The DCGU was founded in 1911 by the 17 golf clubs in Devon at that time, as a non-profit making organisation which devotes its resources to the development and administration of Amateur Golf in Devon. In 1954 the Union decided that, in order to better develop junior golf, a separate subsidiary of theshould be formed and hence the Devon County Junior Golf Society was created. The Union has since expanded to 50 affiliated clubs including 3 Artisan Clubs.
The DCGU, like the EGU, is financed principally through levies paid for every male member of an affiliated golf club. Additional funds are raised through the ever popular County Card Scheme. The Union is also proud to have its sponsors.
Both the EGU and DCGU have as their main objectives the promotion of the Amateur Game and the maintenance of the traditions and rules of the game of golf as defined by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (The R&A).
The DCGU is managed by an Executive Committee with the day-to-day affairs being carried out by the Secretary's Office. The Executive Committee comprises the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Captain and Vice-Captain plus other elected and appointed members from clubs within the County.
The County Card represents tremendous value for money. It provides the opportunity to play more than 1000 courses in England for a reduced green fee. The County is available to all playing members of an affiliated club: men, women and juniors who hold a CONGU handicap. County Cards are available for Members to purchase from their affiliated golf club.
You may have wondered how the Standard Scratch Score of your course is determined. The Union, through its Course Rating Team of Experts, surveys each course using a prescribed national system that takes account of bunkers, trees and hazards etc., the resulting figure is the Standard Scratch Score. On a difficult course the SSS may be higher than the PAR and similarly on an easier course it might be less. The SSS is designed to level out handicaps across all courses.
Handicaps, forever a talking point! Most of you think it is handled by your Club's Computer—well it is—until there is a dispute or a problem occurs. The responsibility to make a decision then lies with the Union, through the County Secretary, as the Authority for administering the National Handicapping Scheme.
Over the past several years the Union's Team Development Sub-Committee has arranged extensive Training Sessions for golfers in Devon…especially Juniors. From Away Days with the County's Coaches to issuing vouchers for lessons from Club Professionals.
The Union also supports teams at 1st, 2nd & Senior levels that compete within the region in the Channel and Wessex Leagues. Our 1stTeam were English County Champions in 2003 and finalists in 2004 & 2005. Our Seniors have been to the English Seniors County finals in 2006, 2007 & 2008. In 2008 the 1st Team won the Channel League and the Seniors won the inaugural Seniors Channel League. In addition, teams at U14, U16 & U18 level are supported by the County's Junior Golf Society.
The Union, through its Competitions Sub-Committee and Secretariat, organise a dozen or so Championships and Tournaments each year for youths (U22s), men, mid-amateurs (over 35s) and seniors (over 55s) in individual, team & mixed events covering Stroke & Matchplay, Medal & Stableford and Foursomes formats.
The Annual Dinner, normally held on the last Friday in November, is an ideal opportunity to meet up with fellow golfers from around the County, renew past acquaintances and celebrate the golfing year.
When it comes to golf development, pooling resources and experience can spark real progress and attract additional investment. That's what is happening now with emerging County Golf Partnerships. Your Union, with the support of national governing bodies, has set-up the Devon Golf Partnership (DGP), along with the Devon County Ladies (DCLGA) and the Devon Professionals (PGA), with a view to accessing various external funding sources to increase participation in playing golf within Devon.
To summarise: Teams, Championships & Competitions, Rules, Handicaps, Standard Scratch Scores, Development and identification and promotion of golfing talent are functions that the Devon County Golf Union and English Golf Union undertake on your behalf. We hope you think that it is worthwhile.