Potentially changing 4BBB Open Competitions- Any thoughts on alternate system?

rulie

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Many clubs require players to have returned a minimum number of scores to be eligible to win prizes but allow them to make a handicap qualifying score.
and/or limit the course/playing handicap that can be used in that competition. The Committee has the means and authority to deal with it - handicap Rule 7.2.
 

rulefan

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and/or limit the course/playing handicap that can be used in that competition. The Committee has the means and authority to deal with it - handicap Rule 7.2.
Particularly noting:

For the purpose of updating a player's Handicap Index after a competition where the Committee has set maximum limits, the player's full, unrestricted Course Handicap should be used for the calculation of their adjusted gross score.
 
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The damage is already done if they win a comp by with nearly 50 points. And, it would be unwise for a handicap committee to give the player an additional cut based on one score, or act on the opinion of others. Only unless they start putting in great scores in match play, am/ams, etc, the Committee are normally wise to trust the handicap system will eventually catch up. And, when it finally does, no doubt another high handicapper or 2 will come along, new to the game.

One way would be for the handicap Committee to ignore the handicap the player gets after submitting their 3 cards, and make it lower. Of course, that is definitely not recommended by the authorities
Players new to the game surely get know higher a handicap under WHS than they did under CONGU. Also their handicap will reduce quicker than it did folllowing a goodcscore.New players have and always will be a problem when it comes to handicapping. The issue seems to me to be that clubs have had so many new members during the transition that it has served to a hightight a problem that was always there but the relatively small numbers didn't concern the long standing members.
 

Swango1980

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Players new to the game surely get know higher a handicap under WHS than they did under CONGU. Also their handicap will reduce quicker than it did folllowing a goodcscore.New players have and always will be a problem when it comes to handicapping. The issue seems to me to be that clubs have had so many new members during the transition that it has served to a hightight a problem that was always there but the relatively small numbers didn't concern the long standing members.
Indeed, but as there will always be new golfers to the game, there will always be these big scores (not every comp, but will always be seen). This was true pre and post WHS, although higher handicappers will generally indeed have higher handicaps now than they would have done pre WHS, so the effect is inflated. As an experienced golfer with a lower handicap (I don't necessarily mean single figures, just a solid handicap based on many scores) I am not particularly bothered by an individual player with a high handicap, just the fact there will be some newer golfers in the field often, that could potentially make a crazy good score.

We've seen rulefan and rulie state that clubs can put a limit on number of scores a player has before they can play in a comp, or put a maximum limit on handicaps that can enter (as out club does). Or comps can be split into divisions. Yes, of course they can do this, but clearly they are doing it because they feel it is unfair on experienced golfers if they do not. Fundamentally, by doing this the club are essentially saying the handicap system is unfair. If a club say a player must have, say 10 scores, in their scoring record before being eligible, they are saying that if WHS gives a player an Index of, say 30 after 3 scores, then that Index cannot be trusted at this stage. But, on the flip side, putting such conditions on comps is unfair to genuinely high handicappers who may never be good enough to compete. Or, new golfers may have to wait an age before they have enough scores to be eligible. If WHS had applied bigger penalties to higher Indices when there were limited scores on a Player's history, this could have gone a long long way to solve the problem. New golfers get an Index after 3 scores, but if that Index is high then they get a very large additional reduction, and that starts to ease off gradually as they submit more and more scores. Had that been done, I reckon you could have completely eliminated the issue about new golfers to the game shooting crazy low scores in their early comps.
 
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Indeed, but as there will always be new golfers to the game, there will always be these big scores (not every comp, but will always be seen). This was true pre and post WHS, although higher handicappers will generally indeed have higher handicaps now than they would have done pre WHS, so the effect is inflated. As an experienced golfer with a lower handicap (I don't necessarily mean single figures, just a solid handicap based on many scores) I am not particularly bothered by an individual player with a high handicap, just the fact there will be some newer golfers in the field often, that could potentially make a crazy good score.

We've seen rulefan and rulie state that clubs can put a limit on number of scores a player has before they can play in a comp, or put a maximum limit on handicaps that can enter (as out club does). Or comps can be split into divisions. Yes, of course they can do this, but clearly they are doing it because they feel it is unfair on experienced golfers if they do not. Fundamentally, by doing this the club are essentially saying the handicap system is unfair. If a club say a player must have, say 10 scores, in their scoring record before being eligible, they are saying that if WHS gives a player an Index of, say 30 after 3 scores, then that Index cannot be trusted at this stage. But, on the flip side, putting such conditions on comps is unfair to genuinely high handicappers who may never be good enough to compete. Or, new golfers may have to wait an age before they have enough scores to be eligible. If WHS had applied bigger penalties to higher Indices when there were limited scores on a Player's history, this could have gone a long long way to solve the problem. New golfers get an Index after 3 scores, but if that Index is high then they get a very large additional reduction, and that starts to ease off gradually as they submit more and more scores. Had that been done, I reckon you could have completely eliminated the issue about new golfers to the game shooting crazy low scores in their early comps.
This is pretty much how it was under CONGU, and I agree would have been a better approach but it certainly would not have solved the problem, as it was also an issue under CONGU. Splitting competitions into divisions will have no effect on this problem as long-standing members will still be competing with new members, except of course for placating the low boys, which seems unfair to me.
What we all should remember is that we were all new golfers once and therefore have benefitted from this increased chance of winning. We also need to accept that there is and can never be a perfect system for handicapping and remember golf is pretty much the only sport where it works to any degree.
 

Swango1980

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This is pretty much how it was under CONGU, and I agree would have been a better approach but it certainly would not have solved the problem, as it was also an issue under CONGU. Splitting competitions into divisions will have no effect on this problem as long-standing members will still be competing with new members, except of course for placating the low boys, which seems unfair to me.
What we all should remember is that we were all new golfers once and therefore have benefitted from this increased chance of winning. We also need to accept that there is and can never be a perfect system for handicapping and remember golf is pretty much the only sport where it works to any degree.
It didn't apply under CONGU (my suggestion). I don't know the figures, but having checked a few at the time we swapped over from WHS, the initial handicaps awarded under pre or post WHS were not a million miles apart. As such, pre and post WHS, new golfers will always get an additional advantage. Yes, we probably all benefitted from that when we started, but that does not make it right. I had a lot of success in my first year, but the snidy comments from long term golfers were difficult. And, they were right, I knew I was better than the 20 handicap I started with, and I won 9 trophies that year and ended the year on around 15ish I think. I played every comp as well, I think my first comp was a nett 60 and won by about 6 or 7 shots, after I had a lesson during the week before.

Also, after that initial success, it is hard for some to accept that they are no longer "competitive" because their time of being that rapidly improving golfer has gone. I've seen countless golfers join our club over the years, love the game, shoot crazy scores, win lots, etc. Their handicap finally gets to a reasonable level after a while, and so many of them just seem to fade away, and lose interest in the game. Perhaps that success comes way to soon, they peak too early based on the handicap they are given, and then their expectations become unrealistic for the long term?

However, the system could easily be changed. After 3 scores, let us say that a players best score differential is 0.0. Add no extra penalty and give them an Index of 0.0 (under WHS it would be -2.0 now). If their best score differential was 15.0, take 5.0 off and give them an Index of 10.0 (under WHS it would be 13.0 now). If their best score differential was 30.0, take 10.0 off and give them an Index of 20.0 (under WHS it would be 28.0 now). These are just indicative, but effectively increase the penalty as the raw index progressively gets higher. After 10 scores, once calculating the raw index, take away only half of the penalties above, after 15 take away a quarter and after 20 scores remove penalty completely.

So, instead of giving a player an initial index of 28, give them an index of 20. If they are a player who is rapidly improving, it will hugely help stop them scoring a ridiculously good score (maybe it will reduce their score of 46 points to 38 points). If their first 3 scores did actually represent their actual ability, and there is no sign they will improve, that will be reflected more within their handicap as they submit more scores (and actually encourage them to put in scores).

I suspect the above would have been harder to implement pre WHS, because there was no concept of scoring history. You simply had a handicap, and that number was adjusted once another score was put in. However, WHS does have concept of scoring history, and thus could be easily implemented to solve the age old problem of the rapidly improving new golfer.
 

wjemather

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It didn't apply under CONGU (my suggestion). I don't know the figures, but having checked a few at the time we swapped over from WHS, the initial handicaps awarded under pre or post WHS were not a million miles apart. As such, pre and post WHS, new golfers will always get an additional advantage. Yes, we probably all benefitted from that when we started, but that does not make it right. I had a lot of success in my first year, but the snidy comments from long term golfers were difficult. And, they were right, I knew I was better than the 20 handicap I started with, and I won 9 trophies that year and ended the year on around 15ish I think. I played every comp as well, I think my first comp was a nett 60 and won by about 6 or 7 shots, after I had a lesson during the week before.

Also, after that initial success, it is hard for some to accept that they are no longer "competitive" because their time of being that rapidly improving golfer has gone. I've seen countless golfers join our club over the years, love the game, shoot crazy scores, win lots, etc. Their handicap finally gets to a reasonable level after a while, and so many of them just seem to fade away, and lose interest in the game. Perhaps that success comes way to soon, they peak too early based on the handicap they are given, and then their expectations become unrealistic for the long term?

However, the system could easily be changed. After 3 scores, let us say that a players best score differential is 0.0. Add no extra penalty and give them an Index of 0.0 (under WHS it would be -2.0 now). If their best score differential was 15.0, take 5.0 off and give them an Index of 10.0 (under WHS it would be 13.0 now). If their best score differential was 30.0, take 10.0 off and give them an Index of 20.0 (under WHS it would be 28.0 now). These are just indicative, but effectively increase the penalty as the raw index progressively gets higher. After 10 scores, once calculating the raw index, take away only half of the penalties above, after 15 take away a quarter and after 20 scores remove penalty completely.

So, instead of giving a player an initial index of 28, give them an index of 20. If they are a player who is rapidly improving, it will hugely help stop them scoring a ridiculously good score (maybe it will reduce their score of 46 points to 38 points). If their first 3 scores did actually represent their actual ability, and there is no sign they will improve, that will be reflected more within their handicap as they submit more scores (and actually encourage them to put in scores).

I suspect the above would have been harder to implement pre WHS, because there was no concept of scoring history. You simply had a handicap, and that number was adjusted once another score was put in. However, WHS does have concept of scoring history, and thus could be easily implemented to solve the age old problem of the rapidly improving new golfer.
I'm sure I've said this before, but you are advocating systemic discrimination against people who "might" improve to the point where they are completely uncompetitive. Surely that cannot be right or fair, and could even result in losing people from the sport.

Competition committees have several mechanisms at their disposal to "protect" the field if they so wish. They should use them.
 
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I believe that my club is reviewing the number of WHS qualifying rounds a member needs to have submitted over a period (of a year?) to be eligible to enter some (maybe all) of the club’s main handicap competitions.

I know that the club’s ‘golf management’ are very keen that the club‘s starting point in respect of WHS is closest possible adherence to both the rules and spirit of WHS.

Where members or groups of members wish to move their golf away from that starting point then they can make their case…but I think it has to be a very good one. I am 100% supportive of the club’s approach.
 

Swango1980

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I'm sure I've said this before, but you are advocating systemic discrimination against people who "might" improve to the point where they are completely uncompetitive. Surely that cannot be right or fair, and could even result in losing people from the sport.

Competition committees have several mechanisms at their disposal to "protect" the field if they so wish. They should use them.
Seriously, so you would not support such a temporary system (i.e. once more scores are submitted, this cut disappears), but you are happy that clubs care allowed to simply ban anyone over a handicap of 24 from playing?

I suppose you are dead against the -2.0 to a players handicap when they submit 3 scores as well then.

No one can tell me that providing someone with a high handicap after submitting 3 scores is acceptable or fair. It is discrimination against golfers who have a full scoring record and a much fairer handicap having to compete against golfers who could have a new handicap that is a dozen shots too high for them.
 

rulefan

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No one can tell me that providing someone with a high handicap after submitting 3 scores is acceptable or fair. It is discrimination against golfers who have a full scoring record and a much fairer handicap having to compete against golfers who could have a new handicap that is a dozen shots too high for them.
What about the newcomer to golf who has had some coaching and has practiced but will not be getting better. What are his chances of getting into the frame in his first competition
 

Swango1980

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What about the newcomer to golf who has had some coaching and has practiced but will not be getting better. What are his chances of getting into the frame in his first competition
Why does a golfer have a right to be in the frame in their first competition?

Even the way the system is now, if a new golfer loses out in his first competition by a point, is WHS unfair because it subtracted 2.0 off his index?

Furthermore, how can you make such a comment, when you only just previously said:

"Many clubs require players to have returned a minimum number of scores to be eligible to win prizes but allow them to make a handicap qualifying score"

Using my methodology, at least the new golfer can play in his first competition and potentially win a prize, after first getting their handicap. If clubs implement what you suggest they can do, that player won't even be eligible for some time after getting a handicap. If my suggested methodology was implemented, then clubs would not need to apply such restrictions in the first place.
 

Swango1980

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I would like to add, my suggestion has nothing to do with me wanting to discriminate against high handicappers. Quite the opposite really. As soon as handicaps were allowed up to 54, I thought it was a good idea, and as a club we put no handicap entry restrictions for competitions (my previous club in which I was handicap sec). I was well aware the standard of many members was higher than 28.

However, I think everyone accepts there is an "issue" with new golfers being able to shoot fantastic scores as they quickly grow into the game. Some just say "nothing we can do, it is what it is" while others don't bother entering competitions once they feel it is not a level playing field. To try and bridge that gap, clubs often put all sorts of entry requirements into competitions, which in effect discriminates against high handicappers permanently in many cases.

Therefore, my idea was simply one that would address the issue of the new golfer getting unbeatable scores, whilst negating the need for clubs to discriminate against high handicappers to begin with. Sure, the new golfer may not improve and shoot uncompetitive scores for their first few comps. However, they can be comforted by the fact that as they hand in more scores, their handicap will start to increase anyway as the additional reductions are lessened.
 

wjemather

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Why does a golfer have a right to be in the frame in their first competition?

Even the way the system is now, if a new golfer loses out in his first competition by a point, is WHS unfair because it subtracted 2.0 off his index?

Furthermore, how can you make such a comment, when you only just previously said:

"Many clubs require players to have returned a minimum number of scores to be eligible to win prizes but allow them to make a handicap qualifying score"

Using my methodology, at least the new golfer can play in his first competition and potentially win a prize, after first getting their handicap. If clubs implement what you suggest they can do, that player won't even be eligible for some time after getting a handicap. If my suggested methodology was implemented, then clubs would not need to apply such restrictions in the first place.
New golfers should have the same right to be able to compete equitably as someone entering their 100th or 1000th competition. Your idea absolutely undermines that principal.

Your penalty reductions are entirely arbitrary with the express intention of preventing higher handicapper from competing equitably due to an irrational fear of them posting a good score (which actually happens very rarely). That is discriminatory and completely different to having limits and/or restrictions in the terms of competition, in which case the player has the choice of whether to accept such restrictions.

Incidentally, I've seen far more instances of players having an initial (or early) handicap too low for their ability than too high - this ultimately results in them hitting the hard cap immediately on entering their 20th score. Your penalties would probably extend this issue to most new handicaps.
 

Colin L

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Using my methodology, at least the new golfer can play in his first competition and potentially win a prize, after first getting their handicap.
You would allocate a handicap index of 20 to a player whose demonstrated ability from 3 scores indicates an index of 30 and believe that by so doing you give him/her the chance of winning a prize in their first competition? Really?

There is a graduated modification of what the raw figures indicate a new handicap should be, but a 33% reduction makes no sense. What kind of encouragement would that be to young people? And to what purpose? To protect existing players from losing out in the odd competition? If an individual makes such substantial improvement between establishing their handicap and entering their first competition that they win, how about celebrating their success with them, instead of considering it as somehow unfair on the "established" players?

I also hear this kind of protectionism occasionally about junior members playing in medals and, shock horror, possibly winning. It was good to see, however, the way in which a few years ago our older competitors celebrated the success of the 17 year old who won our stroke play championship.

A handicap whether new or well established is based on demonstrated ability not on speculation as to what some players might do in future rounds and there is no place for manipulating the system to benefit (and consequently disadvantage) any category of players.
 
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Swango1980

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New golfers should have the same right to be able to compete equitably as someone entering their 100th or 1000th competition. Your idea absolutely undermines that principal.

Your penalty reductions are entirely arbitrary with the express intention of preventing higher handicapper from competing equitably due to an irrational fear of them posting a good score (which actually happens very rarely). That is discriminatory and completely different to having limits and/or restrictions in the terms of competition, in which case the player has the choice of whether to accept such restrictions.

Incidentally, I've seen far more instances of players having an initial (or early) handicap too low for their ability than too high - this ultimately results in them hitting the hard cap immediately on entering their 20th score. Your penalties would probably extend this issue to most new handicaps.
My idea was a basic example, not a refined and detailed way in which it should work.

The -2.0 reduction that WHS applies is therefore entirely arbitrary, and by your definition does not allow a new golfer to compete equitably anyway.

At my club, a player with a handicap over 24 has zero choice. They simply cannot play, end of story. Now, you can argue that the club is discriminating against high handicappers. They are. But, they are doing so for a reason. Because they feel that this WHS handicap system (or the system that preceded it) does anything but provide an equitable system. If people can happily acknowledge that new golfers will always have the ability to quickly improve, thus shooting lower scores, then it is simply not true that the system is equitable when comparing a new golfer with a golfer who has played for a long time.

And, I go back to what I said before. Not one person will ever convince me that a player has a fair and equitable handicap after submitting 3 scores. Even if I was to submit 3 scores in the next week or 2, and they were the only scores on my record, WHS could give me a handicap of 0.0 if I played really well (in one round), or 18.0 if a struggled over those rounds. That is huge, and I'm not exactly a rapidly improving golfer.
 

Swango1980

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You would allocate a handicap index of 20 to a player whose demonstrated ability from 3 scores indicates an index of 30 and believe that by so doing you give him/her the chance of winning a prize in their first competition? Really?
Yes, compared to zero chance at all if you just ban them from winning. Pretty simple really.
 

rulefan

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Why does a golfer have a right to be in the frame in their first competition?
I didn't say that. They should have an equal right to have the opportunity with all other players.

Furthermore, how can you make such a comment, when you only just previously said:

"Many clubs require players to have returned a minimum number of scores to be eligible to win prizes but allow them to make a handicap qualifying score"
Please read it carefully. It wasn't a suggestion or proposal, simply a factual observation of what many clubs do.
 

Swango1980

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I didn't say that. They should have an equal right to have the opportunity with all other players.


Please read it carefully. It wasn't a suggestion or proposal, simply a factual observation of what many clubs do.

Yes, you didn't recommend it. But, you acknowledged it happens. That is the key point. If WHS was such an incredibly fair system, then the authorities should be demanding affiliated clubs do not do this for handicap golf competitions.

As I said, you cannot honestly look me in the face and tell me a golfer has a fair handicap, of say 30, after submitting 3 scores. Not only 3 scores of maybe their first rounds of golf, but conditions could have been awful the week they played those rounds, poor form, and all other sorts of factors. So, there is no point in using the word "equal".

Here is another idea then. If new golfers can compete in a competition based on an Index of just 3 scores, can we all have that luxury? Every single one of us gets a handicap based on our last 3 rounds? At least all our handicaps have been calculated based on an equal number of rounds, if you are so interested in using the word equal.
 
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