WHS working well for me

rulefan

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Whilst I'd say that looking at our results this summer the majority of winners are of higher handicaps, it is equally true that lower handicappers have been "in contention" and may only be a small handful of strokes away. The simple fact of the matter is though that there are far more members with handicaps of 16-24 (52%)than there are 0-15 (28%) so statistically its is likely that a higher handicap will win or place in any given competition.

I wonder how many clubs who are complaining about higher handicaps winning things have actually bothered to look deeply into the issue and determine the relative make-up handicap wise of the competition fields. If they have merely looked at the winners it may not be representational of the wider picture...really they would need to look at say the top 10 places to get a view of what is really happening....if these places are always dominated by higher handicappers then yes, there may well be an issue...bit without knowing the spread of handicaps in a field it is not possible to simply look at a result and say that an "out of proportion" number of higher handicaps are winning things.
That is exactly what was found in studies by the Scottish Golf, the USGA and the then EGU some years ago.

When the distribution of winners by handicap category is related to their representation in the field, it can be seen that all handicap categories win in reasonable proportion to their entry i.e. Category 1 and Category 3 players typically comprise 8% and 40% of a club competition and in a ‘single class’ competition win 10% and 38% of the time.
 

Swango1980

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I've just given a guy an initial handicap index of 51.2, which gives him a course handicap of 60 off our whites. Let us hope his 3 scores are a true reflection of his ability, and he doesn't try practice a bit before submitting more acceptable scores for handicap. Otherwise, if he can shoot 100 in a competition, that will be a nett 43 (27 under par), or 63 points. Crikey
 

Orikoru

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I've just given a guy an initial handicap index of 51.2, which gives him a course handicap of 60 off our whites. Let us hope his 3 scores are a true reflection of his ability, and he doesn't try practice a bit before submitting more acceptable scores for handicap. Otherwise, if he can shoot 100 in a competition, that will be a nett 43 (27 under par), or 63 points. Crikey
Christ. Even a couple of a sessions on the driving range will have shooting 46 points off of that. I still think the upper handicap limit should be 36.
 

wjemather

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Christ. Even a couple of a sessions on the driving range will have shooting 46 points off of that. I still think the upper handicap limit should be 36.
Some people simply need more strokes than that. We have one member with an index in the mid-40s with over 70 scores on their record. Even with the best will in the world, they won't be breaking 100 (they haven't broken 110 - adjusted gross - in the past 4 years).
 

Orikoru

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Some people simply need more strokes than that. We have one member with an index in the mid-40s with over 70 scores on their record. Even with the best will in the world, they won't be breaking 100 (they haven't broken 110 - adjusted gross - in the past 4 years).
Surely this was always the case when the limit was 28? Two shots a hole is plenty. Personally I didn't even join a golf club until I felt I could play to a 28 (the limit at the time). The problem is most people who start golf and play enough to join a club improve quite quickly, so anyone given a handicap in the 50s is bound to have some absolutely stonking scores as they rapidly get better at the game.
 

Swango1980

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Some people simply need more strokes than that. We have one member with an index in the mid-40s with over 70 scores on their record. Even with the best will in the world, they won't be breaking 100 (they haven't broken 110 - adjusted gross - in the past 4 years).
If a player has an extensive playing record, and a sky high handicap, I cannot begrudge that. I guess the debate is more to do with potential pace of play. However, it makes me incredibly nervous when a player gets a sky high handicap on the back of their first 3 scorecards. The resulting index is a measly 2 shots below the index (score differential) from their best round of 3. It is not inconceivable they could go out for a 4th/5th/6th round, and absolutely smash their best round (even worse, if their 4th and 5th rounds were poor, and they waited to play a blinding 6th round, their Index would be 2 higher than their initial one).
 

wjemather

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Surely this was always the case when the limit was 28? Two shots a hole is plenty. Personally I didn't even join a golf club until I felt I could play to a 28 (the limit at the time). The problem is most people who start golf and play enough to join a club improve quite quickly, so anyone given a handicap in the 50s is bound to have some absolutely stonking scores as they rapidly get better at the game.
As I say, 2 strokes per hole is not enough for some. That is the reality, especially for many older players who just cannot hit the ball very far (and are only going to get shorter).

We should not begrudge people improving and posting good scores; the handicap system will make adjustments accordingly; and WHS does this extremely quickly for those with few scores (UHS did not, without manual intervention).
 

Beedee

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As I say, 2 strokes per hole is not enough for some. That is the reality, especially for many older players who just cannot hit the ball very far (and are only going to get shorter).

We should not begrudge people improving and posting good scores; the handicap system will make adjustments accordingly; and WHS does this extremely quickly for those with few scores (UHS did not, without manual intervention).
Maybe the powers that be should have gone with a starting limit of 28 or 36 for new handicaps, but once you reach your 20 cards it can increase to whatever it needs to be? That would give the field some protection from new improvers, but also give some allowance for the regular but declining player.
 

Swango1980

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Maybe the powers that be should have gone with a starting limit of 28 or 36 for new handicaps, but once you reach your 20 cards it can increase to whatever it needs to be? That would give the field some protection from new improvers, but also give some allowance for the regular but declining player.
I sensible approach. I actually e-mailed them a similar suggestion. Basically, depending on what you initial raw handicap index is (based on the same number of best rounds used depending on your total number of rounds), you take 1 off the index if the initial index is 1-5, 2 off if 6-10, 3 off if 11-15, etc up until taking 10 off if Index over 45. These reductions stay in place until a player has 11 rounds on their record, at which point they are halved. Once the player has 20 rounds, those reductions are removed completely. I think something like that would obviously dampen any advantage beginners with a limited playing history would have.
 

rulefan

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I sensible approach. I actually e-mailed them a similar suggestion. Basically, depending on what you initial raw handicap index is (based on the same number of best rounds used depending on your total number of rounds), you take 1 off the index if the initial index is 1-5, 2 off if 6-10, 3 off if 11-15, etc up until taking 10 off if Index over 45. These reductions stay in place until a player has 11 rounds on their record, at which point they are halved. Once the player has 20 rounds, those reductions are removed completely. I think something like that would obviously dampen any advantage beginners with a limited playing history would have.
Doesn't table 5.2a do that?
 

Swango1980

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Doesn't table 5.2a do that?
No (and I am sure you have asked me that before when the subject came up)

Table 5.2a makes some downward adjustments (-2.0 when 3 scores in, -1.0 when 4 in and -1.0 when 6 in). However, it does nothing to protect the field for those with higher initial indices.

For example, imagine Golfer A happened to be very good, handed in 3 scores with their best Score Differential of 2.0. Their Initial Index would then be 0.0. It is not inconceivable they could still go out and shoot a better 4th round, although it is going to be very difficult for them to beat their initial handicap even if they play well.

Golfer B has a best score differential of 52.0. They still get the -2.0 applied to them, so their initial Index is 50.0. It is probably not going to take much improvement for them to go out and play a round, smashing their initial handicap.

Imagine Golfer A and B start playing competitions after getting their handicaps. Which of those 2 golfers are more likely to be able to shoot 40+, 50+ (and God forbid 60+) points? My money is on Golfer B. Therefore, my rough proposal was to simply dampen that effect, and apply different downwards adjustments depending on both the raw Index and number of rounds played.
 
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jim8flog

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Surely this was always the case when the limit was 28? Two shots a hole is plenty. Personally I didn't even join a golf club until I felt I could play to a 28 (the limit at the time). The problem is most people who start golf and play enough to join a club improve quite quickly, so anyone given a handicap in the 50s is bound to have some absolutely stonking scores as they rapidly get better at the game.
I know I have said this before when 54 handicaps first came several years ago we reviewed all players over 27.4. We used the same logic as we would to a newly handicapped player i.e. all players were given a new handicap based upon their best score in the previous 12 months.

The player who went up the most was given a handicap of 39. He regularly plays in lots of comps and the only time he ever won anything was the very first time he played with his new handicap. His current H.I. is 38.5.
 

Swango1980

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The note to 5.2 is what handicap committees are for ;)o_O

Do your markers not report back with comments?
Again, you miss the point.

New players hand in 3 cards, signed by a marker. Not once does a marker write me a story discussing the players ability based on their subjective opinion. Nor, do I contact every marker and ask them about the player's ability. Does your club do this? The player simply hands in those 3 scores, and they are awarded a handicap based on the WHS calculations.

The note under the table specifically says "Based on any additional evidence about a player's demonstrated ability, a Handicap Committee may modify a player's initial Handicap Index upward or downward". Clearly, we are discussing a situation where there is NO additional evidence beyond those 3 cards.

So, the player could then enter a competition and shoot a ridiculously good score. Now, you could say the Committee could then make a further adjustment to their handicap (as the Seniors section have been begging me to do with the winner of their latest comp). However, 1) the damage has been done as they've already destroyed the field and 2) there is argument not to make any additional adjustments if that good score has also gone directly into their scoring record anyway, as it should give them a good cut anyway.
 

rulefan

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Does your club do this?
Yes, when appropriate. Particularly when they are young, having regular lessons or returning to play. Members acting as markers know they are expected to tell a committee member or the pro if the player seems to have a better protentional than their score suggests.
 

Swango1980

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Yes, when appropriate. Particularly when they are young, having regular lessons or returning to play. Members acting as markers know they are expected to tell a committee member or the pro if the player seems to have a better protentional than their score suggests.
So, you are happy adjusting handicaps based on the subjective opinion of others. Interesting. I'd be shocked if many markers even bother providing committee that additional information. I mean, it is not uncommon for a marker to remember one or 2 good shots and generalise the player by saying "they could have done much better, hit some good shots out there". Very rare they say "they were lucky, won't shoot a round that low for a long long time". So, if Committee were to take commentary from a marker, they'd probably dock every new member additional shots.

Our Committee do not have time contacting new members, and the people they know, to try and build up a story on what their golfing potential may be. They hand in 3 scores, they get a handicap. We spend enough time reviewing all the general scores that keep coming in from all members, chasing No Returned Cards, etc.

I am reluctant to make any adjustments to a players handicap, calculated by WHS, unless it appears a player is avoiding acceptable rounds, but doing very very well in competitions like match play. Furthermore, it does not matter if a player is young (potentially ageist) or having lessons, because they've ultimately handed in 3 likely recent cards (so they should take those lessons into account). Once they get a handicap, they may start having lessons. But, surely you do not expect the Committee to keep in regular contact with all members, especially new ones, just to find out they are having lessons, and if so maybe dock them a few more shots?

I seriously doubt many club committees do this. Instead, we largely rely on the WHS calculation. IF Committees do need to make further adjustments, then it essentially confirms what we have been discussing. That the WHS calculation itself is not fit for purpose for new golfers.

I wonder if England Golf will contact markers and asked for their opinions on the players ability and history when this nomad handicap scheme is in full swing?
 

rulefan

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"Based on any additional evidence about a player's demonstrated ability, a Handicap Committee may modify a player's initial Handicap Index upward or downward".
I said - Yes, when appropriate. Particularly when they are young, having regular lessons or returning to play.
In addition we would speak to the player and also the pro if they are having lessons. On occasion we will contact a previous club.

But what did you do under CONGU rules?
 

Swango1980

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I said - Yes, when appropriate. Particularly when they are young, having regular lessons or returning to play.
In addition we would speak to the player and also the pro if they are having lessons. On occasion we will contact a previous club.

But what did you do under CONGU rules?
I never said Congu dealt with the situation well. It has always been a problem, but it is not impossible to have a technical solution
 
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jim8flog

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Yes, when appropriate. Particularly when they are young, having regular lessons or returning to play. Members acting as markers know they are expected to tell a committee member or the pro if the player seems to have a better protentional than their score suggests.
In my time on the handicap committee I have loads of people ask me to check such and such a players handicap based upon one good score. I have never decreased a player players handicap once.
 
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