October 27, 2000
The Delaware State Golf Association (DSGA) announced recently that they will soon begin installation of a major upgrade in the computer software and hardware that supports the Delaware Handicap Program (DHP). The new changes affect all golfers in the Cape Region who post their scores at local golf courses.
Reporting scores under the Handicap Program is necessary to establish and maintain official USGA handicaps for competitive golf, whether in tournament play or just a match among friends. In connection with the DSGA’s vendor, Golfnet, Inc., the organization currently provides the service to more than 13,000 golfers at 32 clubs throughout the state.
“The official season for posting scores in Delaware ends on October 31,” explained Curt Riley, executive director of the DSGA. “We plan to begin delivery and installation of the new computers and software as soon as the season ends, so that we can have them in place for the start of the new season in April 2001.”
Posting scores is not permitted for Delaware courses from November through March, because the occasionally iffy weather can affect scores a bit too much. Any golfer who has ever hit a thin 3-iron during a snow flurry will agree.
Riley noted that the software package now in use by Cape Region and other clubs in the DHP is a DOS-based system. “It was pretty old and needed updating. The new system is Windows-based, and takes advantage of the capabilities of Windows,” Riley said.
For example, the new system includes improved graphics, an on-screen “print review” for reports generated from the scoring database, and several new features for the club professionals to improve the tournament management system.
One major improvement helps the traveling golfer. The DHP includes an on-line data communication package, and the new system expands the ability to verify handicaps on-line, without making a visit to the golf club. Club professionals and members will be able to use the Internet to confirm players’ handicaps, instead of playing phone tag.
In addition, the improvements include the expansion of club-to-club networking. All DHP clubs are required to implement the networking system by the end of 2001. The DSGA notice says this means golfers will be able to post their scores at any club they play throughout the country, and have those scores sent back to their own club. The DSGA also expects to implement a “multi-member” capability for score reporting, for those golfers who belong to more than one club.
Several DSGA member clubs subscribe to the organization’s “full computer” plan. Their annual assessment includes the cost of the computer hardware kept at the facility. For these clubs, the new system improvements include replacing and updating the hardware to handle the new system. The extent of the upgrade depends on how many golfers maintain their handicap records at the particular club.
Jim Kealey, the club professional at Shawnee Country Club, is among those looking forward to the new system. “Right now I can’t retrieve the data that tells my golfers and me which holes give them the most trouble. The new improvements will let me recover that information, and that will help with the golf lessons,” Kealey said.
Naturally, all these improvements have a price tag. The current per-golfer charge to the member clubs will increase by $3.50. Riley pointed out, however, that the annual fee for the DHP has not changed since 1990. In addition, junior golfers under 18 years of age receive their handicaps at no charge.
To contact the DSGA about the DHP or its other programs, call them at (302) 234-3365.