IGA Stands Tall
The grass looks extra green in 2010
Welcome to a brand new golfing season. With the mild winter, many of the golf courses have had the chance to open early and some of the golf courses in southwestern Idaho are already lush and green. We are looking forward to another sun-soaked season. The Idaho Golf Association is committed to providing value to every individual member regardless of their golfing skills and goals.
The IGA will go into the third year with the Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN). The technical team at the GHIN headquarters has made significant changes to improve itself in order to better serve the golfing population. The most recognizable service provided by the IGA is the handicap index. Occasionally, I get the question, “I don’t play in tournaments, so why do I need a handicap?” For those with little interest in playing competitive golf, having a USGA Handicap is still a key part of the game of golf. A player can evaluate his or her maturation as a golfer by monitoring their scoring record. The handicap index is the ideal marker to define one’s level of golfing expertise. A person can simply say during a conversation about golf, “I am a 12.3 and I am every bit of it.” Playing golf and having a handicap index go hand in hand.
How this magical number gets created is a mathematical process that applies scoring averages to a formula and then spits out a number (your handicap index). The averaging of scores is simple, but that number is applied to a course rating and slope to determine your course handicap. The course rating and slope differ based on the length and number of tangible obstacles of the golf course. A short course with very little trouble will have a low course rating and slope. Conversely, a course with some length accompanied by water, trees and deep bunkers will have a higher rating and slope.
The Idaho Golf Association is authorized by the USGA to formulate the course rating and slopes for every golf course in Southern Idaho. A team of volunteers measure and evaluate a golf course under strict guidelines governed by the USGA. Every course is subject to the same guidelines to insure that the end product is consistent.
Golf would not be golf if there wasn't something at stake. Accurate handicaps enable two or more people to compete for bragging rights or a couple dollars in a side game. There are those players who desire the thrill of tournament golf, and the IGA provides several opportunities to get the rush of competition.
There are state events that are open to all golfing skills: 4-ball (best ball) for men and women, Men’s Mid-Am (age limit of 25 years old and up), Senior men and women (55 for men and 50 for women). Of course there are the State Championships for the best players in the state to go head to head. At the club level there are hundreds of golf tournaments statewide of any variety. The IGA also boasts one of the largest Junior Programs in the nation, which attracts over 700 participants throughout the entire state.
Remember that golf is a game for all ages and all skills. It is a one-of-a-kind sport, and the Idaho Golf Association is proud to serve you.
From the Directors of the Idaho Golf Association
Photo Executive Director Jim Durkin