Does your handicap matter to you?

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MarkT

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Interested in how people view their handicaps.... personally it doesn't interest me in the slightest, either a) to get it down or b) what it is. That's not trying to be casual or laid back, more that I never play in any competitions due to a young family and that I know better than anyone what I go round in. Last week I had 39 points and the week before 29, at the same course and the same conditions, so, like most people, I can play under it and I can also be a shambles.

Conversely I know a huge amount of people who are obsessed by the whole thing and fret over going up or down and seem to tally their overall happiness to whichever direction their handicap is going.

I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority here but keen to hear what people think?
 

IanM

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Old system went up slower than you could potentially go down, so handicap rises were slow.

The six weeks form, quoted above, might be two years for some players who post fewer scores.

Its a cultural change that those in charge didn't deal with in the comms. Hence the range of reactions to it.

I think I care less than I did, although it is more accurate if you post scores regularly.

Folk care even less when they see daft scores winning.

Playing in Bideford Bay pairs tomorrow. We know we could score miles better than handicap, and still be 15 points adrift.
 

Orikoru

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Yes, I do care about it and want to get it lower. But as I've only had a handicap for five years or so I still have that feeling that I have the potential of getting lower. I can understand players of 20-30 years stopping caring about it when they've plateaued and it will just hover around the same sort of numbers. My feeling is that will happen to me when I get to around 12, as I don't practise enough to get any lower than that - so once I managed to get there I think I'll be happy and stop caring unless it creeps too high again.

On the flip side though, I've started caring less and less since we moved to the WHS because it now seems more random and it's less clear what I have to do to get it down. In the old system I had that clear goal; beat my existing handicap and it will go down, or buffer and it will stay the same at least. Whereas now I just try and play well and hopefully it goes down, but really I haven't a clue if it will or not.
 

Orikoru

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It does to me. I don't play golf to win credit in the pro-shop or get my name on a board, I play to reduce my handicap. When I reach a stage where it is going up and up, I will quit. I don't really play matchplay or pairs because the handicap is not affected.
Surely that will come with age though? So past a certain age you just won't play?
 

DRW

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I play golf for fun, so handicap is just whatever it is.

I think the EG app/WHS is great, I've entered more cards this year, then probably in total over my golfing life, at a guess(certainly for this year it will be for certain, as will probably do 40ish scoring rounds).
 

BiMGuy

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Nope. And never have been, even when down to mid single figures.

I've said it on here before. My only concern is what I am able to shoot gross, as that is the true measure of my ability.
 

Beedee

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I want my handicap to be a realistic measure of my game, so as long as it's fairly accurate it will be what it will be. I want it to be lower than it currently is because I want to be better at the game. But it will be what it will be.

Tbh, I wouldn't care if we were a bit more American about it. If you include an occasional gimme, or if you've used the congu-banned "drop in fairway for a 2 shot penalty", then tbh - so what. I believe handicaps will be more accurate overall if they based on a lot of recent cards, even with the odd gimme; rather than a limited number of cards.
 

rosecott

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It does to me. I don't play golf to win credit in the pro-shop or get my name on a board, I play to reduce my handicap. When I reach a stage where it is going up and up, I will quit. I don't really play matchplay or pairs because the handicap is not affected.
For me, there is an element of wanting to do well in comps but a much stronger element of wanting my handicap to come down. I wouldn't think of quitting as you grow older and you don't like your handicap going up - just accept it and keep trying to play your best. You can see my age from my profile and, after a very poor spell, I have managed to reduce my HI by 2.5 since the end of lockdown. There's always hope.
 

Orikoru

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Yep. When I play with older guys who were once 7 or 8 handicap and they now play off 19 and nudge it 180 years off the tee and hit 5 woods into shortish par-4s, I always think that will not be me.
To be honest I have looked at seniors who are hitting driver off every par 3 and thought "Christ, that must be a slog when you're at that stage." But I just don't think I'd be able to give it up, least of all when I probably won't have any other hobbies remaining. I mean what else do you do, take up fishing? Sod that.
 

jim8flog

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It does to me. I don't play golf to win credit in the pro-shop or get my name on a board, I play to reduce my handicap. When I reach a stage where it is going up and up, I will quit. I don't really play matchplay or pairs because the handicap is not affected.
Just wait until you reach that age:LOL:

I have gone form 6 to 12 but still love the game.
 

HeftyHacker

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I'm a relevant newcomer to the game and have only held a handicap since April. It matters but only as bragging rights over mates really as we're all relative newcomers.

Long term I'd like to get to single figures but with a young family and picking the game up too late etc I'm not sure I ever will.
 

Ethan

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To be honest I have looked at seniors who are hitting driver off every par 3 and thought "Christ, that must be a slog when you're at that stage." But I just don't think I'd be able to give it up, least of all when I probably won't have any other hobbies remaining. I mean what else do you do, take up fishing? Sod that.
Just wait until you reach that age:LOL:

I have gone form 6 to 12 but still love the game.
But if your focus is on getting your handicap down, then once that battle is lost, a lot of the appeal of the game goes. I have never been one for just enjoying the walk. Once a round is lost (no real prospect of a decent score), I am no longer interested at all.

I definitely won't be taking up fishing, though!
 

jim8flog

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For me these all that is important is that my current handicap reflects my ability (one of the things I love about the WHS).

I started to dislike the game when I could no longer play to a 6 handicap as I thought it a waste of time to enter comps - going up 0.1 at time when I needed to go up 3 shots.

When I play in comps I am playing to win but do not get upset when I do not.
 

pauldj42

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It matters to me when playing competitions in the respect that I want it to reflect my chances/ability of doing ok, so if it’s 9, I want to play to a couple of shots either side of that, if it’s 15, I still want the same thing, but what I don’t want is to enter a competition not knowing how I’ll play and go out and play 10-15 shots above my handicap(whatever that may be) everytime. Apart from the odd car crash we can all suffer.

So working on it and practising keeps me focussed.

Social golf I’m there for the laughs and score is irrelevant.
 

jim8flog

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But if your focus is on getting your handicap down, then once that battle is lost, a lot of the appeal of the game goes. I have never been one for just enjoying the walk. Once a round is lost (no real prospect of a decent score), I am no longer interested at all.

I definitely won't be taking up fishing, though!
I reached 6 and always knew I was never going to get any better ( although I did get to 5.4 for one round only). I played at that level for about 15 years and was happy with that handicap. Plenty of sub par rounds in there but SSS v par at the time was 2/3 shots difference but they were occasional rather than regular scores.

I play every hole for the best score I can get on that hole and if I have bad round going I am still trying to birdie the rest.
 
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