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Handicap and Slope Rating

Handicap and Slope  

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  1. 1. Two golfers have 10.0 handicap indexes. "A"'s home course has a 135 slope. "B"'s home course has a 115 slope.

    • "A" is a better golfer due to more difficult course
      8
    • "B" is a better golfer due to shooting lower scores
      0
    • I trust course ratings and believe that they are the same level
      16


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This may sound stupid but it comes from a conversation with a co-worker yesterday.  In theory, the USGA rating system levels out different differences in course difficulties, but what do you believe?  Is a golfer with an equal handicap who plays a more difficult course the "better" golfer?

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When comparing players who play at different courses, generally a player will have an advantage on their home course.

If these two players play on a mutual course together, it could be 50/50 show down.

Also, consideration should be age / ball striking distance (with accuracy) of each player when making comparisons.

The bottom line is who buys the beer at the end of the round. :whistle:
 

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56 minutes ago, gbogey said:

This may sound stupid but it comes from a conversation with a co-worker yesterday.  In theory, the USGA rating system levels out different differences in course difficulties, but what do you believe?  Is a golfer with an equal handicap who plays a more difficult course the "better" golfer?

He could be a worse golfer, too. It just depends on how the golfer "fits" that particular course.

Think about it - a 10.0 index could literally be the same golfer if he just plays at two different courses.

The handicap system gets pretty close, and does a great job in two simple numbers (rating and slope), but it can't know everything about everyone and account for the differences in player's games. Some courses rated identically will favor some players with the same index over others.

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I don't necessarily disagree with you although my opinion would have a twist, but I've had two golfers, one very experienced and one less so, say something along the lines of "he's an X at such and such difficult course" implying that it is more difficult to be "X" at a harder course.  Don't really agree but was wondering what others thought.

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10 minutes ago, gbogey said:

I don't necessarily disagree with you although my opinion would have a twist, but I've had two golfers, one very experienced and one less so, say something along the lines of "he's an X at such and such difficult course" implying that it is more difficult to be "X" at a harder course.  Don't really agree but was wondering what others thought.

People also often regularly confuse handicap index with course handicap. A guy getting 10 strokes at a 135 is a better golfer than a guy getting 10 at a 115.

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As others have said, handicap index is suppose to calculate in the slope and rating.  Therefore, in theory both players should be about the same.  But as anyone know, some courses suit particular players.  Even Tiger during his prime won mostly on some of the courses over-and-over.  For example, Riviera does NOT seem to suit Tiger at all, whereas Torrey Pines is well suited for Tiger.

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It depends on a lot of things, but from my personal experience, the player whose home course is the tougher course is probably the better player.   

I have better differentials on easier courses, pretty consistently.  but, I'm not everyone and everyone is not me. 

 

but, to add an anecdotal example.   The Two courses closest to me are: 

Bluff Creek, a hacky inexpensive course that as we say is decent for what it is.  pretty wide open, not much water or penalizing hazards.  
6,410 - 72.00/126

Chaska Town Course - a very high end public course, very challenging, The US Amateur Open was played there one year. 
6,391 - 71.6/136

In consecutive rounds last year I shot a 78 at Bluff Creek for a differential of 5.4, then the next day shot an 82 at Chaska Town course for a differential of 8.6.   

I played way, way better golf at Chaska.  And, while the slope and rating would suggest otherwise, it is much more difficult to shoot an 82 at Chaska than it is to shoot 78 at Bluff Creek.   Even though someone that shot 78 every day at bluff creek would have a handicap more than 3 strokes better than someone that shot 82 at chaska every day.   

 

 

 

Edited by lastings

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Well, the first guy gets 12 strokes at his home course, the second guy gets 10 at his.  Is the guy who plays the 115 Slope course a better player, since his course handicap is lower?  As much as the USGA system can determine, these guys are players of reasonably similar skill, but there are so many individual variables that either one could really be the "better" player.

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Well there's a course rated 69.1, 116. And a course that's 72.3 rated 125. Course 1: I've had one round there where I broke 90. The rest were in the upper 90s. Course 2: I shoot 90 regularly and it's usually two brain farts as to why I turn an 85 into a 90. Like on the 14th hole - For the love of God hit a PW off the tee instead of a GW. (+2 to 3 strokes) and the 10th hole: hit a 3W off the tee instead of driver +2 strokes.

Edited by DrvFrShow

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I believe golfer A is the better golfer.

Don't know what courses are like around with others...but here...a course rated at 135 is often 6500-6800 yards and a course that's either tree lined or/and has many hazards that come into play...IMO....a difficult course.

Courses here sloped at 115 often are well short of 6000 yards and with minimal hazards that come into play....IMO not a difficult course.

Player B would struggle on player's A course.

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1 hour ago, Mr22putt said:

I believe golfer A is the better golfer.

Don't know what courses are like around with others...but here...a course rated at 135 is often 6500-6800 yards and a course that's either tree lined or/and has many hazards that come into play...IMO....a difficult course.

Courses here sloped at 115 often are well short of 6000 yards and with minimal hazards that come into play....IMO not a difficult course.

Player B would struggle on player's A course.

By struggle, do you mean that he'd shoot 5 or 6 strokes higher than he does at home?  If so, I agree.  But the Course Rating of Course A would be 3 or 4 strokes higher based on the yardages you guess, and that, coupled with the Slope difference, would result in the same differentials as he's shooting at his own course B.

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There can be courses with similar slopes that have differences which can have huge effects. For example, one course may have trees or penalty areas OB in certain places where on a bad day a player can waste several shots easily. On a similarly sloped course those obstacles can be lacking which means you can't really see how you can have worse than bogey. I have seen guys with handicaps that shoot lights out on other courses with ease and players who shoot 8 above on others without playing too badly. My general opinion is that courses without OB and penalty areas or any thick rough can make an 18 marker feel as if he's a comfortable 10, for argument's sake. The slope doesn't iron out all the inconsistencies.

I think it comes down to those courses with that stretch of holes where poor driving can kill you but a better player generally isn't affected. A wild, but long driver can often not be penalised or negatively impacted on an open course. A straight driver isn't usually penalised by tight fairways.

Edited by leftybutnotPM

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2 hours ago, Mr22putt said:

Player B would struggle on player's A course.

They have the exact same index.

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23 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

By struggle, do you mean that he'd shoot 5 or 6 strokes higher than he does at home?  If so, I agree.  But the Course Rating of Course A would be 3 or 4 strokes higher based on the yardages you guess, and that, coupled with the Slope difference, would result in the same differentials as he's shooting at his own course B.

Although they both have the same 10 handicaps and they should have  similar skill sets to score.....if I was to bet over 10 matches on another course rated at 135....I'd put my money on the guy who plays course A  to win more matches.

Why?

Again up here.....many courses sloped at 115 are less than 5900 with less trouble (tree/hazards) while courses sloped at 135 are typically 6700-6800+ yards with lots of trouble.

Player B be will be challenged to play a course 800+ yards longer and mentally he'll will be more challenged looking at a course with more trouble.

 

Let me ask everyone...anyone willing to put money down on the course B player to win more matches than player A over 10 matches.... if yes, why?

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4 minutes ago, Mr22putt said:

Let me ask everyone...anyone willing to put money down on the course B player to win more matches than player A over 10 matches.... if yes, why?

I wouldn’t but only because it’s even. Dead even. They are both 10.0. They may literally be the same golfer.

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I think there may be some here that are mistakenly thinking that each of these players are shooting the same scores on each of their respective courses.  They’re not.  

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45 minutes ago, David in FL said:

I think there may be some here that are mistakenly thinking that each of these players are shooting the same scores on each of their respective courses.  They’re not.  

Exactly!  A is shooting an average of maybe 85 or 86, B is probably averaging closer to 80.  It's hard to guess without the course ratings, but that could be close.

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Sometimes a course can be "too easy" too.

For example, when I played the forward tees (now the "5" tees I think) at Lake View when I was a 1.8, I'd have had to shoot about 69 to 70 just to keep a 1.8 index (rating and slope are 67.6/120).

In other words, B might be the better player, if the course is "too easy."

Plus, a lot of the lower-rated courses are in worse shape. They're sometimes older, munis, that sort of thing. Good players putt better (all players really) on better greens. And in better conditions all around.

But again, I feel the need to keep reminding people: these two players could literally be the exact same person. Your index doesn't change based on the course rating/slope.

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