Proposed Handicap Update for Bondhay Members from 1st April 2024

An update from Phil Bonewell, Handicap Secretary at Bondhay Golf Club


A new golf season wouldn't be the same without changes to the way our handicaps are calculated and I'm not going to disappoint. Before I get into the detail, please be assured that the functions available via the MyEG App ensures that whenever you play you'll be able to calculate the correct Course Handicap. We will also make sure Handicap Tables are available in the Pro Shop should you not have the required technology.

I'm looking forward to the challenges of handling handicaps and I'm sure a few of you already have questions or suggestions on your own handicap and that of your fellow members. Whilst it can be an emotive subject, I would ask that any queries are raised with the right intentions and I'll ensure the handicap committee handle them in the same way. Rest assured, we will keep an eye on handicaps but it's my belief that things even-out over time and the warmer/dry days ahead will start to influence scoring. We also need to allow time for the new handicap calculation to settle, however, I will conduct a full handicap review early June.

Your Handicap Committee

Phil BonewellHandicap Secretary
Steve BrooksData Analyst
Third Member RequiredContact Phil for more information

Proposed changes (effective 1st April 2024)

I recently attended a Handicap seminar at Rotherham Golf Club to understand the changes that are scheduled to come into play from 1st April 2024. I also have a better understanding around Course Ratings and other elements of Handicapping and I would encourage you to look at the information (including videos) at or contact me directly. I'm also at the club most weekends and more than happy to have a chat... it gives me an excuse to play more golf!

Bondhay is scheduled for a course rating review during 2028. We do have an option to request an earlier date should we feel any course changes significantly impact the rating.

Hole indexes are a constant source of debate and this is something we will review as we see more changes to the course. We have data to help make decisions and it's the clubs decision to make changes, there is no external approval required. One thing to note: the indexes are primarily there to support match play and whilst I'm sure we all have our nemesis holes, we need to take personal perspective out of the equation - one for a chat in the bar I think!

There are a number of changes which you can view on WHS (, but for now I'll keep it simple and focus on 2:

Individual Scores

Individual scores from a four ball competition can now be included in your Handicap calculation. Don't worry too much, I don't expect many individual scores to count due to the criteria set. Ultimately, this has been put in place to protect the field.

Handicap Calculation

When you walk to the tee from 1st April, the way your Course Handicap is calculated will change. The example below hopefully helps but please reach out if you have any issues, and I'm sure the Pro Shop will provide guidance if needed.

Bondhay Example:

White TeesYellow TeesRed Tees
Course Rating73.271.174.5

Course Handicap (Whites)

Current CalculationIndex x (slope/113) = Course Handicap10.8x(136/113) = 12.9982 (13) 
New Calculation (from 1st April)Index x (slope/113) + (Course Rating - Par) = Course Handicap10.8x(136/113) + (73.2 - 72) = 14.1982 (14)

Course Handicap (Yellows)

Current CalculationIndex x (slope/113) = Course Handicap10.8x(131/113) = 12.520 (13)
New Calculation (from 1st April)Index x (slope/113) + (Course Rating - Par) = Course HandicapIndex x (slope/113) + (Course Rating - Par) = Course Handicap

If you have any questions about handicapping, please contact me via the Pro Shop or feel free to ask a member of the Professional team at Bondhay.

Phil Bonewell - Handicap Secretary

How To Play Your Way Out Of The Rough

A game of precision and finesse, golf can be a challenging yet deeply rewarding sport. One of the
many obstacles golfers encounter on the course is the rough – an often-unforgiving landscape
that can wreak havoc on your game if not approached with the right strategy. Whether you’re
a seasoned golfer or new to the fairways, the rough can be your nemesis or your opportunity to

What is the rough?

“The rough” refers to the areas of longer grass found alongside the fairways, surrounding greens and sometimes in the middle of the course. Unlike the smooth, closely mown fairways, the rough is deliberately left to grow taller and denser. This change in grass height and texture can create a significant challenge for golfers when their shots land here. Not all rough is created equal. Golf courses feature various types of rough, each with its own set of challenges. Two common types you’ll encounter are primary and secondary roughs.

Primary rough

This is the most penalising type of rough. It is characterised by thick, dense grass that can significantly impede both your club’s movement and your ball’s flight. Landing in primary rough often results in a considerable loss of distance and control.

Secondary rough

Slightly less daunting than the primary rough, secondary rough is typically shorter and less dense. While it’s still more challenging to play from than the fairway, you may have a better chance of advancing the ball toward the target with some degree of accuracy.

Why do golf courses have rough areas?

Strategic design: Golf course designers intentionally incorporate rough to create a strategic challenge for golfers. By varying the height and thickness of the rough in different areas, they force players to make thoughtful decisions about shot placement and club selection.

Punishing errant shots: The rough serves as a penalty for shots that miss the fairway. It discourages golfers from straying too far from the intended path, rewarding accuracy and precision.

Protecting the course: Rough areas help protect the course’s integrity by preventing golfers from wandering into environmentally sensitive or hazardous areas, such as water hazards or out-of-bound zones.

Navigating the golf course jungle: As golfers, we’ve all experienced the moment your ball takes an unexpected detour off the fairway and lands in the unforgiving embrace of the rough. What follows is a test of skill, patience, and strategy as you confront a trio of formidable challenges that can make or break your hole.

Common challenges when playing from the rough

How the grass affects ball flight

The moment your ball nestles into the thick blades of rough, you’re faced with a significant loss of distance. The dense, clinging nature of the rough creates resistance against your clubhead, robbing your shot of the momentum it would have enjoyed on the fairway. The result? Shots from the rough often fall short of their intended target, leaving you with a longer approach to the green than you had hoped for.

This loss of distance is not only frustrating but can also lead to higher scores if you’re not prepared to adapt your strategy. Understanding how the grass affects your ball’s flight is the first step to overcoming this challenge.

Difficulty in making clean contact with the ball

Perhaps the most palpable issue golfers face in the rough is the difficulty in making clean contact with the ball. The uneven terrain and tangled grass can disrupt the club’s path, leading to mishits, thin shots, or even chunks of grass being taken with the ball. Without the clean strike that characterises shots from the fairway, it’s challenging to predict where the ball will go. Lack of clean contact can result in wayward shots that land you deeper into trouble.

The rough’s unpredictability increases the potential for mishits. A simple mishit can lead to unwanted side spin, causing the ball to veer off course. This lack of control and accuracy can be particularly frustrating when you’re trying to navigate the course efficiently.

Impact on club selection

Playing from the rough can have a significant impact on your club selection. The added resistance of the rough makes it harder to generate the same clubhead speed you would achieve on the fairway. Consequently, you need to choose a club with more loft to compensate for the loss of distance. However, selecting the right club is not always straightforward, as you’ll need to consider not just the distance but also the lie of the ball and the shot you intend to play. Club selection becomes a crucial aspect of your strategy when dealing with rough terrain.

How to master the challenge

Assessing the lie

The first step in conquering the rough is to assess the lie of your ball. Not all rough is created equal, and
understanding the depth and thickness of the grass can greatly influence your approach. Take a close look at your ball’s lie in the rough. Is it sitting down deep in the grass, or is it perched on top? This initial assessment will help you determine how challenging the shot might be. Reach down and touch the grass around your ball. Is it thick and dense, or does it have some degree of looseness? This tactile feedback can inform your strategy.

Selecting the right club

The choice of club is crucial when playing from the rough. It’s not just about distance, it’s about managing your shot effectively. In most cases, you’ll want to select a club with more loft than you would use from the fairway, to help you get the ball up and out of the grass more easily. The lie of the ball and the thickness of the rough will influence the ball’s trajectory. A ball buried deep in thick rough might require a club with even more loft to pop it out cleanly.

Consider how far you need to advance the ball to reach your target. Choosing the right club to achieve this distance while accounting for the rough’s resistance is crucial. Finally, think about the shape of the shot you want to play. Sometimes, you may need to adjust your club selection to accommodate a fade or draw to navigate obstacles.

Adjusting your stance and ball position

Playing from the rough demands adjustments to your stance and ball position. A slightly wider stance can provide better stability and help you power through the grass. Your weight should be centred or slightly forward. Position the ball slightly back in your stance to help you make cleaner contact. This adjustment promotes a steeper angle of attack, reducing the chances of the clubhead getting caught in the grass.

Test your game in the rough by grabbing a tee-time at Bondhay Golf Club, a picturesque club nestled between Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. Green fees start from just £14 on the Devonshire Championship Course. Book online or get in touch.

Why Temporary Greens Are A Good Thing (Even Though You Hate Them)

As the seasons change and wetter weather becomes more common place, the words 'temporary green' or 'temps' start creep into a golfer's vocabularly again. Although not be a golfer's preferred choice by any means, it's crucial to grasp the rationale behind their usage. Temporary greens become a requisite when primary greens need to be taken out of action due to damage, to avoid damage or to undergo maintenance and care. They serve as safeguards for already robust greens during periods of heightened vulnerability, such as increasing rainfall and flooding that comes with more fierce storms, or heavy frosts in the height of winter.

You're probably asking why some clubs manage to go all year without using temps, or why some clubs may use a full set of them instead of the normal greens? The simple answer is: choice. As with any business, it is a balance between different aspects of customer preference. Do you stay on full greens all of the time, increase the footfall and allow the greens to become damaged; or do you restrict their use when required and keep greens in decent condition for when they are in play? Both scenarios will leave people on either side of the fence, but our team opts for a balanced approach of taking as few greens out of play as possible whilst not risking the high quality of the course that people have come to know.

General course manintenance is unavoidable at various points throughout the year. After all, a golf course is a diverse habitat that requires special attention from our greenkeepers. One such task is 'coring', which is a course maintenance technique that loosens the soil, opens up growing room for turfgrass roots, and helps air, moisture and nutrients get to the roots. This is usually done once or twice a year at most courses and you'll be able to see the immediate outcome as small holes appear.

A course such as Bondhay and many others in the vicinity are lucky to benefit from a soil profile that allows water to drain away reasonably quickly, so we find ourselves on less temps for heavy rain than many other golf clubs. Frost is a different challenge all together, with the severity and thaw time playing a big factor in a decision on whether to take a green out of play. Temps due to damage depends on the cause. For example, general wear and tear from play is unavoidable and may be treated quickly, whereas more intentional damage could see prolongued periods out.

Temporary Green Rules

Temporary greens are governed by Model Local Rule D-2 in the Rules of Golf. Unfortunately, you don't have an option when it comes to the temp and you MUST use it if it is there and designated in play.

The putting green that’s been replaced by the temp becomes a 'wrong green' because it is no longer the green for the hole you are playing. Rule 13.1f comes into play and relief from interference must be taken.


So, as much as we would all love it to be the case, sometimes temporary greens are unavoidable and are there to allow you to continue playing golf even when Mother Nature doesn't want us to.

While the concept of temporary greens often evokes a persistently unfavorable perception, it's vital to bear in mind that they are implemented with valid justifications. Whether it involves facilitating recovery from damage, preemptively shielding greens from potential harm, or facilitating renovations, the ultimate outcome of temporary greens invariably leads to improved playing conditions on the main turf.

Six Trackman Numbers All Amateur Golfers Should Know

You may have already seen Tour players using their portable Trackman, or perhaps you've already been taking full advantage of the new Trackman technology on the driving range at Bondhay — but have you been looking at the screens and wondering what all the numbers mean? With more than 40 numerical data points, it’s not easy to know where to start if you want to learn more about the numbers that can benefit your game.

While these figures may not be directly applicable to your particular swing adjustments, they offer valuable insights that can benefit most golfers. They might equip you with the information needed to pinpoint the root cause of an unexpected shot during your time on the course, potentially allowing for self-diagnosis.

In certain scenarios, you may have the opportunity to address the problem while on the course. Nevertheless, the key priority is understanding the root cause of the issue to prevent unnecessary adjustments to elements of your game that are already working well.

Face Angle

The Face Angle refers to the horizontal orientation of your club face as it makes contact with the ball. It can assume one of three positions: open, closed, or square. A closed club face points to the left, and this is indicated by a negative TrackMan reading, such as -2 degrees (the negative value signifies a leftward orientation). Conversely, an open club face displays a positive number, like 3 degrees, signifying a rightward direction. When the club face is square, it registers at 0 degrees, aligning perfectly with your target line.

In most instances, the orientation of your club face at impact plays a pivotal role in determining the initial direction of the ball. Therefore, if your ball starts to the right, it is usually indicative of an open club face, denoted by a positive numerical value.

Club Path

The Club Path defines the direction in which you are swinging your club. You've likely come across the terms "out-to-in" or "in-to-out" swings, which often refer to the club path.

If your swing follows an in-to-out path, the number associated with it will be positive, indicating that you are swinging to the right of the target line. Typically, this type of swing results in a draw shape, assuming a center strike and a Face Angle number lower than the Club Path number.

Conversely, if you find yourself hitting a fade or slice, one potential reason is an out-to-in swing, signifying a negative Club Path number, as it means you're swinging left.

In simpler terms, a positive number generally leads to a draw shape, while a negative number tends to result in a fade shape. A Club Path reading of 0 signifies a straight shot.

It's important to note that the higher the numerical value, the more pronounced the ball's shape will be. If you're looking to influence the horizontal flight of your shots, keep an eye on the Club Path number—it's the key to shaping your ball's trajectory.

Impact Location

When considering shot shape and club path, we assume that your ball contact occurs at the center of the club face, known as the sweet spot. However, should your contact point differ, particularly with the driver, you may experience shot shapes that deviate from the descriptions in the club path section above.

Imagine a scenario where both your Face Angle and Club Path read as 0, and you make a center strike; this should result in a straight shot. Yet, what if your strike is slightly toward the heel of the club face? In that case, the ball will curve from left to right, creating a fade shape. Conversely, a strike toward the toe of the club face would yield a draw shape.

It's worth noting that even if you possess a draw-biased club path (indicated by a positive number), you can still produce a fade if your ball contact is more towards the heel of the club. This is a fascinating aspect to experiment with on the range, providing valuable insights into your shots.

While impact location can influence numerous parameters, our focus here is solely on the horizontal shot shape. So, if you already know you have a positive club path (implying a draw shape) but observe a straighter or possibly a fade shape, it's more probable that your impact location has shifted slightly towards the heel, rather than a change in your club path.

Trackman Impact Location

Attack Angle

The Attack Angle number provides insight into whether your contact with the ball involves a downward or upward movement, essentially representing the vertical direction. A negative value indicates a downward hit on the ball, while a positive value suggests an upward strike.

For iron shots, it is generally preferable to have a negative Attack Angle, while for drives, a positive number is often desired. To determine the specific number that best suits your swing, it's recommended to consult one of our Professional Golf Coaches.

Low Point

This numerical value is accompanied by an 'A' or 'B,' signifying 'After' and 'Before' respectively. It essentially indicates when your swing reaches its lowest point. In simpler terms, it answers the question of whether you make contact with the ball before or after hitting the ground. For instance, if you're using a 7 iron and your low point number displays a 'B,' it means you're striking the ground before reaching the ball.

For iron shots, it is typically preferable to observe an 'A' (after) because it indicates that you're making contact with the ball before the club head touches the ground. On the other hand, with the driver, a 'B' is more desirable, indicating that the lowest point occurs before ball contact, and your club is moving upward (a positive attack angle) as you strike the ball.

Having the lowest point 'Before' when hitting the driver is acceptable, primarily because you're teeing the ball up.


The Carry number represents the straightforward measurement of how far your ball travels through the air; once it touches the ground, you've arrived at your carry number.

It's worth noting that this is a fundamental figure, and understanding the carry distance for each of your clubs significantly simplifies the process of club selection during your rounds.

Keep in mind that it's not just about how far the ball rolls out (e.g., an additional 30 yards); what truly matters is whether you can successfully carry potential hazards like water hazards. A valuable tip for strategic course management is to consider your average carry distance rather than focusing solely on your longest carry. This provides a more realistic expectation of how you'll perform your shots on the course.

A Comprehensive Guide to Golf Clubs

Golf is a sport that requires precision and strategy, and one of the key elements in achieving success on the course is having the right set of golf clubs. Each club has a unique design and purpose, catering to specific shots and distances. In this article, we will delve into the world of golf clubs, exploring the different types and understanding their uses.


Woods, traditionally made of wood but now commonly constructed with metal, are designed for long-distance shots. The driver, also known as the 1-wood, is the club used to achieve maximum distance off the tee. Fairway woods, such as the 3-wood and 5-wood, are versatile clubs used for hitting off the fairway or rough with increased control.


Irons are the most versatile clubs in a golfer's bag and are typically used for shots varying in distance and accuracy. They feature a flat clubface and come in various numbers, from 3-iron to 9-iron, indicating the loft and distance capabilities. Lower-numbered irons produce longer shots, while higher-numbered irons provide greater loft and precision for approach shots.


Wedges are specialized clubs designed for shots requiring a high loft and a short distance. The most common types of wedges include pitching wedges, gap wedges, sand wedges, and lob wedges. Pitching wedges are versatile and suitable for shots around the green, while sand wedges excel in bunker play. Gap wedges bridge the distance gap between pitching and sand wedges, while lob wedges offer high loft for delicate shots requiring precision.


Hybrids are a cross between woods and irons, providing the forgiveness and ease of use of woods with the control and precision of irons. They are particularly helpful for long shots from the rough or fairway and are a popular choice for golfers struggling with long irons.


Putters are arguably the most crucial clubs in a golfer's bag. They are used on the putting green to roll the ball into the hole with accuracy and precision. Putters come in various designs, including blades and mallets, each offering a different feel and alignment aids.

Understanding the different types of golf clubs and their purposes is essential for any golfer looking to improve their game. Each club serves a specific function, catering to different distances, lofts, and shot requirements. By selecting the right combination of clubs and mastering their use, golfers can enhance their performance and overall enjoyment on the course.

Remember, practice and experience are vital in determining which clubs work best for you. Experimenting with different clubs and seeking professional advice can help golfers identify the perfect set of clubs that complement their playing style. So, grab your clubs, head to the range, and start honing your skills with confidence and knowledge!