News and Messages

Sunday, 13 January, 2019

Captains News

Hello Members

There will be some significant changes to our competitions starting next week so please continue reading, this includes combined Saturday competitions to become a medley and 9 hole competitions available on Saturdays and 18 hole competitions available on Sundays. Some members have been calling for an 18 hole comp on Sunday for years, here is your chance to play Sundays so please support it.

With seven players on 40 points yesterday I gather the grumblings about preferred lies being removed isn't such an issue and players are coping OK with the generous new rules in their favour that came into play on 01 Jan 19 as well. Remember if you drop a ball old style from the shoulder height it is not a legal drop and you can simply pick the ball up and redrop from knee height.

Please, Please, Please read the Local Rules/TLR board before you play. Preferred Lies are not in play at the moment, if you move your ball it is a one stroke penalty and you must replace it or take a 2 stroke penalty. The player is the only person responsible for a rules infraction, integrity is the name of our game. Everything is located in one central easy to read place now on the whiteboard we all walk past to play, please read it.

On preferred Lies, they will likely come and go dependent on the weather and state of the course. Its important you read the TLR each time you play to know if it is in or out but as a default option, it is now out.

Australia Day 26 Jan 3 Person Ambrose is proudly sponsored by Access Fire and one player will also be drawn to win a Minted Australia Day Medallion just for participating, sponsored by the Australia Day Council of the Northern Territory.

External TV leaderboard picture is all clear again, thank you John Silva and NT Retail Technology for troubleshooting the problem.

Want to meet new people? Go ahead and pick up someone else's golf ball. Whether you are a seasoned golfer or new to playing competitions, please don't pick up golf balls on the course anytime in competitions unless you are absolutely, positively guaranteed it can't possibly belong to anyone else.

We are in need of a couple more volunteers to spread the love and help cut the pins and set the tees on friday afternoons. Volunteers are rostered on in pairs and instruction is provided. If you are interested please contact Axel Mammino or drop an email to the club. Also if you have time to help mow please see Mark Walker or Michelle Trawinski.

Make sure you are playing from your correct tees. It is legitimate for Mens tees to be in front of Ladies and vice versa providing it complies with regulations for the rating of the hole, don't assume mens tees are behind/further back than the Ladies when using the same tee block every week.

Fantastic turnout this week for burglars, 65 players.

Thank you for the rules questions I received again this week, if you have any more please send them to the club email. I have provided responses below to the following questions:

Question 4/2019. Status of straw in Penalty Area on 8/17th?

Question 5/2019. Bare ground and divots?

Question 6/2019. Will the rough be cut shorter to help players meet the reduced search time allowed of 3 minutes?

Question 7/2019. The Green Ant Dance.

Match Committee Meeting 10 Jan 19. Major points.

Saturdays now Medley Competitions Only*. From next Sat the Ladies competition will be combined with the mens to make one Medley comp. Due to the declining number of Ladies playing the 18 hole competition it is not sustainable to continue with a separate Ladies comp and the Match Committee has decided to combine competitions for a trial period of 6 months.

*. Medal rounds, Honour board and Perpetual Trophy events are excluded and will continue as separate singles competitions.

Score adjusted medley singles competitions is not new and are used successfully and favourably in other clubs around Australia who have low ladies player numbers. Miclub software and Golf Australia guidelines cover such competitions. I have attached the applicable Golf Australia article (click here) for you to read but essentially the ladies will play their own tees and will score as per normal however when Ladies enter scorecards to miclub they will have an auto adjustment made to their score to reflect the difference of scratch and par, this becomes their competition score.

Based on the GA reference material the Ladies when playing on white tees will receive an extra one shot to their competition score. i.e if you score 36 pts then your adjusted score will become 37pts and if the red course is played the Ladies will receive an additional 3 shots and your adjusted score will be 39pts as the red course scratch is 72. The ladies will therefore have their handicap score (what you get now) and a competition score which will display on leaderboards and in results with a ^ symbol next to the players name.

What are the pros.

- Ladies will always have a competition to play.

- All grades will play for a prize purse of $40 win / $20 every week for singles medley competitions. Ladies only competitions (see * above) will have a prize purse of 10+ players $40/$20, 6-9 players $30/$10 and 2-5 players $20 win.

- No change to Ladies minor prizes i.e NTP etc remain each week.

- Club profits from competitions increase from approximately 51% to 69%.

Please be patient while we implement this as there may be teething problems but we are doing everything we can to cover all bases and make it as seemless as possible.

Play 9 Competition has been introduced to Sat comps and will start next Saturday 19 Jan 19 (hoping to expand to Sunday as well shortly). While we smooth the way to work this comp, please enter your name in the normal 18hole saturday Miclub booking sheet and send an email to the club that you are playing 9 only and the Match Committee will have a 9 hole comp card ready for you. If you are a walk up please register yourself for a card using the Miclub kiosk under the 9 hole comp.

$8 comp fee. Included in minor prizes as per 18 hole comp including Jackpot hole. Alternates between front and back 9 each week.

Sunday 18 hole comp has been introduced and will start next Sunday 20 Jan 19. Stableford format and guest day every Sunday but only for those with a handicap and playing in the comp. Please place your name in the booking sheet as per normal but you are not tied to that time. Players will print their own cards, Walk ups please register and print a card on arrival. Comp players have no priority over social players so your tee time will fit in around green fee players also.

$10 comp fee.

Prize Policy. NTP prizes have been reduced to 2 balls. Long Drives remain 1 ball.

Minor Prizes. Players now have two bites of the cherry for NTP 2/11, 5/14 Jackpot hole, FLTPATH Pros Approach 6/15, Club Pros Approach 7/16.

Ball Collection Policy. Ball exchange for $10 club voucher will be reintroduced shortly. Ball exchange rate is being worked out still.

LOCAL RULES wef 01 JAN 19 click here

TEMPORARY LOCAL RULES wef 01 JAN 19 click here

Au Revoir Gophers,

John Humphreys

Interim Captain
National (Level 3) Referee
Golf Australia

Winners are Grinners. 2018 Mens Top End External Match Play Champions

Congratulations to Darwin RAAF Golf Red team who won the 2018 Top End External Pennants and they finally were able to gather most of the team together with for a team photo now they have received the correct banner.
RDGC Pennants Red and Blue teams were proudly Sponsored by NT RETAIL TECHNOLOGY and SKYLINE PRECAST.
L to R
Axel Mammino, Scott Thomson, Dennis Mullavey, Brad Thomson, Roy Harrison, Kieran Bush.
Absent were Paul Ruhl, Matt DeClouett, Gowan Bush

P.S Either Scott has shrunk or is Axel trying to stand up on his toes?

Match Committee Results


MENS - 12 Jan 19

Graded Field Report

Presentation Prize Report

Handicap Changes

LADIES - 12 Jan 19

Graded Field Report

Presentation Prize Report Handicap Changes

2019 Match Committee Calendar (click club logo) & Weekly Competitions.

Tuesday. Vets (9 holes) 2pm - 4.30pm tee off.

Thursday. Burglars (9 hole Chook run) 2pm - 4.30pm tee off.

Saturday. Stableford (9 or 18 holes). AM and PM Fields.

Sunday. Stableford (9 or 18 holes). All day.

Sunday. PGA (9 hole stableford) 8.30am start.

Through the Green

No news this week.

Mark walker

Volunteer News

Thank you to the volunteers who worked on the course this week.

Reminder that it is a condition of ongoing Honorary membership that you contribute to the club. Volunteering at working bees is a great way to contribute, meet other members as well as assist in completing much needed maintenance for the club, without which our club cannot survive.

NT Retail Techology Order Of Merit

Click here for OOM Leaderboards

When webpage opens, login to your Miclub profile then select Mens or Ladies from the OOM dropdown menu at top of page.

Eclectic Leaderboards

Click here for Mens Eclectic Leaderboard.

Click here for Ladies Eclectic Leaderboard.


Come and enjoy a Thursday afternoon at the Burglars "Chook Run"!!. Burglars is a fun 9 hole Stableford comp playing either the Front or Back 9 course (alternating each week). Players scoring 18pts or above win a chook and if you are no good at golf - you could win one in the raffle!!

$7 entry fee includes the comp, NTP prizes and the raffle. Full bar facilities available. Tee off between 2pm and 4.30pm every Thursday - no booking required. (Also open to non-members or people without handicaps). See Dave Price or Billy Elliot for more details.

View Burglar Results


Come and enjoy a Tuesday afternoon at the Vets "Bunnings and Back" comp. Vets is a 9 hole Stableford comp for over 50's golfers using a composite tee format. (i.e. the shortest route around the course). $5 entry fee allows for chance to win a sleeve of balls and NTP prize with after comp snacks provided. Bar facilities available. Tee off between 2pm and 4pm every Tuesday. No booking required. See Dom Tartaglia or Pete Southon for more details

$7 entry fee includes the comp, NTP prizes and the entry in the raffle. Full bar facilities available. Tee off between 2pm and 4.30pm every Thursday - no booking required. (Also open to non-members or people without handicaps). See Dave (Bargain) Price or Billy Elliot for more details.



If you think you play better golf with a hangover - then PGA may be for you! Every Sunday morning they play a relaxed 9 hole stableford comp. $5 entry, but be prepared for the round table "Fines Session" after the game. Good fun and banter is assured especially after a few mandatory drinks. Members, non-members and non-handicapped players are welcome. 8am for 8.30am tee off. No booking required. See Stuart (Uncle) McPherson for details.

Got a Rules Question

If you have any general rules questions or specific scenarios that have happened to you or your playing partners when playing please send them to me using the club email address, and I will do my best to answer them here for everyone to read and learn. I will answer anonymously using Jack for the Men and Jill for the Ladies. If you can take a photo at the time or recreate the scene for a photo so I have as much information as possible would be even better.

Question 4/2019. Status of straw in Penalty Area 8/17th?

Question. Hi John, what is the status of the straw bales in the penalty area of the 8/17th hole?

Answer. Hi Jack and thank you for your question. If the straw is 'baled' with string I would consider them to be movable obstructions. However, I looked over the area this week and most bales were already in pieces and the few that still had string around them were in different stages of breaking apart. So to remove any confusion the string around the remaining bales has been cut off and any/all straw in the penalty area are now individual loose impediments. Straw/mulch that is in any penalty area should not give a player an advantage for a poor shot.

Therefore, as loose impediments you are not entitled to free relief. Your options therefore are to either play the ball as it lies, remove loose impediments as per Rule 15.1 or proceed under penalty for Rule 17.1 (Options for a ball in a penalty area).

If your ball moves while removing any straw pieces, you incur a penalty and you must replace the ball, if you fail to replace the ball you incur a 2 stroke penalty. If your ball moves but you then change your mind deciding you are unable to play your ball from where it now lies you can then proceed under the Penalty Area rule. However, you still incur the penalty stroke for causing your ball to move in addition to Rule 17 penalty for relief.

Question 5/2019. Bare ground and divots? Question. Hi John, when is ground considered 'bare' and are divots included?

Answer. Dear Jill, Bare ground is when there is no grass under the ball at rest. If your ball is sitting on 'bare ground' on the fairway in play only you are entitled to free relief as per our Local Rule 4b. Players have been seen taking relief for a ball at rest on the bare ground in between the fairway and hazard that runs across 4/13th hole. That area is not fairway and you must play the ball as it lies unless you have interference from embedded rock/rocky outcrops as per Local Rules and that relief will probably still require a drop on the bare ground in the rough.

Re divots, no they are not considered bare ground and you must play the ball as it lies if it comes to rest in the divot, sand filled or not.

Note. FYI, a common complaint/question from golfers worldwide is why don't we get free relief from divots. The reason free relief from divots has not been included in the rule changes is because the R&A and USGA can't come up with an answer of when a divot stops being a divot.

Question 6/2019. Will the rough be cut shorter to help players meet the reduced search time allowed of 3 minutes?

Question. With the reduced search time now 3 minute is it assumed that the rough will be mowed a little shorter to help speed up ball finding? Regards Jack.

Answer. Hi Jack, A big factor for our course is the large amount of exposed tree roots that run through the rough, this alone limits the mower height to 3" or we would be causing damage to the mowers on a regular basis.

Therefore, our rough is cut to 3" all year round which is pretty generous I think and won't be changing with the new rule bearing in mind it can be a two or three week cycle sometimes to get all the rough mown. However, in a few areas of thick rough during the wet season we will be trialling a 2" first cut of rough (one mower width) to try and pull up some of those running balls before they get into deeper rough.

P.S. Rough height is set by a clubs Match Committee and not something that has been mentioned as a consideration re 3 min search time in any R&A rules training seminars I attended or have read.

Question 7/2019. The Green Ant Dance

Question. While playing a round a few weeks back, my ball landed in a nest of green ants. At the time I did not see the ants and prepared to punch the ball back onto the fairway. However as soon as I entered the area I was attacked by scores of ants and was not able to continue with my stroke. The ants were spread over a vast distance of shrubbery, grass, twigs etc. A club length relief was not possible in this situation. What is the ruling for this situation ?

Answer. Hi Jack. We all know that you haven't played golf in the Top End unless you have done the green ant dance. But back to your question and please read the rest of my answer before anyone objects to what I'm about to say. Bottom line is that green ants may be uncomfortable but they are not considered a dangerous animal under the rules of golf.

Rule 16.2 states, A 'dangerous animal condition' exists when a dangerous animal (such as poisonous snakes, stinging bees, alligators, fire ants or bears) near a ball could cause serious physical injury to the player if he or she had to play the ball as it lies.

The key words in the rule are "could cause serious physical injury" which green ants do not and I have never had a player tell me they are allergic to green ants (and I have asked plenty during green ant rulings at NT amateur and NT PGA events). Having said all that it isn't a black and white ruling either, e.g if a players head or body was going to be disturbing a green ant nest when taking their stance then I would almost certainly grant relief under Rule 20.3 being Situations not covered by the rules which allows committees/referees to 'consider the circumstances' and 'treat the situation in a way that is reasonable, fair and consistent with how similar situations are treated under the Rules'.

So Jack, if the ants were in such a swarm that you could not stand to take your shot because of the immense number of bites you believe you would receive, the answer is Yes I would agree to you taking free relief, not because they are dangerous but under Rule 20.3 (see not below) I don't think it would be 'reasonable or fair' for a person to endure that many bites and take a 'normal' stance to play the shot. You mention that "a club length was not possible" but I think you have misunderstood the relief process. The one club length starts from your nearest point of relief i.e where your ball and stance are no longer in the swarm, no nearer the hole. You may well still be in an area where there are fewer green ants though.

I know some clubs/players allow/take free relief from every green ant they find but I assure you that is not correct. The majority of green ant 'interactions' on Top End golf courses are play it as it lies and you put up with the discomfort of the odd bite or two or take an unplayable under penalty.

P.S Green ants are considered loose impediments and if they are on your ball you cannot delay play until they move off.

NOTE. Rulings under 20.3 are a committee decision and in this case where a referee is not available on course Jack should play 2 balls, the first being his preferred option under free relief and a second ball as an unplayable to ensure one of those scores will count and you won't be dissapointed with a 2 stroke penalty for playing from a wrong place if the committee disagree with your free relief.

Pace of play:

• Keep up with the group in front - if you lose sight of them, increase your pace of play;
• Keep an eye on the group behind - if they are always waiting, increase your pace of play;
• Check the score card for the estimated tee time for each hole to see if you are on time or not;
• Limit practice swings and time taken for each shot. (none of us are on the PGA circuit!!)
• Watch where your ball goes and pick a landmark to help locate it;
• Ask someone else to watch your shot if you are unsure where it may go;
• Play a provisional ball if you are AT ALL unsure if you will locate the ball;
• Look for and find a ball within 5 minutes - no more!
• Start walking towards your ball once you have hit it (if prudent to do so);
• Move to next tee block once you have holed out - don't wait for all other players to hole out;
• Tee off before marking score card;
• Walk purposefully.
• If you are having major difficulties, let the group behind play through.


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