Notebook: Girls golf mulling use of Stableford scoring

Girls golf

(Pam Wagner)

AURORA -- Girls golf may be in for a revolutionary change. The idea of introducing a Modified Stableford Scoring system is being kicked around.

Now, the idea hasn't even been presented to the girls golf committee yet -- they meet Oct. 7 -- and it would also have to clear the Legislative Council in order to be integrated into the sport. But there is gathering evidence to suggest the Stableford system would create a better experience for all players, and also speed up the pace of play.

The Stableford system awards points for strokes in relation to par on a hole-by-hole basis, as opposed to the traditional method of simply counting strokes.

For example, in the unmodified version, a par is worth two points, a birdie is worth three, an eagle is four, and so on. The inverse is true, as well, meaning a bogey is worth one point, and a double-bogey is worth zero. Those points are then added at the end of a round, and the player with the highest total wins the tournament.

The major advantage here is that once a player reaches the stroke limit which awards no points -- in the example above, that would be two-over-par -- they simply pick up their ball and move on to the next hole. There would be no more 17s on a par-5.

Currently, some girls golf tournaments can last as long as six hours. With golfers having the ability to pick up after a certain number of strokes, the Stableford method could drastically speed things up.

The Stableford system also helps those just learning the game. For example, if a girl were to record a 4 for a hole on her scorecard when she actually made a 5, she would simply not get the Stableford points that hole. Normally, she would be disqualified from her entire round or tournament.

5A girls golf state tournament Raccoon Creek

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

Additionally, the system means every golfer is viable late in the tournament as a potential impact on the team score -- and, more importantly, there would be no more disqualifications at regionals. (Currently, CHSAA allows coaches to decide to pull players from regionals if they are at or near double-par after nine holes.)

Colorado would not be the first state to use a Modified Stableford System. Utah's girls have been using it for a number of years now, and their rounds average about 4 to 4 1/2 hours.

Utah's system awards five points for par, meaning a golfer is awarded zero points at 5-over-par and therefore picks up their ball at that point. That also puts a birdie at six points, an eagle at seven, and a double eagle at eight. A bogie is worth four points, a double-bogie is three, a triple-bogie is two and a quadruple-bogie is one.

Using Utah's version of a modified system, CHSAA staff did a comparison of stroke play to Stableford scoring from the 5A and 4A state tournaments, as well as all regional events. Initial research showed that the Stableford system, while likely a more advantageous system for the general player, would not impact the top golfers.

At the state level, the order of the top 10 individuals remained the same in both classifications, even down to those who tied. The team state champions did not change, either.

At the regional level, the champions and top-10 remained the same.

Utah's scoring method will be the basis of the conversation when the Stableford system is brought up in the committee meeting. Colorado could input its own system -- say, picking up at 4-over-par -- but that's the type of detail the committee would hammer out if it chose to go the Stableford route.

This change is only being talked about for the girls' game, where it would have the greatest impact. If the committee moved a Modified Stableford System through, the next step would be the Jan. 29 Legislative Council meeting. Conceivably, if passed there, that would be enough time to install it prior to the 2015 girls season.

Ultimately, the girls golf committee is seeking ways to speed up its tournaments. Another option is to cut rounds down to nine holes, which would allow for afternoon events where students don't miss school time.

Short stuff

  • We released the rest of our all-state teams last week. Find every team from the 2013-14 season on our All-State homepage.
  • Kyle Freeland signed with the Rockies last week. The Thomas Jefferson graduate who was drafted No. 8 overall earlier this month, inked a $2.3 million signing bonus, according to MLB.com. He'll begin his professional career in Grand Junction, the Rockies' rookie affiliate. Their season starts Monday night.
  • Regis Jesuit shortstop Max George also signed a professional contract with the Rockies, forgoing a commitment to Oregon State. According to BaseballAmerica.com, he signed for $620,000. George will start in Grand Junction, as well.
  • Wheat Ridge girls lacrosse's Gianna Ossello, a first-team all-state pick, was the lone Colorado player picked to the Under Armour All-American games. The midfielder, who is headed to Duke, will play on the South Team. She'll play in the game on July 12 in Baltimore.
  • Chaparral's Colton McCaffrey was the 5A boys lacrosse player of the year, and is also an All-American. He played in the Adrenaline All-American Game on June 7 -- along with Cherry Creek's Matt Goettelman, Wheat Ridge's Jensen Makarov, Mullen's Nick Phillips and Arapahoe's Nick Runberg. McCaffrey, bound for DU, had two goals.
  • Loveland swimmer Brooke Hansen committed to Texas last week, according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald. She is a two-time state champion, winning the 100 breaststroke as a sophomore, then the 200 individual medley this past winter. Hansen will be a senior this fall.
  • Mountain Vista baseball's Jack Strunc, a shortstop, announced on Twitter that he committed to Washington State. Strunc is an outgoing senior. He'll join teammate Nick Leonard in Pullman.
  • Greg Maestas, the only wrestling coach Grandview has even known, retired earlier this month. He was at the school for 16 years, and spent 38 coaching in the sport. "He has left a legacy that will be missed," athletic director Jamee Ulitzky said in a statement. "Words cannot express our appreciation for all of his work and commitment to the sport." Said Maestas, to the Aurora Sentinel: "It’s time. I enjoyed it, I had some great kids, great parents and good administrators."
  • Ashour Peera has left Gateway's football program to become the coach at East Ridge in Florida, according to the Sentinel. He spent one season as the Olympians' coach, and went 6-4. East Ridge is a 7A school in Florida, meaning Peera will return to the state where he coached prior to moving to Colorado. Here's our updated list of football coaching changes this offseason.
  • Bear Creek has hired David Berghoefer as its boys basketball coach.
  • The state softball tournaments will stay at the Aurora Sports Complex this fall.
  • Florida is mandating the use of helmets in girls lacrosse. The new rule will be effective in 2015.
  • Poudre School District hired Ron Alexander as district athletic director, according to the Fort Collins Coloradoan.
  • Former Grand Junction defensive end Austin Berk has left the Colorado State football program after his freshman season. He told the Fort Collins Coloradoan that he needs "some time to get my body back to 100 percent." Berk has had problems with his hip.