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We have been having problems in our club with people not posting all of the time -- or only posting higher scores to have a higher handicap and get more "pops."  I do post.  But I have a problem with posting, if I'm out with friends, taking mulligans and/or playing 2 or 3 balls.  Basicly using it as a practice round.  I tend to take more chances and try new shots or clubs in different areas.  My score invariably is much higher than if I am on my game.  How can I post that score?  In a general meeting today everyone was told that they had to post every round.  How should we address this and what are the rules about posting when  you are going out and "practicing" on the course as apposed to playing "for real."

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There's a thin line between a practice round and a real round.  The main difference in my eyes is before you take your first swing on the 1st tee, you have to have it set whether this is just practice or a real round.  There's no deciding in the middle of the round that this is now just practice because scoring well was a joke, and vice versa you can't make it a real round somewhere in the middle of the round just because you are scoring well.

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Exactly. If I am there to practice, which usually means hitting more than one ball on an empty course, I don't take a scorecard.

When you say "club" do you mean country club or the club you joined to maintain a handicap?

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To the OP's question, I guess you'd have to start playing by the rules all the time.  I think its silly for you to be required to post every round you play, as opposed to only the rounds you play pursuant to the rules of golf.

Originally Posted by phillyk

The main difference in my eyes is before you take your first swing on the 1st tee, you have to have it set whether this is just practice or a real round.

I get this.  It makes sense.

But at the same time, I play golf to have fun.  Occasionally, I'll change my mind mid-round.  If I'm out there and frustrated and not having fun, and playing two balls or taking a mulligan is going to add to my enjoyment, I'll do it.  I won't do it because I am playing poorly and don't want to post the score, but might change to a practice round because it will allow me to enjoy myself.  And if I stop playing by the rules I won't post the score.

If that happens one in 20 rounds, its not a big deal.  In most cases, it would effects your handicap by somewhere from 0.2 or less (1/10th of the difference between the score that would drop out, and the score that would replace it).  And its in the direction of a vanity, so if anything it hurts you and nobody else.

Sort of a digression, but I was once in a "captains" meeting for a softball league i was in.  There was one guy who is always a pain in butt, who asked some ridiculous question, i think it was "well, if anything in the sidewalk along foul territory in left is a dead ball (for safety reasons) then what's to stop an outfielder from catching the ball and running out onto the sidewalk before the runner can tag up?"  The commission's answer: "Just don't be an a-hole".

I think that's a good approach to this sort of stuff.  Don't quit because you don't want to post a bad score.  Don't not post because you don't want to get extra strokes at the next tournament. But don't ruin your day and love of the game because you're beholden to the rule.  Just don't be an a-hole.

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There's a huge difference in opinions on what is a "practice" round. I think if you're hitting off the tee, taking your approach shot, chipping onto the green then putting out it sounds like golf to me. Just cause you're going for the green instead of laying up doesn't make it practice. A few of my buddies "practice" this way and it kills me. They'll ask me to join and hit a good drive then take their next shot from the fairway instead of the bunker that they missed by 10 feet. When I practice on the course I'm hitting shots from the rough, bunkers, akward lies, obstructions, etc. Sometimes I'll bypass a tee box and head straight for a trouble spot that's in my wheelhouse off the tee. This gives me some extra swings without possibly holding anyone up. Practicing fairway shots is for the range.
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At my club they expect you to play by the rules. If you are playing a practice round you have to declare it when booking the tee time. However, the handicap committee also will only penalize you if you don't report at least 80% of your rounds. So you can go out and play and if you decide you need to hit a few extra balls or take a few mulligans, then it's not a problem. Just don't do that too often. We have monthly tournaments with decent prizes, so they want to minimize the possibility of sandbagging.
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I am of the opinion that you should never enter scores from a practice round.  I do practice rounds by playing a couple of balls (I'm usually single) and trying different clubs for short range shots, hit a few putts from various positions on the green and so on (as long as I'm not causing anyone to have to wait).  I would not even know what score to enter and my club doesn't seem to have a problem with people doing this.  Unless your practice rounds begin to exceed your regulation rounds, then there can be a problem.  If that becomes the case the handicap committee might assign you a score for these rounds (Par).  At least that is what the sign in the locker room says, albeit I don't know of anyone they ever did that to but I understand a few members have been "advised" that the number of rounds played and the number of scores entered need to become closer in magnitude than they are.

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There's a huge difference in opinions on what is a "practice" round. I think if you're hitting off the tee, taking your approach shot, chipping onto the green then putting out it sounds like golf to me. Just cause you're going for the green instead of laying up doesn't make it practice. A few of my buddies "practice" this way and it kills me. They'll ask me to join and hit a good drive then take their next shot from the fairway instead of the bunker that they missed by 10 feet. When I practice on the course I'm hitting shots from the rough, bunkers, akward lies, obstructions, etc. Sometimes I'll bypass a tee box and head straight for a trouble spot that's in my wheelhouse off the tee. This gives me some extra swings without possibly holding anyone up. Practicing fairway shots is for the range.

The only "practice" rounds I've ever played we're prior to a tournament on a course with which I wasn't familiar. Other than that, if I play golf, I play golf.

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