Doughtie Sr. on Golf (January 2015)

Happy New year to all our readers

Now that we have entered the new year,we can look back on a memorable 2014,where we were blessed with a long ,dry summer.

The year marked the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1 and a few months later the incorporation of the Nederlandse Golf Comite,which would later become the NGF as we know it today.The original 4 members founded the Federation on March 16th just 4 months before the commencement of hostilities in Europe,making it one of the oldest Golf Federations in the world.

From its early years,it has developed,through the boom years in thec 80's and 90's, into an organisation, representing about 230 clubs ,comprising about 160,000 members out of a total of close to 350,000 golfers in The Netherlands.Perhaps,one of its greatest achievements has been the introduction of a national matchplay competition known simply by "de Competitie".It was established in 1929 and has grown into what we enjoy today,unparalled anywhere else in the golfing world.In 2015,2554 teams made up of over 15,000 players will compete over a 5/6 week period at various levels.

For some competitors it is the only opportunity,outside of Club Championships,to play matchplay,the oldest form of competitive golf.In an effort to accomdate more players and club wishes,changes have been introduced for 2015.

The NGF has also spent a great deal of time on developing youth and some of the rewards can be seen in the successes of Joost Luiten in recent years.We hope Maarten Bosch and Dylan Boshart who have joined the Professional Tour,will achieve similar recognition and we wish both of them all the best in their efforts.

On the 18th September,the day that Scottish voters elected to remain part of the UK,the members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews decided,overwhelmingly, to accept Lady Members.......a historic step in their 260 years existence....and the foundations of the famous clubhouse are still intact.

The introduction of the standard 18 holes was remembered on the 25th October.It was 250 years ago that the Old Course at St Andrews was reduced from 22 holes.The length of some of the holes,which were mainly with double greens, were considered to be too short.By removing 2 putting surfaces(4 holes) the famous course became 9 holes out and 9 back.There is little truth in the popular, local rumour ,which suggests the reason was to allow the Gentelmen golfers and their caddies to get back to the bar sooner.......although ,I suspect it played a role in the process.

In the paid ranks Rory McIlroy won 2 Majors rocketing him to the World Nr 1 spot .He also played a key role in Europe's convincing Ryder Cup triumph at Gleneagles in September.Joost Luiten crept up to 28th in the World Rankings.

What will 2015 bring us.Will Rory complete his Grand Slam with a Green Jacket at Augusta in April.Who will get his name on the Open's Claret Jug at St Andrews and carve his name forever in history at the worlds greatest tornament at it's histoic headquarters. Will Tiger Woods make a succesful comeback ,and add to his total of 14 Majors.Time will tell......

I hope all of you will have an enjoyable and succesful season


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