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Duffer911

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  1. North (tight) course is 5850 from the whites, is par 71, and has five par 5, seven par 4, and six par 3. South (wide open) courses are around 5500 to 5600 from the whites, are par 72, and usually have the traditional four par 5 and four par 3 layouts. As previously mentioned, the north course has significantly higher rating and slope and the distance and par are surely part of the reason for this. I could go into all the various lessons I have taken over 35 years (individual, group, golf "school", etc.) and the practice I do, etc. as you request but those are all beside the point. By focusing on changing my playing ability, we are saying that the world handicap system is unfair to golfers of a certain skill/ability and I do not believe this is a good deal. If the answer to handicap unfairness was "take lessons and play better", then why have handicaps at all. Everyone should play gross score and if someone complains of unfairness, the answer would be "take lessons and play better". Handicaps are supposed to allow golfers of all ability levels to reasonably compete against one another with a benefit to the better golfer. I am okay with this concept. Unfortunately, the caps in the WHS do not allow it to work fairly in my situation and I become the anchor that drags my partner or team down.
  2. Thanks for asking. The crux of the problem is that (for my age) I am strong and flexible. Unfortunately, this is coupled with poor athleticism - perhaps it is poor hand-eye-muscle coordination. I don't know. I hit the ball a long way and seldom straight. I find it impossible to consistently get the club face to any given degree of squareness. Heck, I would be happy to have it always open or always closed but this is not the case. In a dozen attempts to hit the same shot, I can slice it horribly or hook it horribly. This has been my golf game for 35 years. Despite lots of practice, lots of play and lessons, my poor athleticism always surges to the forefront. As noted above, I am happy to live with this if only my handicap reflected my ability. Alas, it only does so on the wide-open southern courses. When I shoot at least 15 strokes worse per round on the northern course, my handicap only goes up 3 and then creeps up to where it goes up by 5 leaving me a minimum of 10-12 strokes in the hole before I launch my tee shot on the first hole deep into the woods.
  3. It is not about me being competitive. As I state in my original post, I am content to "win once in a while, lose a lot, but not be an embarrassment to my team or partner." This is what happens to me on the southern courses I play. The crux of the problem is my concern for the others that have to play with me.. About 90% of the games the members play on my northern course are partnership games. I will have from 1 to 3 other partners. Then there are large group events such as a Ryder Cup format with half the participants on each team, member-member, member-guest, scrambles, etc. We even have other clubs come visit our course where our club plays the other club with all the participants from our club on one team. The specific formats for these, of course, vary. On this northern course, as you note, my misses are VERY penal but my handicap (which is based on EXTREMELY non-penal southern courses I play) is capped. I am an anchor that drags down my partners and teams. If it was just me losing, I would be fine with that but I drag all the others on my team down and cause them to also lose. Admittedly, my impact on a Ryder Cup team format event is small but my team starts basically 3-points in the hole since I can not win any of my three matches because I shoot a minimum of 10 strokes worse than my course handicap suggests I should. I have played in a dozen of these and have never brought home a single point. Heck, I have not even tied to get half a point. It is interesting that the one time I did participate in an away match against another club, their course was not uber-narrow and I won my match. My only contribution ever. This is so unfair to my teammates and so frustrating and embarrassing for me that I have stopped golfing at the northern course and am about to surrender my membership. Thanks for any additional thoughts or ideas.
  4. Thanks for the response. Lessons are an option, of course. I've tried them in the past many times without success, unfortunately. You say, "The course rating and slope should compensate for the differences between courses and adjust your handicap accordingly for the course." Unfortunately, that is not the case for this combination of course types and my game. Look at the numbers I provide above. The course rating and slope put me at at least a 10 stroke disadvantage on the narrow course.
  5. I would appreciate any thoughts on how I can best handle the following situation. My apology for the length so I will offer a summary but read the details if you want to understand the full situation. SUMMARY I am a VERY directionally challenged golfer. I play a very narrow hard course all summer and easy wide courses in the winter. The soft and hard caps in the WHS prevent my course handicap from rising enough in the summer to allow me to be competitive on the hard course and I end up being a huge anchor to my teams and partners in the summer. I have stopped playing in the summer as a result of this. DETAILS I live in two locations – A southern USA climate for ~6 months in the winter and a northern USA climate for ~6 months of the summer. For the time that I am south, I play on a large number of courses that are in my community. All of these courses are fairly easy. They have ratings from the white tees of 63.9 to 66.4 and slopes of 102 to 116. The averages are 65.5 and 109. In addition, most of the holes are very wide. You can hit the ball very far right or left and have no trouble. In the summer, I play at only one course where I am a member. It is in my community. It is a much harder course with a rating of 68.1 and a slope of 126 from the white tees and a par 71. It is also a VERY tight course. Almost every hole has dense woods or out of bounds on both sides, the fairways are not very wide, and there is not a lot of rough. In the winters I have a handicap index of 16.5 which, for the courses I play gives me a course handicap of 7-12 with an average of 9. I hit the ball pretty far for my age (60 years old) but am extremely directionally challenged. Sometimes I hit the fairway or rough but more often I am in the wide open areas beyond the fairway or rough of the hole I am playing. This doesn’t hurt me very much since the courses are so wide open. I play reasonably to my handicap and am competitive with other players in the matches we play – both individual and team. I shoot from 78 to 95 with an average of ~88. I win once in a while, I lose a lot, but I am not an embarrassment to my team or partner. In the summers on this one course that I play, all my far right and left shots cost me dearly. I probably hit 7-9 balls a round out of bounds, lost in the woods, or (best result) into the woods marked as hazards. This costs me around 10-15 strokes a round. Before the world handicap system came into effect, I would go north, play a LOT of golf quickly in the first month and my handicap index would increase greatly to around 24 due to the course being so difficult for me. This allowed me to be competitive in my summer golf. I would win once in a while, lose a lot, but not be an embarrassment to my team or partner. After the implementation of the WHS, due to the hard and soft caps, my handicap can only go up 5 and it goes up only very slowly after it raises just 3. Note that my typical course handicaps for the winter (open and easy courses) is 7-12 with an average of ~9 while my course handicap before the WHS for the summer (hard and narrow course) was ~24. This is a difference of 15 strokes. Unfortunately, my handicap is only allowed to increase by 5 and is slow to increase after raising 3. With the WHS soft and hard caps, I am not competitive in the summer. I never win and, more importantly, I drag down my team and partners. Last year, I was so detrimental to my teams and partners that I stopped playing half way through the summer and did not start again until I returned south for the winter. Do you have any advice on how I can best handle this situation? Thanks.
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