Mizuno Golf Pairs Tour to Accept Golfshake Handicaps
Article by Golfshake Ambassador Andy Picken
Opening up competitive golf to non-CONGU players using a Golfshake Handicap will be seen as controversial in some areas.
What do you think?
Mizuno Golf Pairs Tour was established in 2013 when friends Ross Forno and Sam Maylott had the idea to organise friendly competitive golf events for golfers interested in being part of a 'traveling club' playing at some of the best courses in the UK.
The tour is unique in that whilst the events take place over 1 to 7 days playing multiple courses, the team only organise the golf and golfers organise their own accommodation for the trip. They recommend accommodation options but the focus is always on the golf. The events are played all over Europe including a week-long trip to Turkey.
Initially only those who held a valid and current CONGU handicap were able to compete, but the organisers have now decided to open up the events to Golfshake subscribers who do not belong to a club or have such a handicap.
I played in one of the events in 2017 Using my CONGU handicap and the events were very well organised, fun, yet competitive.
Most of the Top 50 courses in the UK will accept a Golfshake Handicap for access to the course. (Please check with the individual course prior to play.) Using a Golfshake Handicap it is acceptable for play at Open Venues like:
- St Andrews
- Royal St George's
Golfshake have many golfers (around 90,000) who use the Score Tracker and this provides them with an accurate measure of current performance. Striving to improve a handicap is one of the most satisfying pursuits in golf.
Having the ability to play at some of the best venues in the golf world and test yourself against the course and its par is also a wonderful experience.
Challenging the mind of the architects and plotting a path around the course, using your best efforts, is simply an utter pleasure. We play to different standards and efficiencies, but we all can share the rare pleasure of experiencing the perfect golfing experience.
The greatest architects always design courses for all levels and standards of player. Having a scratch line, and a rabbit line is part of the art of the golf course designer.
Throw in the knowledge of playing in the footsteps of the game's great and good, and it becomes a rare and real pleasure and something to be encouraged and aspired towards by everyone who picks up a club and thrashes a ball around a field.
I know to my cost that possession of a CONGU handicap is no guarantee of competency. It simply illustrates a financial commitment to the game and an investment in its future.
The Golfshake Community love the game with a passion. I think of the phrase used by a pro-am partner as I finished a round: “Golf and sex are the only things in life that you can do badly but still find fun.” No, it didn’t make me feel better!
If you log your scores and have them validated, why shouldn’t you be able to gain access to these wonderful golf facilities in a competitive environment?
Having a parallel Golfshake Tournament within the main event is a really progressive step forward and one that I hope you will be interested in supporting.
If you run a society within Golfshake, why not consider taking the group for an away day at one of these events. At one I played in a group of 12 who had hired a house together and then played in the event with partners drawn on the day. They had fantastic fun and it was the ultimate golfing away day with mates. Imagine doing this in a professionally run event with goody bags real time scoring etc. What’s not to like about that as an experience?
We all have stories of those who protect, manipulate and otherwise play fast and loose with CONGU handicaps because of the superb prizes that are offered in some of the main amateur events.
I know of many club golfers who now refuse to enter these type of events as they have had experience of such banditry and have simply voted with their feet.
Thankfully it is a very small number of people who engage in such practice and active management of the events by the organisers can stop this issue at source by refusing entries to competitions.
I know from my own experience that the Mizuno Tour events are well run and actively policed. Real time scoring adds greatly to the competitive side.
The club experience also offers much more with regular competitions against peers, and the social aspect of most golf clubs is a very important factor when deciding to join. I love the flexibility of being able to go to the course for a twilight round at the last minute. I love knowing the cars in the car park and the personalities that go with them.
I am in the fortunate position of having the time to develop these relationships but many with families are governed by clocks and calendars that restrict them to a few days golfing a year. They enjoy the golf to the same degree but simply don’t have the same time to devote to their hobby as me. They are still golfers and should be encouraged as such.
Having the opportunity to experience this type of slick, well run professional event could easily be the catalyst for becoming a golf club member to be able to play in the Open amateur circuit.
Check out Golf Empire for details of Open events in your area. These are a fantastic way to see and play new courses with heavily discounted prices. CONGU handicap is a requirement though.
It is also a requirement to play in any Pro-Am events to have a CONGU handicap. Pro-am events are incredible fun and a real learning opportunity. I learn something new every time I compete and the professional golfers I have been paired with are always welcoming and friendly. Playing in a team environment also takes off some of the pressure of playing against the course as an individual. If you have never had this experience stick it down on your bucket list I guarantee you will not regret it.
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)