Re: Handicapping Master ThreadWhen somebody says, "I play to about a 20 or so..."
Ask them if that means they average about 20 over par.
If so, tell them they are probably a 14 or 15 handicap. If you average 20 over par, that means your top half of rounds are closer to 16 over par (and bottom half 24 over par), and when you take slope and rating into account, they would be down to a 14 or 15.
We had one friend who always insisted he was a 20 handicap. Then one day he shot an 81. Then he shot an 85. He still shot the 95s and such, but that doesn't matter. If your good rounds are 81 and 85, you aren't a 20 handicap. So if a person wants to play matches, get a freaking handicap so that we can play correctly instead of somebody guessing they should get 12 strokes, when they should really only get 7 or 8.
I have a couple friends who are lower than I am, solid single digits, and other friends who were claiming the were "around a 20". After a little while we said enough was enough, at least go get the internet hdcp and get something going. They all ended up being 15's when they calculated their handicaps.
Another example of this: Was talking to a friend, talking about member/guest style formats. He says, "That would be fun. I'm probably like a 20, and I can shoot an 85, I'd be pretty good at that." I asked him, "what do you mean you are 'probably' a 20?" He responded that he didn't have a handicap, but that is what he would play at. No idea that means he is "probably a zero" in that format, and would be the worst partner ever.