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10 Reasons | To Get A Handicap

In 2020, we moved from the USGA Handicap System to the World Handicap System. Now, everyone in the world is using the same Handicap System. We’ve outlined a few reasons why you should be keeping a handicap about your local club or Eclub.

1. Allows you to compete fairly in a number of different formats

Whether you are playing match play or stroke play, Stableford or Four-Ball, your Handicap Index allows players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis. Read Appendix C of the Handicap Manual for recommended Handicap Allowances for various formats of play.

2. Tracks your progress and reflects your potential

Your handicap will display your past scores and your index will reflect what your potential could be. Each time you play and post a score, you will receive a Handicap Index Revision the next day. You can also keep your hole-by-hole stats in the USGA GHIN Mobile App.

3. Easy Score Posting

Your GHIN membership through Central Links Golf allows you to post scores on ghin.com, the GHIN Mobile App, and access to any score posting kiosk. Be sure to play and post on the same day in order for the Playing Conditions Calculation to accurately be applied, if applicable. Posting on the same day also ensures that your Handicap Index is accurate for the next day of play.

4. Tournament competition for men, women, and juniors

Your Handicap Index allows you to play in Central Links Golf tournaments and access to USGA Championships. Our tournaments are open to golfers of all ages and abilities, there is something for everyone!

5. Discounts on travel, concert tickets, sports tickets, and more*

Your GHIN membership allows you to use  Affinity Travel Benefits, where you can save up to 70% on travel and entertainment for any time of year.

6. Stay Up to Date

You will receive a GHIN Newsletter in your inbox on the 1st and the 15th of every month. This newsletter focuses on golf-related news, Rules of Golf & Handicapping Education, upcoming events, and past results.

7. Hole in One Recognition

When your golf course submits your Hole-in-One, you will receive a Hole-in-One certificate and mention in the GHIN newsletter.

8. Opportunity to be chosen for regional team events

Players who compete in Central Links Golf Tournaments can be chosen to play for a regional competition team. A few of our regional competitions include 4-State, Kansas/Nebraska Cup, Fore State, Mid America Cup, and more.

9. “What’s your handicap index?”

Once people find out you play golf, they’re sure to ask you this question, and now you’ll have an answer.

10. Motivates you to improve    

Because an index will track your progress, you will be motivated to continue improving. We give our yearly awards to the Most Improved Golfer in our region, maybe this year it could be you!

What would you add to this list?

*May take up to 14 business days after joining for Affinity Travel Benefits to activate

Member Benefit: | Club Champion

Golfers of All Skill Levels See Improvement with Custom Fitting

Club Champion fitters create instant success

With advances in golf club technology, most golfers could easily hit the ball farther and more accurately. Yet golfers of all skill levels still struggle with distance, consistency and other elements of the game that could be tightened up with a custom club fitting like the ones offered at Club Champion.

A Golf Digest study found that eight out of nine custom fit golfers lowered their score by as much as six strokes per round and added up to 21 yards off the tee after a Club Champion fitting. Even more impressive, higher handicap golfers saw the most improvement, dispelling the idea that only scratch golfers are “good enough” to be fitted.

“It never ceases to amaze me that golfers buy clubs off the shelf and assume they’re right for them. Whether you’re a great golfer or a casual one, getting a custom club fitting is one of the quickest ways to improve your game,” says world-renowned instructor and Club Champion brand ambassador David Leadbetter.

The nation’s #1 premium fitter, Club Champion delivers a Tour-quality fitting that produces longer, more accurate shots, with a nearly 100% satisfaction rate. Their approach is unbiased; no specific vendor is promoted. The only goal is to find the best combination of components to lower your scores.

The company has a unique coupling system that allows them to combine any head and shaft together, so golfers hit the precise combination to be custom built for them. Club Champion is the only fitter to offer 45,000+ interchangeable head and shaft combinations on-site at all of their national locations. The equipment available for demo is far more expansive than what’s offered at competitive companies, and the variety allows the master fitter to find exactly the right combination to complement a golfer’s swing. Those golfers don’t have to wait to test the suggested clubs – they get to hit the exact club that will be custom built for them.

“The proof is in the results,” says Florida resident Dave Greer. “The fitting process was amazing. The fitter first identified the proper shaft and then found the right head. With each combination, I was able to see the improved results statistically laid out on screen. I picked up 10-20 yards in distance. It’s worth every penny spent just to see the looks on your playing partners’ faces when they see the results of your changes.” Club Champion stores nationwide are offering a FREE fitting for a limited time: fitting costs are waived with an equipment purchase of $500 or more. Terms apply; please call (888) 340-7820 or visit clubchampiongolf.com for more information.

Meet the Interns

Nelson Searcy

Nelson is one of two long-term interns for Central Links. Originally from Lee’s Summit, MO, Nelson graduated from Rockhurst University this spring.

Nelson was a member of the Rockhurst men’s golf team and very active in the golf community. According to Nelson, his favorite golf course is Pebble Beach.

His dream job is becoming an Executive Director or President of a state golf association or working for the USGA. Golf has impacted him by providing him many life lessons and opportunities that have helped him become a better person in every way. He credits the First Tee program and playing with his grandfather for his interest in the game at an early age.


Ryan Matzke

Ryan is our second long-term intern for 2020. Originally from Silver Lake, KS, Ryan graduated from the University of Kansas.

Ryan is currently in the National Guard and his dream job is a commercial airline pilot.

He found his love for golf while playing high school golf. Ever since then, he has used golf as his favorite hobby. This intern opportunity allows him to dive deeper into golf administration. His favorite golf course is Spring Creek in Seneca, KS.


Dorothy Keenan

Dorothy is a summer intern and recently graduated from Rockhurst University this spring. Originally from Larned, KS, Dorothy will actually head to Texas A&M in the fall for a Masters in Sport Management.

Dorothy was a part of the Rockhurst women’s golf team and didn’t realize how important golf was to her until she couldn’t play anymore this spring with her team. She has made so many connections through the game and am so thankful for all the places golf has taken her.

Her favorite golf course is St. Andrew’s and her dream job is a marketing and community relations coordinator.


Max Roberts

Max is a summer intern that is currently attending the University of Kansas. Originally from Overland Park, KS, Max is scheduled to graduate in 2021.

Golf has impacted him by teaching life lessons than any other sport. It has taught him patience and practice are essential to achieve a goal. It has also connected him to many people and started friendships.

Max’s favorite golf course is Brookridge Golf & Fitness and his dream job is to be the General Manager of the Kansas City Chiefs.


Lauren Sieh

Lauren is another summer intern and is currently attending Southwestern College in Winfield, KS. She is a member of the women’s golf team.

Originally from Coweta, Oklahoma, Lauren found herself in Kansas for college. Her favorite golf course is Battle Creek GC in Broken Arrow, OK. Her dream job is to be a travel journalist.

Golf has opened up a lot of opportunities for Lauren and has given her life-long friends. It has also taught her that you can succeed with a little hard work.


Braydun Unruh

Braydun is our fourth summer intern and has a lot of family ties to our junior program in Kansas City. His two younger brothers, Keenan and Colby, have been long-time members of the KC Junior Tour.

Braydun is currently attending Calvary University and grew up in Overland Park, KS. His favorite golf course is Shadow Glen Golf Club.

Golf has been a great way to spend time with the people he loves, including his brothers and Grandfather. It has also taught him patience and perserverance. Braydon’s dream job is to be an equipment manager for the Kansas City Chiefs.

COVID-19 Update 05.07

Update on Suspension of Competitions – May 7th, 2020

At this time, the leadership of Central Links Golf has decided to extend the suspension of events through May 31st.

The following events are affected by the change:

  • Senior Series at Sand Creek Station – May 20
  • Senior Series at Salina Country Club – May 21
  • Stateline Tour at Lionsgate – May 26

While the state of Kansas has begun the process of reopening and golf courses have continued to operate, we did not feel that it was appropriate to host these events in May. The health of our players, volunteers, staff, host facility staffs and host communities is our top priority.

We fully intend to resume competition on June 1st and will take all necessary precautions to ensure safety.

We will release another update by Friday, May 22nd.

In the meantime, we encourage you to get out and enjoy the game safely. Your local golf course and golf shops need your support through this time.

Thank you,

Doug Habel
Executive Director
Central Links Golf

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To see our previous statement, click here.

To view PDF version of this release, click here.

18 Eagles | on 18 Holes

Ron Brewer, a member at Wolf Creek Golf Links in Olathe, has accomplished some cool feats over his time playing golf. Ron is 74 years old and has been playing golf for 55 years – some career highlights of his golfing journey are playing in the 1997 US Senior Open as an amateur (and he made the cut!), being a two-time Heart of America Four-Ball Champion, and a one-time Kansas City Amateur Champion.  

However, Ron’s most recent accomplishment is arguably the most impressive: With Ron’s recent ace on the 2nd hole at Wolf Creek Golf Links, he has now eagled all 18 holes at Wolf Creek in his lifetime. You read that right – every single hole. That means 4 different aces, 4 eagled par 5’s, and many amazing hole outs for 2 on par 4’s. 

Ron’s journey at Wolf Creek Golf Links began in 1982, with his first eagle coming at the 7th hole (a par 5). His first hole in one at Wolf Creek was at the 5th hole in 1985 – “The 5th hole has been very good to me over the years. I’ve made 4 (aces) on that hole”, Ron said.

His most memorable “eagle” was when he made back to back eagles on holes 6 & 7 (where he made a 2 followed by a 3 – a nice scorecard view!).

Throughout Ron’s lifetime, he has made 10 hole-in-ones. Many of us search for just one ace in our lifetime, but Ron puts that he has been “very lucky and blessed” to not only make aces and eagles but to just enjoy the experiences that golf has given him over the years.

When asked if he has any specific new goals for himself now that he has completed his “18 Eagle” goal, Ron replied, “At 74 years old, I’m just trying to not get worse.”  

Seeing as Ron keeps making eagles, it sounds like he is only getting better. 

 
Story written by Nelson Searcy 

Support Youth on Course on #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of generosity and unity, a day to come together and give back in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19, no matter who or where we are.

GivingTuesday will start on Tuesday, May 5th to bring together the community and inspire millions of people worldwide to volunteer, perform acts of kindness, and donate their voices, time, money and goods. On the last GivingTuesday, December 3, 2019, the global giving day generated $2 billion on giving, just in the United States.

This campaign is taking place from its regular scheduled annual event on December 3rd as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

Central Links Golf urges golf lovers and supporters to take this opportunity to give to our local golf programs such as Youth on Course – a great junior golf program designed to allow kids to play at participating golf courses for $5.

You can support Youth on Course in Kansas City by donating to the Golf Foundation of KC here. You can also donate via check.

During a time where everyone is affected and experiencing effects from this global pandemic, we can use this opportunity to remain connected through generosity.

For more information on the #GivingTuesday campaign, please see here.

Virgil Parker | Award Announced

Brian Boston, of Hutchinson, KS, a past board member of the Kansas Golf Association who has volunteered as a rules official for more than 30 years, has been chosen as a recipient of the Virgil Parker Award. 

A longtime North Central Section Chairman for the Kansas Junior Golf Association, Boston also served on the Kansas Golf Association Board of Directors representing Prairie Dunes Country Club from 2005 to 2010.

Boston was a member of the USGA Public Links Championship Committee from 2008 to 2010. 

Created in 1997, the Virgil Parker Award is given at the discretion of the Executive Committee to those individuals that have made an impact on golf and golfers in Kansas through significant volunteer efforts.  The award is named after a man that was a volunteer leader of the Kansas Golf Association even during a successful amateur golfer career in the Wichita area.  Virgil Parker was an expert of the Rules of Golf, a president of the Kansas Golf Association, and a member of the Kansas Golf Hall of Fame.

“Brian’s longtime support and promotion of junior golf in the central part of the state for over 30 years and support of amateur golf in the Sunflower State is the personification of what the Virgil Parker Award stands for,” said Casey Old, Director of Rules & Competitions-Kansas.  “We are proud to recognize his countless days of service and giving back to the game that we all love.”

Past Recipients

Merle Reynoldson, Junction City
Gary Conover, Wichita
Bill Knox, Salina
Lew Golden, Topeka
Jerry Goforth, Lawrence
Larry Barrett, Colby
Scott Brooks, Wichita
Jack Simpson, Wichita
Bill Conrey, McPherson
Brian Boston, Hutchinson 

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2020

Kuehn | Notches Milestone #150

The first time, when he was 66 years-old, he carded a 65 in a tournament at The Cardinal Club in Louisville, KY. An old friend told him then to “write this down when you get home. Keep a record of these,” referring to times when you shoot your age or better.

It was good advice.

On April 28, at the age of 73, multiple-time KGA and KCGA champion, Don Kuehn accomplished the feat for the 150th time with a score of 71 on the Posse course at Paradise Pointe (Smithville, MO).

Along the way there have been course-record tying rounds, come-from-behind victories and a couple of holes-in-one to add to the list.

Asked if any of these scores stood out above others, Kuehn recalled the 2018 Railer at Sand Creek Station (Newton, KS) when he had rounds of 66, 69 and 71 to win by a record 14 strokes over the field of younger seniors; and last year’s Sunnehanna Senior Invitational (Johnstown, PA) where rounds of 68, 69 and 70 were good for an 8 shot victory.

“But there were others that meant an awful lot at the time, too,” Kuehn said. “I tied the course record twice at the Outlaw at Paradise Pointe with rounds of 64. And I have had some low ones at the Senior Porter Cup (Niagara Falls, NY) and the Geranium Senior Invitational (Stockbridge, GA).”

Whether it’s a local tournament, a national event or a casual round with the guys, Kuehn says “it’s always a goal when it looks possible, to finish a round strong and not kick away the chance to write another good one down on the list.”

Asked if it gets harder to shoot your age as the years add up, Kuehn quipped “Every November (his birthday) it gets one shot easier!”

The Walking Golfer’s Guide to Golf Gear

Recently, there has been a significant increase in the number of golfers choosing to walk over riding in a cart. We’ve been a big fan of this trend for years, as walking is said to be good for heart health and weight loss, among several other health benefits. As a staff, we put together a list of our favorite golf products for walking the course.

Get a push cart.

The stigma for golfers who use a push cart isn’t what it used to be. After Dr. Neil Wolkodoff, medical director of the Colorado Center for Health and Sports Science conducted a study on the physical benefits of using a push cart, golfers began seeing push carts as a competitive advantage. He is quoted in this Golf Digest article saying “people who push a cart have a lot fewer [health] issues, and a lot less potential for issues. The golf swing is tough on the back no matter how you look at it. If you can use a push cart and keep one more stress away from the back that’s a great thing.” As for what type of push cart to get, we recommend Clicgear. Customize your color and swag all you want, this push cart is lightweight and easy to travel with from course to course.

Put your walking shoes on.

Our staff raves about the performance of FootJoy’s MyJoy Pro SL (Women’s Link). A simple Google search will prove this model has been named The #1 Shoe in Golf. Made with Fined Tuned Foam, this shoe is perfect for walking the course.

Sun protection is key.

When you are walking, you don’t have the added shade protection that you might find in a cart. Here are some of our favorite products for keeping your skin out of the sun.

SParms Sun Sleeves – The market has really grown for golfers wearing sun-protective clothing. SParms has been very popular on the LPGA Tour and the company has styles for both men and women. Sun sleeves are designed to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. The sun sleeves from SParms are accredited with UPF50+ by ARPANSA, as they are an Australian company. Contrary to some belief, sun sleeves create a cooling effect on the skin when worn.

Alba Botanica Maximum Sunscreen– This Reef Safe sunscreen is easy to apply and is made without harmful ingredients. Proper use is important in order for sunscreen to work as intended. Read more about sunscreen safety here.

Prizm Golf from Oakley – These sunglasses were made for golfers. Oakley claims the Prizm model is engineered to help you spot transitions between the fairway, fringe and rough, and gauging distance with accuracy to help you read the course better.

It’s all in the bag.

Whether you are into an athletic style or traditional, these bag options have you covered.

PING – A classic athletic golf bag, made to be carried. The Hoofer Lite model weighs in a whopping five pounds, making it the perfect carry bag.

Nelson Hill – Each Nelson Hill bag is uniquely handcrafted in limited quantities in the heart of Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District. Made from heavy waxed canvas and thick, luxurious Horween leather, this bag is made for style and function.

No more rangefinders.

Our Executive Director, Doug Habel, is a big fan of the Golfshot App – Whether you are using an Apple Watch or another smart device, this app will help you play your best on nearly any course. Some features include GPS distances, scoring & statistics, Golfscape AR, GHIN Handicap Index, and voice assistant.

Whether you have been walking for years or just started last week, we hope you find these suggestions helpful! We’re always on the hunt for the next great golf gadget. What are some of your favorite golf products you can’t live without?

Quarantine Quiz | Reviews

The Quarantine Quiz is a challenging set of Rules situations presented each week to test all Rules officials and players alike. Todd Stice and Taylor Albritton hold a weekly webinar open to anyone to review the answers and interact with any questions attendees may have.

Check out all the Quarantine Quizzes and the weekly review webinars.

Quarantine Quiz # 1 *** Answers and Explanations

Video: Review of Quiz # 1 — LIVE March 27, 2:00 PM

Quarantine Quiz # 2 *** Answers and Explanations

Video: Review of Quiz # 2 — LIVE April 3, 2:00 PM

Quarantine Quiz # 3 *** Answers and Explanations

Video: Review of Quiz # 3 — LIVE April 9, 2:00 PM

Quarantine Quiz # 4 *** Answers and Explanations

Video: Review of Quiz # 4 — LIVE April 17, 2:00 PM

Quarantine Quiz # 5 *** Answers and Explanations

Video: Review of Quiz # 5 — LIVE April 24, 2:00 PM

Quarantine Quiz # 6 *** Answers and Explanations

Video: Review of Quiz # 6 — LIVE May 1, 2:00 PM

Quarantine Quiz # 7 *** Answers and Explanations

Video: Review of Quiz # 7 — LIVE May 8, 2:00 PM