Jump to content

What would you change about the Handicap System?


Recommended Posts

Our Sponsors

We're about a year into the World Handicap System in the USGA areas.  What changes do you think would improve the system?  I'm aiming this primarily at US folks, but comments from anywhere are welcome.

Edited by DaveP043
  • Like 1

:titelist-small: Irons Titleist AP2 714, KBS Tour S, 3 flat

:callaway-small: Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:vokey-small: 52, 56, and 60 wedges

:ping-small: B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since I asked the question, I'll post the first suggestion.  This comes in large part from a thread elsewhere on the site.

I'd prefer that the posting of scores be restricted somewhat, and that some type of attestation be required.  My concerns are two-fold, really.  First, we're required to post basically every round we play, but some of those scores shouldn't really count for handicap.  Second,  our current system really is easy to manipulate for that small group who prefers to cheat.  

The first concern, I'd prefer to count only competition scores, along with pre-registered qualifying scores.  By that I mean that you've decided in advance to play by the rules and post your score.  If you're going out with 18 clubs in order to test them, or you're having an afternoon beer-filled round for giggles, you don't preregister.

I come at this after experience as a member of my club's Handicap Committee.  As it stands, I try to reconcile the course's records of who played against records of scores posted.  We have to assume that every round played should be posted.  Its damn near impossible to check out every round that doesn't get posted, yet that's what we're really required to do under the rules.  Pre-registration would decrease the number of scores we expect to see posted, and allow a guy to play "fun" rounds without posting their score, completely in accordance with the rules.

For attestation, that addresses the most common complaint about the USGA system, that its too easy to manipulate.  And it is, its really impractical for a Committee to require submission of every scorecard, let alone actually checking those cards, so players really CAN post whatever score they choose.  My preference, once you pre-register for your round, you also pre-register the name (or GHIN number) of the person you're playing with.  After you play, you post your score, and it gets electronically sent to your playing companion for attestation.  Or you both go to the Handicap Computer in the pro shop and take care of it.  Its not a perfect system, but it does make sandbagging a bit tougher.  It takes either willful teamwork, or complete disregard for the system.

Again, I'm on the Handicap Committee where I play.  We have very few complaints about sandbagging, but there is always occasional muttering.  The one guy who gets singled out is honest, but plays a bunch of those boozy afternoon rounds, and posts them (as he is required to do).  When he's sober, and cares, he plays better.  He's not sandbagging, he's following the rules.  The changes I recommend would alleviate that particular problem.

One thing that was mentioned in the other thread is the prohibition on posting solo rounds.  To me, the Handicap system is intended to allow reasonably fair competition between players of different abilities.  Competition means actually playing WITH another person.  Therefore, it seems completely logical to me to base your handicap on rounds you play with other people.  If you play differently when you're alone, no matter whether its better or worse, I don't believe those rounds should count towards your handicap.  

  • Like 2
  • Sad 1

:titelist-small: Irons Titleist AP2 714, KBS Tour S, 3 flat

:callaway-small: Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:vokey-small: 52, 56, and 60 wedges

:ping-small: B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree about solo rounds not being posted, I know too many guys (myself included) that will drop an extra ball and rehit a bad shot and scores can get confused, plus like you said you can sand bag easily.


Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy

  • Sad 1

 

:cobra-small: King F7+ UST Mamiya Chrome Elements 6F4 Shaft

:cobra-small: King F7 3W UST Mamiya Chrome Elements 7F4 Shaft

:cobra-small: King F7 5W UST Mamiya Chrome Elements 7F4 Shaft

:cobra-small: King F7 4 Hybrid Graphite Designs Tour AD-HY 95 Shaft

:cobra-small: King F7 5 Hybrid Graphite Designs Tour AD-HY 95 Shaft

:cobra-small: King F7 6-PW UST Mamiya Recoil 95 Shafts

:cobra-small: King PuR Wedges 50*,54*,58* UST Mamiya Recoil 95 Shafts

:odyssey-small: Metal X Milled #7 with SuperStroke 3.0 grip

Arccos Generation 1 Sensors on all clubs

Snell MTB



Twitter: @timldotson
Instagram: timldotson
Facebook: TimDotson

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheaters are going to cheat, regardless.  Personally, I like the current system, even though it has the potential to be manipulated by the unscrupulous.  It's convenient for the honest golfers.  

  • Like 2

Driver: :ping-small: G400 Max 9 degree Alta CB55 Stiff shaft 

Hybrids: :taylormade-small: M6 --- 3 (19 degrees), 4 (22 degrees), and 5 (25 degrees) Atmos shaft R

Irons: :callaway-small:Apex CF19 6-9, PW, AW KBS Tour Graphite  70g shafts R

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX-2 52*, 56*, 60* wedges.  Stock shafts.

Putter: :odyssey-small: Stroke Lab 7S

Ball: :Snell: MTB-X

My Photography can be seen at Smugmug

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't compete. I don't keep an official handicap. I use a free, on line handicap site. I enter all my scores..... 9 and 18 hole rounds. I play with others and I play alone. This just gives me a round about handicap. It gives me a somewhat idea of where my game is at.

If you don't compete and you want an official handicap, would the same posting requirements still hold for those people? If you play alone most of the time, it would seem to me that you couldn't have a "real" handicap?

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, CarlH said:

Cheaters are going to cheat, regardless.  Personally, I like the current system, even though it has the potential to be manipulated by the unscrupulous.  It's convenient for the honest golfers.  

Yeah, cheaters are going to cheat.  As I said, the changes I would support don't only address sandbaggers, but also address concerns that honest golfers have, and eases the burden on Handicap Committee members in doing peer review.  I also recognize that any changes that improve the "security" of the system will also decrease the convenience for the rest of us.  To me, its worth the small extra effort.

:titelist-small: Irons Titleist AP2 714, KBS Tour S, 3 flat

:callaway-small: Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:vokey-small: 52, 56, and 60 wedges

:ping-small: B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, CarlH said:

Cheaters are going to cheat, regardless.  Personally, I like the current system, even though it has the potential to be manipulated by the unscrupulous.  It's convenient for the honest golfers.  

I'd agree, don't have any input on changes. My issue is more (my) Club related as I don't think they provide a sufficient "penalty" in league for guys playing the forward tees. We have several holes where playing from the forward tees could be the difference between a wedge and a 5 wood (our tees) yet we get assigned the same number of dots/strokes. 

Left Hand orientation

:ping-small: G410 SFT driver 

Cobra King F-9  5 wood
:ping-small:  410  Hybrids 22*, 26*

Cobra Speed Zone 6-GP/Recoil ESX 460 F3 Shafts 

:titelist-small: SM7 54* Wedge

:ping-small: Glide 3.0  60* Wedge

:odyssey-small: O Works putter
:918457628_PrecisionPro:NX9-HD

:CaddyTek: - 4 Wheel 
:footjoy-small: - too many shoes to list and so many to buy

:1590477705_SunMountain: And  BAG Boy

Golf Balls: Snell MTB-X 

2020 Official Tester :SuperSpeed: Beginning Driver Speed  - 78

2019 Official Tester :ping-small:  410 Driver

2018 Official Tester :wilson-small: C300

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, tony@CIC said:

I'd agree, don't have any input on changes. My issue is more (my) Club related as I don't think they provide a sufficient "penalty" in league for guys playing the forward tees. We have several holes where playing from the forward tees could be the difference between a wedge and a 5 wood (our tees) yet we get assigned the same number of dots/strokes. 

Does your league assign Course Handicaps based on the current WHS system, based on both slope and (Par - CR)?  

I've come to think of differences in playing levels in terms of partial strokes.  If I'm giving someone 9 strokes over 18 holes, I'm essentially better than him by about 0.5 strokes on each hole.  Maybe its 0.6 strokes on some holes and 0.4 on others, but it averages to a half-stroke per hole.  On the 9 holes where he gets a stroke, that essentially gives him a half-stroke edge on those, while I retain a half-stroke edge on the remainder.  In your case, playing even with those "front tee" guys on the hole you mention might give them a half-stroke edge, but I'd guess that on others you have a half-stroke edge.

  • Like 1

:titelist-small: Irons Titleist AP2 714, KBS Tour S, 3 flat

:callaway-small: Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:vokey-small: 52, 56, and 60 wedges

:ping-small: B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, silver & black said:

I don't compete. I don't keep an official handicap. I use a free, on line handicap site. I enter all my scores..... 9 and 18 hole rounds. I play with others and I play alone. This just gives me a round about handicap. It gives me a somewhat idea of where my game is at.

If you don't compete and you want an official handicap, would the same posting requirements still hold for those people? If you play alone most of the time, it would seem to me that you couldn't have a "real" handicap?

Just my opinion, if a player wants an official handicap, that player should abide by the rules governing handicaps.  If the player is never going to compete, he has no compelling reason to maintain an official handicap.  If you play alone most of the time, but not always, you can still keep an official handicap, all you need is 54 holes played in the company of others, in some combination of 9 and 18 hole rounds.  If there's a small chance of being invited to play in a tournament somewhere, maybe your brother-in-law's Member-Guest, you might need an actual official handicap.  

  • Like 2

:titelist-small: Irons Titleist AP2 714, KBS Tour S, 3 flat

:callaway-small: Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:vokey-small: 52, 56, and 60 wedges

:ping-small: B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, tony@CIC said:

I'd agree, don't have any input on changes. My issue is more (my) Club related as I don't think they provide a sufficient "penalty" in league for guys playing the forward tees. We have several holes where playing from the forward tees could be the difference between a wedge and a 5 wood (our tees) yet we get assigned the same number of dots/strokes. 

If your club assigns the correct handicap for the tee being played, it should, in theory, adjust the handicap.  At my course, if I play the senior tees, I'm a 5 handicap.  If I play the men's regular tees, I'm a 7.  We also have a combo setup on the scorecard for which I play as a 6.  We also haveother tees available, but I don't play them and don't know what my handicap would be without looking at the app.  One set is the championship tees and I haven't played those tees in 5 years or more.  The other 2 tees are forward tees and I don't play those (yet).

Driver: :ping-small: G400 Max 9 degree Alta CB55 Stiff shaft 

Hybrids: :taylormade-small: M6 --- 3 (19 degrees), 4 (22 degrees), and 5 (25 degrees) Atmos shaft R

Irons: :callaway-small:Apex CF19 6-9, PW, AW KBS Tour Graphite  70g shafts R

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX-2 52*, 56*, 60* wedges.  Stock shafts.

Putter: :odyssey-small: Stroke Lab 7S

Ball: :Snell: MTB-X

My Photography can be seen at Smugmug

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

Does your league assign Course Handicaps based on the current WHS system, based on both slope and (Par - CR)?  

I've come to think of differences in playing levels in terms of partial strokes.  If I'm giving someone 9 strokes over 18 holes, I'm essentially better than him by about 0.5 strokes on each hole.  Maybe its 0.6 strokes on some holes and 0.4 on others, but it averages to a half-stroke per hole.  On the 9 holes where he gets a stroke, that essentially gives him a half-stroke edge on those, while I retain a half-stroke edge on the remainder.  In your case, playing even with those "front tee" guys on the hole you mention might give them a half-stroke edge, but I'd guess that on others you have a half-stroke edge.

Can't remember the exact details from last summer, but it always seemed like we were giving them strokes even though there wasn't must difference in our handicaps. I think the Club didn't assign strokes properly for the match play league events. I'll be pretty vigilant about that next year. 

  • Like 1

Left Hand orientation

:ping-small: G410 SFT driver 

Cobra King F-9  5 wood
:ping-small:  410  Hybrids 22*, 26*

Cobra Speed Zone 6-GP/Recoil ESX 460 F3 Shafts 

:titelist-small: SM7 54* Wedge

:ping-small: Glide 3.0  60* Wedge

:odyssey-small: O Works putter
:918457628_PrecisionPro:NX9-HD

:CaddyTek: - 4 Wheel 
:footjoy-small: - too many shoes to list and so many to buy

:1590477705_SunMountain: And  BAG Boy

Golf Balls: Snell MTB-X 

2020 Official Tester :SuperSpeed: Beginning Driver Speed  - 78

2019 Official Tester :ping-small:  410 Driver

2018 Official Tester :wilson-small: C300

Link to post
Share on other sites

[mention=73605]TBT[/mention] & [mention=53160]DaveP043[/mention] where are you two playing where you can still get in a solo 18?!


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy


  • Like 1

 

24CC2B3B-0E46-4165-97D1-F1CA4C5041C8.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/19/2021 at 10:15 AM, tony@CIC said:

Can't remember the exact details from last summer, but it always seemed like we were giving them strokes even though there wasn't must difference in our handicaps. I think the Club didn't assign strokes properly for the match play league events. I'll be pretty vigilant about that next year. 

It's easy enough to check their index, and then CH day of play, in the GHIN app with just their name and home club. The only time I can think of where they would be different, is a multi-day tourney where they freeze the CH at the start. Works great if they shoot worse, but doesn't protect the field if they shoot "lights out" the 1st day or two and it drops.

Edited by Imp

Mixed bag... Mizzy irons, Callaway Woods, Vokey Wedges, Odyssey putter, spherical projectiles by Snell. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/18/2021 at 7:52 PM, TBT said:

I would agree about solo rounds not being posted, I know too many guys (myself included) that will drop an extra ball and rehit a bad shot and scores can get confused, plus like you said you can sand bag easily.


Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy

So, penalize the guy with no friends like me? 😉   

Integrity is everything. But so is implicit trust that people will do the right thing by the rules like you do. 

I've pondered this quite a bit (solo rounds).

What's the difference between a solo round, and being a single, joining up with 2-3 random people you don't know, at a public course (for those not members at clubs), and probably won't interact much with, nor will they pay attention to your shots, because you're not part of their sanctum? Better yet... when they don't have a GHIN? They're not going to care what you shot. They don't care about the rules. And they can't enter your score for you as they're not GHIN members. (I know, you do it yourself, but that brings me to my point.)

How can a score played solo not count, when you follow the rules of golf, vs a round played with people that don't follow the rules of golf, nor care, nor have an index, themselves? Great, so you played with someone else. Check. Score counts. See the issue?

Which is why solo rounds should count, with a caveat... the "score that counts" is the average of last 4 scores played as solo and must identify they were solo rounds when entering via a new field (more on that in a min). Much like the system can combine 2 9s. It's just math. I think that's more than equitable. What this means is those 4 individual rounds don't count towards your index. Only the average of them count as ONE score towards your index.

Which brings me to the next point... I think for a score to count, the attesting GHIN should be entered along with your score (or, you cannot enter it, must be another player). If you don't enter an attesting GHIN, it gets counted as a solo round. And if the person attesting doesn't enter their round with your GHIN? Bam. It's a single round (using the rules above). There can be an exception if the scores are bulk entered (because competition/league/tourney) by the HC chair or Club Pro. (Again, it's just programming). But those in-between non-comp rounds? 

Too many rounds entered, without a score posted by the player you used to attest (they should have a score from same day/same course)? = flagging for review by HC Chair. 2-3 rounds sounds about right. While this doesn't eliminate sandbagging, it keeps more people honest. Sure, two people could be in on the sandbagging and doing it together... another flag for review could be repetitive entry by same GHINs as attesting. Husband/wife playing will probably be more common... or "buds". Still... review that stuff.

Sorry for the stream of thought, but yeah I've been thinking too hard about this stuff.

  • Like 3

Mixed bag... Mizzy irons, Callaway Woods, Vokey Wedges, Odyssey putter, spherical projectiles by Snell. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

A little more clarity on the 4 rounds. It's not a rolling average where the old one drops off as the new one is added. It's when you complete the 4th round, you get your average that counts. Then you need to play another 4 rounds to get your next average. Again... like combining the 2 9s.

What this does is prevents entry of four rounds in a row, having it count, then next round, having it adjust, etc...... like "but I played 2 rounds a day the past 2 days". Yeah... it's going to take you 4 days to do that in a marathon of golf that not many people can handle to get that number up for the weekend tourney.  

Oh, and the 4 is an arbitrary number. Could be 3, could be 5. But I think 4 is good so that's why I picked it. 

Edited by Imp
  • Like 2

Mixed bag... Mizzy irons, Callaway Woods, Vokey Wedges, Odyssey putter, spherical projectiles by Snell. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Imp said:

How can a score played solo not count, when you follow the rules of golf, vs a round played with people that don't follow the rules of golf, nor care, nor have an index, themselves? Great, so you played with someone else. Check. Score counts. See the issue?

Going back t my point, handicap is intended to make competitions more fair, competition means playing with others, so only rounds you play with others should count, in my view.  If you play differently solo than you do when you have company, the rounds you play with others should be the ones you count.  And if you don't score differently, its no big deal.  I get your point about decreasing the influence of solo rounds, but I'd still prefer not to consider them at all.

As for attesting, I do agree.  I think that should be combined with pre-play registration for a postable round.  If you register and don't post, some type of "penalty score" would apply.  And if you don't pre-register, you don't get to post a score.

  • Like 1

:titelist-small: Irons Titleist AP2 714, KBS Tour S, 3 flat

:callaway-small: Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:vokey-small: 52, 56, and 60 wedges

:ping-small: B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think pre-reg solves anything. I could pre-reg on the 19th after the round, then enter the score. The only way that works is if the starter gets your ghin and takes your attendance ... and you actually play the round instead of heading off to the bar, practice area, and never set foot on the course.

--kC

  • Like 1

Mixed bag... Mizzy irons, Callaway Woods, Vokey Wedges, Odyssey putter, spherical projectiles by Snell. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there's two different worlds and motivations here. In my point of view there should be a lot more openness for what is allowed to be posted. I've made the same argument others in this thread have that solo rounds should be allowed to post. I can't post solo, but I go to the muni and get paired with any number of randos or brohaims and I can post that score.

I am posting everything because I want my handicap to be as low as possible. It's currently 5.4, been as low as 2.3, and I want to push for scratch this year. In the public golf world tournaments and events are contested at scratch. Even if an event is flighted, usually not by GHIN (I have GolfWeek Tour horror stories) it's still gross score wins the flight. There isn't a factor where I am playing off my handicap.

The concerns I'm seeing seem to stem from club/league play and money games. Things that are contested at Net, or points, or trying to determine how many strokes are given/received. As a caddy I've seen this and the BS guys will pull to game the system. I understand the want to prevent that as much as possible.

I guess it all comes down to motivation. Are people using the system as a metric to measure themselves and push for the best? Or are they gaming it to win $20 in the Saturday nassau? Unfortunately we can't regulate this and ruling bodies have to make a decision.

Take Dead Aim

  • Like 3

Take Dead Aim

Link to post
Share on other sites

I play over 75 rounds a year. Probably 50 of them are solo. At least 10 of those are in some sort of charity event where its a four man scramble / captain's choice. So this leaves me with about 15 rounds that I could post.  Then you get with some friends and challenges come out during the game that would prevent you from playing your normal game. Now I am down to about 10 rounds that I could post.

I don't play in competitions, club championships or any type events like that. So my handicap is just for me to gauge myself and create my own goals. Did I improve over the season or not? So with this in mind why would I artificially sandbag my handicap one way or the other. I would be cheating myself and not working to achieve my own goals. My club charges me a fee every year for the Tennessee Golf Association membership which includes the GHIN.  So I use it, and I do post my single rounds because they are for my purposes only. This gives me a better average toward my handicap and personal goals.Typically if I'm playing with someone new and they ask what my handicap is I just tell them I'm not sure but I can get around the course ok. I just play because I love the game. I also do not wager on the course.  I caught up to a guy on the course and then he invited me to play with him on the last 7 holes. We were tied going into 18. He wanted to bet a drink on the last hole and I said it wasn't necessary but he insisted. I beat him by three strokes on the last hole. I birdied and he got a double. Then he wanted to buy me the drink after the round and I said thank you for the offer, but I declined.   

I realize there are people out there that post a higher score to raise their handicap. Then they play in events, get more strokes so they can win the prize money.  There are cheaters everywhere!  I'm not one of them. 

  • Like 5

:ping-small: Driver, G400 11* SR Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (5 - AW)

:cleveland-small: Wedges, CBX 56* & 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

Link to post
Share on other sites
I play over 75 rounds a year. Probably 50 of them are solo. At least 10 of those are in some sort of charity event where its a four man scramble / captain's choice. So this leaves me with about 15 rounds that I could post.  Then you get with some friends and challenges come out during the game that would prevent you from playing your normal game. Now I am down to about 10 rounds that I could post.
I don't play in competitions, club championships or any type events like that. So my handicap is just for me to gauge myself and create my own goals. Did I improve over the season or not? So with this in mind why would I artificially sandbag my handicap one way or the other. I would be cheating myself and not working to achieve my own goals. My club charges me a fee every year for the Tennessee Golf Association membership which includes the GHIN.  So I use it, and I do post my single rounds because they are for my purposes only. This gives me a better average toward my handicap and personal goals.Typically if I'm playing with someone new and they ask what my handicap is I just tell them I'm not sure but I can get around the course ok. I just play because I love the game. I also do not wager on the course.  I caught up to a guy on the course and then he invited me to play with him on the last 7 holes. We were tied going into 18. He wanted to bet a drink on the last hole and I said it wasn't necessary but he insisted. I beat him by three strokes on the last hole. I birdied and he got a double. Then he wanted to buy me the drink after the round and I said thank you for the offer, but I declined.   
I realize there are people out there that post a higher score to raise their handicap. Then they play in events, get more strokes so they can win the prize money.  There are cheaters everywhere!  I'm not one of them. 
Thiiis!!!! I am in the exact same situation and carry a GHIN for the same reason. Same train of thought bud!

Take Dead Aim

  • Like 3

Take Dead Aim

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...