54 Handicappers - Scourge or Scarcity ?

Swango1980

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Guy who beat me was off about 11 or 12 I think when he really should have been off around 7 or 8, he won the winter pairs 2 years in a row, one of these folk who have won a few matchplay comps but can't seem to do it in medals apparently
We played our first winter league match a few weeks ago, against guys with course handicaps of 19 and 22. In singles strokeplay stableford they seem to bet nowhere near their handicaps, scores such as 18 points, are certainly low to mid 20's. Yet, in match play, as a pair they shot a better ball score of 50 points. Match play is certainly a different game, I guess that is one argument for allowing match play rounds to count towards handicap (despite all the downsides such as guessing your score when you don't hole out)
 

Swango1980

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So, it is better to compare your previous handicap with your course handicap, not index. You do not play of your index after all. Now, you comparison may still stand if your course has a Slope of 113. However, at my old course, our slope was 133. So, if a player had a 17 handicap before WHS, then their course handicap after WHS (with an Index of 16.8) would be 20. So, their handicap increased by 3 shots. At my new course with a slope of 141, they'd actually go up to 21 so they'd have an increase of 4 shots compared to before.
 

Rlburnside

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So, it is better to compare your previous handicap with your course handicap, not index. You do not play of your index after all. Now, you comparison may still stand if your course has a Slope of 113. However, at my old course, our slope was 133. So, if a player had a 17 handicap before WHS, then their course handicap after WHS (with an Index of 16.8) would be 20. So, their handicap increased by 3 shots. At my new course with a slope of 141, they'd actually go up to 21 so they'd have an increase of 4 shots compared to before.

My course h/c has hardly changed from my Congo h/c ,my course has a slope of 118 so very little change , think I’ll come down and join your old course and get more shots ?
 

wjemather

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To be fair I play with a lad like that. Plays off 11 at the moment but is capable of going round under par on his day.

His problem is if he has one bad hole his head completely goes and he loses interest, if that happens early on in a round (our second is one of the hardest holes on the course) then he ends up posting a shocker.

The upside is that he's brilliant in matchplay or as a 4bbb partner. I played with him the other week in a 4bbb and he shot a 3over gross. The week before he'd done the same (was actually 3 under at the turn) with another mate. He won both weeks.

Under Congu he'd probably have crept up to an 8 handicap this year but WHS has meant his HI has increased by 4 to 11.
Sounds like your handicap committee need to be having a quiet word with him. By (persistently) failing to "attempt to make the best score possible at each hole" [Rule 1.3 (i)], his is not meeting his responsibilities under the rules of handicapping, and as such has a handicap index that is not reflective of his current ability.
 

Swango1980

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Sounds like your handicap committee need to be having a quiet word with him. By (persistently) failing to "attempt to make the best score possible at each hole" [Rule 1.3 (i)], his is not meeting his responsibilities under the rules of handicapping, and as such has a handicap index that is not reflective of his current ability.
I agree, but this was always something that worried me about WHS. I have known a lot of players who, when they have a bad hole early on, they completely lose it mentally. They just stop trying as they've ruled themselves out of winning, and think there is no point in putting in any effort for a mid table / bottom table finish. Putting with wedges, trying crazy shots as a bit of practice, back hand putts, etc. etc. So, they are the types of players who shoot very good scores once in a while, but often shoot really really horrific scores.

They then play match play, and the game is completely different. Having a shocker early on is not such a problem, every hole is a new start.

It is so difficult for a Committee to warn a player about their conduct. You first have to judge whether what they are doing is unacceptable, and those on the Committee are unlikely going to be that familiar with every member of the golf club, even those that play in comps. They'd rely on another member making a complaint most of the time. And, I suspect most members will not do that. Even if it does get to the stage of issuing a warning, you are then trying to make a judgement on somebody's mental state. I am sure many of us have had red mists, not executed a shot as well as we could have if we really tried. I am sure many of us do it frequently when things do not go well. I'll hold my hands up and say I have let my head get the better of me during a round of golf and lost all interest. So, do we get committee members issuing out warnings every time a player does not put their full heart into a shot? Or, where do we draw the line in terms of what would be considered acceptable or not?

I think it is easier for Committee to leave it alone unless a complaint is made that a player could well be actively manipulating their handicap. Perhaps the Committee can deal with it in an Annual Review, if a player has shown much better form in match play events.
 

fundy

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Sounds like your handicap committee need to be having a quiet word with him. By (persistently) failing to "attempt to make the best score possible at each hole" [Rule 1.3 (i)], his is not meeting his responsibilities under the rules of handicapping, and as such has a handicap index that is not reflective of his current ability.

This is actually a serious post isnt it? You actually think this should happen? Wow just wow.

How do you think this conversation is going to go?
 

Swinglowandslow

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Makes you wonder if one should be grateful that there aren't handicaps in squash, or tennis, etc. All this mithering,..."
What if golf didn't have them? but had divisions say?
I still enjoyed a competitive game of squash, ( you just played against realistic opponents, hence divisions) and , in golf, I've always been more interested in how I've fared against the course, really.
Ok, the system is not going to change in principle, but the tweakers have had a right go at it lately , and I must say that all the ensuing "braha" leads me to wonder if things haven't "improved worse".
 

wjemather

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This is actually a serious post isnt it? You actually think this should happen? Wow just wow.

How do you think this conversation is going to go?
So you think people should be allowed to continue jacking up their handicaps so they can cleanup in betterballs and knockouts? Of course not, because that would be ridiculous. The conversation needs to happen, and it starts with basic education of the player - they may not be aware of their responsibilities.

If nothing is done, at some point this guy is probably going to be accused of cheating; perhaps you think that would be a better outcome?
 
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SteveJay

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So you think people should be allowed to continue jacking up their handicaps so they can cleanup in betterballs and knockouts? Of course not, because that would be ridiculous. The conversation needs to happen, and it starts with basic education of the player - they may not be aware of their responsibilities.

If nothing is done, at some point this guy is probably going to be accused of cheating; perhaps you think that would be a better outcome?

But how would you go about establishing if someone was "failing to "attempt to make the best score possible at each hole".
 

wjemather

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But how would you go about establishing if someone was "failing to "attempt to make the best score possible at each hole".
That depends on the individual and how it came to the attention of the committee. However, contrary to what some seem to think, such things do not hide very well in scorecard returns.
 

Swango1980

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But how would you go about establishing if someone was "failing to "attempt to make the best score possible at each hole".
Clubs should have trained psychologists with any player, or group of players who wish to submit a score for handicap. If they feel a player has not put their full attention into any shot, due to potentially a loss of interest after a previous mistake, the psychologist should report back to Committee. Following this, a player should receive a warning, and a reminder of their full responsibilities in the Rules of Handicapping. If done again, the player should have their handicap suspended with immediate effect.

That is one option, but perhaps a bit extreme? Instead, Committees should rely on members reporting other members for not putting every effort into every score. This of course will not happen, or rarely happen, so the Committee will not actually have any information to act on. Even if a player does report another player, I suspect the Committee will have a bigger job calming the storm after a complete breakdown between both players.

So, to summarise, theoretically a Committee could be asked to warn players every single time they do not try their hardest on every single shot. The advice given to Committees to act on such things looks lovely in a guidance document, and seems to tick a box when dealing with a potential problem that could occur within the handicapping system. Practically, it is not even close to being realistic.
 

Swango1980

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That depends on the individual and how it came to the attention of the committee. However, contrary to what some seem to think, such things do not hide very well in scorecard returns.
But, how many committee members go through every scorecard that is submitted for handicap (competitions and general play). Then, look at any patterns of scoring for each hole, to see if scores became worse after a particular point in the round? Then apply their judgement as to whether the player genuinely started playing badly, or threw in the towel (judgement being key, as there is no research to tell us what scoring pattern to look for).

I am guessing that this has not happened once in the history of golf. Furthermore, I reckon a player could write on their scorecard in capital letters "I CHEATED" or "I GAVE UP AFTER THE 9TH AND JUST MESSED ABOUT" and no one on the Committee would ever see that, because they do not check the scorecard, let along individual hole scores.

So, all the Committee have is to rely on one member accusing another member of not trying hard enough. As said, I doubt that has ever happened. In my decade or so on a Committee, we never once had one member report this about another member, and I've no doubt hundreds of rounds included members who had given up after a bad start. The only way we'd ever have known a player had not tried their hardest is if they simply walked off the course and thus NRed.
 

fundy

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So you think people should be allowed to continue jacking up their handicaps so they can cleanup in betterballs and knockouts? Of course not, because that would be ridiculous. The conversation needs to happen, and it starts with basic education of the player - they may not be aware of their responsibilities.

If nothing is done, at some point this guy is probably going to be accused of cheating; perhaps you think that would be a better outcome?


where did i say that? where in the priginal post does it say he is deliberately jacking up his hcap and cheating as you want to imply? hes a guy playing golf as a recreation, who cant always put a score together with card in hand and then gets frustrated. Go to every single golf club across the world on a saturday comp morning and youll find dozens of them!

yet you seem to think the role of a committee under the guise of the handicap system wants to pull him aside and tell him hes not trying hard enough? get over yourself
 

wjemather

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where did i say that? where in the priginal post does it say he is deliberately jacking up his hcap and cheating as you want to imply? hes a guy playing golf as a recreation, who cant always put a score together with card in hand and then gets frustrated. Go to every single golf club across the world on a saturday comp morning and youll find dozens of them!

yet you seem to think the role of a committee under the guise of the handicap system wants to pull him aside and tell him hes not trying hard enough? get over yourself
Where did I suggest these things? Nowhere. All I have suggested is a simple friendly reminder of/education on the rules; rules which all players accept as part of having and maintaining a handicap.

By the way, being aggressive and insulting doesn't wash with me, so kindly knock it off. Thanks.
 
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sunshine

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Where did I suggest these things? Nowhere. All I have suggested is a simple friendly reminder of/education on the rules; rules which all players accept as part of having and maintaining a handicap.

By the way, being aggressive and insulting doesn't wash with me, so kindly knock it off. Thanks.

"the rules"... these are not rules of golf, which is what matters.

How far do you go with defining whether people are "trying"? If I go for the green on a par 5 instead of laying up, and fail to carry the water hazard, does that count as not trying? Because if I was on a good score i would certainly lay up.

I don't think you have a realistic grasp of why most people play golf.
 

clubchamp98

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Guy who beat me was off about 11 or 12 I think when he really should have been off around 7 or 8, he won the winter pairs 2 years in a row, one of these folk who have won a few matchplay comps but can't seem to do it in medals apparently
Unfortunately that’s a very common tale.
 
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