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Par 3 Competitions!

On the last Friday of every month we visit Kingsway Cambridge. This is a 9 Hole Par 3 course which provides the perfect, informal setting to learn how to improve your game, understand how to be prepared and learn the basics in etiquette. After your first round you will be provided with an informal handicap which will then enable you to track your progress.

What is a handicap?

In golf your handicap is the number of shots you are expected to take that exceeds the par for the course according to your ability. For example, at Kingsway Cambridge there are 9 holes and all the holes are par 3. Therefore, the par for the course is 27. This means that a player who has a handicap of 0 (called 'scratch') is expected to take 27 shots whilst a player who has a handicap of 20 is expected to take 47 shots.

Its not an official handicap!

The handicap you will be assigned is not an official handicap. It is an informal handicap with Joel that provides a simple basis for tracking progress. Official handicaps are typically obtained through becoming a member of a club. You then submit 54 holes and you then have an official handicap which will be registered on the World Handicap System (WHS).

How do I get my informal handicap?

You get your handicap by playing in one competition at Kingsway Cambridge. For example, if you shoot 50, which is 23 over par, your first handicap will be 23.

How does my handicap change?

For every shot you play better in subsequent competitions at Kingsway Cambridge your handicap will be cut 0.5 shots (and rounded up where needed). If you shoot more than 3 shots over your handicap your handicap will go up by one shot.

An example


Round 1: Doris plays her first round and shoots 50. Her first handicap is 23.

Round 2: Doris shoots 52. This is not more than 3 shots worse so her handicap stays at 23.

Round 3: Doris shoots 55. This is more than 3 shots worse so her handicap goes up to 24.

Round 4: Doris gets her act together and shoots 43. This is 16 over par, which is 8 shots better than her handicap of 24. So Joel cuts her 4 shots. Her new handicap is now 20. Hooray!

How do I keep track?

Joel will manage everyone's handicap. You don't have to do anything.

Joel's local rules

- Maximum of 9 shots per hole.

- If you go in a bunker and do not get out after one attempt drop to the side of the bunker, not nearer the hole and not on the green and carry on. The bunker shot counts, the drop is free.

- Air shots don't count.

- You must hole every putt. No gimmes!

Three useful proper rules

If go in water either go back and play the shot again or decide where it entered and then drop the ball within 2 club lengths of this point, not nearer the hole. Drop the ball from knee height. The drop or re-hit counts as a penalty shot.

If you find your ball but it is unplayable either go back and play the shot again or drop within 2 club lengths of where the ball originally came to rest, not nearer the hole. Drop the ball from knee height. The drop or re-hit counts as a penalty shot.

If you hit the ball out of bounds (off the premises!) as designated by white posts, you must re-hit the shot. A penalty shot is incurred. So, if you do this from the tee you will be playing three off the tee.

Be Prepared!

You are basically out in the countryside for a bit of a walk so make sure you have the things you need.

Be on time!


Before the day you will be given a tee time. This is not the time you turn up in the car. Be on site at least 10 minutes before to register and maybe have a practice putt or two.



You need your own clubs, a bag and golf balls. You cannot share clubs. You can hire though. You also need:

- Tees; a ball marker; a pitch mark repairer.

Keep these items in your pocket as you will need them regularly.

You also need a towel that you can clip to your bag to wipe the mud off clubs and balls. Shoes: golf shoes or waterproof trainers are a must. You should not wear boots that have a heavy tread as they can damage the greens.


Wear the right clothes. If it is cold, several thin layers are better than a couple of thick layers. A golf glove gives you good grip. You really can't play golf with normal gloves on. If you struggle with cold hands invest in some mitts you can take on and off, or handwarmers, or some gloves that have lots of grip. You can buy winter golf gloves likes this. If it is a hot day clothing needs to be light. You might need a cap. Make sure you carry fluids.

Basic Etiquette

Pace on play

A good rule is you should be either walking, playing a shot or watching someone else playing a shot. Traditionally the furthest away plays first, but we play ready golf so if you are ready, everyone else acknowledges this and it is safe to play, then play.

Bunkers, divots, pitch marks

Rake a bunker after use and replace any divots you make on the fairway. If you hit the green and you spot an indentation use your pitch mark repairer to repair it. To do this you simply move the grass around the ball so that the dent closes up and gently tap down with your putter or foot. Here is a 10 second short: How to repair a pitch mark

On the green

If your ball is in the way of another player's putt either mark it with your ball marker by placing it directly behind the ball or putt it. Don't walk across other player's lines as it will cause indentations. When you pick the ball out of the hole don't stand right next to the hole. Again, it causes indentations.

Find my 'Joel' handicap! Abayasekera, Robert 10 Andrews, Janet 23 Black, Debs 15 Booth, Sheila 18 Bottril-Summers, Will 12 Boucher, Guillaume 15 Brown, Polly 24 Burkitt, Jo 11 Burnstein, Rowan 31 Cammish, Jayne 11 Coghill, Jo 25 Coppolaro, Tracy 14 Dennehy, Neil Dickens, Fiona 9 Dickens, Guy 15 Evans, Claire 8 Fry, Ley 14 Handy, Anna 16 Harvey, Ian 19 Harvey, Lesley 14 Haxton, Ali 22 Henry, Nick 18 Horne, Andy 11 Kean, Julie 26 Matthews, Hazel 15 Matthews, Trish 30 Marshall, Marie- Louise 18 Martin, Jules 33 McCollum, Jack 14 McGurk, Alison 21 Mumford, Jo 23 Page, Jan 34 Rooks, Sharon 11 Thomas, Nicola 28 Winter, Malcolm 5

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