Adapting Linksbook to a world of social distancing
So Wednesday came, and golfers began to converge on courses up and down the country, although not in Wales until next week and who knows when in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Most of us are familiar with the rules now – maximum two balls, social distancing at all times, no rakes in bunkers, no touching pin flags, no sharing cards etc.
Like all of us, COVID-19 has forced us to change our original plans and more than once. Linksbook was meant to kick off back in April with a launch event at Sherwood Forest Golf Club and then we planned to open the very first day golf courses opened. But the uncertainty about how it would work in practice encouraged us to wait a few days, watch and then adapt our rules and competitions to make sure we can offer a platform that works in the current world we live in.
After much debate, and lots of copy changes, we are pretty much there and Linksbook will launch imminently, so that those who have been lucky to get out and play in the first few days of golf’s comeback, can enter their scores on the platform and start competing and networking at a whole new level.
So how has Linksbook adapted? Firstly, we’ve had to accept that our normal strict rules on how scores can be verified has to be relaxed for our inaugural season. Our plan was (and still is when we are back to normal) to only allow official handicap qualifying scores for Club members to distinguish them from our Casual members who can enter social golf scores. All members can submit matchplay rounds against other members and that will always be the case, as long as social distancing and government guidance is followed.
Now, to ensure all golfers can take part freely, Club members will be able to enter social scores as well. The only difference between Club and Casual golfers in Season One will be that any player who belongs to a Club must play as a Club member this season. All members will enter the same type of scores but Casual members will receive a Linksbook handicap, Club members will use their official club handicap.
Any members from outside the UK will register as Casual members, and will also receive a Linksbook handicap based on scores submitted.
In addition, we will be allowing 9 hole scores as we are conscious that some clubs may encourage more 9 hole play during these times, and it would be unfair to restrict these members.
Our aim is to make Season One as simple as possible, and to allow all golfers to get involved no matter what their circumstances are and no matter what restrictions they are under. Essentially Linksbook is a golf networking platform with a competitive element. Our focus is very much on getting our members to network whilst having some fun challenging each other at the same time. Yes, in an ideal world, we would have stricter rules, but like us we are sure most golfers are just grateful to be back out there, and to have a platform like Linksbook to add some extra focus and enjoyment to their game. We think you all deserve it after the last couple of months!
This article was written by Milestone Event Management, creators of the new golf networking platform Linksbook. We will be announcing our launch date next week.
For more information, email Luke Parry at firstname.lastname@example.org