Scorecards should be fluid

inc0gnito

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It doesn’t really matter what your handicap is, you’ll always judge your score based on the par of any given hole, and of the course itself, rather than what would be expected of your handicap.

You’ll try and meet par or hope for a birdie on any hole on the course and you’ll beat yourself up if you don’t.

The thing is, we do this even though we know the par is based on what a scratch golfer would be expected to get. Yet most of us couldn’t be further away from scratch. We do it because that’s what the scorecard in front of our eyes says. We see the numbers and that’s what we judge our performance by. It’s psychological and bypasses our logical brain that forgets we were never expected to get par on this hole given our handicap.

This is completely the wrong way to apply scorecards imo. The par of each hole and the course itself should be based on your handicap. In other words, the par system should be fluid to cater for the individual. The fluidity would allow change when your handicap changes too. This way, any individual turning up at any course would know what he should score on each hole according to his handicap level up front.

It’s easy to dismiss the impact of this without ever having applied it but if you’re a 20 handicapper and you look at your scorecard on a par 3, for example, your scorecard might read par 4 or 5 depending on the stroke index. It would shift your expectations on any hole, give you a realistic impression of what’s needed and expected of you, and makes it more competitive for your handicap level. So if you scored 5 on a scratch par 3, for example, you’d walk away happy knowing you parred the hole for your level of ability. Rather than feeling bad about yourself for double bogeying. you’d be more content with your performance.

This type of fluid scorecard system would be cumbersome for paper scorecards. But it’d be easily adaptable for digital scorecards should they exist. A simple formula would be applied after you inputted your handicap and the scorecard would automatically adjust the pars for each hole.

This could easily apply to competition as well as social golf.

Hope ive explained that well enough. Do digital scorecards exist? I know I’d enjoy golf more with a more realistic scorecard that’s tailored to me.
 

Golfnut1957

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You explained it very well and to be polite I think that it is complete nonsense.
I play regularly with a 20 hcp friend and if your system ever came into being, and he was playing a par 5 while I was playing the same hole, but it was a par 3 for me, I am quite sure that he would be so offended he would consider packing the game in.
He may be a relatively poor golfer, but his aspirations are no less than mine. On those very rare occasions that he pars the stroke index 1 his sense of achievement is an absolute joy.
Your system would make match play quite interesting also.
 

NoLayingUp

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The handicap system is in place to make the game of Golf fairer for everyone and to suit players of all abilities. It also serves the function to enable all players to be competitive. Across all of the sports, it’s probably the one that works the best. The scoring system is initially complicated to work out (ref net par for beginner golfers) but once that knowledge is ascertained, it makes the sport one of (if not the most) inclusive sports to compete in.
 

BubbaP

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Mainly following the idea, an obvious flaw is few courses have indexes rated for difficulty, more for matchplay. The idea isn't far off stableford really.

For several years I didn't bother with a scorecard unless I had to, and would just play "fives". i.e. every hole is a par 5, and just keep a running round score, 2 over, 3 under or whatever. Easy to do and being 1 under (fives) felt better than 17 over par. ?
 

PhilTheFragger

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I can see where the OP is coming from, but i think he hasnt explained it clearly

its about asperations and perception

lets take a 400 yard par 4, stroke index 1 for example,
Its a par 4, but your 20 handicapper gets 2 shots, so its actually a par 6 to him,
no point beating himself up if he gets a gross bogie as it is a net birdie, so he should be really pleased to get a 5 and well satisfied to get a 6
He isnt going to get on the green for 2, but could get on for 3 with 2 putts

Your 7 handicapper will have a different perspective and asperation, he will be aiming for a 4, delighted with a 3 and satisfied with a 5

If Mr 20 handicapper plays the course as a par 90, I think he will enjoy the game more and score better as he uses his shots more wisely
 

doublebogey7

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Most golfers already understand this, they simply choose to ignore it when on the golf course. I am less than convinced that having a scorecard with the net par on it (I think this is what you are suggesting) would make any practical difference.
 

Swinglowandslow

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Depends on what sort oh high handicapper you are.
For my age I hit the ball reasonably long (when I hit it well?)
That means that on my course I have parred every hole st some time or another by getting on the green in regulation. And birdied some too.Yet I am 18 handicap.
Because there always ( dammit?)a time or two etc in the round when I go "off piste"
In a big way.
A mate is similar handicap but almost always straight but no hope of ever getting some holes in regulation. He is seriously short.
He is disappointed less than me if he doesn't get par. I'm always looking for par because if I've done it once (or more), I know I can do it again.
However, I don't see how scorecards can be viewed any different to what happens now.
 

chico

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I tend to look at number of shots as a total rather than on individual holes. The amount of times I par the S.I. 1 and take a 7 at the par 3 S. I. 17 happens quite often. I would need it so fluid that it changes after my tee shot.
 

IanMcC

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Course Rating tells you how hard a course is. The other bits you speak about all come under 'Course Management'. Digital Scorecards are about the daftest thing I have read on this site, and that is saying a lot. Sorry.
 

inc0gnito

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You explained it very well and to be polite I think that it is complete nonsense.
I play regularly with a 20 hcp friend and if your system ever came into being, and he was playing a par 5 while I was playing the same hole, but it was a par 3 for me, I am quite sure that he would be so offended he would consider packing the game in.
He may be a relatively poor golfer, but his aspirations are no less than mine. On those very rare occasions that he pars the stroke index 1 his sense of achievement is an absolute joy.
Your system would make match play quite interesting also.

The hole would still be the same for you or your handicap 20 friend. It’s just that the expectations compared to ones own level of ability would be more obvious. I’m sure he’d still feel absolute joy if he got a 3 whatever the score card says. And it doesn’t change aspirations at all. The scorecard is fluid after all.
 

inc0gnito

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All you're talking about is net par rather than par, but with more words. I'm sure there are countless golf scoring apps that would show you whether you got net par or not.

But that’s my point. That’s done afterward. Instead of going through the round with bogey, double bogey, par, triple bogey, etc, your card for a higher handicapper might say par, bogey, double bogey, etc. Before you tee off each hole you know what is needed for your level so your less likely to feel frustrated during the hole which then effects how you play the hole itself.

Visually seeing what you need for a hole before you tee off has a very different effect before it and during it than working out a net score at the end of it.
 

inc0gnito

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I can see where the OP is coming from, but i think he hasnt explained it clearly

its about asperations and perception

lets take a 400 yard par 4, stroke index 1 for example,
Its a par 4, but your 20 handicapper gets 2 shots, so its actually a par 6 to him,
no point beating himself up if he gets a gross bogie as it is a net birdie, so he should be really pleased to get a 5 and well satisfied to get a 6
He isnt going to get on the green for 2, but could get on for 3 with 2 putts

Your 7 handicapper will have a different perspective and asperation, he will be aiming for a 4, delighted with a 3 and satisfied with a 5

If Mr 20 handicapper plays the course as a par 90, I think he will enjoy the game more and score better as he uses his shots more wisely

Yes exactly. I think from the replies some people don’t understand the concept.

It’s no different to scoring the way the game is now but it’s laid out in front of you at the beginning instead of figuring it out afterward. it has everything to do with psychology.

So yes it is all a psychological trick to manage expectations which will then have a positive effect on course management and enjoyability.

For those who don’t get it Phil has given a good example. To give another;

You and a friend rock up to a new 5 hole course. He’s scratch your a 20 handicap.

You stick your handicap index into the scorecard app and now it looks like this;

Hole 1 2 3 4 5
Par 4 3 5 4 3
Scratch (par) 4 3 5 4 3 Tot par 19
20-Hcp (par) 6 5 7 6 4 Tot par 29

To compare scores at the end, you compare how many + or - you were over your total par. So in the above example Mr Scratch might have got 20 that day (that’s +2), and Mr Handicap might have shot 30 (+1). Very easy to compare and same result as current net par system (but easier to use).

The whole point is before you start you know what is expected of your level of ability because you have a very clear visual of what you need. The course is the same, the game is the same, NOTHING has changed except how your scorecard looks.

But if a 20hcp can see that he is expected to score 5 on a hole that a scratch golfer is expected to score 4, then his approach will be different. He will still try and score the best he can but his mindset will be different. He may make a different club choice, might lay up instead of aim for the pin, might chip out of the trees instead of trying to go through them. And as his level of expectation is more suited to his ability, he’s more likely to manage his emotions better during the round.

I honestly think a simple VISUAL change would allow people to “play” the game differently. Because most people try to play to the expectations of a scratch golfer because that’s what the scorecard tells them to, regardless if they actually know differently.
 
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inc0gnito

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Most golfers already understand this, they simply choose to ignore it when on the golf course. I am less than convinced that having a scorecard with the net par on it (I think this is what you are suggesting) would make any practical difference.

See my response to Phil. But also most people don’t really know this at all. They just work out after a round how they’re net score was. It doesn’t give insight into expectations before and during any individual hole. Knowing this for real changes perceptions, and like a psychological domino, expectations and approach.
 

inc0gnito

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Course Rating tells you how hard a course is. The other bits you speak about all come under 'Course Management'. Digital Scorecards are about the daftest thing I have read on this site, and that is saying a lot. Sorry.

Ok grandad. I guess you don’t like online booking systems, gps, or any other technology. A digital scorecard is as simple in technology terms as they come. It’s called an “app” and would be available on a “smartphone”. Now back to the rocking chair, I’ll get you a blanket.
 

bobmac

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I don’t understand your point here. This sounds like a completely different discussion on the need for par in golf in general.

The OP wants to know if he could input his handicap into an electronic scorecard which automatically alters the par figures for each hole to better suit the expectations of his handicap. Therefor avoiding the disappointment of say, taking a 7 at a par 5 if the scorecard showed it was a par 7. (I hope that's what the OP meant)
If we didn't have par figures on a scorecard, there would be no expectations of the player to score a certain number on any hole, just play the hole the best you can.
 
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