A Brief History

In approximately 1962 Mike Florance started the concept of Golforama – being the recording of the scores made by each professional player at a tournament. These scores were then displayed on a central board containing the names of all the players in the field. There were a number of leader boards around the golf course displaying the current top 5 leaders’ scores. There was a problem in obtaining volunteers from the ranks of the Nomads due to their work and business.

1965 saw the running of Golforama being taken over by Pat McGurk. Pat McGurk had the assistance of Bob Truter, who was a Boeing airline pilot, who established the radio procedures that would be uniformly used in reporting the scores achieved by players at each hole.

The control centre was Bob Truter’s domain. As mentioned above, this required the meticulous recording of the scores for each hole for every player in the field. It was Pat Mc Gurk’s idea to have specific four-balls containing ceded players for the first two rounds who would have followers who would report the score made at each hole. In the last two rounds the top six (6) four-balls containing the players with the leading scores. The followers would then communicate with score control giving the score achieved by each player in the respective grouping. The other players in the field had their scores reported every three holes. That is, their scores made on the previous three (3) holes. Due to their being insufficient Nomads volunteers to take on these tasks, Pat McGurk enlisted the services of the lady members of the club at which the tournament was being played. Bob Truter with the able assistance of Cecil Blake familiarized the ladies and any new volunteer Nomads with the operation of the radios and procedure to be adopted in reporting the players hole scores. This score reporting was essential, not only for recording at the control centre, but for all the leader boards and importantly for the media who had a specific location where all the players hole scores and their standing in the tournament was displayed.

The main leader boards at the 9th, 18th and the board displayed the hole scores of all the players in the field in alphabetic sequence. These on-course boards are mainly for player information to access their standing in the tournament.

The transportation of the main leader board was undertaken by Fred Bruton at his own expense. It should be noted that at this time Nomads was not receiving any remuneration from the PGA. This resulted in all the expenses incurred being borne by the individuals and Nomads Club. This was causing a strain on the Golforama concept as many of the Nomads volunteers not only took a leave of absence from work but incurred expenses for which they had not budgeted.

Arthur Cox took over the chairmanship of Golforama in 1968. It was Arthur Cox who approached the PGA, with the sanction of the Nomads committee, requesting that the PGA remunerate Nomads for accommodation and certain expenses as the movements and volunteers were bearing the cost to ensure the continuing operation of the Golforama scoring system. Between Arthur Cox and Roel Germs, his right hand man, they streamlined the operation of the scoring system devised by Nomads.

The Nomads scoring system, having been observed by many overseas visitors and players, was the basis for the modification of the scoring systems for their tournaments. Due to Arthur Cox becoming ill the operation of Golforama was taken over by Roel Germs from early 1985. Roel Germs was only officially appointed as chairman of Golforama at the National Management meeting held in March 1986. Sadly Arthur Cox died in July 1987.

The original score boards had runnels into which the players’ names were fed. The score made, or the players standing, was affixed to the board using restock. This became a problem in wet weather as it would not adhere to the board. Role Germs then conceived of the idea of magnetizing the boards. Ballantine’s Whisky became a sponsor of Nomads nationally, through Trevor Stopforth. Ballantine’s also supplied Golforama with a caravan bearing their name and logo. This caravan was very welcome as it became the control centre for the Golforama scoring system. It housed all the equipment of radios, chargers, stationery etc required for the efficient running of the tournaments scoring.

At the termination of Ballantine’s sponsorship, Viacom took it over supplying a suitable Viacom decorated caravan. They also undertook to transport the leader boards to and from the venues. At the end of their sponsorship, the PGA took over the transportation erection and dismantling of the score boards stable.

Brian Burns took over the chairmanship of Golforama in 1996 when Roel Germs retired to the South Coast. Brian Burns then had the leader boards modified to accommodate flexible plastic names and numbers which resolved a number of continuing problems. David Milton, also a Nomad, wrote a suite of sophisticated computer programs which was to enable the input of the players scores and display the standing of each player. This facility is of great assistance to not only the Nomads but to Television as the details pertaining to the player in picture could be displayed, e.g. the hole at which the player was playing, his/her score relative to the number of holes played -3, +2 etc and the distance the player was from the green for the shot the player was about to execute.

In 2002 Brian Burns handed over to Cyril Ferrar. Henry de Graeff replaced Cyril as chairman in 2009. The scoring has been electronically modified with the result that the Main scoreboards are now LCD displays. The on-course scores are input via a hand-held input device. Any changes that would result from the data input would then be displayed accordingly on the leader boards and in the media facility. The chairman of Nomads Golforama negotiates with the PGA for each tournament relative to travel, accommodation etc.