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# US vs British Handicaps - Page 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback

If I might ask another question, do you know anything abut how they do the course rating and slope computations for the course?  Have they come up with their own methodology or do they use the USGA process?  It seems to me that even if the algorithm for computing the handicap were to be the same, if the CR and slopes are determined using a different process than the USGA process there would still be the potential for a systematic difference in the handicaps.

EGA uses USGA course rating practices so the CR and slope are comparable.

For interest EGA HC manual gives following conversions,:

CONGU -> EGA, (124 is approximate average slope of CONGU courses, i.e. end result is only an approximation)

Quote:
EGA EXACT HCP = CONGU ® EXACT HCP x 113 / 124

USGA -> EGA (same rating system)

Quote:
EGA EXACT HCP = USGA INDEX

So UK person playing in US should multiply his HCI by 0.91 and then calculate playing handicap (course handicap).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeph

For a higher handicap player, this means he can shoot 46 Stableford points on a good day and have his handicap drop by 0.5*10 = 5 points. Two of those rounds, and he'll go from 36 to 26. The following 5 rounds can be in the 20's and his handicap goes up 0.5 total.

I find the US system of the average of the 10 of your last 20 far better. That way, your handicap is based on averages and includes 20 rounds. Here, you can have on exceptionally great round that drops your handicap. I've played with many in the 20's handicap that struggle with it. They shoot 2-3 good rounds and drop significantly in handicap. Then they get their bad and regular rounds, and struggle shooting 36 for months. It also takes a while to get the handicap back up, since it only goes up by 0.1 each round.

To my understanding Norway uses EGA like rest of the continental Europe. I understand that the rise of HC is bit slow, but you are not supposed to be shooting 36 points (i.e. to your handiacp) every round. Only every 1/4 or 1/5 rounds.

And your example of 36 handicap shooting 46 twice (roughly 10 under each round), displays either exceptional potential or something iffy. And the HC system reacts quite well to that.

Bigger problem is CBA (in competitions) and it's implementation. At the moment it may cause unnecessary adjustments in HC based on daily scoring conditions.

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There is not a big difference between USGA handicaps and EGA handicaps for people who play a lot of rounds that qualify for their handicap. That is for someone who fills in his scorecard correctly. I have a USGA hcp of 9.5 and a EGA hcp of 9.7. Two years ago it was 13.x against 13.y.

But I also play a lot of rounds just for fun on courses I never played before. Most of the times these rounds are somewhere in the high twenties....

What good are these handicap systems when people are not accurately using them?   It's my first year with official US GHIN HI & club tournaments and I see too many flaws, and abuses.   The main one being that members can enter any scores without check and balances.   It's an honor system and not all of the members have honorable intention .   A case in point (or not),  a 4 HI golfer in our club has won 2 tournaments and placed in 2nd for 5 tournaments he entered so far.  I can't say for sure if he is a sandbagger but it is rather unusual.   A beginner who is rapidly improving can win a few tournaments but a 4 HI capper?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968

What good are these handicap systems when people are not accurately using them?   It's my first year with official US GHIN HI & club tournaments and I see too many flaws, and abuses.   The main one being that members can enter any scores without check and balances.   It's an honor system and not all of the members have honorable intention .   A case in point (or not),  a 4 HI golfer in our club has won 2 tournaments and placed in 2nd for 5 tournaments he entered so far.  I can't say for sure if he is a sandbagger but it is rather unusual.   A beginner who is rapidly improving can win a few tournaments but a 4 HI capper?

4 HI golfer is not that bad club golfer and depending on tournament I can believe he can win them as he is capable of shooting around par. Were the tournaments flighted or net or gross etc, this also affects the odds.

If 4 HI shoots close to par in 7 tournaments, his HC will start to move quite soon.

And in the end, why steady 4 HC could not win tournaments? That is why there is HC in the first place. Or perhaps I missed the irony.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luu5

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968

What good are these handicap systems when people are not accurately using them?   It's my first year with official US GHIN HI & club tournaments and I see too many flaws, and abuses.   The main one being that members can enter any scores without check and balances.   It's an honor system and not all of the members have honorable intention .   A case in point (or not),  a 4 HI golfer in our club has won 2 tournaments and placed in 2nd for 5 tournaments he entered so far.  I can't say for sure if he is a sandbagger but it is rather unusual.   A beginner who is rapidly improving can win a few tournaments but a 4 HI capper?

4 HI golfer is not that bad club golfer and depending on tournament I can believe he can win them as he is capable of shooting around par. Were the tournaments flighted or net or gross etc, this also affects the odds.

If 4 HI shoots close to par in 7 tournaments, his HC will start to move quite soon.

And in the end, why steady 4 HC could not win tournaments? That is why there is HC in the first place. Or perhaps I missed the irony.

All tournaments are played at 100% handicap & net.  For him to win, he had to score in low or mid 60s, net.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968

All tournaments are played at 100% handicap & net.  For him to win, he had to score in low or mid 60s, net.

I bet anyone winning that tournament had to score same, net...

Quote:
Originally Posted by luu5

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968

All tournaments are played at 100% handicap & net.  For him to win, he had to score in low or mid 60s, net.

I bet anyone winning that tournament had to score same, net...

True.  66 won it in the last tournament.   For this guy to win 3 out of 5 tournaments, he must be on a roll, fast improving, or both.  If he keeps it up, the club handicap committee should take a closer look at his official HI vs his true level.   That's their job and have done it at least once with another golfer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanceman

Interesting. In Australia we use a kind of hybrid system. The US system applies with best 8 from last 20 rounds and we tend to play a lot of competitions as in the UK. Personally I can play 2 or 3 stableford comps each week if I wanted to. This keeps me honest because I play with the same group of people mainly and we all know each others capabilities. We used to have the old system like in Norway where playing 10 shots below your handicap meant a 5 shot drop next time you play. But this averaging obviously gives a steadier result closer to your average than your best.

Correction:  In the US, handicap index is based on the lowest 10 differentials of your last 20 returned scores, not 8.

Here is my view as a golfer in the US. In High School, I was a scratch golfer under the USGA HC system. At my home course, I was able to break par on a consistent basis, but I played roughly 2-3 strokes over at other courses on which I had 2 or less rounds of experience (even on courses with 3 or more rounds). It all goes back to knowing the course that you play. I have been out of High school for 4 years now, and only get to play roughly 10-15 times a year back home(if I'm lucky). Hardly enough to remain consistent, but I have been able to maintain a 9. Many people in the US only use their best 10 differentials out of their last 20 rounds... Since I play so little at the current time, I use my last 10 rounds to make it more accurate. After playing some rounds in the UK I have noticed some differences in the playability of the courses and the players themselves.

1. In the US, your better players will have a high ball flight with emphasis on the workability of the ball and spin around the greens whereas the better players in the UK (in my experience) have a low ball flight and let the ball run. In the UK, the courses tend to run a little more than they do in the US and the bump and run is more essential than it is in the US. The wind in the UK is detrimental to a high maneuvering shot, whereas the softer conditions and lack of wind hurt the player with a low runner.

2. The greens in the US have more grain to them so a putt that looks flat, might actually turn the width of 5 or 6 balls or a putt that looks like it will turn may actually go straight. From what I have noticed, the greens in the UK are quicker (due to a lack of grain) than they are in the US. This makes it difficult for American golfers to putt in the UK because they are trained to look for certain factors that are not as prevalent in the UK. Likewise, golfers from the UK that have come to the US tend to struggle on the greens as they get used to accounting for the new factors.

3. Distances. Any top tier golfer knows the exact yardage that their club will fly when hit with their normal swing (i.e. 7 iron goes 167 yards with a comfortable swing). Distances in the US will be different than those in the UK. I found that my tee shot flies 20-30 yards shorter in the UK than in the US (I am from South Carolina so the temperatures are much warmer) and my irons were roughly 5-10 yards shorter. This is critical when looking at approach shots.

As a US golfer, I have been playing roughly 4-5 shots worse while here in the UK. That can be seen as the US having an easier system and one that is not representative of your "real" handicap. That being said, I have only played a few rounds and am still trying to get used to the rollout on approach shots and the distance with the driver. I have hit shots here that would have led to easy birdies back home just to regret it while the shot is in the air because I forgot to take into account the rollout. Next thing I know, I am chipping back to the green and having a 5 + footer for par (rollout again) instead. That being said, I have seen the same problem with British golfers coming to the US and having trouble adjusting to the different conditions. I have only been here (UK) for a month and I am getting better as the time goes on but still trying to lower my ball flight to line myself up with the conditions here. As far as I can tell, the stableford scoring system is the same as what we use back home in our dog fights. I don't know of anybody back home that is happy with scoring in the 20's in an 18 hole dog fight. According the the scoring happiness scale that has been posted on this thread I would say we are the same. The US handicap system is very representative of what you will do in the states just as the system you use here is good at predicting your scoring here. Neither one would be accurate in the other system as players from both places would generally struggle adjusting to the different game. Once you have adjusted to the conditions, however, I would say that your handicap would be pretty interchangeable as you flew across the pond. The courses here aren't any harder than they are back home and vice versa. It's just a different game altogether.

I know I will probably get blasted for this analysis, it is just what I have noticed in my short time here and with my experiences with golfers coming to the US and playing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by puttingstruggle

3. Distances. Any top tier golfer knows the exact yardage that their club will fly when hit with their normal swing (i.e. 7 iron goes 167 yards with a comfortable swing). Distances in the US will be different than those in the UK. I found that my tee shot flies 20-30 yards shorter in the UK than in the US (I am from South Carolina so the temperatures are much warmer) and my irons were roughly 5-10 yards shorter. This is critical when looking at approach shots.

I wonder why it would be like this? They still use yards on golf courses in UK I guess...

I wouldn't put too much stock one way or another on how people play while on vacation and especially playing courses different than what they are used to playing.

Some drop off when playing different style courses and in different conditions wouldn't be unusual.

I see tourists all the time playing the course where I work that can obviously hit the ball okay but make mistakes in judgment about how to play certain shots or how to play certain holes. I'm quite certain that regular members at other courses would say the same of me when I play their course for the first time.

From what I see people that regularly play multiple courses are also usually better than people with the same handicap that predominantly play one course (and know it like the back of their hand).

Quote:

Originally Posted by puttingstruggle

1. In the US, your better players will have a high ball flight with emphasis on the workability of the ball and spin around the greens whereas the better players in the UK (in my experience) have a low ball flight and let the ball run. In the UK, the courses tend to run a little more than they do in the US and the bump and run is more essential than it is in the US. The wind in the UK is detrimental to a high maneuvering shot, whereas the softer conditions and lack of wind hurt the player with a low runner.

Far from blasting this analysis, I think it is very accurate and conveys insight based on experience. In another thread on 40-60 yard approach shots, the exact same differences in course playability came up: in the UK (and a lot of the rest of Europe - I play in Germany), the low approach into the green with a 7 iron to pitching wedge which stays on the air 50-60% of the distance and rolls the rest is a common shot. In the US, it seems that - on account of the softer condition of the fairways and greens, it is much more common to hit directly onto the green, with very little roll out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by graham57

Far from blasting this analysis, I think it is very accurate and conveys insight based on experience. In another thread on 40-60 yard approach shots, the exact same differences in course playability came up: in the UK (and a lot of the rest of Europe - I play in Germany), the low approach into the green with a 7 iron to pitching wedge which stays on the air 50-60% of the distance and rolls the rest is a common shot. In the US, it seems that - on account of the softer condition of the fairways and greens, it is much more common to hit directly onto the green, with very little roll out.

I wonder if there is any significant difference in the average openness of the fronts of greens.  I like playing run up shots but in many cases here in US you cannot play that shot because there is a greenside bunker guarding the front of the green.  So I wonder if that is a more common situation here than there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback

I wonder if there is any significant difference in the average openness of the fronts of greens.  I like playing run up shots but in many cases here in US you cannot play that shot because there is a greenside bunker guarding the front of the green.  So I wonder if that is a more common situation here than there.

This is an interesting point: on my home course, 10 greens are not protected at the front by bunkers (1 of those is, however, is largely protected by a water hazard), 7 greens have at least part of the front protected by greenside bunkers, leaving a partial "channel" to approach through (though - depending on pin position - this may leave you with a very long putt), and only one is completely protected by a frontside horseshoe bunker. I am not confident enough about the other courses I play or have played in Europe to report on them reliably, but I will certainly pay attention to that on future rounds. I don't have enough experience of US courses to say if this radically differs from typical layouts there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by graham57

This is an interesting point: on my home course, 10 greens are not protected at the front by bunkers (1 of those is, however, is largely protected by a water hazard), 7 greens have at least part of the front protected by greenside bunkers, leaving a partial "channel" to approach through (though - depending on pin position - this may leave you with a very long putt), and only one is completely protected by a frontside horseshoe bunker. I am not confident enough about the other courses I play or have played in Europe to report on them reliably, but I will certainly pay attention to that on future rounds. I don't have enough experience of US courses to say if this radically differs from typical layouts there.

I've read in a couple of threads here and other analysis online that there is at least a bias towards "target golf" in the US, whereas courses in the UK aren't traditionally like that.  Target golf is, to me, where large portions of your potential target area cause problems.   For hitting into greens it could mean that while you have a large green, only 1/3 of it is not a struggle to  2-putt, and 3-putting is common if you are in the wrong area.

Target courses encourage people to hit the ball into the air higher and throw it more at the hole, using the higher loft to keep the ball rolling to a minimum.   UK courses traditionally (at least to what people envision them as) offer more options.   You can, on any hole, throw the ball high like that.   However you have more options for running the ball on the ground on non-target courses.

My home course is a target golf course.   Many holes will be difficult from being in the wrong section of the fairway.   A couple of holes will put you in a hazard if you hit the wrong part of the fairway.   Many greens are spit by huge hills, humps or undulations that means not being able to get a putt within 12 feet.   I did a quick count and only 6 holes (out of 27 holes overall.   an entire 9 doesn't have a single shot I would play a bump and run shot to a green) would allow you to play a bump and run shot.   And 2 of those are on greens where you can approach from two different angles and only one of the approaches let you do it.   You could try and hit a low shot from far away and see if it has enough momentum from that far and it's hot enough.   But that's rarely tried unless you are shooting out of danger and can't get enough club on the ball.   Effectively minus those 6 holes you have to hit a lofted wedge onto the green, instead of playing something shorter.

It's a style of golf course and a lot of resort courses are like this, or designs by big name architects.  While it's hardly a constant, I would say that people playing in the UK probably have a better idea on keeping the ball lower because of the course setups.   A number of older UK courses also were designed by not moving much earth around, keeping the terrain natural, so artificial hazards or elevated greens probably weren't as common.

Hershey East course has 17 out of 18 greens that are raised above you, for example.  While you can get the ball on the green by having a pitch land short and then determining how much you want it to roll up to the green, most people opt to hit it on the green with a higher lofted wedge.

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