How do some people get their handicaps???

Smiffy

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Played in a society meet a few weeks ago, a new guy had joined the society and he was put out with me because I have been a member for quite some time and could welcome him to the group.
He was a member of a club and had an official handicap of 12.
Playing the 5th hole at Chartham Park in Sussex, shortish par4 with a lateral hazard running almost the whole length of the right hand side.
Anyway, he drives off and dumps his tee shot in the ditch.
He drops his ball, plays on to the green, three putts and as we walk off I ask him his score (I am marking his card, and knew what he had by the way)...
"Five" he replies.
"Pardon?" says I.
"Five"
"Sorry mate, I think you scored Six there" I said.
"No five" he says.
"But you went in the hazard" I said. "One in the hazard, two the drop, three onto the green and three putts. That makes six".
"But it was red staked" he says, "that isn't a penalty. Only yellow ones are a penalty!"
I tried to explain that the penalties were the same whatever the colour of the stakes, only the dropping options were different but he wouldn't have it.
As the guy had only scored about 3 or 4 points after 5 holes I didn't make a big song and dance about it. He wasn't going to win anything. But it makes you wonder....how the hell did he get an "official" handicap of 12?????
 

Doh

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Some people will tell you that they are better than they are, some people will tell you they are not as good as they really are.

Why they do it? beats me, you only end up looking like a jerk or a cheat

If i had to play with either of them it would be the jerk.

only way to stop it, well if they belong to a club make them show a handicap cert.
 

Imurg

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Just because someone has a handicap it doesn't mean they know the rules - even basic ones like that. When they put their cards in for their handicap there may not have been any penalties involved.

Never make the mistake of assuming that just because someone has a handicap that they know how to play.
 

viscount17

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then again maybe penalties were involved but, as with a guy I met at my club, he has a favourable rule for every situation and no penalties = lower handicap.
 

Imurg

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Agreed.

But in my experience having a handicap is not proof that you either :-

A. Know the rules

or

B. Actually know how to play.

We put so much stock in having a handicap, and while in theory it shows you know what you're doing, in reality it proves nothing as, if you read these posts, most of us don't play to it a lot and a lot don't know all the rules.

Not having a go at anybody here, but we build up the handicap certificate as if at were some hallowed document. Its really only a peice of paper that shows you belong to a club
 

Doh

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Agree that having a handicap does not mean you know the rules i know low handicapers who dont know them and high handicapers who do.

What a Handicap does is try to make sure we all play off a level playing field even if we dont always play to it, it shows your potential and i wish there was a way that people could obtain one without having to join a club.
 

Parmo

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I am unsure about the type of drop when and if needed I can take, but I only play once a week at the moment and don't play comps. I think it’s if the ball is unplayable and a moveable item like a fallen tree or yardage marker I can take a drop at no penalty at one clubs length away but no closer to the hole, but if my ball is next to a tree and unplayable I can take a drop but at penalty or take the shot? The part for different drops I don't know.

I feel bandits are worst type of players as bandits win comps of the back of cheating and if someone doesn't play to their hcp in comps it just penalises them if they obtained a hcp lower than they should have.
 

Smiffy

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Appreciate what you are saying about not knowing all the rules...there are so many, even tournament officials don't know them all and have to refer.
But something as basic and as simple as hazards?
The first time I stepped on a golf course I knew what a hazard was, and although the dropping options between water and lateral water hazards take a little working out, the fact that it is a penalty if you go in one was evident to me fairly quickly.
Too attain a handicap of 12 (which is a fair handicap and shows he had been playing a while) without knowing something this basic made me wonder that's all.
Rob
 

HomerJSimpson

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I think the best way of sorting this out in the future would be for the R&A to devise a short 30-40 multiple choice sheet available to all clubs and societies free on both the main rules (i.e. red and yellow stakes and the options, ball OB) and on etiquette and that any perspective new member of a club should be made to take it.

There could be an R&A directive on what they consider a reasonable passing score or clubs could consider fixing their own. In either case at least new people coming into the game will have been assessed and would have the first idea what was going on
 

Smiffy

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just done a search. there are 2 rules and 20 sub-rules which mention drops - and we wonder why people don't know them?

It wasn't the fact that he didn't know the drop options...it was the fact that he thought a lateral water hazard wasn't a penalty!
;)
 

Leftie

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"No five" he says."But you went in the hazard" I said. "One in the hazard, two the drop, three onto the green and three putts. That makes six".
"But it was red staked" he says, "that isn't a penalty. Only yellow ones are a penalty!"
I tried to explain that the penalties were the same whatever the colour of the stakes, only the dropping options were different but he wouldn't have it.

From similar experiences, his ignorance of the rules and subsequent explanations/arguements probably took several minutes and may have held up those behind. See Pace of Play thread
 

Smiffy

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From similar experiences, his ignorance of the rules and subsequent explanations/arguements probably took several minutes and may have held up those behind. See Pace of Play thread

It didn't.
I was walking quite briskly whilst I explained it to him
;)

(And we had to wait on the next tee anyway!)
 

Marko77

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I'm sort of in agreement with what HJS suggests.

The golf unions could/should introduce a short questionnaire highlighting 10 of the more common occurences (similar to the Qs in Golf Monthly each mag) and ask club members to fill this out before playing in their first comp of the year.

This would give a broad idea of common rules knowledge across the country and possibly highlight some clubs that would benefit from a rules seminar.

Not a dig, but I know from playing within non affiliated societies there are a number of 'society rules' this may just be what he has been used to playing informal competitions? Handy to carry a copy of the rules book in the bag but as has been said, maybe this scenario wasn't the best time to be quoting the bible. Just advise him to read the rules regarding staked areas...
 

SammmeBee

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I think the best way of sorting this out in the future would be for the R&A to devise a short 30-40 multiple choice sheet available to all clubs and societies free on both the main rules (i.e. red and yellow stakes and the options, ball OB) and on etiquette and that any perspective new member of a club should be made to take it.

There could be an R&A directive on what they consider a reasonable passing score or clubs could consider fixing their own. In either case at least new people coming into the game will have been assessed and would have the first idea what was going on

The R&A have nothing to do with handicaps......
 

HomerJSimpson

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Agreed but as the governing body they could control and produce the questions on behalf of the clubs, societies and golfing unions. If it was done by more than one body the questions and knowledge levels would vary too much
 

Clansman

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Agreed but as the governing body they could control and produce the questions on behalf of the clubs, societies and golfing unions. If it was done by more than one body the questions and knowledge levels would vary too much

I have to agree with Homer on this one as the R&A are the governing body and set the rules they should be the ones to set the questions, and as the OP was about rules and Handicaps, the R&A are probably the best to administer this.
 

Herbie

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I think smiffy was very forgiving, I know I wouldnt stand for it. As far as h/c of 12 goes, he may well have genuinely held that h/c but time and perhaps a more difficult course new to them can make many a decent h/c holder look silly from time to time,he may even have just obtained the h/c recently after a string of successes, I know Ive been there. lol. When my MS plays up I can look instantly like a 36 h/capper.lol. Personally if someone struggles to play their h/c thats how it should be, it shouldnt be easy. But as has been said, knowing rules has nothing to do with h/c. but I used to know a chap from one club who played off 8, then moved to a better club (more difficult) and never played the course better than 10 over and often many more, so that can have a little bearing.
 

Socorox56

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Its a great topic of conversation - someone always knows someone who does not know the rules. I thought I did but then took the quiz on the R&A website. We all need to improve our knowledge since, if we do not play by the rules of the game, then we are not actually playing golf. We should not be afraid to point out breaches so that we can continue to learn. Our pro (like many) provides free Rules Books - take advantage.
 
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