JABONG! Levelling the playing field

What makes golf different from other sports? Too many factors if you ask me but the most glaring is the way that it promotes a level playing field and gives players the equal chance to compete with each other individually regardless of their level of skill.

Whether you are a novice/beginner, an intermediate or a scratch player a system is in place to somewhat create an atmosphere of playing in a level field. We call it handicapping system. Remove the handicap then it is total chaos and disarray.

This is the current situation of golf in the country. Amateur golf that is.

Golfers were shocked when the website of WHS stopped functioning and access to handicap is no longer available by mid-December last year. What followed was confusion and questions that beg for answer. In the middle of that brouhaha, Rodel Mangulabnan, Chairman and CEO of Silicon Computer and Telecoms confirmed that his company which handled the country’s handicapping system for the last 10 years have ceased its services after being terminated by the NGAP.

What followed was media blitz for both camps which ultimately touched a sensitive nerve which boiled down to unpaid
debt by the NGAP that amounted to millions including arrears of previous years.

Golfers cried foul and requested clarification and early settlement and solution.

Both camps appeared on some photo ops implying that they have settled their differences and NGAP is working to restore back the handicap system but this time to be handled by a newly hired foreign firm. But the trouble was far from over. The assurance of NGAP that the current impasse will get back to normalcy come mid-January did not materialize. Instead, they suffered another setback when the supposed to be election of new officers and board have to be postponed to April of this year.

Trust and confidence.

The NGAP needs to restore back their integrity and reputation. The thousands of paying members from all of the golf clubs in the country who diligently paid their dues are now made to suffer. Members are asking for transparency. They should not be the victim caught in the middle of disputes between the two golfing entities.

To establish a handicap index for each golf club member or association should have been the ultimate purpose of the NGAP handicapping system but because of this brouhaha which they failed miserably to address it caused disappointment and discouragement among golfers.

When I searched for my name at the NGAP WHS in Google, lo and behold an entry indeed appeared. But the funny thing is the platform they selected produced only the name of the golfer, the Handicap Index and the member’s mother club.

No details whatsoever. Just plain name of golfers with the same family names bunched on one page.

This is outrageous. This is not acceptable. Just to appease the members that an action has been made?

This act is palpable to insulting the intelligence of the golfers. Too bad, almost a quarter of the year have passed and tournaments are coming and yet golfers are still clueless in how to compete in a tournament with a level playing field.

C’mon fellas. Give these golfers a chance to enjoy playing the game they love to hate.

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