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Golf leagues produce a fun experience

Ed Townsend - Columnist
Posted 6/4/20

Golf leagues in Sullivan and surrounding counties are finally underway following a delayed start due to the coronavirus. Golf clubs are always open to new leagues being formed and in today's lead …

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Golf leagues produce a fun experience

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Golf leagues in Sullivan and surrounding counties are finally underway following a delayed start due to the coronavirus. Golf clubs are always open to new leagues being formed and in today's lead story we will detail what a golf league is and how to sign up.

There are several types of golf leagues that you can sign up for. You can choose between either competitive or recreational leagues to play in.

These are leagues held by the golf course and are available to the public. They typically range between 16 and 32 players. You can choose between many different options such as, Ladies leagues, Men's Leagues, Mixed Leagues, Beginning Leagues, Couples Leagues, Junior Leagues and Parent Junior Leagues.

There are also, in some areas, private leagues and these leagues are organized and operate independently from the course. They are usually run by a league representative who acts as a liaison between the league and the golf course. They typically range between 12-40 players, depending on who runs the league. Private leagues simply rent the course for a certain length of time during the season.

Golf Leagues vary in price based on a few factors.....Length: The longer the golf league is, the more money it's going to cost. Our typical golf leagues run around 16 weeks long. (Not including holidays or rainouts). Use of Golf Carts: Some leagues prefer to walk, others prefer to ride. Obviously, leagues that choose to use golf carts are going to be more expensive than an all walking league.

Prizes: We'll get into the different types of awards later but the leagues that do elect to use prizes from the golf course, often cost more than leagues that handle their winnings.

Food: Sometimes, leagues elect to have an end of the year banquet which also effects the cost of the league.

Quality of Course: The higher the quality of the golf course, the more expensive your league is going to be.

You can choose to sign up for golf leagues at your local public courses and on their websites. Ask around and see if your work has a golf league that you can join. If they don't, maybe you can help create one! It's up to you if you want to join an independent league (like one with your work) or a house league (run by the golf course). Either option helps you meet more people and have fun out on the golf course.

Different leagues use different scoring systems and formats to help keep each week fun.

A few examples of different scoring formats are ...

Handicap system: You are given a golf handicap based on an average of your standard 18 hole golf scores. This handicap then get's factored in when playing a round in your league to help try and keep the playing field “equal.”

Blind Draw: This scoring system is where you play with a different partner each week and play as a team against another random pairing.

Stroke Play: This type of scoring system awards points based on how low you shoot during the week. At the end of the season, the person with the most points wins the league. There is no handicap scoring, and there are no teams. You play with a different group each week and try and shoot as low as you can.

There are plenty of other types of formats that leagues use with unique rules that put a fun spin on the game.

As we mentioned earlier, most golf leagues run for 14-16 weeks. This is the standard length of a golf season and works best with the weather. Sometimes The length of the round usually rounds between 2.5 - 3 hours for nine holes. Leagues use a nine-hole format because most are held after work from 4-7 p.m. weekdays.

Many golf leagues have prizes that they give out either at the end of the season or on a weekly basis. We have private leagues that award trophies and cash prizes for the winning individual or team.

At some leagues an award of golf balls, tees and other merchandise on a weekly basis for, Closest to the pin, Longest Drive and Lowest Round.

There ere are many benefits to playing in a golf league and they include...

Assigned tee time: Having a set tee time each week that you play helps keep you organized and more prepared for your round.

Playing under pressure: Playing in front of other people can be intimidating. However, in a league, you will learn to calm your nerves and get used to playing with others.

Play nice courses: Depending on where you live or work, you can choose to join a league at a high-quality course you usually wouldn't play at.

Meet new people: You'll play with all sorts of people in your league and make new golfing friends.

Swing Timing: Because you will be playing once a week, your swing timing and tempo will improve over the season.

If you are looking for a set tee time each week where you can meet new people and improve your game, joining a golf league may be right for you! Ask around your work or search your local courses to find out what leagues they offer so you can find one that best suits your game.

Ed's Outlook

Local Golf Leagues

There finally is a lot of golf league action following a late start due to the virus situation and New York State health regulations governing the sport of golf.

Here are the leagues that have started or will start within several weeks.

At the Tarry Brae Golf Course there is the Tuesday Men's league, Wednesday Men's league and the Thursday Men's Travel league.

The Villa Roma has the Tuesday Men's league, the Thursday Women's league and the Thursday Travel league.

At the Roscoe Twin Village Golf Course the 18-team Monday Night Men's league will start June 8 and the Tuesday Ladies league is starting the same week.

Chuck Husson manages the Men's league and Anna May Husson will manage the Women's league.

The Swan Lake Golf & Country Club has the Tuesday Men's league, the Wednesday Men's league, the Thursday Mixed league and the Thursday Travel league.

The Thursday Men's Travel league under the direction of Chuck Husson will play their league action at the Villa Roma, the Swan Lake Golf & Country Club. the Tarry Brae Golf Course and the Lochmor Golf Course.

At the Lochmor Golf Course league action consists of the Monday Mixed, Tuesday Men, Wednesday Correctional league and Thursday the Ladies league and the Travel league.

At the Liberty-based Sullivan County Golf & Country Club the facilities will host the Monday and Wednesday Men's leagues, the Tuesday Ladies league and the Thursday Couples league.

A Tuesday Men's league will be playing at the French Woods Golf & Country Club and a Thursday Men's league plays at the Tennanah Lake Golf & Tennis Club.

Golf Tip

By Bob Menges

Scoring is all about getting the ball in the hole with the least amount of strokes. And the short game is a key component to accomplishing this.

One of the ways to improve the short game is to work on distance control.

In this drill, I set up four targets....whether it's buckets or whatever visual object you can find...with distances ranging from 10 to 40 yards.

After the targets are in place you then hit one ball at each target in sequence. By hitting at different targets in sequence, you once again will prevent yourself from locking in to one distance. In the long run, this will help you develop better feel for your distance control. As far as club selection, I suggest you start with a 50-degree wedge for this drill and then experiment with your other wedges.

The key here is to develop your touch for the different distances.

Robert Menges is the head golf professional at the Swan Lake Golf & Country Club, Mt. Hope Road, Swan Lake. He is available when the course opens in mid-May. If you have a question or subject you would like covered, he can be reached at 845-292-0323, 845-866-5567 or via email at bobmenges22@gmail.com

Putting Tip

By Geoff Walsh

We have watched top contenders in the World Putting Championship, and I have always known that if golfers want to score well, they must learn to putt well.

An area that is so important in scoring well is the speed of the putt.

You “feel” the speed with your eyes, mind and hands.

It's imperative that you look at the distance between the ball and the hole six to nine times before you putt during the pre-putt routine.

It's a triangle. Your eyes see the distance....a signal is sent to your mind....your mind sends a signal to the muscles in your right fingers (left fingers for lefty's) for the amount of acceleration needed.

Then you pull the trigger. Get the ball nearest the hole ....no-stress two putt........three putting is not.

Two putting is hot.....three putting is not.

Geoff Walsh is a Class A PGA Professional at the Tarry Brae Golf Course at 387 Pleasant Valley Road, South Fallsburg. At this time private lessons are not available. If you have a question or subject you would like covered, he can be reached by telephone at 845-434-2620.

Ed Townsend is a Public Relations Consultant to the sport of golf and brings over 60-years of sports journalism experience in writing and compiling the information for this column. When leagues and courses are fully in operation send your league or tournament information to Ed at 845-439-8177, email to bghtnews@aol.com or fax to 845-205-4474. View this column and Ed's photos at http://bght.blogspot.com We are also on Facebook and Twitter.

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