President's Letter

Jim Siders, Heritage Golf Club

Jim Siders
CDGA President

Golf as we have known it, for as long as we have played it, is changing. The CDGA’s role changed in 2018, the rules are changing in 2019 and the handicap system will change in 2020.

Effective 2018 the collaboration between Ohio Golf Association (OGA) and Columbus District Golf Association (CDGA) is official. You may have already noticed your GHIN handicap update now comes from OGA.

The CDGA is expanding in two areas. The CDGA will now serve 90+ private and public golf courses in 31 counties, allowing more players to play in our events. That will lead to fuller fields and larger prize payouts. And, in addition to our men’s and junior tournament we will be conducting a full slate of women’s tournaments starting 2018. This is all being done in support of the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) initiative to grow the game.

In 2017 the USGA proposed major rule changes and solicited feedback. After considering this feedback they have announced the changes that will be in effect starting in 2019. Some major changes:

  • No penalty for ball accidently moved on the green
  • Lost ball search reduced from 5 to 3 minutes
  • Allowing ball to be dropped from knee height or higher
  • Allowing fixing spike marks, or any damage done by humans or animals
  • No penalty for hitting the flagstick when putting
  • Optional local OB/lost ball rule – 2-stroke penalty – drop ball no nearer hole – even in fairway
  • All the rules, reasons for the changes and teaching videos are available on

In 2020 a system developed by R & A and USGA will standardize the six different handicap systems used around the world into one. Some of the new features include:

  • Only 54 holes needed to establish a handicap
  • Average of the eight best out of last twenty rounds used to establish handicap
  • Impact of abnormal weather conditions on day played
  • Handicap revised daily
  • Net double bogey max for all golfers on a hole for posting
  • All handicap information is available on

Now, let’s talk about playing golf. The CDGA season starts for the men at Pinnacle on May 10th with the Old Pal Scramble. For the women it’s OSU on June 14th with the Women’s Scramble ABCD. Individual, partner and team formats are scheduled throughout the season – gross and net. Complete schedules and courses are available at All tournament entries can be done online.

Play on!
Jim Siders
Heritage Golf Club

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