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RetiredOldMan

Is Your Handicap Accurate?

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I think, at our club, all the handicaps are artificially low. Reason I say this is that Monday is match play, and the conceded putts, or conceded holes, give you an artificially low score. Then on Tuesday and Thursday, the tournaments that are played only allow a double bogey. Again, an artificially low score. Wednesday, may be a stroke tournament that may reflect an actual score, or it may be a skins game, in which 2 tie, everyone else of picks up, and records what they want on that hole. Now, most of us play an additional 2, 3, or 4 rounds in a given week, and hopefully we are posting the actual score. I guess it all comes out in the end.

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4 minutes ago, Rkrider99 said:

I think, at our club, all the handicaps are artificially low. Reason I say this is that Monday is match play, and the conceded putts, or conceded holes, give you an artificially low score. Then on Tuesday and Thursday, the tournaments that are played only allow a double bogey. Again, an artificially low score. Wednesday, may be a stroke tournament that may reflect an actual score, or it may be a skins game, in which 2 tie, everyone else of picks up, and records what they want on that hole. Now, most of us play an additional 2, 3, or 4 rounds in a given week, and hopefully we are posting the actual score. I guess it all comes out in the end.

There are rules specified for scoring holes for handicap reporting in all of the situations you mention.  And no, “recording what they want” isn’t one of those rules.  ;-)

Done properly, your handicap should still be accurate.

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41 minutes ago, Thelonious_Funk said:

Just to be clear I never said/would say my handicap is 100% accurate.  I stand by my handicap and know I am an honest golfer.  

I get your point - but what about practice rounds?  I'm saying this is a practice round.  What are the rules around "practice rounds" and posting to handicap?  For me the key is declaring before I tee off whether this is a practice round or not.  If I say no matter what happens this is a practice round then I'm within my rights to not post it and doing nothing wrong.    I would be doing something wrong if I declared that I was posting, had a bad start and then told myself it was a practice round.

Makes sense to me.

Awesome 69!

There’s no such thing as a “practice round” when it comes to posting or not posting a score for handicap purposes.  Only rounds that were played under the rules of golf, and those that were not.  

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3 minutes ago, David in FL said:

There’s no such thing as a “practice round” when it comes to posting or not posting a score for handicap purposes.  Only rounds that were played under the rules of golf, and those that were not.  

Section 5.1 e - "(vii) When a player ignores one or more Rules of Golf and fails to post an adjusted hole score as required under Section 4-1 and 4-2, or fails to record the appropriate penalty for a breach of rule. For example, if a player anchored the club while making a stroke during a round and did not record a penalty for doing so (See Rule 14-1b), the score would not have been played under the Rules of Golf and therefore would not be acceptable for handicap purposes."

Can't post a score if don't play by the rules.  Breakfast balls, mulligans, 5 foot gimmes, improved lies, listening to music, having laughs and fun (?).  A list of rules i broke when I played my "practice" round two weekends ago.

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10 minutes ago, Thelonious_Funk said:

Section 5.1 e - "(vii) When a player ignores one or more Rules of Golf and fails to post an adjusted hole score as required under Section 4-1 and 4-2, or fails to record the appropriate penalty for a breach of rule. For example, if a player anchored the club while making a stroke during a round and did not record a penalty for doing so (See Rule 14-1b), the score would not have been played under the Rules of Golf and therefore would not be acceptable for handicap purposes."

Can't post a score if don't play by the rules.  Breakfast balls, mulligans, 5 foot gimmes, improved lies, listening to music, having laughs and fun (?).  A list of rules i broke when I played my "practice" round two weekends ago.

Exactly.  But the fact that you call it a “practice” round has nothing to do with it.  If you play a “practice” round under the rules and otherwise meet the requirements for posting, it should be posted.  No matter what you call it.

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That's why all my practice rounds are as a single.  Takes care of everything.  Although, before the new rules, I'd play as a single, honestly, and post my score.

Edited by Double Mocha Man

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16 hours ago, Double Mocha Man said:

That's why all my practice rounds are as a single.  Takes care of everything.  Although, before the new rules, I'd play as a single, honestly, and post my score.

Same here. In the late fall, I often play alone so I can't post scores when in season.

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I watch guys I play with and see them fluffing their lie, kicking out from behind a tree, grounding the club in a bunker, taking mulligans, saying "I'll take a four", and on and on. I honestly don't know how any of their handicaps count. I also hear "I drive the ball 280 yards" when I drive 220 and I'm close to them when they are in the fairway, (most of the times they are in the trees).  But what are you going to do, call them on every infraction? The league I use to play in was for money so you damn sure better not screw around. I made an honest mistake one time in counting up my strokes on a par four, I said I got a five, but I forgot a stroke, boy did I get called on that one. The guy I was playing with/against counted every stroke of each player, don't know how he did that. 

I'm 68 years old now and play with guys my age and older, they are out to have fun and there is no money on the line so I don't say anything, but I do play by the rules. I do not keep an accurate handicap myself, i.e., I don't submit my scores anymore. After three back surgeries what is the point. 

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My handicap is accurate as it applies to my current potential, but I wish it was higher because I don't realize that potential as frequently as I would like, or expect to, and I end up losing to my golf buddies when we account for our handicaps.

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1 hour ago, cooke119 said:

I watch guys I play with and see them fluffing their lie, kicking out from behind a tree, grounding the club in a bunker, taking mulligans, saying "I'll take a four", and on and on. I honestly don't know how any of their handicaps count. I also hear "I drive the ball 280 yards" when I drive 220 and I'm close to them when they are in the fairway, (most of the times they are in the trees).  But what are you going to do, call them on every infraction? The league I use to play in was for money so you damn sure better not screw around. I made an honest mistake one time in counting up my strokes on a par four, I said I got a five, but I forgot a stroke, boy did I get called on that one. The guy I was playing with/against counted every stroke of each player, don't know how he did that. 

I'm 68 years old now and play with guys my age and older, they are out to have fun and there is no money on the line so I don't say anything, but I do play by the rules. I do not keep an accurate handicap myself, i.e., I don't submit my scores anymore. After three back surgeries what is the point. 

I used to play with a guy... I'll call him Dave.  I played in the foursome for the camaraderie and good company.  I never use a scorecard when I play... just keep track of how many strokes over par I am.  Or under, if I'm fortunate.  I don't keep score to beat or lose to others.  Anyway, Dave always insists on writing down everyone's score.  As we're walking off the green he'll ask, "What'dya get there?"  It was a test, 'cause he was counting your strokes like a hawk.  One time I offered up, "7", to test him.   Dave says, 'No, you had a bogey 5."  Well hell, if you know what I had why ask?!

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Mine isn't accurate or inaccurate. It's nonexistent. SAny given day, I might shoot 5 over par and any other day shoot 15 over par. Sometimes even within a round, I'll shoot par on the front and 45 on the back. It's schizophrenic golf.

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My handicap fluctuates from 11 to 15. It seems like everyone else I play with their hc hasn't changed in years. Recently there was a guy that when asked what his hc was he said, "well, uhh, it's not accurate". The guy putting the game together was like, "what does that mean"? This guy says "Oh it says I'm a 7, but that was when I was playing 4X a week". It's like wtf, so when there's $$$ on the line your hc is old, but when it's just normal play you're a 7. Every time I've played with him he shoots 85-90. That's just one example. To me the only thing consistent about a mid-hc, is that we are inconsistent. So how can all these mid-hc stay so consistent with their hc index.

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16 minutes ago, TRUCKER said:

My handicap fluctuates from 11 to 15. It seems like everyone else I play with their hc hasn't changed in years. Recently there was a guy that when asked what his hc was he said, "well, uhh, it's not accurate". The guy putting the game together was like, "what does that mean"? This guy says "Oh it says I'm a 7, but that was when I was playing 4X a week". It's like wtf, so when there's $$$ on the line your hc is old, but when it's just normal play you're a 7. Every time I've played with him he shoots 85-90. That's just one example. To me the only thing consistent about a mid-hc, is that we are inconsistent. So how can all these mid-hc stay so consistent with their hc index.

If a player consistently bumps up and down between two extremes, I can see a handicap staying the same.  Handicaps vary when the player experiences a trend towards playing better or worse for long enough to make the handicap change.  That's why the system (in the US at least) looks at 20 scores, and takes the best 10, to smooth out the effects of one or two "odd" rounds.  

I'm glad this thread has come up at this time, though.  In a few weeks, or a few months (depending where in the world you live) our handicap calculations will change.  For most of us in the US, the handicap will change on Jan 6, immediately, without new scores being posted.  The changes will probably be small, but almost everyone will change some.  Does that mean the current handicap is inaccurate, or that the new one will be?  

In my opinion, neither one is inaccurate.  To me, accuracy means that you've posted all of the appropriate scores, applied the required corrections, tried to play your best every time, tried to play by the rules every time.  The new system may change the calculations a bit, change some of the procedures, but if you follow the rules the handicap is accurate.

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I think a lot of people only post what they would consider to be an acceptable score. A score they would feel comfortable telling their peers. If you play by the rules, I just don't see how a hc can remain exactly the same, year in, and year out. Even the pros aren't that consistent. If they were, the leader board would always look the same.

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1 hour ago, TRUCKER said:

I think a lot of people only post what they would consider to be an acceptable score. A score they would feel comfortable telling their peers. If you play by the rules, I just don't see how a hc can remain exactly the same, year in, and year out. Even the pros aren't that consistent. If they were, the leader board would always look the same.

If people selectively choose which scores to post, no matter their criteria for choosing, their handicap isn't right.  That's the way I define accurate, someone who follows the rules.  Its possible for a handicap to remain consistent over a moderately long period, but its pretty unlikely.

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My estimate is 25% are true and accurate. The other 75% are vanity, sandbags, or don't play by the rules, (bumping, and picking up putts, etc.) but post as if they do.

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48 minutes ago, TRUCKER said:

My estimate is 25% are true and accurate. The other 75% are vanity, sandbags, or don't play by the rules, (bumping, and picking up putts, etc.) but post as if they do.

With the exception of the sandbaggers, and anyone who ends up being my partner, I'm happy to allow players to manipulate their handicap lower, whether its by easing up on the rules, or straightforward not posting high scores.  When they get into competitions, they'll suffer.

And of course this is completely the opposite of my policy as Handicap Chair at my home club.  Play by the rules, post all your scores.  I actually believe that the proportion of players at my home club who post accurately, and play close enough to the rules that their handicaps are reasonably accurate is higher than you estimate, well over half.

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2 hours ago, TRUCKER said:

My estimate is 25% are true and accurate. The other 75% are vanity, sandbags, or don't play by the rules, (bumping, and picking up putts, etc.) but post as if they do.

Do most golfers inherently cheat themselves? Sometimes I kind of watch what other golfers do and I notice the many ways they cheat themselves. I remember a couple of us walking away from a hole one day and from the corner of my eye seeing this guy finishing up and do two extra puts after he had already two putted and then later he says, oh hole x? Yeah, I two putted that. I simply think to myself, why do that? The way I look at it, you ain't fooling anyone but yourself. What you shoot is what you shoot no matter what you wrote down.

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