Plus players’ handicaps?

Thread starter #1

MarkT

GM Forum Editor
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
960
My understanding of handicaps is poor. Can someone explain why a player off +2 plays off +3 off the back tees while a player off 14 then plays off 19?

Why wouldn’t the +2 be off +1 or scratch?

Got stuffed this morning in a fourball knockout, all fair and square, but I don’t get the shots bit (needless it’s not me off +2)
 

jim8flog

Journeyman Pro
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
10,463
Location
Yeovil
I presume you checked the slope panels for their Course Handicap for the tees being played.

When you say plus 2 is that Handicap Index or Course Handicap (although they well be the same).

When the player is calculating their playing handicap you are correct. They should move towards zero and not away from it

From the manual

When handicap allowances are applied, a player with a plus Playing Handicap
moves up towards zero including rounding. This is to maintain the same relative
difference between Playing Handicaps.
I
 

Wabinez

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
2,670
I presume you checked the slope panels for their Course Handicap for the tees being played.

When you say plus 2 is that Handicap Index or Course Handicap (although they well be the same).

When the player is calculating their playing handicap you are correct. They should move towards zero and not away from it

From the manual

When handicap allowances are applied, a player with a plus Playing Handicap
moves up towards zero including rounding. This is to maintain the same relative
difference between Playing Handicaps.
I
sadly, not quite the case. A +3 (index) golfer at my place has a course handicap of +4. havent been able to work out why
 

jim8flog

Journeyman Pro
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
10,463
Location
Yeovil
sadly, not quite the case. A +3 (index) golfer at my place has a course handicap of +4. havent been able to work out why
It will be Slope dependent.

It happens to players on our full length course but not on the shorter course
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Messages
102
Location
Sale
For thos above scratch, as handicap increases we get the more shots. It's the same the other way. The higher plus handicap you give more shots to the course
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
723
My regular PP was off +2 prior to the change, now has a HI of +2 which gives him a playing handicap on our course of +3.

Always seems odd to me as another PP off 3 HI gets 4 shots from the whites on the same course.

Seems odd to me but due to my lack of understanding I’m sure.

I guess the thing is with the system it will balance itself out either way after a few more rounds.
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
11,114
My regular PP was off +2 prior to the change, now has a HI of +2 which gives him a playing handicap on our course of +3.

Always seems odd to me as another PP off 3 HI gets 4 shots from the whites on the same course.

Seems odd to me but due to my lack of understanding I’m sure.

I guess the thing is with the system it will balance itself out either way after a few more rounds.
Given the formula for Course Handicap is
CH = Handicap Index x (Slope / 113)

A plus HI will always give a plus CH and a minus HI will always give a minus CH. The unsigned value will move away from zero.
However, when a Playing Handicap involves a Handicap Allowance the value will move towards zero.

Don't confuse yourself by forgetting it is a two step process (HI -> CH -> PH) not one step (HI -> PH)
 

Ethan

Money List Winner
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
10,598
Location
Bearwood Lakes, Berks
My understanding of handicaps is poor. Can someone explain why a player off +2 plays off +3 off the back tees while a player off 14 then plays off 19?

Why wouldn’t the +2 be off +1 or scratch?

Got stuffed this morning in a fourball knockout, all fair and square, but I don’t get the shots bit (needless it’s not me off +2)
It doesn't make sense, as the system is zeroed around 0 and takes no account of the positive/negative, whereas it should be done on a number line basis.
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
11,114
It doesn't make sense, as the system is zeroed around 0 and takes no account of the positive/negative, whereas it should be done on a number line basis.
It's all to do with the slope line. As the zero point is related to a scratch (ie 0.0) player and the line goes up for ordinary mortals, it must go down for the superior few.
 

Ethan

Money List Winner
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
10,598
Location
Bearwood Lakes, Berks
It's all to do with the slope line. As the zero point is related to a scratch (ie 0.0) player and the line goes up for ordinary mortals, it must go down for the superior few.
I understand that, but the logic of anchoring handicaps to scratch is flawed. That slope should be linear not V-shaped.

If the concept is that the playing handicap for a course with slope >113 must be higher than the handicap index, there is no logic that makes any sense why it should be lower for plus players. All handicaps are relative to one another, and that relationship should be in one direction only.
 

wjemather

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
786
Location
Bristol
I understand that, but the logic of anchoring handicaps to scratch is flawed. That slope should be linear not V-shaped.

If the concept is that the playing handicap for a course with slope >113 must be higher than the handicap index, there is no logic that makes any sense why it should be lower for plus players. All handicaps are relative to one another, and that relationship should be in one direction only.
Handicaps are not "anchored" anywhere, it's just simple arithmetic that means zero multiplied by anything else is zero; Slope is calculated on the basis of scratch and bogey (and is slightly different for men and women). It is also linear; if you were to plot a line graph of HI vs CH for any given slope rating, the result would be a straight line through (0,0).

The higher the slope, the more of an advantage the lower handicapper has without adjusting for slope; i.e. a plus 5 handicapper would have an advantage over a scratch player unless they give additional strokes back to the course, in the same way that the scratch player would have an advantage over a 5 handicapper unless the latter gained additional strokes.
 

Ethan

Money List Winner
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
10,598
Location
Bearwood Lakes, Berks
Handicaps are not "anchored" anywhere, it's just simple arithmetic that means zero multiplied by anything else is zero; Slope is calculated on the basis of scratch and bogey (and is slightly different for men and women). It is also linear; if you were to plot a line graph of HI vs CH for any given slope rating, the result would be a straight line through (0,0).

The higher the slope, the more of an advantage the lower handicapper has without adjusting for slope; i.e. a plus 5 handicapper would have an advantage over a scratch player unless they give additional strokes back to the course, in the same way that the scratch player would have an advantage over a 5 handicapper unless the latter gained additional strokes.
Handicaps are indeed anchored in a statistical sense, benchmarked, if you prefer.

Playing handicaps are increased from the Handicap Index for more difficult courses, lets say if a member of Bracknell Municipal is playing Carnoustie. That increase is greater for higher handicaps. Now when you get into plus handicaps, unless you believe that plus players play better at Carnoustie than Bracknell, then their handicaps should increase also, but that means that the number reduces, because it is being added rather than subtracted. But because the system is, ahem, anchored, sorry, benchmarked at 0, the amount of increase falls from a lot at high handicaps, to a bit less at mid handicaps to a little at low handicaps to none at scratch then moves to a reduction when it crosses from regular (subtractive) handicaps to plus (additive) handicaps. That assumes the relationship between playing score at Carnoustie compared to Bracknell inverts at scratch. It plainly doesn't.

So 3 guys, handicaps 5, 0 and +5 play Carnoustie, slope 145 (not sure if that is correct, but don't worry about it).

5 guy is now 6
Scratch is now 0.
+5 guy is now +6.

So the worst player gets a small extra handicap allowance, the scratch player gets none and the best player is penalised for playing a harder course.

Now they play a return match at Bracknell Miuni which has a slope of 100.

5 guy is now a 4, scratch guy is still 0 and +5 guy is now a +4.

So the 5 handicapper gets a lower handicap at the Open venue than the chicken run, but the opposite applies to the + guy?
 
Last edited:

wjemather

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
786
Location
Bristol
Handicaps are indeed anchored in a statistical sense, benchmarked, if you prefer.

Playing handicaps are increased from the Handicap Index for more difficult courses, lets say if a member of Bracknell Municipal is playing Carnoustie. That increase is greater for higher handicaps. Now when you get into plus handicaps, unless you believe that plus players play better at Carnoustie than Bracknell, then their handicaps should increase also, but that means that the number reduces, because it is being added rather than subtracted. But because the system is, ahem, anchored, sorry, benchmarked at 0, the amount of increase falls from a lot at high handicaps, to a bit less at mid handicaps to a little at low handicaps to none at scratch then moves to a reduction when it crosses from regular (subtractive) handicaps to plus (additive) handicaps. That assumes the relationship between playing score at Carnoustie compared to Bracknell inverts at scratch. It plainly doesn't.

So 3 guys, handicaps 5, 0 and +5 play Carnoustie, slope 145 (not sure if that is correct, but don't worry about it).

5 guy is now 6
Scratch is now 0.
+5 guy is now +6.

So the worst player gets a small extra handicap allowance, the scratch player gets none and the best player is penalised for playing a harder course.

Now they play a return match at Bracknell Miuni which has a slope of 100.

5 guy is now a 4, scratch guy is still 0 and +5 guy is now a +4.

So the plus guys gets a higher handicap for a 5200 yard flat course than he does for an Open venue?
Under CONGU, the Course Handicap calculation does not account for course difficulty at all, since Slope is not a measure of the difficulty of a course - that is the Course Rating, which is accounted for in the (CR-Par) component of the calculation that the rest of the world are using, but we are not. Slope is a measure of relative difficulty for a bogey golfer compared to a scratch golfer.
 

Ethan

Money List Winner
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
10,598
Location
Bearwood Lakes, Berks
Under CONGU, the Course Handicap calculation does not account for course difficulty at all, since Slope is not a measure of the difficulty of a course - that is the Course Rating, which is accounted for in the (CR-Par) component of the calculation that the rest of the world are using, but we are not. Slope is a measure of relative difficulty for a bogey golfer compared to a scratch golfer.
Cool. But the same point applies. In my example above, the +5 player goes to a chicken run with a slope less than 113 and their handicap is increased as a result, so that must suggest the course is relatively more difficult for them than the scratch player, which is highly unlikely. The whole system is benchmarked at scratch, and the problem arises from that.
 

wjemather

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
786
Location
Bristol
Cool. But the same point applies. In my example above, the +5 player goes to a chicken run with a slope less than 113 and their handicap is increased as a result, so that must suggest the course is relatively more difficult for them than the scratch player, which is highly unlikely. The whole system is benchmarked at scratch, and the problem arises from that.
The lower your handicap, the relatively more difficult it is to score well on low Sloped courses, and this difference in relative difficulty extends below scratch. There is no problem.
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
11,114
Handicaps are indeed anchored in a statistical sense, benchmarked, if you prefer.

Playing handicaps are increased from the Handicap Index for more difficult courses, lets say if a member of Bracknell Municipal is playing Carnoustie. That increase is greater for higher handicaps. Now when you get into plus handicaps, unless you believe that plus players play better at Carnoustie than Bracknell, then their handicaps should increase also, but that means that the number reduces, because it is being added rather than subtracted. But because the system is, ahem, anchored, sorry, benchmarked at 0, the amount of increase falls from a lot at high handicaps, to a bit less at mid handicaps to a little at low handicaps to none at scratch then moves to a reduction when it crosses from regular (subtractive) handicaps to plus (additive) handicaps. That assumes the relationship between playing score at Carnoustie compared to Bracknell inverts at scratch. It plainly doesn't.

So 3 guys, handicaps 5, 0 and +5 play Carnoustie, slope 145 (not sure if that is correct, but don't worry about it).

5 guy is now 6
Scratch is now 0.
+5 guy is now +6.

So the worst player gets a small extra handicap allowance, the scratch player gets none and the best player is penalised for playing a harder course.

Now they play a return match at Bracknell Miuni which has a slope of 100.

5 guy is now a 4, scratch guy is still 0 and +5 guy is now a +4.

So the 5 handicapper gets a lower handicap at the Open venue than the chicken run, but the opposite applies to the + guy?
Course Rating is about the difficulty of a course in absolute terms for each grade of player.
However, Slope Rating is all about the relative difficulty of a course for a higher handicapper compared with a lower handicapper. Slope is linear. The Slope line has a fixed angle in relation to the horizontal. ie it continues at at exactly the same angle below zero. The implication is that the better the player, the easier it is relatively to play to handicap. So Slope was invented to make it relatively the same for all.
On a particular course the Course Rating may say a scratch player needs 76 strokes to play to handicap. The Slope says a 5 capper may need 78 but a +5 only needs 74.
 

JamesR

Tour Winner
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
7,413
Location
Derby
If you do the maths with say a +2.4 handicap on a course with slope 128.
Isn’t the calc -2.4 x 128/123
That equals -2.7, therefore +3 course handicap.
 
Top