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From the Executive Director


New rules, worldwide handicaps to stir it up


T


he next two years in golf will be somewhat tumultuous, what with the new Rules of Golf for 2019 and the


new World Handicap system. “Changes” to the Rules are actually


a complete rewriting of how to play golf. The effort is aimed at the average golfer and how they play the game on the world’s course, and proving them with a common language to simply the Rules. For the experienced players, these changes will not significantly affect their games, but for the casual and recreational golfers, they will make a great difference. See Lorraine Thies’ rules column in this issue for those items that were revised from the public’s comments over the past nine months. The full version is available at usga.org/rules, along with graphics and additional explanations. Our new partnership with the


Arizona Women’s Golf Association (AWGA) is perfectly timed to provide information and education for clubs and golfers alike. Along with rules seminars we will be conducting throughout the state this fall, we’re also preparing for a new worldwide handicap system to begin Jan. 1, 2020. With handicaps ranging up to 54, golfers of any skill level can find a home. We will devote much of the second half of 2019 to sharing the changes that will impact almost every golfer as the idea of a handicap is redefined for the first time since the institution of the Slope System of course ratings in the early 1980s. Handicaps will change with each round played, and exceptionally low net scores will likely disappear altogether as the system takes hold. That’s good for everyone.


12 | AZ GOLF Insider | SPRING-SUMMER 2018 On the tournament side,


we’re looking forward to a strong championship season but also have added several casual and Senior Series events for the majority of golfers. Our casual Member Days are open to all golfers. It’s a great way to come to know the AGA and our new programs for 2018. Looking into 2019, the AGA will be


hosting a Scotland tour in late summer, with details being available at azgolf. org this August and in AZGOLF Insider this fall. If you haven’t made the pilgrimage, this will be a perfect time to do it with your friends. This is just the beginning of Arizona golf reaching out to all golfers with more and more ways to enjoy their golfing lives. Lastly, Gary Van Sickle in “Out of


Bounds” takes a look at the data devices infiltrating golf and the promised impact each can have. It all sounds wonderful, until you remember that in spite of all the “improvements” in clubs, balls, course conditions, etc. over the last 30 years, the average handicap has not changed. Give that a thought before the cost of a $500 tracking device hits your checking account. I’d rather invest in the new golf balls released this year by Titleist, TaylorMade and Callaway. At least I know they will help me. n


By Ed Gowan AZGOLFINSIDER


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OFFICERS PRESIDENT.............................................................................Mike McWilliams 1ST VICE PRESIDENT .................................................................Bill Burgesser 2ND VICE PRESIDENT .....................................................................Bill Phipps SECRETARY ................................................................................Bob McNichols TREASURER ........................................................................................Tim Brown


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS Lee Decof, Mark Jeffery, Joe Hickle, Jerry Huff, Tim Hulscher, Ryan Johnson, Mike Kane, Scott McNevin, Judi Polidori, John Souza


AGA STAFF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR....................................................................Ed Gowan ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ....................................Lorraine Thies DIRECTOR OF HANDICAPPING & COURSE RATING. ..............................................................Derek McKenzie CLUB PROGRAMS MANAGER ............................................Michelle Evens DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING/SPONSORSHIPS ..............Brian Foster* DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING PARTNERSHIPS........................Chris Montgomery* DIRECTOR OF RULES AND COMPETITIONS ...........Andrew Polonec MANAGER TOURNAMENT OPERATIONS ..........................Mike Mason CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER ...................................................... .Jim Franko DIRECTOR OF MEMBER AND CLUB RELATIONS .............Alex Tsakiris COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER ............................Joselyn Wojtalewicz ACCOUNTING.......................................................................... Betty Saltzgiver P. J. BOATWRIGHT INTERNS ................Nicole Prague, Jesse Tenkman


*Denotes independent contractor


THE AZ GOLF INSIDER STAFF PUBLISHER.....................................................................................Mark Nothaft EDITOR-IN-CHIEF .........................................................................Bill Huffman DESIGNER............................................................................Carl Bezuidenhout AGA EDITOR .................................................................................Lorraine Thies SENIOR EDITOR ................................................................................John Davis REAL ESTATE EDITOR ......................................Gremlyn Bradley-Waddell FOOD EDITOR ................................................................................Carey Sweet GENERAL ASSIGNMENTS .......................................................... Jeff Heisner PHOTO EDITOR .........................................................................Jane Zarzynski SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER .......................................................Dennis Scully SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER ........................................................Wade Moran CONTRIBUTORS ..........................Ed Gowan, Lorraine Thies, Julie Fenn Scott McNevin, Robyn Noll, Tom Mackin, Joe Passov, Cori Matheson ADVERTISING GRAPHIC DESIGNER ........................................Steve Copas For magazine inquiries, backspinmediagroup@gmail.com


BACKSPIN MEDIA GROUP PRESIDENT.......................................................................................Bill Huffman GENERAL MANAGER ................................................................Mark Nothaft BackspinMediaGroup@gmail.com


AZ GOLF Insider, is published four times a year by the Arizona Golf Association. It


is supported by members’ dues, utilizing $3 per


member per year. We welcome all editorial submissions, including letters, but assume no responsibility for the loss or damage of unsolicited material. They will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Views expressed within these pages do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or official policies of the Arizona Golf Association. No part of this magazine is intended as an endorsement of any equipment, publication, videotape, golf course or other entity. No part of this magazine may be reproduced for use as an advertising, publicity or endorsement item without written approval of the AGA. AZ GOLF Insider is offered on a subscription basis for $12.95 annually. Individual copies may be obtained by forwarding $5 to the address below.


Arizona Golf Association 7600 E. Redfield Rd., Suite 130 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (602) 944-3035 (800) 458-8484 In-State Line www.azgolf.org


www.azgolf.org


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