After an interrupted year in 2020 due to Covid, resulting in the Manawatu Wanganui committees cancelling the second half of the season, we will be back underway with a new season of pennant competitions this weekend.
The Committees have this year introduced a change to where each of the competitions will play, to bring together men's and women's competitions, and to have more players competing at each of the venues at the same time. For a majority of the season, the men's and women's weekend competitions will be held at just 2 venues. It is hoped this change will have benefit to some clubs, so that they are only hosting pennants one day in a year, but that day will hopefully be more worthwhile with greater participants on the course, to increase catering and bar takings. It also means that the greenkeepers are only preparing their courses for pennants once per year. The committees are also hoping this change will establish a greater atmosphere at each venue.
With so many venues being played at previously it made it difficult to get district representation at these events, but with just 2 venues then this should be able to be managed.
The only real concern for the change is speed of play, so at the first rounds this weekend this will be monitored. There will also be a trial of a 2 tee start system, in order to cater for each of the different grades. The committee will decide after round 1 if this requires to be tweaked a little for remaining rounds.
This weekend will see the Women's Championship and weekend competitions as well as the Men's A Grade, and Handicap Div 2 all playing at Manawatu Golf Club. And over at Castlecliff Golf Club the Mens B and C Pennants, and Handicap Div 1, will all be competing together.
All the best to everyone competing this weekend. The Women's Silver and District Pennant competitions will start next Monday, while the Presidents Trophy interclub competition kicks off the following weekend.