Golf committee shoots down use of Stableford scoring — for now

(Bethany Brookens/CHSAANow.com)

(Bethany Brookens/CHSAANow.com)

AURORA — Girls golf won't be using a Modified Stableford Scoring system, at least not in 2015.

CHSAA's golf committee on Tuesday decided not to pursue the system for the coming spring season. It means that the change, seen by some as a way to create a better experience for all girls' players and speed up pace of play, won't be mandated.

However, CHSAA is still recommending that tournaments use the system on their own discretion during the regular season in order to gather data. That data would be used with an eye on looking at making the change in 2016.

"We'll keep exploring it," said CHSAA associate commissioner Tom Robinson, who administers golf.

The idea was first introduced this summer. In essence, a 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. It also means golfers pick up after reaching the stroke limit on a hole, which has great potential to speed up pace of play.

If a golfer picks up their ball on a hole under the traditional system, they are disqualified from the tournament. In Colorado, that's not an uncommon occurrence.

A Modified Stableford system simply tweaks the points awarded. Utah currently uses a modified system.

A CHSAA survey asked 82 school administrators and girls golf coaches if they would be in favor of using a Modified Stableford system at regular season tournaments in 2015. The result was a dead split — 41 for, 41 against.

Research conducted in advance of the golf committee meeting showing that a Modified Stableford system would have no effect on the top-10 finishers at the 5A and 4A state tournaments from last season, as well as all regional events. However, a major hangup for the committee was concern over how the use of a Stableford system would affect the college recruitment of golfers.

Robinson plans on gathering data from Utah to see how (or if) recruitment of girls golfers has changed since the installation of their modified scoring system.

Elsewhere, the committee did mandate the use of the iWanamaker system to track scores during all regular season events. With all data in once place, that could lead to a type of handicapping system for regionals and state qualification down the road. Arizona does something similar.

The committee also briefly discussed discontinuing the use of private courses for state championship events, but ultimately decided to stick with them as private courses can offer a type of prestige that other sports enjoy with their championships at professional venues — for instance, the soccer championships at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.