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Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
At my club our singles and doubles match play is handicapped but at 75% of your course handicap.

I'm a relatively new member and I suspect this policy has been in effect for quite a long time. I've gently inquired, but haven't been given an answer that sufficiently satisfies me.

I'm fairly miffed, since this seems to give low cappers a huge advantage. As near as I can tell, this policy basically implies the handicap system doesn't work and these adjustments are necessary to keep everyone 'honest'.

The math really doesn't make sense. A 1 or 2 handicap basically gets 100% of their handicap since they 'round up'. For example, a 2 handicap x 75% is 1.5 which is rounded up to 2.

As an 8 capper, I'm playing at a 6 which puts me at a huge disadvantage.

Or am I totally missing something here? Is a handicap adjustment common in match play?
post #2 of 45

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

I don't know how it works but last september I played a matchplay event. I don't remember if they used something like that, 80% or 100% handicap, I played in the "A" category, which envolves handicaps from 0 to 7. But I think that if you're playing in that category the advantages should be eliminated. At that time I played with a 3 and the guy form the first match played with a 7. So he had 4 advantage shots, but he made par on the holes he had the advantage and won me 3&2. I think that was unfair, cause a guy that is able to break 80 can shoot a good round or he lied about his handicap. I don't know.

Regards!
post #3 of 45

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

I agree with what's been said. I simply do not play in "net" tournaments...I'm sorry but they should flight all tourneys. I hate going out there and putting up a decent number and some 15 handicap played a good round and ends up with a net 65. Totally ridiculous...

Oh and you asked about match play? It should be straight up...I think giving strokes on a hole is just a waste of golf. That's my opinion though, probably not the opinion of a lot of people on this site but what can you do? Can't make everyone happy.
post #4 of 45

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

I'll chime in as a 16 hcp. Quit your whining. Seriously.

The truth is that we all have good and bad days. While I won't pretend to stick my head in the sand that guys sandbag on reporting their scores, you have to allow the possibility to a guy having a good round.

Yeah, people sandbag their hcp so that they can score better in a tourney. When has that ever changed?

BTW, now that my game is improving, I will enter as many tourneys as possible as a 16 hcp. If I have a great day that is better than a low hcp, it's not going to change my sleep habits.
post #5 of 45

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

yeah, I don't like playing by handicap. Play it straight up, stroke for stroke. In my opinion, handicap system contributes to people saying golf isn't a sport. How are you supposed to compete when you give away points to someone of less skill (or so claimed) so they can beat you?
post #6 of 45

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

It is for gambling...how else could you ever set up a match for money? Why if you know someone is a better golfer would continue to play them?? kind of like a point spread....it allows action.

i know at my club they do 90 percent and it seems to work pretty well. The HC system favors the lower golfer by small % points but nobody seems to believe it
post #7 of 45

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

Originally Posted by imtomtomim View Post
yeah, I don't like playing by handicap. Play it straight up, stroke for stroke. In my opinion, handicap system contributes to people saying golf isn't a sport. How are you supposed to compete when you give away points to someone of less skill (or so claimed) so they can beat you?
Who cares is someone says golf isn't a sport? I know I don't. Golf has such a wide span of skill of golfers, a handicap system is needed. Do you think a 20hcer is going to want to play in an event if he has to play you straight up at a 5.8? You are in a very rare hc range. There are very few golfers as good as you are and if you make the worse golfers like me(I am now an 11.6 so I am not actually that bad) play you straight up, I am not likely to play. Taking 80% of the handicap is used against sandbaggers. If you want to play straight up, there is always professional golf.
post #8 of 45

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

Originally Posted by hoser View Post
At my club our singles and doubles match play is handicapped but at 75% of your course handicap.
I'm a relatively new member and I suspect this policy has been in effect for quite a long time. I've gently inquired, but haven't been given an answer that sufficiently satisfies me.
I'm fairly miffed, since this seems to give low cappers a huge advantage. As near as I can tell, this policy basically implies the handicap system doesn't work and these adjustments are necessary to keep everyone 'honest'.
The math really doesn't make sense. A 1 or 2 handicap basically gets 100% of their handicap since they 'round up'. For example, a 2 handicap x 75% is 1.5 which is rounded up to 2.
As an 8 capper, I'm playing at a 6 which puts me at a huge disadvantage.
Or am I totally missing something here? Is a handicap adjustment common in match play?
I have no explanation as to why they do this at 75% but I doubt I would play. I play in a HC mens league and sandbagging is common place. This will more than likely be my last year in this league because of all the cheating taking place.
post #9 of 45

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

Originally Posted by HoosierGolfer View Post
I have no explanation as to why they do this at 75% but I doubt I would play. I play in a HC mens league and sandbagging is common place. This will more than likely be my last year in this league because of all the cheating taking place.
I like my league because it really takes sandbaggers out of the equation by only using scores from the league for HC purposes. And your hc carries over from year to year.
post #10 of 45

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

In addition to combatting sandbagging, which seems like a dubious reason at best, lower handicappers tend to have less fluctuation in their scores. There are simply a lot more scores out there for a high handicapper to pick up on a good day. The USGA acknowledges this, but maintains that their handicap formula is fair for single-player "teams" in both stroke- and match-play events. For larger teams, they recommend reducing handicaps to take the statistical edge away from high-cappers (http://www.usga.org/handicapping/pub...ferent-Events/). I would imagine in many groups, the high-handicappers will tend to be overrepresented among winners, despite what the USGA claims, since odds are pretty good that at least one of the high-handicappers will pull it together that day.

This is especially true if you have many players who are regularly improving, I suspect. For example, the last round I was out, I beat my handicap by about 12 strokes. According to the USGA tables for tournament scores, that should essentially never happen. I don't sandbag, I just play a lot less than I practice, so even after about two years of informally (but religiously) tracking my handicap, I've yet to reach a full 20 rounds. Thus my handicap is heavily weighted toward older, worse scores, since I've somewhat suddenly improved rapidly after a period of stagnation. It'd be rather hard for a scratch player to go 12 under to beat me, and I only played a little bit better than usual. (remember, even when a pro goes, say, 10 under in a round, which is rare, that's probably only beating his handicap by a few strokes.)

So if your club has a large number of high-handicappers or lots and lots of new but serious golfers, this could give the better golfers an edge, perhaps not even an unfair one.
post #11 of 45

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

Originally Posted by Bastid View Post

Oh and you asked about match play? It should be straight up...I think giving strokes on a hole is just a waste of golf. That's my opinion though, probably not the opinion of a lot of people on this site but what can you do? Can't make everyone happy.
So you figure I should have to play you straight up, 12.4 to .2? Why should I even bother? Or do you feel that because I'm typically 12 strokes worse than you I shouldn't even be playing? That's quite an ego you have.

My Men's Club uses full handicap in flighted stroke play tournaments. Match play is 100% for individual matches and 90% for fourball matches. Of course that gives the advantage to the low handicapper who plays a more consistent game than the average or high handicapper. The higher capper may have that rare a great round and win one, but that won't happen as often as he loses.

I've played matches at 80%, 90% and at 100% (75% is a bit too much) and I'm about even over the years. It takes a good run of consistent golf to win a match play competition which runs for the whole season, no matter how the handicaps are implemented.
post #12 of 45

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

As another high handicap golfer... I'm also sick of the 'everybody is a sandbagger' mentality. I played in a match about 3 weeks ago where I LITERALLY had the round of my life. The guy I played against was playing off an 8.1 while I was playing off a 21.5 handicap. He was giving me 14 strokes in our match and... through 11 holes, we were even. I made an ace on the 12th hole and it put him on tilt. I then went par, par on the next few holes (while he went bogey, par) and was 3 up with 4 to play because I was getting a stroke on the 14th hole. He started complaining on the 15th tee about how my handicap was inflated and whatnot. When I piped my drive into the fairway there... he absolutely went off. He ended up winning that hole but lost the match on the 16th when he hooked his drive, topped his approach and left his 3rd shot well short of the green while I hit the fairway, came up just short of the green, chipped on and 2-putted for bogey.

After the round, he went in to the clubhouse and told the club organizer that there was no way my handicap was legit. The club organizer basically told him to sit down and STFU because my scores were all verified and they were from last season. Over the winter, I hit the range twice a week and completely reworked things in an attempt to compete this season. The following week, my handicap dropped to 19.5 and I was matched up against a guy playing off a 27.6 handicap. I was giving him 10 strokes in our match... and HE had a great round (shot net 72) while I played really poorly and he beat me 5 & 4. I didn't complain or whine about it... it's just the way the game goes.

A lot of you low handicap players seem to forget when YOU weren't playing off high number. At some point, you had to improve and your handicap had to be much higher than what you probably SHOULD have been playing off of.

I'm at that point in my game where, right now, my handicap is probably 2-3 strokes higher than it SHOULD be... and eventually, it will level off... but that does NOT make me a sandbagger. If you don't like the handicap system... don't play in net tournaments. Period. They're designed to 'level the playing field'. The fact is... as a 19.5 handicap right now... I could NOT compete with a 10.0 handicap straight up. It just wouldn't happen unless I played great and my opponent had a poor round.

End of my rant...

CY
post #13 of 45

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

Originally Posted by Bastid View Post
I agree with what's been said. I simply do not play in "net" tournaments...I'm sorry but they should flight all tourneys. I hate going out there and putting up a decent number and some 15 handicap played a good round and ends up with a net 65. Totally ridiculous...

Oh and you asked about match play? It should be straight up...I think giving strokes on a hole is just a waste of golf. That's my opinion though, probably not the opinion of a lot of people on this site but what can you do? Can't make everyone happy.
couldnt agree more
I just lost in a 100% handicap event this past weekend
I played a dude who was an 11.2 (or something like that)
anyway, dude got 8 strokes on me
basically i would gain strokes on the holes, where he DIDNT have a stroke on me

day one we went to the 18th green
I shot 76 that day (and played pretty well, if i could just putt), he shot 86 and we tied
rather play it out (which i wish they would have done, b/c i would have won) we played again the next day
either he shot his a$$ off or is sandbagger
how the hell does a an 11 shoot 77?????? really?
they say that you only shoot your index 25% of the time...wow, 86 then a 77, cmon dude
his best score in 12 months was a 79 at an easier course and from closer tees

i dunno....frusteration maybe im not sure, but i agree, flight everyone instead and play straight up
post #14 of 45
Thread Starter 

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

Originally Posted by zeg View Post
In addition to combatting sandbagging, which seems like a dubious reason at best, lower handicappers tend to have less fluctuation in their scores. There are simply a lot more scores out there for a high handicapper to pick up on a good day. The USGA acknowledges this, but maintains that their handicap formula is fair for single-player "teams" in both stroke- and match-play events. For larger teams, they recommend reducing handicaps to take the statistical edge away from high-cappers (http://www.usga.org/handicapping/pub...ferent-Events/). I would imagine in many groups, the high-handicappers will tend to be overrepresented among winners, despite what the USGA claims, since odds are pretty good that at least one of the high-handicappers will pull it together that day.

This is especially true if you have many players who are regularly improving, I suspect. For example, the last round I was out, I beat my handicap by about 12 strokes. According to the USGA tables for tournament scores, that should essentially never happen. I don't sandbag, I just play a lot less than I practice, so even after about two years of informally (but religiously) tracking my handicap, I've yet to reach a full 20 rounds. Thus my handicap is heavily weighted toward older, worse scores, since I've somewhat suddenly improved rapidly after a period of stagnation. It'd be rather hard for a scratch player to go 12 under to beat me, and I only played a little bit better than usual. (remember, even when a pro goes, say, 10 under in a round, which is rare, that's probably only beating his handicap by a few strokes.)

Awesome. Thanks for the link to the USGA article. This certainly clarifies the issue of variability in higher handicaps. I can see how using that logic and applying a 75% handicap would reduce that problem. Particularly in match play where a blow up hole isn't as punishing for a higher handicapper. All in all, this a pretty satisfactory answer.

Also, we some doubles formats that are handicapped at 50%. The article does an excellent job of explaining why a higher handicapped team would have a distinct advantage.

Thanks again!
post #15 of 45

Re: Match Play and Handicapping: Thoughts?

I agree with flights and playing straight up, but there's a disparity between guys at the fringes of each handicap range.

Player one who sits on the number at the low end of the bracket has a big advantage over the guy who is only in that high a flight by a decimal point or two. What are you gonna do?

I like the 50% setup - if you're a 6.0 it's 3 and if I'm a 10.0 it's 5. Play consistently and the match should still come down to the last couple holes.
post #16 of 45

The reason for the discrepency is that in matchplay a player the high handicapper is only penalized for the loss of a hole by losing that hole. Example: if the high handicapper makes a 8 on a par five and the low handicapper makes a 5 the high handicapper is not penalized for the triple bogey (3) strokes, as he would in a stroke play format. At the end of the day the only fair way to compete between handicaps is to adjust in matchplay and give full strokes in stroke play with no maximum score on each hole. That is because your handicap is based on an average of your low 10 total scores with course ratings and slope ratings and not on matchplay results. If the high hadicapper is not adjusted he would have a great advantage.

post #17 of 45

I have played in the match play at my club several time.  In each match the lower handicap player plays from scratch and the higher handicap player gets the difference between handicaps.  So in Hoser's case the 2 handicap wold play from scratch and Hoser would get 6 strokes.  Normally that is about the maximum difference that the flight would permit, although it does vary some from year to year. Looking at the results over the past years this would seem to be a fair system as long as the flights are set up with a 6 or smaller handicap differences.  

post #18 of 45

FINALLY billclint2!!!!

Someone read the original post and picked up on the fact that this is MATCH PLAY and not medal.  I'm a 4 at my course and play with some of my buddies who are up to 18.  I won't play them for money anymore because of this issue.  18's will go around the course in something like this:

 

par, bogey, bogey, bogey, triple, triple, bogey, bogey, par  

 

On a par 72 that would be 47 on the front.  How would you compete with that score? He's getting 7 from me a side, and I really only have 2 opportunities to win holes.  Those two triples.  His 2 pars are almost certainly winners and god forbid I bogey a hole.

 

If a high hdcp'er was going to play consistently bogey golf then it would be fine, but as we all know they don't.  Most of there round is consumed in a few (3-5) bad holes.  The rest of the time they are actually pretty competitive. I played a guy in a match that was a 14 the other day.  I was 2 under through 6 holes and only even in the match.  That's tough to compete against.  If it weren't for the rain delay I'd have been sunk, but he stiffened up during the break and I got him, but I won't always be so lucky.

 

-T

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