IGE Ladies Open a success.
Why are ladies always getting the shaft?
Well, Michelle Wie missed another tournament, mostly because she
wasn’t invited, but even if she was, Nguyen Thi Thu Giang would’ve
probably kicked her butt.
The first IGE Ladies Open event kicked off at Vietnam Golf & Country
Club’s West Course last week and Giang took Best Gross with 78, a score
that Wie would find hard to beat lately, especially as the West Course
has enough trees to qualify as a national forest.
The tournament was Stableford format, maximum scores of 40 pts with
lowest handicap winning all ties. Ms Thanh Cawthorne, took Best Net with
40 points and a handicap of 19.
Personally, I am thrilled that IGE took the time and effort to create
a special event for the ladies, if for no other reason, because they
Think about it for a minute...
Most clubs gear all their advertising towards the men, simply due to
the fact that they are the biggest market, but it’ the ladies who play
during the weekday mornings while the kids are in school, not the men.
On the weekends, its mostly men because the women usually stay home to
watch the children, so they miss the best tournaments.
Creating one just for them makes a hell of a lot of sense and you
know they appreciate it.
At VGCC in the old days, I created a "Ladies League" and, to ensure
that it remained an "all ladies affair", I put one of my female Golf
Operations staff in charge of it and it was a great success.
At Kings Island, I arranged for a free bus to take the ladies from
Hanoi to the club and back according to their requested schedule.
Clubs lose out by ignoring them.
Many people have commented over the years about the "maximum score,
lowest handicap winning all ties" system, which we started at VGCC back
in 1998 as an anti-sandbagging measure. Today, it is almost mandatory at
most club tournaments simply because it works. Players who try to
manipulate their handicaps to ensure they receive more strokes than they
actually deserve get nailed first by the maximum score provision, then
lose by having a higher handicap.
While the vast majority of players approve of the system, there are
always a few who refuse to participate because of it for reasons of
Actually, it’s sad that such systems have to be employed in the first
place, but while golf is a game that is rooted in honesty and respect
for the rules, human nature is such that some people want to win at any
cost...even if it means cheating.
During the last 10 years, the vast majority of players in Vietnam
have come to appreciate the rules and respect the handicap systems of
the various clubs, but again, there are always a few who continue to try
to outsmart the tournament officials.
One important thing that some of the less scrupulous players tend to
over-look is the caddie. At VGCC, the caddies almost always reported it
when a player took what they thought was an illegal drop, employed a
foot wedge or grounded their club in a hazard.
When one member shot a record round, the caddie was worried that the
player would not submit the card for handicap purposes, knowing the
player’s handicap would drop like a stone, so they came to me to report
What the player didn’t know was that the caddie kept a duplicate
card...just in case.
The score got entered and I bought the player’s group a round of
drinks and they never tried to put one over on me again.
For the handicap system to work correctly, everyone has to be
involved and that includes players, caddies, marshals, starters and
fellow competitors. There cannot be any shenanigans whatsoever and the
system must be completely transparent.
This is where "peer-review" comes into play.
All handicaps are posted on the boards inside the clubhouse so anyone
can check up on another player. In addition, players can usually check
their entire scoring histories at the club’s internet site.
Players who become known as "sandbaggers" get frozen out from all the
good tournaments and, eventually, nobody wants to play with them. So the
best advice is to play by the rules...
It’s better for everyone.