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Disaster causes players to focus on the deficiencies of their game, rather the strengths. It encourages players to grind out a score.
Disaster, or Trouble, is a golf game which punishes mishaps. As such it works well as an exercise in game improvement. It is popular with mid-ranking players.
The aim of Disaster is to incur as few penalty points as possible. The winner is the player with the fewest points.
The rules and penalties of Disaster vary. But the general basis is that certain mistakes on the course are penalised:
Ball hit out of bounds - 1 point
Ball hit into a water hazard - 1 point
Three putts on a green - 1 point
Ball hit into a bunker - 1 point
Falling to get the ball out of a bunker first time - 1 point
Hitting the ball out of one bunker straight into another - 2 points
Air shot- 4 points
Some versions have a rule that if par is made on a hole no penalty points can be incurred on that hole. Others include a further 4pt penalty for any player who four putts on a green.
The focus of the Disaster golf game is on avoiding the potential card wreckers. It can be played by golfers of any ability, but it works best perhaps for those golfers who have a decent level of ability but cannot get their medal scores as low as they feel they should be.
Disaster causes players to focus on the deficiencies of their game, rather the strengths.
In short, it encourages players to grind out a score.
The game can be played by those of any ability, and the system of penalties can be modified any way the players fancy - so long as all agree in advance.
I have known a group of single-figure handicappers play this. They extended the list of penalties to include 1pt penalties for missing the fairway, missing the green from the tee on a par 3 and for any putt missed from within 3ft.
Contributing Writer Golf courses and travel are Roderick’s particular interests and he worked as contributing editor for the first few years of the Golf Monthly Travel Supplement. He writes travel articles and general features for the magazine, travel supplement and website. He is a member of Trevose Golf & Country Club and has played golf in around 20 countries. Cricket is his other main sporting love. He is the author of five books, four of which are still in print: The Novel Life of PG Wodehouse; The Don: Beyond Boundaries; Wally Hammond: Gentleman & Player and England’s Greatest Post-War All Rounder.
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