More than 30,000 UK golfers are expected to compete in the third annual Titleist Order of Merit, powered by HowDidiDo and Golf Monthly – the largest golf event of its kind in the country.
The competition, which runs from March 30 to September 30, 2013, was launched in 2011 and attracted an entry of nearly 11,000 golfers. In 2012 title sponsorship was taken up by Titleist and, with an increased number of outstanding prizes, entry numbers rose impressively to almost 29,000, making it one of the UK’s most subscribed sporting competitions, behind only events like the London Marathon and Great North Run.
The Titleist OOM is a virtual golf competition open to every golfer whose handicap is listed on HowDidiDo.com – Europe’s largest golfing community – and who participates in medal competitions at their home club.
To add further competition to an event which already features eight categories, this year, organisers have introduced a ‘Home Internationals’ element. Entrants nominate the home nation they wish to represent and HowDidiDo will publish a Home Internationals leader board. National pride will be at stake offering club golfers a rare opportunity to fly the flag for their country
Golfers are attracted to the competition because of its simplicity. Neither the player nor the club has to perform any additional entry of scores as all medal scores are automatically collated by HowDidiDo’s cutting-edge handicapping software. And, each week, the OOM leaderboard is updated with the latest scores. Placings in the OOM are determined by each player’s five best medal rounds at their own club, with the scores worked out on best net differential to ensure a level playing field, regardless of the difficulty of the individual courses.
HowDidiDo Media’s managing director, Barry Dyett, said: “Naturally we were delighted to have so many golfers competing in the 2012 order-of-merit competition. To have nearly 29,000 golfers competing sets this event apart from every other competition.
“But as the number of eligible clubs and golfers continues to rise, and enhancements make it an even more attractive proposition, it’s fair to assume the number of competitors will increase also; so to claim a prize in the 2013 event, either overall or monthly, will be an enormous achievement.”
Last year, one golf club, Newmacher, in Scotland, provided two winners – with Matty Smith taking the overall title and Christopher Lamb the junior honours – and they will be keen to maintain their top status.
There are eight individual categories in which to compete – men’s scratch to 12 handicap, 13-21, and 22-28; ladies’ scratch to 16, and 17-36; junior (under-16); most improved (showing the biggest reduction in handicap); and overall winner – each with fantastic prizes up for grabs, including monthly prizes for the top performers in each category, courtesy of GolfBuddy.
Each of the seven divisional winners will receive a Titleist stand bag, glove, cap and a dozen Pro V1 or Pro V1x balls. The overall OOM winner receives a full long-game fitting (driver/fairway/hybrid) at a state-of-the-art Titleist fitting centre.
Registration to HowDidiDo is required to check handicap lists or competition results, but it remains a free service to any golf club where administrators use CLUB2000 software from Club Systems International, which is in place at around 2,000 UK clubs.
It also holds details of in excess of 21 million rounds of golf along with the handicaps, results and scores of more than 1,300,000 UK golf club members and provides exclusive benefits and promotions on golfing equipment, travel, insurance and lifestyle products to more than 370,000 signed-up members, via its marketplace partner programme.
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