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CartShedCop

Playing Two Balls... Handicap Question.

13 posts in this topic

I have a question regarding something that I did yesterday... I was lucky enough to almost have the entire course to myself yesterday due to recent and impending rains. Since there was not going to be anyone behind me for a long while, I decided to play two balls for the entire 18 holes. Now, I was not hitting two from the same location, but actually playing two balls to completion on every hole for 18 holes. The Pro Shop had packed up by the time I completed my round or I would have bounced this off of them. Before I enter two scores (79 and 82), I want to know if I am allowed to do so.
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No, you may not post either score. Decision 5-1a/5 from the USGA Handicap Manual..... 5-1a/5. Status of Scores Made when Two Balls Played Throughout Round Q: A player frequently plays alone and plays two balls throughout the round. May the player return the score made with each ball for handicap purposes? A: No. The player may not return the score made with either ball, as such scores are not made in accordance with the Rules of Golf - see Rule 7-2 of "The Rules of Golf."
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Thank you, sir. I had a feeling that might have been the case. Glad I didn't report/post the scores. I guess the thinking is that maybe "you" are more warmed-up, in tune to wind/conditions following the first ball or something... or there may/might be some people that are more likely to fudge in their score keeping if given this opportunity? Who knows the reason... but I am glad I know the answer.
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Thank you, sir. I had a feeling that might have been the case. Glad I didn't report/post the scores. I guess the thinking is that maybe "you" are more warmed-up, in tune to wind/conditions following the first ball or something... or there may/might be some people that are more likely to fudge in their score keeping if given this opportunity? Who knows the reason... but I am glad I know the answer.

It's easier than that.  Rule 1 from The Rules of Golf:

1-1 . General

The Game of Golf consists of playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules .

The key word here being "successive".  When you play multiple balls, you're not playing a round in successive strokes.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CartShedCop

Thank you, sir. I had a feeling that might have been the case. Glad I didn't report/post the scores. I guess the thinking is that maybe "you" are more warmed-up, in tune to wind/conditions following the first ball or something... or there may/might be some people that are more likely to fudge in their score keeping if given this opportunity? Who knows the reason... but I am glad I know the answer.

It's easier than that.  Rule 1 from The Rules of Golf:

1-1. General

The Game of Golf consists of playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules.

The key word here being "successive".  When you play multiple balls, you're not playing a round in successive strokes.

Also the usage of the wording " a ball " is pertinent, meaning one ball and only one ball is in play at any time.

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This raises an interesting point to me. My club is supposed to post a "72 par", if you don't post your round for the day, I know they enforce that on tournaments. I frequently play by myself and some of those times I'll play two balls on a hole if I run into people or drop second balls. I've generally posted everything off my first ball only for the round because the course expects me to post a score. Should I not post anything at all, or explain that I was only practicing and have it not be counted? I don't think that's right either because then I am playing more than my handicap states and getting more experience and practice which should put me at an advantage (unfair) when I bet or play in a tourney.
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You should not post a score for any round in which you played multiple balls for practice.
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This raises an interesting point to me. My club is supposed to post a "72 par", if you don't post your round for the day, I know they enforce that on tournaments. I frequently play by myself and some of those times I'll play two balls on a hole if I run into people or drop second balls.

I've generally posted everything off my first ball only for the round because the course expects me to post a score. Should I not post anything at all, or explain that I was only practicing and have it not be counted?

I don't think that's right either because then I am playing more than my handicap states and getting more experience and practice which should put me at an advantage (unfair) when I bet or play in a tourney.

Just tell the club ahead of time that you're going out to practice and aren't playing a round by the rules.  They can't force you to post if you don't have a score.

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ok. thanks! I will do that from now on.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwjmcgrath View Post

Just tell the club ahead of time that you're going out to practice and aren't playing a round by the rules.  They can't force you to post if you don't have a score.

Whether or not they would in this case is one thing.  But the handicap committee absolutely can require you to post and if you do not they have the authority to post for you.

From the Handicap Manual:

Quote:

8-4. Penalty Scores, Handicap Index Adjustment, and Withdrawal

a. General

A player must earn a Handicap Index . No player has an inherent right to a Handicap Index without providing full evidence of ability to the golf club's Handicap Committee . A Handicap Index must be changed only as warranted by the USGA Handicap System . Only the Handicap Committee where a player maintains a handicap can adjust that player's Handicap Index . There must be no automatic increases at the beginning of a playing season or year. A Handicap Index is continuous from one playing season or year to the next. (See Decision 8-4a/1 and Section 6-1 .)

b. Penalty Scores for Failure to Post

If a player fails to post an acceptable score as soon as practical after completion of the round, the Handicap Committee has three options:

1) Post the actual score made by the player;

2) Post a penalty score equal to the lowest/highest Handicap Differential in the scoring record ;

3) Post the actual score and a penalty score

The Handicap Committee is not required to notify the player prior to posting a penalty score.

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But the handicap committee absolutely can require you to post and if you do not they have the authority to post for you.

From the Handicap Manual:

Where does it actually say the above?

Also from the Handicap Manual and Post #2

5-1a/5. Status of Scores Made when Two Balls Played Throughout Round

Q: A player frequently plays alone and plays two balls throughout the round. May the player return the score made with each ball for handicap purposes?

A: No. The player may not return the score made with either ball, as such scores are not made in accordance with the Rules of Golf - see Rule 7-2 of "The Rules of Golf."

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Thanks for all the information and discussion on this matter. One thing that I have learned, especially from the last few posts, is that what I wish more than anything is that the Club(s) that I play and are employed by would do a better job of being on the lookout and policing the sandbaggers. This time of year especially, with all the clubs matches and tournaments on schedule, there seems to be a bumper crop of them. Never have I seen/heard of so many 10+ guys have "the rounds of their lives." And for what? A close parking spot, name on a trophy? But at what cost? Have some pride, boys. Ok.. to bring it back towards the original topic - my topic... it just seems awfully askew if a club were to drop the hammer on someone like myself who enjoys playing out two balls on a non-crowded, non-rushed course. I understand the rule and the meaning of said rule, don't get me wrong... it just seems like a strange area to harp upon when I'm seeing 10s and 13s run the table on 1s and 2s.
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But the handicap committee absolutely can require you to post and if you do not they have the authority to post for you.

From the Handicap Manual:

Where does it actually say the above?

Also from the Handicap Manual and Post #2

5-1a/5. Status of Scores Made when Two Balls Played Throughout Round

Q: A player frequently plays alone and plays two balls throughout the round. May the player return the score made with each ball for handicap purposes?

A: No. The player may not return the score made with either ball, as such scores are not made in accordance with the Rules of Golf - see Rule 7-2 of "The Rules of Golf."

8-4b

As to the decision, it does not contradict because it is talking about what scores are acceptable, while 8-4b is talking about acceptable scores not being posted.

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