -- I missed hitting the record button  - It was an excellent speech !!

Division 3 was won by Bothwell Castle, Runners up Hilton Park.
Whitecraigs winners of Division 2 and runners up Haggs Castle.

The runners up in Division 1 were Troon who were  beaten by the overall winners - Cathkin Braes

If you would like a printout of the results for your Club noticeboard -- CLICK HERE 


Cathkin Braes - 2019 Greenlees Trophy Winners
Troon Ladies - Beth Paterson and Sara-Ann Bottomley
Greenlees Trophy Runners Up
Division 1 
Cathkin Braes 46 - Greenlees Trophy Winners 2019 
Troon 40.5 - Greenlees Trophy Runners Up 
Ranfurly Castle 29 - Relegated to Division 2 
Douglas Park 28.5 - Relegated to Division 2

Division 2 Winners -- Whitecraigs
Division 2
Whitecraigs 43.5 - Division 2 Winners
Haggs Castle 43 - Division 2 Runners Up 
East Renfrewshire 33 - Relegated to Division 3 
Lenzie 30 - Relegated to Division 3

Bothwell Castle - Division 3 Winners
Division 3 
Bothwell Castle 28 - Division 3 Winners 
Hilton Park 23 - Division 3 Runners Up 
Greenlees Divisional Winners and Runners Up - Click to enlarge 

Carol, Maureen and Denise

Maureen then concluded by wishing everyone a safe journey home.

After the event Douglas Park Captain Denise and "Greenlees Webmaster " Carol were presented with beautiful flower displays that she had made for the top table

Friday 11 October 2019

Scottish Golf Update on the World Handicap System (WHS)

Following our last update on the new World Handicap System (WHS), on Friday 27th September, we are aware of some potentially misleading communication by 3rd parties. This has led to a number of questions and as a result we would like to provide clarity on a number of these to all our affiliated golf clubs.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to read our last WHS update, then you can read more HERE.
A reminder: what is changing?
From November 2020, the way in which handicaps are administered is changing. This change is part of the new WHS being rolled out internationally by The R&A and USGA.
As part of the implementation of WHS in November 2020, the governing bodies of amateur golf in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales will now become the official licensee for all handicap calculations in Great Britain and Ireland.
All handicap calculations will be done centrally by each home nation and no Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) will be licensed to calculate or administer any handicaps in GB&I not just Scotland.
This means that each home nation, within their own jurisdiction, will perform all handicap calculations from all authorised formats of play as outlined in the new WHS rules. Each home nation will then publish a player’s newly calculated handicap index and make this accessible to all clubs and golfers.
Are Scottish Golf working alongside the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) to deliver WHS?
Yes, over the next 13 months, in the lead up to the implementation of WHS, Scottish Golf will be working closely in partnership with CONGU and our partners in GB&I in order to deliver the new World Handicapping System.
Upon the implementation of WHS in November 2020, each home nation will become responsible for calculating and administering the handicaps of all golfers under their jurisdiction. 
For each nation, including Scotland, this will be done using the Central Database of Handicaps (CDH).  By moving handicap calculations to the CDH, it will mean there will be one central handicap system in each nation. This will reduce the likelihood of errors such as duplications or conflicts that occur frequently in the current setup.
For clarity, Scottish Golf has always controlled their own CDH as have each of the other home nations. The key change is the CDH will now store and calculate the golfers handicap.
Under WHS, each home nation will produce a new CDH. While Scottish Golf are using a different provider for this than the other home nations, the different systems will interface with each other to ensure our golfers’ handicaps are portable across GB&I which is not currently the case as presently the different CDHs do not interface well with each other.
Are Scotland doing anything differently to the other CONGU nations?
Presently CONGU, as the authority for handicapping across GB&I, license the calculation and administration of handicapping to the eleven various ISVs.
Under WHS, CONGU becomes the licensee from The R&A/USGA to perform the handicap calculation and administer handicaps across the whole of GB&I. No ISVs will have a licence to perform or administer handicapping under WHS in GB&I.
In the rest of GB&I, a new licence is currently still being finalised by CONGU and once agreed it will be shared with all ISVs. This will give ISVs an option to purchase a new licence agreement under the new terms outlined by England, Wales and Ireland. This licence will not be to perform the handicap calculation or to administer handicaps for golf clubs.
As the new ISV licence has not been finalised by CONGU, it’s not known how many ISVs will seek to purchase a new licence. Scottish Golf will not be offering any ISVs the opportunity to purchase a WHS licence in Scotland. Scottish Golf's implementation of WHS will ensure that all golfers and clubs in Scotland will have access to handicapping software.
What we have been working on is an option to ensure that ISVs still have the same functionality to allow clubs to administer their competitions and publish competition results by pushing data directly to them.
Will Scottish Golf Clubs be required to use the new Venue Management System (VMS) as part of this process?
Under WHS, each home nation has been provided with the specifications from The R&A/USGA to develop software required for the calculation of handicaps.
In all of GB&I, affiliated golf clubs will need to use the handicapping software supplied by their home nation, but for all club management functionality other than handicapping, clubs will still have the choice to use other ISV systems as they currently do.
Will there be any additional cost to the golf club if they use Scottish Golf's Venue Management System?
As stated at the 2018 conference and to shareholders at the EGM which approved the increase in affiliation fee which supported the investment in Scottish Golf VMS, the new system and all its club administration and management functionality including and beyond handicapping will be free of charge to all affiliated clubs in Scotland.
Additionally, Scottish Golf will provide one free touch screen per affiliated golf club at no additional charge. There will also be an option for clubs to purchase additional touch screens at cost price to Scottish Golf.
More detailed communication to clubs, golfers and stakeholders as a reminder of why Scottish Golf has developed VMS will follow in due course. Trials are at a progressed stage in a number of clubs and it is estimated that golf clubs across Scotland are currently spending circa £2.5 million annually on management software.
As a golfer, how will I view my handicap under WHS?
Under WHS, all golfers in GB&I will be required to view their handicap on their respective home nation’s handicapping software. This will allow them to view information such as their handicap index, handicap data and their handicap scoring record.
We will be providing access to this through our website, app, direct link with CDH or in the handicapping software provided to clubs who will also have access to all these platforms.

Thursday 10 October 2019

Douglas Park win the Mosshead Trophy at Bearsden Golf Club

Janice Cullens, Joan Gemmell, Alison Whyte and Susan Rattray
Photo courtesy of Fiona Glass

On Sunday 29th September, at Bearsden Golf Club the ladies team from Douglas Park of Janice Cullens, Joan Gemmell, Alison Whyte and Susan Rattray were victors of the Mosshead Trophy
The Mosshead trophy is a team event of 4 ladies and a team of 4 gents are invited from the following clubs :
Balmore, Bearsden, Buchanan Castle, Clober, Clydebank and District, Douglas Park, Hilton Park, Milngavie .
Each team of 4 plays Stableford , with the best 2 scores at each hole counting.

Final Totals :
Click to enlarge