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Is Your Handicap Accurate?


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Hi Everyone, 

I started playing golf again after quitting back in 1975. 

When I quit in 1975, I could shoot in the 80's on most courses. (Patty Jewett at Colorado Springs.)

Well, I started playing again two years ago because of being diagnosed with Parkinson's in my right hand. (Exercise is a key step in controlling this disease.) 

This year I joined the USGA and started recording my scores for my handicap. It seems I have a very high handicap compared to everyone else. Yet, when I play these "friends", I seem to hold my own and they seem "put out" that a 23 handicap player can match them. 

Am I missing something here? I know of two players with a 10 handicap and I play against them very evenly. (Even won 50 cents last time I played them. 🙂  )

 

Comments?

 

Retired Old Man

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A lot of people forget this basic fact: A handicap is designed to reflect a golfer's potential and not necessarily what they actually are. It does this by disregarding a player's higher scores until t

Sounds like they have inflated egos.   If you want to get them to be realistic, make sure they give you the 13 strokes between yours and theirs.   I bet they balk at that idea.    I bet they say

If you play by the rules and take all appropriate penalties, if you post all (acceptable) scores as required by the rules, if you adjust your scores for ESC before posting, that's all you can do.  Its

Sounds like they have inflated egos.   If you want to get them to be realistic, make sure they give you the 13 strokes between yours and theirs.   I bet they balk at that idea.   

I bet they say they drive the ball 300 yards on average too.

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If you play by the rules and take all appropriate penalties, if you post all (acceptable) scores as required by the rules, if you adjust your scores for ESC before posting, that's all you can do.  Its quite possible that the other guys don't do all of that.  Maybe they take "gimme" putts that they really would miss, maybe they treat OB the same as a penalty area, maybe they improve their lies, and maybe their handicaps are artificially low.

On the other hand, I saw in another thread that you've shot a number of scores in the 80s, one as low as 82.  Those scores aren't typical of a 23 handicap.  You should expect to average something like 26 or 27 strokes over the Course Rating.  Its possible that your level of play is improving faster than the handicap system can react.  Don't worry, if you keep playing at that level, and keep posting the scores, the handicap will drop.

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

If you play by the rules and take all appropriate penalties, if you post all (acceptable) scores as required by the rules, if you adjust your scores for ESC before posting, that's all you can do.  Its quite possible that the other guys don't do all of that.  Maybe they take "gimme" putts that they really would miss, maybe they treat OB the same as a penalty area, maybe they improve their lies, and maybe their handicaps are artificially low.

On the other hand, I saw in another thread that you've shot a number of scores in the 80s, one as low as 82.  Those scores aren't typical of a 23 handicap.  You should expect to average something like 26 or 27 strokes over the Course Rating.  Its possible that your level of play is improving faster than the handicap system can react.  Don't worry, if you keep playing at that level, and keep posting the scores, the handicap will drop.

Thank you for the nice words. I think there is a lot of agreement there. 

I can play fairly well if I set out to do so and keep my concentration. (But hey, it is just a game) 

 

Retired Old Man

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I have no idea how accurate my hndcp is. I just assume it's close to accurate.

I play by the rules, write my scores on the card, and give the card to the league secretary. He then enters the info into his computer, and at the next league event, my hndcp is what it is. If the next event is at another course, my cap gets adjusted to that course if needed. 

I sometimes play quite well against lower cap players, ((8-9) and I lose to higher cap players (12-15) sometimes.

It all boils down to, that on the day of the competition, how well I play vs how well my competition plays. 

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Mine is yes, but your handicap is only as honest as you are at the end of the day. I think the majority of recreational golfers do not keep a handicap of any kind and simply overestimate their playing ability. My favorite overestimation being all the people that drive the ball 300 yards yet I out drive them all and at best I drive the ball 280. 

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1 hour ago, ShawnSum said:

Mine is yes, but your handicap is only as honest as you are at the end of the day. I think the majority of recreational golfers do not keep a handicap of any kind and simply overestimate their playing ability. My favorite overestimation being all the people that drive the ball 300 yards yet I out drive them all and at best I drive the ball 280. 

There's probably a sizeable number of amatures who  think their average over par gives them their hdcp, on any course, and any tee box used.

If they play 10 rounds, and average 100 strokes per round, on par 72 courses, over those 10 rounds, their hdcp is 28. 

Simple arithmetic for them. They don't know any different,  

How they use those 28 strokes is probably another story. Usually gross 9/18 hole score minus 14/28.

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On 10/2/2019 at 7:18 AM, DaveP043 said:

On the other hand, I saw in another thread that you've shot a number of scores in the 80s, one as low as 82.  Those scores aren't typical of a 23 handicap.  

Sandbagging😂

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3 hours ago, ShawnSum said:

Mine is yes, but your handicap is only as honest as you are at the end of the day. I think the majority of recreational golfers do not keep a handicap of any kind and simply overestimate their playing ability. My favorite overestimation being all the people that drive the ball 300 yards yet I out drive them all and at best I drive the ball 280. 

I can’t tell you the number of golfers who “drive the ball 280”, that I outdrive at 230.  :-D

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A lot of people forget this basic fact: A handicap is designed to reflect a golfer's potential and not necessarily what they actually are. It does this by disregarding a player's higher scores until the number of those higher scores become a preponderance of the past twenty rounds and creep into their list of the best 10 rounds which are averaged, and then reduced by 4%.

I'm a statistics keeper for my local nine-hole golf league and often have to explain this to people who complain about their handicap not going up after they've had a particularly abysmal round. Most have a hard time getting it and walk away muttering to themselves.

There are folks who want to cheat and post their lousy rounds into the GHIN system while excluding their good ones so that their handicaps are artificially inflated. Those are the people you want to avoid if you're playing a money game. Then there are guys who want their egos inflated (and not their scores) and so post the good scores and forget about the bad ones. Then they can look themselves up online and get a charge out of seeing their 7.2 or whatever next to their name. Bottom line, the system isn't perfect but it's pretty good and hopefully will get better with the new World Handicap System coming in 2020. So don't get hung up on what your or anyone else's handicap is. Just play the game and have fun.

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@RetiredOldMan

You indicate you have just established a handicap this year.
There are two factors which may come into play which will reflect a high handicap.

First, a new players handicap will be volatile until 20 rounds are recorded.
An example, a player needs 5 rounds to establish a handicap and it will be based off of one score (Lowest)
Then as more rounds are played and entered, they start to average out and will have a less range of fluctuation.

Second, as an older player, if you are playing a course with a low slope rating, then a players handicap will be higher. 

You can check calculations on many internet sites or use an App to track the handicap also.
The Ghin site and App will show your score history and also note the "Diff" rating for your rounds.
An example of "Diff", a player scores an 80 on a par 72 course with a rating on 72
That score will reflect a "Diff" of 8
If a player scores an 80 on a par 72 with a course rating of 67.1 then the "Diff" would be 85, thus the player would have a higher handicap.

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5 hours ago, David in FL said:

I can’t tell you the number of golfers who “drive the ball 280”, that I outdrive at 230.  :-D

I'm up near Gainesville, you're in Orlando..We will settle this one day.

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On 10/2/2019 at 6:59 AM, RetiredOldMan said:

Hi Everyone, 

I started playing golf again after quitting back in 1975. 

When I quit in 1975, I could shoot in the 80's on most courses. (Patty Jewett at Colorado Springs.)

Well, I started playing again two years ago because of being diagnosed with Parkinson's in my right hand. (Exercise is a key step in controlling this disease.) 

This year I joined the USGA and started recording my scores for my handicap. It seems I have a very high handicap compared to everyone else. Yet, when I play these "friends", I seem to hold my own and they seem "put out" that a 23 handicap player can match them. 

Am I missing something here? I know of two players with a 10 handicap and I play against them very evenly. (Even won 50 cents last time I played them. 🙂  )

Comments?

Retired Old Man

Mine is recorded every time I play.

If you shot 80s and are used to that, it’s possible that when playing against others you do better than when casually going out there and scoring for handicap? Mid-80s is basically a 10 handicap...

Plus, the two you play could be vanity caps?

I’d like to add... you shoot 23 over on average on your ten best taking 0.96??? I can see why they might think you’re a sand bagger 😂🤪😂

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On 10/2/2019 at 8:33 AM, RetiredOldMan said:

Thank you for the nice words. I think there is a lot of agreement there. 

I can play fairly well if I set out to do so and keep my concentration. (But hey, it is just a game) 

 

Retired Old Man

Yeah, guessing you play better under pressure.

Another guess is as you age you could be adding more strokes when playing on your own, but when playing others they keep score? 😁

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After the winter break and I start playing regularly again, will I establish a new handicap next year or does the handicap carry over to the new year?

What if I wanted to start fresh next year in hopes of getting a better handicap?

I also realized that I didn't understand my ESC scoring. I have counted every stroke and entered it "as played" which I am sure inflated my handicap. (In other words, if I finished out a hole at 10 strokes, I counted the full 10 strokes.) 

Out where I play, Hays, Kansas, we are never pushed or have to pick up to keep players moving. When I play with a foursome, I just make it a point to keep up. Seems there are always slower players than myself. 

Played yesterday after a week off and 1 1/2 hours in the dental chair the day before. At 72, it definitely affected my game. I didn't keep a score card as it was our first day of playing in cold weather (42* with a slight north wind and made the wind chill go to 39*. Had to wait until 10 am to tee off because the course had a little frost on the grass. )

Anyway, does my handicap carry over to next year or do I start anew?

 

Retired Old Man 

P.S.> I was going to take some pictures for my avatar but because of the cold, I totaly spaced it out. Pictures coming soon, I promise. 

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12 minutes ago, RetiredOldMan said:

After the winter break and I start playing regularly again, will I establish a new handicap next year or does the handicap carry over to the new year?

What if I wanted to start fresh next year in hopes of getting a better handicap?

I also realized that I didn't understand my ESC scoring. I have counted every stroke and entered it "as played" which I am sure inflated my handicap. (In other words, if I finished out a hole at 10 strokes, I counted the full 10 strokes.) 

Under the USGA Handicap rules, your scoring record stays with you, you don't have the option of starting fresh each year.  You will start out in March with the same scoring record that you finish the season with in November.  Remember that if you travel to a warmer area, one in which the handicap posting season is still active, you are required to post those scores for your handicap.  

You DO need to understand the ESC requirements, that does have the potential to change your handicap.  For the remainder of this season, your maximum hole score (for handicap posting purposes only) is 8, as a 20-something handicap.  However, next season it will change under the new World Handicap System, the maximum hole score will be par + 2 + any handicap strokes you get on that hole.

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18 hours ago, David in FL said:

I can’t tell you the number of golfers who “drive the ball 280”, that I outdrive at 230.  :-D

I played with this guy who was waiting for the green to clear because he hits his 5 wood 230. I outdrove him on every hole with my driver by 20+ yards and I hit that about 220 on average. He topped the 5 wood. 😜

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