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Playing "Alone" Doesn't Count Anymore Sez USGA


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On Monday, the USGA announced that beginning Jan. 1, 2016 scores shot while playing by yourself are no longer acceptable for handicap purposes. This is a dark day for people everywhere with vanity golf handicaps. Here's an explanation of the new policy:

 

 

Playing alone and necessary peer review: To further support the key [uSGA Handicap] System premise of peer review, scores made while playing alone will no longer be acceptable for handicap purposes. This change underscores the importance of providing full and accurate information regarding a player's potential scoring ability, and the ability of other players to form a reasonable basis for supporting or disputing a posted score. (Section 5-1: Acceptability of Scores)

 

 

Sure, we all have friends who just happen to always play their best when no one else was there, but this new rule produces a lot of questions. First off, doesn't this fly in the face of the notion that golf is a game of honor? Aren't golfers supposed to be trusted to police themselves on matters like these?

 

And what happens if you're playing with people you don't know who aren't keeping track of your score? How does that factor in? Also, what if you happen to play most of your rounds alone? Maybe you play at odd times, or you have no friends. How is this rule fair to those people who need solo rounds to maintain an accurate handicap index?

 

The provision was the most significant of six changes made to the handicap system for 2016 that will affect the 10 million golfers who have an official handicap index. Well, that will affect golfers in theory. It seems like this will be difficult to enforce, so keep posting those "75"s weekend hackers.

 

Okay, so if you play by yourself a lot, it seems those scores won't count. Anyone have a problem with this? Is this badly needed or completely arbitrary?

 
 

What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
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For the record, I told the Proshop today that since I was playing by myself, it didn't count as a round. So they should not charge me. They did not read the rule that was. Haha   (I pay the same whe

I chalk this up to another thing that the recreational golfer shouldn't really care about.  This won't stop sandbaggers and who cares about vanity handicaps.  Personally I love them, it's like free mo

Is it April Fool's already?

I don't see this as being an enforceable policy.  Lots and lots of people post their scores online for handicapping.  I have never really been a favor of it but USGA allows it.  Where is the peer review in those scores being posted?  I can just see the question coming up now..."Did you play alone?" and it not letting you post if you answer yes.  

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Check out www.littlejohngolfleague.com a Greater Houston Traveling Golf League

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I think that is a good rule. If you want an official handicap you need witnesses to your rounds.

It would also allow guys to go out and try working on things they normally wouldn't if they are to worried about it effecting their handicap. No real harm in my eyes.

 

One of the great joys of golf for me is going out and walking a round alone and not keeping my score. I enjoy the sound of the mowers, the birds, and my clubs clanging together as I walk and just think of my next shot not my score.

 

I keep score sometimes, sometimes not. I'm not interested in competitive play really so I don't need an official handicap. I know what I shoot on average, if someone I'm playing with wants a little Nassau game we can figure out who's getting strokes.

WITB:

Louisville Smart Persimmon Driver

Louisville Niblick Persimmon 3 & 5 woods

Hogan UIHI 4-iron*

Hogan PTx Pro 5-7*

Hogan Icon 8-PW*

KZG 51 gap wedge

KZG 56 sand wedge

Rife Legend Z Putter

 

*denotes clubs being tested

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Is it April Fool's already?

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Driver -  :taylormade-small: M1 9.5* w/ Aldila Rogue Silver 70X

Fairway -   :taylormade-small: M1 5W 19* w/ Aldila Rogue Silver 70X

Hybrids -   :ping-small: G25 4H 23*

Irons -  :mizuno-small: JPX 850 Forged 4-PW w/ Nippon N.S. Pro 1150S

Wedges - :mizuno-small: S5 50*07, 54*12, 58*12 w/ Nippon N.S. Pro 1150S

Putter - Oddyssey Metal-X #7 w/ SuperStroke Pistol GT 2.0

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I chalk this up to another thing that the recreational golfer shouldn't really care about.  This won't stop sandbaggers and who cares about vanity handicaps.  Personally I love them, it's like free money :)

 

It seems like the USGA is changing from golf being a game of trust and integrity to a game of kind of trust but verify.

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Driver: :callaway-logo-1: Epic SZ w/ VA Composites Raijin 65 04

3w: :taylormade-small:'16 M2 hl w/ Diamana D+ 82

5w: :cleveland-small: Launcher HB w/ HZRDUS Yellow

Hybrid: :cleveland-small: 22 deg. Launcher HB w/ HZRDUS Black

Irons: :ping-small: 5i-UW G700 w/ X100 soft stepped once

Wedges: :cleveland-small: 54 & 58 CBX w/ Nippon Modus 3 125

Putter: :odyssey-small: Red 7s

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Not really something they can enforce unless you have to turn in a signed card and the course has to review and post it for you. Also this doesnt bother me because when I play alone its usually for practice and I play 2-3 balls so I dont post a score anyway.

 

This does seem odd that this game is based on integrity and honor and this removes some of that from the game.

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 Ping G410 LST 10.5 set -1* Flat Accra TZ5 65 M5

Callaway Epic Flash 15* set -1 Aldila ATX Blue 75TX

Ben Hogan FT Worth Hi 19* KBS Tour V X

Ben Hogan PTX Pro 4-P KBS Tour V X 2* Flat 4* loft increments

Hogan Equalizer 50* KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 X 2* Flat

Hogan Equalizer 56* KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 2* Flat

Hogan Equalizer 62* KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 2* Flat

EVNROLL ER7 P2 Aware Tour
Scotty Cameron Newport2 Buttonback P2 Aware Tour Grip
Snell MTB-X

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For guys you guys that do keep a official handicap, do you now post all rounds? I mean do you ever play rounds you consider practice rounds and don't input for your GHIN?

 

I would think there are times you want to work on a certain part of your game and not have it go towards your handicap. Or say you are playing a round with your wife/son/daughter and it's almost more of a teaching situation where your round is instructional, teaching them something on the course.

 

It seems like the biggest reason for a handicap is for tournament purposes, so maybe only rounds with others with official handicaps should be eligible for entry for official handicap index. That way, rounds against other potential tournament opponents will be recorded, but rounds that are more casual aren't.

WITB:

Louisville Smart Persimmon Driver

Louisville Niblick Persimmon 3 & 5 woods

Hogan UIHI 4-iron*

Hogan PTx Pro 5-7*

Hogan Icon 8-PW*

KZG 51 gap wedge

KZG 56 sand wedge

Rife Legend Z Putter

 

*denotes clubs being tested

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While my wife and I keep our handicaps in GHIN, it is not for tournament play, although there are some events that come up now and then where a 'cap is needed; mostly scrambles for charity.  We keep our scores in GHIN to monitor our progress (or lack thereof) of our game.  I can do that by other means, but GHIN is handy.  Yes, I do play single rounds; sometimes I do it for score and other times I will play each hole, get to a spot where I want to practice a particular shot, and hit several shots.  This spot is where I usually end up when playing for score and I am trying to improve that shot.  These are purely practice rounds.

 

This change doesn't really affect me all that much since the majority of my rounds are played with my wife.  However, this might explain a recent change in the internet posting for my club.  New this past year on the GHIN webpage for posting a score, a question was asked if I played with someone from the club.  Saying YES brings up a menu of club members where I can select up to 3 members.  I can only assume that somehow the system validates that at least one person played the same course that I did on the same day.  It certainly doesn't cover people that are not club members, and I can always put down a member's name if I saw him at the course that day.

 

So many things to go wrong here in a vain attempt to fix an imperfect system that doesn't really need to be fixed.  There will always be cheaters, but there are ways to address them that should be enforced instead of this.

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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Interesting, I see the purpose to curve sand baggers, but if golf is about "integrity" and "honesty"- I use quotes because I've found that not to be always true, then why require essentially a babysitter? The vanity caps don't really matter because it falls only on that player. Not the same issue as anchoring ban because you can use a long putter without anchoring right?

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My Mixed-Bag:

 

Driver:      :callaway-small: Rogue 9*, UST chrome 7F5T 

Fairway:     :taylormade-small: M5 3 wood, UST chrome 7F5T

Irons:        :titelist-small: TMB 3i &  :mizuno-small:MP-18 MB 4-PW

Wedges:     :titelist-small: Voke SM7 LTD Jet Black 

Putter:       :bettinardi-small: Queen Bee #9

Ball:        :srixon-small: Z star XV

 

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This would bring my handicap way up and when I get into tournaments I will look like a sandbagger. Almost every round I play is alone. I usually play a little worse with others because all my friends live in Minnesota and I'm in Wisconsin now so when we get together it's usually at a course that I have never played and lose some shots from not knowing the course. With my game I hit the ball far and usually have a few penalty shots when I don't I have great scores. So when I get to the tee and hit a bomb but tell people I'm a whatever handicap it is rarely believed. I don't have a vanity handicap I keep mark every stroke I take. If I hit a ball OB and didn't hit a provisional I walked back to the tee and hit again like i should no one is around I can just drop not count it but that's not true that's not my score. I want to be the best golfer I can be and back it up than just be a number on a card that isn't true. 

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Chippewa Falls Wisconsin

10.3 Index

Right Handed

What's in the bag:

 

Driver: :wilson_staff_small: FG Tour F5 8* Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution Tour Spec X-flex, :ping-small: Anser 8*, Black Grafalloy Bi-Matrix X-Flex; :cobra-small: King LTD Pro Orange Grafalloy Bi-Matrix X-Flex

 

 

FW Wood: :wilson_staff_small: FG Tour F5 15* Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution Tour Spec X-Flex :ping-small: Anse14*, Fujikura Speeder 757 US Open Edition , X-Stiff

 

 

Irons: :wilson_staff_small: FG Tour V4 2 utility Iron, 3-PW, +0.25, 2* Upright, True Temper Dynamic Gold X-100

 

 

Wedges: :wilson_staff_small: FG Tour PMP Gun Blue 52* bent to 51*, 56* True Temper Dynamic Gold X-100 Shafts

 

 

:edel-golf-1: E2 35", :wilson_staff_small: 8802 35.5", :ping-small: Scottsdale, Wolverine C 35" :ping-small: Anser Milled, Anser 2 34"

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Here's the problem: playng alone, I can post a legitimate medal play score.

 

Playing with somebody else, there are conceded putts and pickups if one is out of the hole.

 

I am amazed that nobody has mentioned this already.

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I suspect there could be a drop in GHIN revenue.  If I mostly played alone, I would not pay the GHIN fee.

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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I read this last night but I was home alone, so I wasn't sure if it counted as a rule or not.

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Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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I read this last night but I was home alone, so I wasn't sure if it counted as a rule or not.

 

Only if you try to use it in a tournament!

 

Speaking of which, I'm with the guys that only handicap for their own information, not for tournaments. I don't plan on playing in any, so the new rule doesn't really affect me at all.

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In the bag:
Driver: :taylormade-small: M5 Project X Even Flow Blue 6.0
Fairway: Sub 70 939X 15° Project X Even Flow Blue 6.0
Hybrid: :755178188_TourEdge: CBX 119 19° hybrid Project X Even Flow Blue 6.0
Irons: :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged 4-GW Project X Catalyst 80 6.0
Wedge: :cleveland-small: Smartsole S
Putter :yes-small: Tracy
Bag: 
:Ogio: Alpha Convoy 514
Balls::Snell: MTB-X or Black

Cart: :CaddyTek: CaddyLite ONE Ver. 8


God Bless America🇺🇸, God save the Queen🇬🇧, God defend New Zealand🇳🇿 and thank Christ for Australia🇦🇺!

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Only if you try to use it in a tournament!

 

Speaking of which, I'm with the guys that only handicap for their own information, not for tournaments. I don't plan on playing in any, so the new rule doesn't really affect me at all.

 

Unless they figure out a way to keep you from posting in GHIN if you don't have a playing partner.  Personally, I don't see how they are going to do that.

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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I'm not sure what to make of this. I've tried for years to have our club post a score of even par when a validated card isn't turned in. I see it every week. Rounds are played and cards are tossed in the trash or left on a table. I keep a handicap for myself. Other than the Club Championship I've quit playing tournaments. (because I'm not in the championship flight) Pretty much all flights except championship are sandbagged. I keep my own score in our weekend game so when I get home I can enter my scores and stats in GHIN. Sadly, my club doesn't do a very good job of it if you leave your card at the pro shop.

We had a big discussion here last year sometime I think about entering your score in GHIN as a total of all strokes or by ESC. I use ESC. But I still think all strokes should be entered and not adjusted down just because of ESC.

This new rule wasn't very well thought out IMO.

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My Sun Mountain bag currently includes:   TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 771CSI 5i - PW and TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png PFC Micro Tour-c 52°, 56°, 60 wedges

                                                                               :755178188_TourEdge: EXS 10.5*, TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 929-HS FW4 16.5* 

                                                                                :edel-golf-1: Willimette w/GolfPride Contour

 

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If it is to curb sandbagging, what keeps a guy from playing poorly on purpose while playing with a partner in order to get his handicap up?

I really don't see this helping much with sandbagging. Like you said one poor round in a group two or three rounds by yourself really trying to go low and do you best. Only posting one round a week when you played 3 or 4. For me it will be like one posted round a month and 20 rounds not posted which way really shows what my handicap should be? I could shoot lights out that one time a month or could shoot terrible sample size is too small.     

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Chippewa Falls Wisconsin

10.3 Index

Right Handed

What's in the bag:

 

Driver: :wilson_staff_small: FG Tour F5 8* Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution Tour Spec X-flex, :ping-small: Anser 8*, Black Grafalloy Bi-Matrix X-Flex; :cobra-small: King LTD Pro Orange Grafalloy Bi-Matrix X-Flex

 

 

FW Wood: :wilson_staff_small: FG Tour F5 15* Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution Tour Spec X-Flex :ping-small: Anse14*, Fujikura Speeder 757 US Open Edition , X-Stiff

 

 

Irons: :wilson_staff_small: FG Tour V4 2 utility Iron, 3-PW, +0.25, 2* Upright, True Temper Dynamic Gold X-100

 

 

Wedges: :wilson_staff_small: FG Tour PMP Gun Blue 52* bent to 51*, 56* True Temper Dynamic Gold X-100 Shafts

 

 

:edel-golf-1: E2 35", :wilson_staff_small: 8802 35.5", :ping-small: Scottsdale, Wolverine C 35" :ping-small: Anser Milled, Anser 2 34"

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