My 2012 Golf Page

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Earliest Start Ever

This year was an early start for the golf season. It was the first time I ever played here in March. On the first day of spring as a matter of fact, I drove down International 2000 on the border in Lacolle. The temperature that day was a record high 27 degrees Celsius. Did not play very well but the conditions we not that good as the course was very wet. Nevertheless, with the late end last year on Dec 5th it made only a 105 day gap with no golf. For a chart of first and last games of the my seasons since 1998, click here.

Groupe Beaudet B-52

This year our regular foursome has a new member, Paddy Dore. Back in December, Groupe Beaudet, had a great offer. For $480 including tax, you could play almost all its courses for 'free' on 52 preselected days. Pre-selected by Beaudet. That same pass is available now for $575. Paddy, along with Mike and Mike bought one pass each and that will be our foursome for much of the year. The dates are scattered around the season and started on April 20th. So far we have play 4 free dates, all with weather than we normally would have stayed away from the course. It should be a good year and our price per round should definitely be under $20 when we are finished with it. On the days that are not included, a 20% discount off the regular fee is in effect. At the end of the year, I will report on how many games we played under the B-52 umbrella.
UPDATE - By October 3rd, with 5 B-52 left I had played 32 games making the cost per round $15.31. If the weather holds up for the next 5 dates I will have played 37 games at a cost of $13.25 a game. There is also nothing preventing us from playing 36 holes in a day which we have not done. 

New RCGA Handicap Rules

The RCGA introduced new rules for handicap calculation that came into effect on March 1, 2012. I am not a real big fan of golf handicap in the first place mainly because it can lead to sandbagging but also because it put everyone on an even playing field for betting. If you play for money and are better than someone, you should win. If you want to make the odds 50% on each side, why bother with golf? Just go flip a coin somewhere with your opponent.
The new rules make it even worse for us single digit handicappers. For one, the rules have not changed for us but have for anyone with a handicap over 9. That means everyone with a 10 handicap has a potential of raising their handicap by one or two (or more) by scoring exactly the same scores as in previous years. The old ESC (Equitable Score Control) prevented a 10 to 18 handicapper from entering more than a double bogey. Now, he can enter any score up to a 7, even on a par 3. That means that a big hitting 14 handicapper who sucks at hitting proper irons on par 3's could easily become a 17 handicap after shooting a couple of quads of the short par 3 surrounded by water. Check out the chart below on the new slices of ESC calculation.

In my opinion, shooting a 7 on a par 3 should not be counted for a decent golfer with a 12 handicap for example. Anyway, I will stick to betting with my fellow single digit golfers and play best man wins.

Breaking 80

As I have mentioned in my golf pages many times, every time I go out to play golf my ultimate goal is to break 10. Last year (2011) was a banner year for me as I achieved my goal 39% of the time. I am 0 for 4 this year and it doesn't quite feel right yet. People say that only 20% of golfers break 100 but that is not true. The National Golf Institute actually states that 55% of golfers have shot less than 100. If you look at USGA stats, over 25% of people have official handicap index under 10 which means that avid golfers definitely break 80. However, I would have to estimate that only 10% of golfers have an official USGA handicap. I keep a chart of my under 80 games. Click here if you are interested.
Update June 21 - Until now, I have broken 80 only 4 times after 24 games and my handicap has gone up 2 to 3 strokes. At first I thought the reason was putting because I seem to be 3 putting more than ever however my putting average has only increased by less than one stroke. My GIR (Greens in Regulation) has gone down 4% which make explain things. On June 20, I played Victorien and set a new record for myself. I hit 12 greens in regulation which I probably had never done in a round. 2 of those produced 3 putts but it was one of my better games in a long time. It was 4 over par but could have easily been even with a couple of breaks and some sinking putts. I hope to play like that again soon.
Update Oct 4 - Breaking 80 hasn't been as easy this year with only 15 games under 80. Perhaps I was trying too hard as I was on pace of doing it many times but went over par on the last few holes to prevent it. My putting is back for the most part but this year was my 3 putt year. At least it feels that way since my first putt doesn't seem to get as close to the hole as it used to be. There are