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From the Clubhouse: Could five foot gimmes become a part of handicapping in the UK?

On this week's From the Clubhouse podcast, Steve Carroll and Tom Irwin discuss gimme golf, equal tee time access, and how a bit of paving plunged St Andrews into crisis
 

Did you know if your ball lies on the green, and is no more than five feet from the hole, there is a Rule of Handicapping that allows you to pick it up and add a stroke to your score?

In this week’s From the Clubhouse podcast, in association with TaylorMade Golf, Steve Carroll and Tom Irwin delve deeper into the concept of ‘most likely score’, which can be used when a hole is started but a player does not hole out.

They consider how it’s used in match play and fourball formats, Tom talks about his experience of it dominating golf in the United States and, with elements of this already in play in Ireland, the pair consider if we ever might see it come into force in the UK.

Elsewhere, the duo look back over events at St Andrews where a bit of paving close to the historic Swilcan Bridge sent social media into meltdown, and brought an ultra-quick about-turn, and Steve gets a dressing down from Tom for his post hole-in-one etiquette. Was he wrong to not get the drinks in when he had an ace?

It’s bound to be controversial and, as always, we’d love to hear your views!

Listen to us get stuck into gimmes, the World Handicap System, and hole-in-one etiquette

You can listen in the player below, or click the button to be taken directly to your preferred podcast platform.

What do you think? Could fourball and match play become part of WHS in the UK, and could you ever get your heads around gimmes counting for handicap in competitions? Let me know with a tweet.

More podcasts from National Club Golfer

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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