Sports

Grafton golf course rating changes

With the recent adjustment to our course rating, may golfers were more than a little surprised with many of them receiving a significant change to their handicaps. 

The course slope rating has now been reduced down to 119, from 126, previously. The biggest change was noticed by our longer handicap players with their handicaps being reduced by at least 2 to 3 shots. For our A Grade players the effect was far less noticeable. The upside of all this is that when our members travel to other courses, they will more than likely receive shots back, whereas visiting golfers to Grafton will incur a possible reduction to their home handicaps. 

For example, those players visiting from Virginia Golf Club or even Maclean Golf Club will notice the changes as their courses are rated a little more difficult than Grafton and that will be reflected in the handicaps accordingly. Therefore, if you have not played at Grafton recently, do not be too surprised to find a reduction in your handicap, although you may not have participated in any recent competitions. 

Although the revised rating came into effect for many last Saturday, it may not have been the reason for the relatively low Stableford scores that were recorded on the day. A total of 142 players contested the event, co-sponsored by Legacy and Bob Pike, on a course in very good condition for this time of year. A great many may have found it a bit of a struggle, but it proved fairly easy for our overall winner on the day, Jamie Firth (25), who accumulated an excellent points tally of 44 to completely dominate the huge field. Jamie was very consistent over the 18 holes recording 22 points on each 9. A further reduction to his handicap is more than assured as a result. Matthew McKee (plus 2) was the start of A Grade, producing a round of 67 hits for a total of 39. Matt’s round included seven birdies, which is a great lead up to the upcoming club Championships. Runner-up to Matt was another inform golfer, John Tracey (7), with 39 also, however John unfortunately finished on the wrong side on the countback with Matt. Playing off a handicap of 10, Kin Li was the best of the B Graders with a score of 36 from Paul Grieve (10) on 35. The Langford name continues to feature in the weekend results, on this occasion it was Jesse Langford (18) who made a name for himself by taking out C Grade with 37, two points clear of Len Jones (18). There was no doubting the winner of D Grade with former Grafton golfers Eddie Clack (25) recording an excellent score of 40 points, followed by Alan Wade (21) with 37. To highlight the apparent course difficulty, pro-balls went down to all players with 32 or better. The Diggers Cup, which is held in conjunction with the Legacy day was won by Bill Blaiki (14) with 35.

Not much happening in the world of Veterans golf apart from their normal Tuesday competition. However, the qualifying for the Veterans Top Gun Shootout continues and the leader board as at July 15 reveals the current standings in the Coopers Brewery sponsored series. With a score of 43 points Graeme Lynn leads from Chris Wheelahan on 41. They are followed by three players, Dek Pabian, Brian Hewitt and Ron Baker all on 40, Bob Fist, Sam Davison and Wayne Creighton are next with 39. The final two spots are held by Nick Abrahall and Graeme Smith on 38. Still plenty of time to qualify for the shootout itself which is scheduled for Sunday October 11.

There is a busy weekend of golf coming up, beginning with the Muddy and Studdies 18-hole Stableford on Saturday. That event will also incorporate Round 3 of the four round Clarence Valley Rural & Industrial Supplies Winter Consistency trophy.  That event will be followed on Sunday with the Bob Pike sponsored 27-hole Mixed Foursomes Championships. Defending champions are Matt and Maddie McKee who completed 2019 series with 120 gross. The runner-up combination were Tim Bartlett and Janette Blair, who were just three shots behind. The pairing maybe a little different this year, therefore 2019 may not be any guide. However, it can be assured that competition will be strong in both the gross and handicap components of the titles.  On the following weekend the first two round of the men’s 2020 Club Championships will be held. The four round series co-sponsored by Jacaranda City Coaches (David and Leane Morgan) together with Greg Harvison Building and Design. 

Saturday’s first round will incorporate the Craig Woods Plumbing Monthly Mug, which no doubt will add a little more incentive to play well on the day. The 2nd round will be held on Sunday, with the final two rounds to be held the following weekend.

Ray Hopwood

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