Scottish golfers set the pace in the 2012 Titleist Order of Merit (OOM) powered by HowDidiDo and ‘Golf Monthly’ right from the outset, and, ultimately, landed six of the eight titles up for grabs.
Two of the winners even came from the same club, Newmachar, with the overall winner, Matthew J Smith, and junior champion, Christopher Lamb, playing their golf at the Aberdeen venue.
Aberdeenshire also provided a third champion, with Kemnay GC’s Peter West taking the honours in the men’s division two. Indeed, the Scots swept the board in the men’s competition with Aucterader GC’s Steve Courtney taking the division one title and Eddie Daly, from Glasgow’s Cowglen GC, topping division three.
Only one English club claimed honours and that was courtesy of Eleanor Gardner, of Botley Park Golf & Spa Hotel, Southampton, who secured the ladies’ division one title.
The division two title headed north of the border to the Isle of Arran, with Lesley Handley, of Lamlash GC, seeing off all-comers. And the final award also headed ‘overseas’ to Co Tipperary, Ireland, where Michael Rosney Jnr, from Roscrea GC, succeeded in reducing his handicap from 24 to 7, and, in doing so, claimed the most-improved player honour.
Nearly 29,000 golfers from across the UK and Ireland entered the OOM, which teed off on 31 March. That’s an increase of more than 250 per cent on last year’s inaugural competition, and, each month, the lucky category winners received a fabulous GolfBuddy Voice audio GPS distance measuring device as a reward for their impressive showing.
The OOM is a virtual golf competition open to every golfer whose handicap is listed on Howdidido.com and who participates in medal competitions. 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 were determined by each player’s five best medal rounds at their own club between 31 March and 30 September, with the scores worked out on best net differential to ensure a level playing field regardless of the difficulty of the individual courses.
HowDidiDo’s managing director, Barry Dyett, said: “We were initially surprised to see so many monthly winners coming from Scotland, but it’s fair to say we’re now astonished that have been able to maintain such an outstanding level of performance throughout the season. They really have excelled.
“To have nearly 29,000 golfers competing in our competition sets this Order Of Merit apart from every other competition. To emerge victorious from a field of this size is an enormous achievement, whether as a monthly winner or as the ultimate victor.
“This number of participants makes the Order Of Merit one of the most subscribed sporting competitions in the UK, behind events like the London Marathon and Great North Run. We will continue to enhance and improve the competition and already have ideas we will be implementing to augment the experience for next year’s competitors.”
The 2012 OOM had eight sections within which prizes could be won, including men’s, ladies and junior categories. Divisional winners each receive a Titleist bag, Titleist glove, cap and a dozen Titleist Pro V1 or Titleist Pro V1x golf balls, while the overall winner won a full long-game fitting – for driver, fairway wood and hybrid – at a state-of-the-art Titleist fitting centre.
HowDidiDo boasts a membership of more than 370,000 golfers, and contains a database of handicaps, results and scores for in excess of 1,300,000 men and women. Standard membership is free and the plethora of statistics available allows any golfer to analyse and compare performance with other players at their own club or across the network. During 2011, the site received more than 60 million page views.
Registration to HowDidiDo is required to check handicap lists or competition results, but it remains a free service to any golf club whose administrators use CLUB2000 software from Club Systems International, which is in place at around 2,000UKclubs. More than 1,800 golf clubs currently use the HowDidiDo site and the service welcomes new members daily.