The First Year of WHS - Positives and Negatives

woofers

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There was some chat at our place that there were several people at our place who were only putting in scores for their bad rounds, as they realised their handicap went up very quickly once they lost any of their best 8 scores. Too early to tell what how WHS will impact people's mindset, however there could be a selection of people, like this, who quite like the idea of these rapid increases to handicap. Virtually any system can be cheated, of course, it is just that WHS is more rewarding for those types of people than the old system.
Subject of course to the soft cap and hard cap ‘limits’ built into the system, and any observant handicap committee member.
 

Swango1980

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Subject of course to the soft cap and hard cap ‘limits’ built into the system, and any observant handicap committee member.
Indeed, but a 5 shot increase to your Index, and potentially 6 shots to course handicap are still quite appealing compared to what could be achieved pre WHS.

Also, a club with several hundred members, the handicap sec isn't exactly going to get a big alarm going off in his house when a member has submitted a few dodgy scores. They may go through all the handicap reports, but no idea how good they are now (I left my role as handicap sec a few months ago). But, even if it is flagged a few general play rounds have caused a reasonably big increase, how can the handicap sec determine whether there has been foul play, or the player has just played badly. The latter would need to be the assumption without any other evidence, such as the player blatantly admitting it.

Certainly, our club is a fairly well established club in the area, and general play scores where being entered by handicap sec from all scores on submitted scorecard, without noticing some of these had already been entered by the player and others were never pre registered. So good luck assuming handicap secretaries will be able to spot bad general play scores coming in, and determining whether these are fair or not.

Ultimately it is how the system works. One of the benefits is it provides bigger increases than before for those who have declining ability. Of course, that benefit can also be abused by those who are that way inclined.
 
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The linking of handicap manipulation to the handicap system is a red herring. Neither WHS, nor the previous system, have as goals, the elimination of handicap cheats. It is like criticising WHS because it really does little for peace in the middle East. If people are going to cheat, they are going to cheat. Handicap systems are not honesty police. Yet it is where many golfers, and even committees, start and finish in their thinking. Cheats will always find ways to exploit any system. Why the concern about handicap manipulators, when the system has no role in policing them ? The same characters are likely nundging their ball in the rough while 'identifying' it to a better lie, dropping 'innocently' from a path on the advantageous side rather than the nearest point of relief, or deciding after 10 minutes of looking for their ball, that since it wasnt found, it must be in the stream and so dropping one. Deal with that sort of thing as fellow golfers, rather than expecting a system which was designed on the basis that golfers are honest, to solve a cloudy ''bandit' problem.
But if you take this argument to it’s logical conclusion then you wouldn’t have any anti cheating measures at all. Why bother with pre registering a GP score? Why bother insisting on a marker for a GP score? If the system is going to have some measures then it’s perfectly legitimate to comment on whether there should be more (or less).
 

pauljames87

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Another postive

Yesterday I was all set for a one ball , all my playing partners had either teed off at 9 (this was midday) or were working

However on the tee is a 3 ball of 2 Marshall's and a committee member.. invited to join..play best front 9 I've played for ages and don't have to go to the shop to say "oh I want this card to count" just get phone out and start it
 

Swango1980

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Another postive

Yesterday I was all set for a one ball , all my playing partners had either teed off at 9 (this was midday) or were working

However on the tee is a 3 ball of 2 Marshall's and a committee member.. invited to join..play best front 9 I've played for ages and don't have to go to the shop to say "oh I want this card to count" just get phone out and start it
I assume you pre-registered the round, and so you'd have submitted a terrible score if you had a bad day?
 

wjemather

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Fundamentally, the whole point of a handicap system is to contrive a competitive competition between players of different abilities. The new system just doesn't do that as effectively as the old system did.
Thanks to Slope, WHS actually does a far better job of contriving a level playing field than the old system (UHS), especially when it comes to players from courses that present a significantly different challenge, and even more so for players from different jurisdictions.

WHS is also not substantially biased in favour of lower handicappers like UHS was, so we see more mid and higher handicappers a the top of leaderboards, and winning trophies. This is also a good thing.
 

saving_par

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Completely disagree, sorry. If there was a bias before there’s been a massive over correction now.

Happy to see high handicaps winning. Just not happy to see people shooting 9, 10 or even more shots under their handicap.
Agree 100% with this, we are seeing winning scores that lower handicaps have zero chance of getting close to.

I only enter comps now to play off the Blue or White tees since we have to play off yellows the rest of the time apart from a small window on Tuesday afternoons.
 

jimbob.someroo

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Agree 100% with this, we are seeing winning scores that lower handicaps have zero chance of getting close to.
I know that this is happening, because people have brought it up a few times on here - but it's really not been the experience at our club. Most Medals this year have been won with a score of 66+ which seems pretty fair in a field of 100+ folk. Surely there's always going to be one or two people who have a great day and fire something low. Even the odd score of 64 seems entirely plausible (15 handicapper, getting 18 shots, shoots 79).

Additionally, we've also played all of our comps at 'mixed tees' this year, which means those going off the whites get an additional 2 shots for the competition. Even with this, there has been just one score of 40+ in the last 10 stableford comps.
 

Imurg

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Not for one moment disputing the high scores claims but, as with Jim, we're not seeing them.
High 30's, maybe the odd 40 or 41 points or equivalent but nothing out of the ordinary
Today's Senior comp won with 39, last weekend was 38...
Is the reason these high scores come in down to people having had their new index, which put a lot of people up a few shots, and not putting in recent cards?
 

Swango1980

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Thanks to Slope, WHS actually does a far better job of contriving a level playing field than the old system (UHS), especially when it comes to players from courses that present a significantly different challenge, and even more so for players from different jurisdictions.

WHS is also not substantially biased in favour of lower handicappers like UHS was, so we see more mid and higher handicappers a the top of leaderboards, and winning trophies. This is also a good thing.
It is interesting in terms of what the statistics say, and what the perception of most golfers is.

Pre-WHS, the biggest complaint regarding handicaps was always in relation to higher handicappers shooting exceptional scores. Often from lower handicappers of course (this is not isolated to single figure handicaps, an 18 handicapper could quite as easily complain when a 28 handicapper shoots a very low score). I know of clubs, probably many, that put handicap limits on competitions, especially board competitions, because there is a perception of either unfairness when higher handicappers shoot low scores that cannot be beaten by very low handicappers. And it is therefore considered not in the interest of the club to have these types of scores winning major events? Of course, there will always be the improving golfer, more likely starting from a higher handicap, that will at some point get great scores to initiate handicap reductions, so most often these low scores could be attributed to that. Whether that is a comfort to the other competitors is another matter.

Personally, I never remember an occasion where a high handicapper complained about not having enough shots when they just lost out to winning a comp, but got beat by a lower handicap. I'd imagine if you told a higher handicap the old system was biased towards low handicappers, I still doubt you'd have had a huge call from high handicappers to be given more shots? My first handicap was 20, I'd have felt a bit red faced to be asked for another shot or 2 so I could beat a single figure handicapper. My main goal was to put my head down and try and get my handicap down, if I did that then I'm sure I'd have a few decent comps along the way anyway.

So, to develop a system that effectively provides a more statistically balanced system, is a system from a golfers perception point of view that favours higher handicappers even MORE than before. Is this a good thing? If it intensifies the arguments about handicaps even more than before? Will more golfers have a drive to improve their game, when it means that as they approach their potential they will be worse off than before WHS in terms of competing? When I analysed the changes to course handicap (now) compared to handicap before WHS at our club, the average increase was approximately equal to the slope of our course. So, scratch would still be scratch, a 30 handicapper would increase to 35 (133 slope). I never remember 30 handicappers demanding an extra 5 shots to be competitive, and I can imagine scratch players would have been saddened / angered if they knew this would happen. Perhaps it could have been slightly mitigated by applying bigger penalties to higher handicappers pre-submission of 20 scores, so that it protects against new golfers rapidly improving (which is natural, a new golfer will generally get much better by simply playing golf, let alone it may be the time they start having a lesson or 2), but they decided to apply a simple flat -2.0 on all players once 3 scores are in, which quickly disappears as a few more scores are entered. If they'd done that, then perhaps the great scores would only be limited to those who had played for some time, and then actively worked to improve their game.

Anyway, WHS does have its positives, and different people will take different things away from it. But, if "we see more mid and higher handicappers a the top of leaderboards, and winning trophies" is used to to highlight one of the positives, I'd imagine some might disagree? It certainly was not used to promote WHS, and presumably the statisticians would have known this would be an impact of WHS. The key promotional points were your index was globally compatible, and more reflective when you go to different courses. But, had they simplified it even more to say higher handicappers will win more, I think they'd have conceded a bit of an own goal?
 

wjemather

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Completely disagree, sorry. If there was a bias before there’s been a massive over correction now.

Happy to see high handicaps winning. Just not happy to see people shooting 9, 10 or even more shots under their handicap.
This happened did under the old system as well, and no less frequently than it is now. Improving golfers are always going to have the potential to post scores that are beyond the reach of low handicappers - it is why comps should be broken down into divisions (I've been surprised to learn how many clubs do not do this).
 

jim8flog

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Indeed. On the tee

Don't get why people wouldn't submit a bad day ..
If you have read this did you mean- why would somebody preregister on a bad weather day?

else

The whole point is you have no choice. Preregister before starting and enter the round whatever the score when you finish. If you are doing enough a bad round is not going to be one of your 8.

Worth noting an earlier post now

Pre register on the EG app and fail to score the card on the app and a penalty score will be applied automatically
 

Swango1980

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Not for one moment disputing the high scores claims but, as with Jim, we're not seeing them.
High 30's, maybe the odd 40 or 41 points or equivalent but nothing out of the ordinary
Today's Senior comp won with 39, last weekend was 38...
Is the reason these high scores come in down to people having had their new index, which put a lot of people up a few shots, and not putting in recent cards?
At my last place, winning scores significantly increased after WHS, often ranging from about 43-49 points. It was a club with cheap membership, so contains more "beginner" type golfers, and we also didn't have any handicap limits. Not sure about my new place in terms of before and after, but they limit handicaps in competitions to 24. Mind you, we did play our first fourball match play in the winter league last weekend. We played well (our indexes being 5.3 and 8.8), but were beaten 5&4 by a couple of higher handicappers who had a better ball score of 50 points, despite a dodgy first 3 holes start. A one off match of course, so won't read to much into that just yet.
 

Swango1980

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This happened did under the old system as well, and no less frequently than it is now. Improving golfers are always going to have the potential to post scores that are beyond the reach of low handicappers - it is why comps should be broken down into divisions (I've been surprised to learn how many clubs do not do this).
Surely if the new system will result in more higher handicappers win more competitions, then surely this will also naturally increase the occurrences of these very high scores. After all, if the system is giving high handicappers more shots to potentially win a competition they would not have done before, then it is also giving the other rapidly improving high handicappers more shots to shoot even higher scores?
 
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Liverpoolphil

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I know that this is happening, because people have brought it up a few times on here - but it's really not been the experience at our club. Most Medals this year have been won with a score of 66+ which seems pretty fair in a field of 100+ folk. Surely there's always going to be one or two people who have a great day and fire something low. Even the odd score of 64 seems entirely plausible (15 handicapper, getting 18 shots, shoots 79).

Additionally, we've also played all of our comps at 'mixed tees' this year, which means those going off the whites get an additional 2 shots for the competition. Even with this, there has been just one score of 40+ in the last 10 stableford comps.
For us it seems to have calmed down now

The last three medals have been by a

8 HC , 5 HC and 4 HC

Net 66 from the 5 HC the lowest

At the start it was net 61/62 with a 59 winning - Stableford points of above 45 were needed

But we now have a lot more putting cards in and handicaps seem to be looking more realistic

There are still the people that do well in KOs but struggle with a card
 

HeftyHacker

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Agree 100% with this, we are seeing winning scores that lower handicaps have zero chance of getting close to.

I only enter comps now to play off the Blue or White tees since we have to play off yellows the rest of the time apart from a small window on Tuesday afternoons.
I wonder if the course has an impact here as well.

At my place you can always put a score together as its not the most punishing course if you're off your game.

Your place is very different, I could imagine if you had a terrible spell or form you could see your handicap increase pretty quickly if you handed cards in regularly. Then it only takes a decent day and you've shot 5 or 6 under your new handicap with relative ease.
 

pauljames87

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If you have read this did you mean- why would somebody preregister on a bad weather day?

else

The whole point is you have no choice. Preregister before starting and enter the round whatever the score when you finish. If you are doing enough a bad round is not going to be one of your 8.

Worth noting an earlier post now

Pre register on the EG app and fail to score the card on the app and a penalty score will be applied automatically
Read the post I replied to.

People have been bending the system .. I don't get why not just put it in
 

Backsticks

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Completely disagree, sorry. If there was a bias before there’s been a massive over correction now.

Happy to see high handicaps winning. Just not happy to see people shooting 9, 10 or even more shots under their handicap.
I feel that is a mistake in perception. Given that there are far more high handicappers than low ones, and that high handicappers are going to shoot bigger winning scores, the slight levelling will result in a very large number of wins and low scores from high handicappers. It is not inconsistent that the small correction towards fairness, has large effect on the the results. Nor is there an unfairness in the fact that a low handicap golfer cannot shoot a 9 or 10 under hc and a high hcper can do that.
 
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