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xrayvizhen

Another Golf League Handicapping Question

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My basic question is this: Should a handicap system for a league where individual stroke play is in effect differ from the GHIN system or the pending World Handicap System?

As the statistician/record keeper for our local 9-hole weekly after work golf league I hear a lot of griping from various individuals complaining about their handicap. IE:  “I’ve been playing lousy the last few weeks so why isn’t my handicap going up?” We use the current USGA formula for deriving them so I try to explain that a handicap is supposed to represent your potential, not what your average score is and one or two bad rounds aren't going to have much effect. Some people are then OK with it while some aren’t.  Others offer suggestions like “Why don’t you just take the most recent 10 scores, throw out the two worst and the two best and average the rest?”  To my way of thinking that sort of method leaves the system open to sandbagging which is something that definitely needs to be avoided but regardless, has started me thinking about alternative systems.

Prior to my “volunteering” to do this our golf club did the handicapping using some sort of commercial golf league software package and when I asked what formula was used all I got was a shrug of the shoulders and the non-explanation that it was “whatever the computer said it was.” For that and other reasons we took it over ourselves. Now with a change to the entire world handicapping system targeted for next year I’m wondering what effect the formula change would have. From what I can tell, averaging the best 8 of the most recent 20 differentials (score-course index X 113/slope) rather than the best 10 X .96 will make one’s handicap more resistant to upward movement and less resistant to downward movement which means the bitching about it is only going to get worse.

My inclination is to just average the best 10 of the most recent 20 rounds and eliminate the .96 multiplier since that part of the formula has always been a difficult thing to explain but I’m open to suggestions. Again, this is just for our league. Scores outside of league play are not considered in any of our calculations.

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It always amuses me that so many complainers are currently “playing worse” than their handicaps, but so few worry when they’re on an upswing...

In a stroke play competition, I will tell them to suck it up and if they want to win, just play better.

But then, maybe that’s just me.

 

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I agree with @David in FL, don't change your methods they just need to play better.  Assuming you are playing the same course each week, you could develop any formula your heart desires but the net result won't change.  As long as the formula is applied to everyone, stroke adjustments will be uniform, and you will still have the complainers.

  

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