There must be a lot of sand baggers out there that the WHS was trying to "catch," but I’m a struggling golfer who has been caught in a system that only seems to hurt me.
My HI was up to 38 early this year. I took a series of lessons and had a few very good rounds. BOOM! Exceptional, Score Reduction applied to not just THESE rounds, but to all of the previous revision scores. In my case, an ESR of -3. My index dropped like a rock, down to 24. I was excited, but that didn’t really represent my ability... I continued to play and my scores bumped up and down as I tried to find my new normal. As scores went up, the SOFT CAP was applied, reducing my index's upward movement by 50%. And the HARD CAP is also in place, so if I get in the doldrums again, my handicap index can never go higher than +5 from my previous 12-month low!
My good friend has been on a similar journey of rapid improvement followed by inconsistent scores. We are playing in a tournament together on Monday, and neither of us believes our current HI is realistically representative of our expected ability. Again I ask—are there that many cheaters out there, that so many restrictions were built into the WHS?
WOW! That looks brutal. Years and years ago, while playing somewhere in Chicagoland I had a ball end up very much like that. I tried to slam it out but ended up driving it deep... I mean DEEP under the grass, never to be seen again. As far as I know that ball is still under there.
The story continued from there. Since I was lying 2, literally under the turf I took an unplayable lie. I didn't retrieve the old ball. I just tried to drop a new one in the bunker one club-length away. Do to the slope I ended up having to place it. Things kind of went off the rails from there. When it was all said and done I ended up making an 11 on that par-3. My buddies and I called it my "Spinal Tap" hole... "This par three goes to eleven".