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The good, the bad and the ugly at Stroke Play

GOLF By Vincent Wang'ombe | October 23rd 2018
A golfer lines a putt during the Kenya Forest Service golf tournament at Sigona Club at the weekend. [PHOTO:COURTESY]

The 29th Kenya Amateur Stroke Play Championships at the Sigona Golf Club at the weekend offered numerous talking points.

Let’s sample some of the intriguing issues that emerged from the tournament.

The Good

Superb golf course: Sigona Golf Club is currently one of the best courses in the country. From tee to green, the golf course is immaculate with tightly-mowing fairways and smooth, firm and fast greens. 

When you venture into the woods, the mature forest has ancient trees in all their majesty that reach out to the heavens.

Grace Wambui and her team of green-keeping staff have done a splendid job of keeping the golf course in great shape. The 29th Kenya Amateur Stroke play Championship would not have been the same without dedication and knowledge of turf management of Wambui and her team.

Integrity: Integrity is one of the qualities that all golfers should posses. I was impressed by the 14-year-old Leo Zurovac’s penalty of disqualification.

Zurovac signed his scorecard without counter-checking the hole-by-hole scores that were entered by his marker.

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When he checked online and realised that he had signed for lower score than he had played, he called the Chief Referee for the tournament, David Kihara, and requested him to disqualify him for the error.

“I could not sleep well knowing that I had made the mistake,” said Leo when he called in with the information.

This is one of the qualities that distinguishes golf from many sports. The mistake may never have been uncovered and even though he was not in contention for a win, he still called in and requested to be disqualified.

The Bad

Poor knowledge of relief procedure: At 139 yards, hole number 11 at Sigona Golf Club is the shortest hole on the golf course.

The front of the green is, however, protected by a Water Hazard that has been a watery grave for many badly struck and well struck shots.

The problem came when golfers, who had played their balls into the water, took the Water Hazard relief to put another ball in play. Majority of the golfers who did, did not know the correct procedure of taking the relief.

Many just chose an arbitrary spot to drop another ball without due regard to the Rules of Golf.

The correct procedure for putting another ball into play after losing a ball in the Water Hazard on the 11th hole is:

Play another ball from the tee, then drop another ball outside the Water Hazard keeping the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the Water Hazard in a straight line with the hole.

Dropping a ball in any other way is wrong and must attract a penalty of two strokes for playing from the wrong place.

The Ugly

No shows: After playing some poor scores on the first round, three golfers realised they stood no chance of winning and decided not to show up for the second round the following day. They did not bother to inform the Competition Committee nor call their fellow competitors to pass the message.

This invariably led to golfers they were drawn with to suffer as they ended up being two balls following three balls.

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