Does your handicap matter to you?

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As someone with a very competitive nature, yes it does matter to me. At the minute I don’t feel like my handicap is a true reflection of my ability, it’s a few holes in a round that are stopping a big reduction for me at the minute.
 

rosecott

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I'm told there is a new scoring method with bogey , hence the silly scores. I'm sure someone said net bogey now wins the hole??
We've still got the same slope as before, we were rated before WHS came in. I think part of the problem was all the comps are from before the Am when there was little or no rough, now its pretty brutal. Mind the guy that won the bogey won the Stableford last week with 45 points
If true, someone has got things badly wrong at your place. A Bogey competition has not changed under WHS and is exactly the same as it was under CONGU UHS. We have had at least 2 or 3 Bogeys since WHS came in and scores were just as you would expect
 

JamieB

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Jul 16, 2021
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It matters to me but I wish it didn’t. When I play with my friends or whatever I usually play to it or under but when I play in a medal or competition and it actually matters I can’t play to it.
 

chrisd

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I'm absolutely fed up with my golf. I've gone up up up since the WHS and have obviously deserved to, but, I went up .6 in 2 rounds last week and 2 much better rounds dropped out, and whilst I agree if I now score, say a 93, and its replacing an 83 then that reflects my current playing level but last year our course was in much better condition because of leatherjacket damage and grass damage due to heavy rain in spring and then no sun and warmth it's been poor this year, and the second cut was much lower so it was easier to find a ball and to play it so increases in handicap are not exactly like for like of the ones coming out.
 

evemccc

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Mar 28, 2020
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My only concern is what I am able to shoot gross, as that is the true measure of my ability.
I want to get my handicap as low as I can. But I agree with the above statement...I have no interest in handicap comps, only gross scores
 
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Every time I go out to record a score for handicap assessment and/or adjustment I am trying to play to the best of my ability.

I would hope this is true for everyone. (Playing deliberately poorly is not something I am considering anyone here is doing)

If so, then you do care about your handicap as you are trying to get as low as you can every recorded round. This should be true for everyone.

Please someone, tell me where I am going wrong with my reasoning!
My mate is 85 years old & his index is 9.2. He doesn't care where his handicap goes. All he wants to do is to go out & have a pleasant game with his friends.
 

jim8flog

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One of the things that my increasing handicap has meant is a change of divisions and I am now having to play in the most competitive division (11-15) although I have managed one second place this year.
 
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Jul 24, 2009
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I think it is, because you can beat your handicap and go up, you can play over your handicap and go down or stay the same etc etc

The old system was consistent in that you knew (with some certainty) at the end of your round if you'd go up, down or stay as is.
It's the same with this system.

I know that unless I shoot 78 or better tomorrow, my handicap index will go up as that is my 20th score and will drop off. I know that on Saturday I need to better 83 as that is my highest counting score, if I do the HI will go down, if I don't, it will stay the same as I have a high none counting score dropping off.

I can even do a simple sum at the end to predict any change. Take the two differentials, old and new, and subtract the low from the high, divide the difference by 8 and that is roughly your index change, be it up or down.

i.e. Old differential 9.6, new differential 7.2.
9.6 - 7.2 = 2.4
2.4/8 = 0.3
HI reduces by 0.3

All done during the first pint.
 

Slab

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I thought it mattered to me but when I think on it more it really doesn’t …
  • I always want it lower… but when I think on it, that’s just to show personal improvement but there’s plenty other ways to measure improvement than using handicap
  • Its nice to have something to use for giving everyone a chance in social games… but again there’s plenty alternatives we could use. It doesn’t matter if we use something completely different to the social games at other courses or even other social games at our own course, as long as its fair/fun
  • If I want to play a comp I need a handicap, so it matters then otherwise I couldn’t play that event… but it doesn’t matter what that handicap is, just that it exists & is accurate
I’m playing an Open handicap comp on Saturday but with a gammy knee I have zero chance of playing to handicap, so I’ll shell out knowing in advance I’ll be in a fair bit of pain during and after, at a course I just played last week, with no hope of winning even the side bets… will my handicap matter to me… not much, should be some good craic though

Bottom line, if it didn't exist would I still play golf? Hell yeah! ... So I'll say no, my handicap doesn't matter to me
 

Ethan

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It's the same with this system.

I know that unless I shoot 78 or better tomorrow, my handicap index will go up as that is my 20th score and will drop off. I know that on Saturday I need to better 83 as that is my highest counting score, if I do the HI will go down, if I don't, it will stay the same as I have a high none counting score dropping off.

I can even do a simple sum at the end to predict any change. Take the two differentials, old and new, and subtract the low from the high, divide the difference by 8 and that is roughly your index change, be it up or down.

i.e. Old differential 9.6, new differential 7.2.
9.6 - 7.2 = 2.4
2.4/8 = 0.3
HI reduces by 0.3

All done during the first pint.
Yep, it is easy to see which of the 20 scores will expire, and if it is one of the 8, what scores will keep your HI the same or reduce or increase it.

I know, for example, that of my next 7 rounds, only one of my current 8/20 scores will drop out, and it is the worst one of the 8, so I have a great chance to put some decent scores on the board and lower the handicap.
 

Voyager EMH

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Leicestershire
My mate is 85 years old & his index is 9.2. He doesn't care where his handicap goes. All he wants to do is to go out & have a pleasant game with his friends.
Does he try to play to the best of his ability when returning a score?
If yes, then I say that he is trying to be as low a handicapper as possible, even though that may be increasing with age.
He cares about his handicap maybe not in his thoughts, or only indirectly in his thoughts, but directly with his actions.
At 85 an index of 9.2 is brilliant. I hope I can still play to that when I'm 85.
 

BobbyP

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Jul 14, 2021
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Surrey
I've always been quite obsessed with numbers in sport, particularly from my cricket playing days as a youngster. Maybe being a maths geek has something to do with it as well. So on that basis, it matters to me, and I think it helps having a target in mind when it comes to trying to improve my game.
 

sunshine

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I'm absolutely fed up with my golf. I've gone up up up since the WHS and have obviously deserved to, but, I went up .6 in 2 rounds last week and 2 much better rounds dropped out, and whilst I agree if I now score, say a 93, and its replacing an 83 then that reflects my current playing level but last year our course was in much better condition because of leatherjacket damage and grass damage due to heavy rain in spring and then no sun and warmth it's been poor this year, and the second cut was much lower so it was easier to find a ball and to play it so increases in handicap are not exactly like for like of the ones coming out.
I ran out of breath reading that sentence! But you make a very good point which I hadn't thought of previously. The rough at my course is brutal this year: a combination of the wet start to the growing season and a conscious decision from the course committee to toughen the course up to challenge the better golfers. The greens are also firmer I think. I've gone up 2.7 in 6 rounds (often jumping 0.5 a round), which is a big jump but reflects much higher scores.

It has occurred to me that possibly the slope index is too low, because the rough has only been grown up this summer. But then it would be too complicated for courses to recalculate rankings, because next month the rough could be cut back. I don't think PCC addresses this either.
 

Smiffy

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When I first started playing, I was handicap obsessed, wanting to get down as low as I could. Managed to get down to 10, but then left the club and didn't play regularly for a good few years
Started up again after the break and obtained a 13 handicap, and have been hovering around that ever since, although truth be known I should be a few higher nowadays.
I get frustrated that I'm not hitting the ball as far as I used to, but if I'm playing with old friends who I played with twenty or thirty years ago, it's a good leveller as we are all affected the same way, so I don't feel disadvantaged. My handicap chasing days are long gone, but as long as I can still knock it around at a reasonable pace it doesn't bother me that much.
 

Slab

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I've very little contact with the new system yet but if a course is currently playing tougher than it was months ago/last year/rated at, the only folks affected are the ones who haven't played qualification rounds? is that right
(i.e they have a handicap based on a different/easier course)

Is this sound logic: providing your handicaps' only going up relative to the course getting harder, so will everyone else's... so its all good?
 

drewster

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Mar 24, 2010
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Lincolnshire Wolds
I'm still aspirational in terms of wanting to shoot lower gross scores and my current HI is a reflection of my ability at my home course, and my home course only as the slope rating is quite high. I'm not so sure it will travel well though but that is yet to be seen.
 
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