My Golf Life, Golf Canada’s Score CentreWritten by John Gordon
Unfortunately, it is apparent that the vast majority of golfers view Golf Canada’s Score Centre as the “Snore Centre.” But their narrow view of maintaining a current handicap is short-sighted, to their detriment.
Consider the numbers. Just over seven million scores were posted for handicap purposes in 2017. That’s impressive. Less impressive is the fact that they were all reported by the same 285,000 golfers.
To try to understand this disparity, let’s first dispose of the misconception that a “handicap” is something that only top-level competitive golfers are interested in. Everyone who plays the game should be tapping into the Score Centre, for a variety of reasons.
“A Golf Canada handicap factor allows you not only to compete on an equitable basis with anyone who may be a better golfer than you, or maybe not as good as you, but also gives you the ability to track your personal progress year over year,” says Taylor Stevenson, Golf Canada’s Manager of Member Services.
Stevenson, who oversees the Score Centre initiative, is incredulous that more golfers don’t understand how intrinsic tracking your scores is to your overall enjoyment of the game. Before he came on board at Golf Canada, he golfed but until he started maintaining a current handicap, he not only didn’t understand his progress but couldn’t compete fairly against better players.
“Once I started keeping an accurate handicap, I not only could see if I was getting better or worse, but I could play against friends who were better than me on a net basis, thanks to my handicap.”
Stevenson understands that that traditional “core” golfers, like those 285,000 who posted all those scores in 2017, will continue to do so. But, as a millennial at the age of 31, he also appreciates that it’s time to shake things up.
“Tracking your scores on Score Centre makes every game more enjoyable. You can track your progress, relive memories, share them with your friends. It’s a great way to engage with the game.”
He’s talking about a few of Score Centre’s attributes such as being awarded virtual “badges” for significant achievements (which can be linked to Twitter and Facebook), an “ultimate scorecard” which records your all-time best score per hole, tracking hole-by-hole performance and other statistics, and more. A mobile app allows golfers to instantly post their scores after completing a round.
In stark contrast to the traditional concept of a “handicap” for strictly competitive purposes, the new Score Centre approach has a wider purview, but the competitive aspect remains. The difference is that the competition is against yourself. You can set personal goals, compare your status with your golfing partners and celebrate milestones. Stevenson says, much like a Fit Bit tracks your fitness goals, Score Centre helps you monitor your golf progress.
“What golf really comes down to is you’re trying to do better than you did the last time you were out; it’s you against the golf course,” says Stevenson. “You want to improve, and to understand that, you have to keep track of your past performance.” He notes that the updated Score Centre allows golfers not only to look back at their performance for the current season, but for past years as well.
Stevenson says updates for 2018 include a more robust, reliable and stable platform for Score Centre that will further enhance the user experience.
If you enjoy golf, consider this a wake-up call. Golf Canada’s Score Centre is anything but a Snore Centre.
Perhaps call it your “Golf Centre.”
My Golf Life, Golf Canada’s Score Centre
This article was originally published in the 2018 edition of The Alberta Golfer Magazine. To view the full magazine, click here.