54 Handicappers - Scourge or Scarcity ?

sunshine

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Reminds me of those sketches with John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett. I put you in the Ronnie Barker role looking down on anyone with a handicap higher than yours, while totally oblivious to being looked down upon by anyone with a handicap lower than yours. Smugness personified.
I don't see what is so smug about the comment?

Someone playing off HI 36 is probably shooting 110 - 120 at my course. They would probably enjoy it more off the red tees which is 1000 yards shorter.
 

mikejohnchapman

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So...several threads reviewing the WHS and in amongst them there are comments around the issues of players receiving 54 shots....slow play, able bodied person shouldn't need 54 shots, need to learn to hit the ball before they play in a comp, cant compete against them etc etc etc.

Folks who recognise their own words above....don't take umbrage...this isn't aimed at you specifically...its a general observation that could have been made any time since 54 handicaps were introduced...an act that pre-dated the WHS by quite some time as it happens, and generated a similar raft of comments at the time it was announced.

So I thought..."I don't believe I actually know any 54 handicappers...I wonder if we have any at our club?"...and got digging in our handicapping systems database. I thought that 54 cappers themselves would inevitably be quite rare but there would surely be a sizeable number of players with 40+ handicaps if the grapevine/gossip/doom mongerers were to be believed....I set an arbitrary limit of the old ladies max handicap of 36 and decided to have a trawl through looking for our members with 36.1 indexes and above.

Out of 550 members we have a paltry 17 (7M, 11F) who have indexes above 36.1. Their indexes range from 36.1 to 54.0 (yes we have one!) with 11 golfers having indexes between 36.1 and 39.3, 4 golfers with indexes in the 40's and 2 golfers in the 50's. The ages of the 17 players are... 16,35,50,50,56,60,62,65,65,66,70,75,75,76,79,79,82 and 85. One might guess that the youngster is new to the game (they are certainly a new member) and I know for a fact that the 35 year old only took up the game earlier this summer and was allocated their first handicap index (high 30's) less than 6 weeks ago. But, as is plain to see, a significant number are "getting on a bit" and are possibly at ages where health might suffer as well as a general reduction in physical ability....certainly there are no strapping folks in the prime of their lives populating this list....you probably have to go another 18 golfers down to a 32 index player before you think...."come on fella...you should be doing better than that :LOL:".

Between these 17 players they have a grand total of 85 cards submitted for handicap purposes for the entire calendar year to date.....of which 36 were competetive rounds...actually, only 7 of them actually played competetive rounds, the other ten have never teed it up in a comp in 2020. Not once have any of these 7 golfers threatened a competition leaderboard.

I don't know if my club is representative of others, if it is an outlier and the world outside this tiny corner of Suffolk is a different place, where 50+ handicappers freely roam (albeit slowly) the course like zombies from a horror movie, lurching from side to side across the fairway (still similar to zombies from said horror movie) as they bat their ball left, right, left, right Army golf fashion.

But from this casual observers point of view I just do not see any of the oft repeated accusations against, well, lets just call them "extreme handicap golfers" rather than put a specific number gains them, standing up. I don't see that play has slowed any, I don't see such players coming remotely close to cleaning up in comps, as far as I can see those players that do hold such handicaps, for the most part probably have good reason to have those handicaps which are perfectly justifiable given their time playing the game or their general health/fitness.

So for me....I find the 50+ brigade "not guilty" on all charges.

Those of you have have access to fact based evidence...how do you see things? What proportion of your club is 36+, 40+, 50+ handicap golfers? Are they winning every thing in site? Are there a raft of youngsters (lets say sub 50 year olds :LOL:) playing off such handicaps?
Sorry if this was quoted elsewhere but I didn't see it.

On a recent webcast EG quoted that out of approximately 700K members in the UK there are 1006 males and 1024 females with a 54 handicap. The vast majority of these are juniors as the handicap system only recognises gender and not age.

Sorry to get in the way of a good rant! :oops:
 

jim8flog

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Anyone requiring 2 shots per hole is playing off the wrong tees.
We hopefully will be getting the reds rated for male players next year I have been asking players know to me if they would play off them and so far nobody has said yes.

One guy is always moaning that he cannot reach the fairway on a lot of holes. He is now in his 80s but at one time he was something like a 4 handicap on a very tough course in Lancashire, his comment "I am struggling to come to terms with how much my game has gone downhill and think this might make me go even further that way" . Mind you he took the kitty today with 39 points.
 
Thread starter #125
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We are in line to be re-rated next year....I really do hope the assessment team rate every tee for every gender.

Will open up the opportunity for some fun competitions as well as giving some of our older male golfers the chance to play off a shortened course should they desire and providing an equitable handicap for the few women that like to play fun rounds with the blokes off the yellows.
 

rulefan

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We are in line to be re-rated next year....I really do hope the assessment team rate every tee for every gender.

Will open up the opportunity for some fun competitions as well as giving some of our older male golfers the chance to play off a shortened course should they desire and providing an equitable handicap for the few women that like to play fun rounds with the blokes off the yellows.
Make sure tour committee asks for it to be done
 
Thread starter #127
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Make sure tour committee asks for it to be done
We asked for it to be done last time....the assessment team refused.

sorry...thats harsh....we told them we would like it doing if possible...they said it wasnt possible without giving reason
 

Swango1980

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see above...my initial response was perhaps a bit unfair on them....but no.....no reason was given.
Your initial answer probably was not that harsh. You told them you'd like it done, they said they couldn't. They effectively refused, because I am sure they COULD have done it theoretically. So, I assume their reasoning must have been time related, although it would have been nice for them to explain why they could not fulfil your request.
 

wjemather

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We asked for it to be done last time....the assessment team refused.

sorry...thats harsh....we told them we would like it doing if possible...they said it wasn't possible without giving reason
That response is poor.

We have had similar issues. Unfortunately we were one of the first courses to be rated in the county, so getting tee sets rated for both men and women wasn't something being widely discussed at the time and as a result I don't believe it was ever mentioned. When WHS started being mooted, we requested re-rating to get all tees available for men and women, particularly the front/red tees for men (mostly seniors and juniors) and middle/yellow tees for women, but were told we'd have to wait until our scheduled rerating. That should have been this year, but we are now being told we won't get rated again until 2025!! Hopefully, having been obtained a new course measurement certificate (which highlighted about a 200 yard discrepancy from the old measurements for all tees), that will change.

We have managed to get our winter tee sets rated with the new measurements (although they were done remotely, and not as a provisional rating, so not technically in accordance with the Course and Slope Rating System - and there were glaring inconsistencies as a result). However, the head of the county rating team did question why we would want our forward winter tees to be "blue" if they'll be almost exclusively used by ladies - he suggested they should be "pink" - and ultimately failed to provide men's ratings for those tees. :rolleyes:
 
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Swango1980

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That response is poor.

We have had similar issues. Unfortunately we were one of the first courses to be rated in the county, so getting tee sets rated for both men and women wasn't something being widely discussed at the time and as a result I don't believe it was ever mentioned. When WHS started being mooted, we requested re-rating to get all tees available for men and women, particularly the front/red tees for men (seniors and juniors) and middle/yellow tees for women, but were told we'd have to wait until our scheduled rerating. That should have been this year, but we are now being told we won't get rated again until 2025!! Hopefully, having been obtained a new course measurement certificate (which highlighted about a 200 yard discrepancy from the old measurements for all tees), that will change.

We have managed to get our winter tee sets rated with the new measurements (although they were done remotely, and not as a provisional rating, so not technically in accordance with the Course and Slope Rating System - and there were glaring inconsistencies as a result). However, the head of the county rating team did question why we would want our forward winter tees to be "blue" if they'll be almost exclusively used by ladies - he suggested they should be "pink" - and ultimately failed to provide men's ratings for those tees. :rolleyes:
Blue = Men. Pink = Ladies. Ladies would NEVER tee off a blue tee, as blue is quite clearly a masculine colour. And men would not be seen playing off pink tees, as pink is quite clearly a feminine colour.

The above might have been a serious answer once upon a time. 70 years on, as we move into the year 2022, perhaps not so much :)

And, of course the above dismisses the fact that "why on earth can men not play off the forward tees, and who on earth must ladies be restricted to the forward tees?", which is obviously the key issue you were trying to address in the first place.
 

4LEX

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A 54 handicapper isn't a golfer, they belong on a driving range or putting green. Harsh but true. Most decent clubs wouldn't let anyone above 18 on unless they were playing with better players.

These players might pay the same membership but will do 3-4 times more damage to the course.
 

BiMGuy

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A 54 handicapper isn't a golfer, they belong on a driving range or putting green. Harsh but true. Most decent clubs wouldn't let anyone above 18 on unless they were playing with better players.

These players might pay the same membership but will do 3-4 times more damage to the course.
Do you have any evidence of that? And what kind of damage do they do?
 

Jigger

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I’m all for 54 handicaps. when I started playing I scored 143. Playing with mates with proper handicaps, I was just handicapping my playing partner further when I was given 28 shots. It had nothing to do with pace. I still got around in 4hrs on a muni where everyone did the same. I’ve also brought friends through in the same manner since and I don’t cringe at how bad they are, I try to help them while ensure they learn pace of play. I think giving someone a manageable handicap in those situations is fine. we have players at our club who can barely hit a ball and are slow but you’ll not find them in the comps. They are leisure golfers playing in the empty afternoon slots so as frustrating as it can be being stuck behind them until they let you through, I’m more tolerant as they are out at the right time.

I just don’t get the elitist lower handicap views of some people but I do think some clubs need to do more to steer newer or higher handicap players to the easier courses or quieter times Where their game is more suited and can be more enjoyable. Even maybe have much shorter tees to keep the cash coming in. this is where traditional tee structures should be done away with and measured by ability rather than gender (Excluding comps).

the only issue I see is competitions, especially team scrambles. There are a group of 1 mid handicapper and 3x 30+ handicappers blitzing the team events at our place and you never see them in the singles. yes you could argue the club could do something but all I’ve said so far suggests club comps should be more targeted at the sub 28 players as they have traditionally been as there is also a risk of a 54hcp new player getting lessons and dropping 10 shots between competitive games until they hit certain levels where the improvements would impact scores less.
 

4LEX

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Do you have any evidence of that? And what kind of damage do they do?
I'm talking comps by the way. I've got plenty of evidence that I've seen with my own eyes. Slow play is another serious blight on the game and anyone taking 3-4 extra practice swings/shots and time looking for lost balls is going to grind play to a standstill.

We all have to start somewhere but anyone with a bit of practice can play to 36 no problem. Golf is a tough game but a 54 handicap is simply ridiculous and has no place in a competition. Go out when it's quiet but if golf meant that much to a 54 handicapper that they must play in comps, go and practice more.

I'm also against elitist low handicap cliques that golf clubs have. I've seen them too where they refuse to let anyone under 5 join their roll ups etc. Basically it boils down to common sense.
 

2blue

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Sorry if this was quoted elsewhere but I didn't see it.

On a recent webcast EG quoted that out of approximately 700K members in the UK there are 1006 males and 1024 females with a 54 handicap. The vast majority of these are juniors as the handicap system only recognises gender and not age.

Sorry to get in the way of a good rant! :oops:
At their Presentation Evening this year a N Leeds Club, Cookridge GC, awarded their "Most Improved Player " award to a Junior who, in one year, went from HI 54 to 14....... marvelous!!
 
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