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This past week-end our club had the annual member-member or as I refer to it, the annual Sandbaggers invitational. I am always amazed every year at the lengths people will go to in order to win shop credit. I have come to the conclusion that I'm no longer going to play in these kinds of tournaments. And if anyone wants to play a nassau on Saturday, we are playing straight up. I love watching a guy come to the 7th hole at even par and going double bogey, double bogey, bogey. But not to worry, his partner (who is a 14 hdc) went par, birdie, par (for net birdie). I don't know why I put my actual scores in the system. I am idiot for doing it. Am I over-reacting? Is it just me?

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Yours is a common complaint, and its even more common among low-handicappers.  Be part of the solution, volunteer to be on your club's handicap committee.  Do the hard work of making sure all appropri

Handicaps reward "Improvement" and "Having a better than average round" and do make for more fun competition.   Handicaps have been used in bowling leagues, same as golf, and I never hear anybody comp

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3 minutes ago, Bucki1968 said:

This past week-end our club had the annual member-member or as I refer to it, the annual Sandbaggers invitational. I am always amazed every year at the lengths people will go to in order to win shop credit. I have come to the conclusion that I'm no longer going to play in these kinds of tournaments. And if anyone wants to play a nassau on Saturday, we are playing straight up. I love watching a guy come to the 7th hole at even par and going double bogey, double bogey, bogey. But not to worry, his partner (who is a 14 hdc) went par, birdie, par (for net birdie). I don't know why I put my actual scores in the system. I am idiot for doing it. Am I over-reacting? Is it just me?

Yours is a common complaint, and its even more common among low-handicappers.  Be part of the solution, volunteer to be on your club's handicap committee.  Do the hard work of making sure all appropriate scores are posted, check that the correct scores are posted for tournaments.  

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Guys will works the system regardless of who handles the handicap committee.
IMO, anyone who plays in tournaments should have a handicap based on tournament scores only. :whistle:
Club events are usually flighted which benefits all players of all abilities.

Any event which allows players with various handicaps to compete will often have to deal with those
who manage their handicaps through a season. Unfortunately, the integrity of those who do, only 
give the game a bad rap .... 

When I have a game with my buddies, we determine strokes based off of the outcome from a previous time we played.
If I win, I would give him additional strokes the next time.
If he wins, he gets less strokes the next time.

After all, it's not really about the $$, it's all about bragging rights !!!
Most of the time I win, I actually LOSE cause I'm a nice guy and will buy drinks afterward.
The bar tab is considerably more than the few $$ I'll WIN ... :cry:

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Just now, DaveP043 said:

Yours is a common complaint, and its even more common among low-handicappers.  Be part of the solution, volunteer to be on your club's handicap committee.  Do the hard work of making sure all appropriate scores are posted, check that the correct scores are posted for tournaments.  

Our club does not have a handicap committee. That would make too much sense.

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35 minutes ago, Bucki1968 said:

Our club does not have a handicap committee. That would make too much sense.

I thought a Handicap Committee was a requirement.  Am I incorrect?

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7 minutes ago, StuM said:

I thought a Handicap Committee was a requirement.  Am I incorrect?

That's what the handicap rules require.  If someone were to volunteer, I bet the golf pro staff would welcome the help.

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Just now, DaveP043 said:

That's what the handicap rules require.  If someone were to volunteer, I bet the golf pro staff would welcome the help.

I will have to check on that. I'm pretty sure that no committee currently exists at our club. Outside of doing our own handicaps, I'm not sure how much a handicap committee will help with the overall sandbagging problem. It's too easy to manipulate. I will just choose not to participate in some of the handicap events. Not all of them but some of them.

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  • iacas changed the title to Too Much Sandbagging
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2 minutes ago, Bucki1968 said:

Outside of doing our own handicaps, I'm not sure how much a handicap committee will help with the overall sandbagging problem.

Does anyone check that those low tournament scores are posted properly?  Does anyone check to that scores are entered each time someone plays?  Those are the first and simplest steps to start making things better.  Of course if there's a culture of cheating, cheating will continue, unless people choose to try to change the culture.  And of course a review, comparing regular play to competition play, the committee can "adjust" players' handicaps as appropriate.

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You keep using the word "sandbagger" but I don't think you actually know what it means.

Sandbagging is nowhere near the problem it's made out to be. Vanity capping is 10x the issue sandbagging is. What happens, though, is that low handicappers are pissed when they don't win, so they allege that the player sandbagged.

Thing is…:

  • There are often more higher handicappers. They would have an increased odds of winning even if the second bullet point didn't exist.
  • It's easier for a higher handicapper to shoot a net -4 or a net -1 or a net -8 than it is for a lower handicapper to shoot -4, -1, or -8.
  • These things only increase when you play partner events like fourball, etc.

odds_exceptional_tournament_score.png

And, yeah, you're required to have a Handicap Committee.

Maybe your course isn't a USGA member course? And if it's not, then your issue isn't really with handicaps per se, because they're really not being done "correctly."

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Handicaps have to be peer reviewed. So there should be a handicap committee or at least a handicap chairman.

I have the same issue, and its driven me out of my association I played in for 20 years. I simply cannot compete because they pay only net, and I am often in a flight with guys that have 6-7 handicaps. The final straw was when they started making me play as a +2. For 20 years guys with plus handicaps played as a 0 in tournaments. It leveled the field a little so I could at least compete.  

The last tournament I played in, I played really well and shot 67 gross. They added 2 strokes to my score and then several 4 and 5 handicaps shot even par and I didn't even place. Heck I was in the bottom half of the scores. That was it for me and I haven't played in an event since.

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22 minutes ago, iacas said:

You keep using the word "sandbagger" but I don't think you actually know what it means.

Sandbagging is nowhere near the problem it's made out to be. Vanity capping is 10x the issue sandbagging is. What happens, though, is that low handicappers are pissed when they don't win, so they allege that the player sandbagged.

Thing is…:

  • There are often more higher handicappers. They would have an increased odds of winning even if the second bullet point didn't exist.
  • It's easier for a higher handicapper to shoot a net -4 or a net -1 or a net -8 than it is for a lower handicapper to shoot -4, -1, or -8.
  • These things only increase when you play partner events like fourball, etc.

odds_exceptional_tournament_score.png

And, yeah, you're required to have a Handicap Committee.

Maybe your course isn't a USGA member course? And if it's not, then your issue isn't really with handicaps per se, because they're really not being done "correctly."

Like I said I’ll have to check to see if we do indeed have a handicap committee (I don’t think so but maybe I’m wrong). The reason I say “sandbagging” is a problem is because in this situation I have actually heard the usual suspects make comments about tanking holes on purpose so their hand. doesn’t go down too much. There’s a group that does this often. I don’t know what else to call it?

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(edited)
48 minutes ago, iacas said:

You keep using the word "sandbagger" but I don't think you actually know what it means.

Sandbagging is nowhere near the problem it's made out to be. Vanity capping is 10x the issue sandbagging is. What happens, though, is that low handicappers are pissed when they don't win, so they allege that the player sandbagged.

Thing is…:

  • There are often more higher handicappers. They would have an increased odds of winning even if the second bullet point didn't exist.
  • It's easier for a higher handicapper to shoot a net -4 or a net -1 or a net -8 than it is for a lower handicapper to shoot -4, -1, or -8.
  • These things only increase when you play partner events like fourball, etc.

 

Very true, I agree with what you're saying. The issue is when you combine the sandbagging with the fact that higher handicaps have a much better chance of shooting a score below their handicap in the first place, what you end up with is guys like myself getting our asses kicked...a lot. 

It's just frustrating, it a bitter pill to swallow when you watch a guy you beat by 7 strokes take home winnings when you are left empty handed. Fortunately, I have found an association on the other side of town where a lot of guys like myself have ended up. They pay a gross flight in every tournament. It's not my favorite course to play, but at least the  competition is fair.

Edited by NM Golf
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2 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

Very true, I agree with what you're saying. The issue is when you combine the sandbagging with the fact that higher handicaps have a much better chance of shooting a score below their handicap in the first place, what you end up with is guys like myself getting our asses kicked...a lot. 

It's just frustrating, it a bitter pill to swallow when you watch a guy you beat by 7 strokes take home winnings when you are left empty handed. Fortunately, I have found an association on the other side of town where a lot of guys like myself have ended up. They pay a gross flight in every tournament. It's not my favorite course to play, but at least the  competition is fair.

Play percentages.

For the majority it’s just math. For the few cheaters, they’re cheating. Deal with them separately.

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21 minutes ago, Bucki1968 said:

Like I said I’ll have to check to see if we do indeed have a handicap committee (I don’t think so but maybe I’m wrong). The reason I say “sandbagging” is a problem is because in this situation I have actually heard the usual suspects make comments about tanking holes on purpose so their hand. doesn’t go down too much. There’s a group that does this often. I don’t know what else to call it?

Yeah this is def sandbagging 😠 I think Erik's point is a really good one though. A lot of the complaint comes from low handicappers who don't understand (or haven't thought through) the probabilities. Worse golfers' scores have higher variance and aren't near the limit of reasonable scores. As in, a +2 is usually shooting around par, and shooting a 62 is insanely good. A +20 is usually shooting in the 90s or 100s. An 85 might be really good for them but isn't like some PGA tour pro shooting lights out type score like a 62. And there's way more mid to high handicappers than low. So even if everyone's playing and recording their handicap rounds with integrity, on any given day it's much more likely that one of the high cappers will have an unusually good day and dominate in net score than not.

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I'm not real sure why you guys who are at or near scratch would care about playing in handicap events in the first place. 

The way my old group would do it is to have the big events flighted, so nobody over a 2 was even playing in the championship flight. For the smaller events, our aces didn't really give a damn. They just played to play and have fun.  If one of us hacks took the honors with all our lovely strokes, they'd be the first to congratulate the guy.

The people that made the biggest fuss about sandbagging were the guys that remember when they really were single handicaps, think they still should be and can't believe it when a hacker has a good day and beats them.

 

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The handicap system artificially lowers a player's handicap with regard to their average scores, so most people will complain about their handicap regardless. If you play to it on any particular day, odds are that you will come out a winner in a friendly money match. I was the handicap chairman for years and I found that the guys who you have to watch are the guys who have a very small differential in their scoring and their handicap never changes. 

We use a point system over a rolling two year period where you get points for finishing in the top five, and certain amounts of accumulated points will lower your handicap for tournaments. 

 

 

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(edited)

In Australia the majority of events we play are stableford. If you played twice a week in competition it would be very likely that 7 of your rounds would be stableford. The other would be stroke.

36 points is 2 points a hole, playing to your handicap.

You would be very surprised if you won a competition with 38 or 39 points and would fully expect 42 or 43 to win - 6 or 7 under a handicap.

No-one would ever accuse someone playing off 18 to be  a "sandbagger" in these circumstances. You just rarely see  2 markers playing 5 under par.

Honest golfers off, so 15, can absolutely shoot between 78 and 100 and raise no eyebrows at all.

In all my years of playing golf I have never even thought that someone in my group "might" be "throwing off". I know it does happen, but it would be incredibly rare.

 

Edited by Shorty
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15 minutes ago, phan52 said:

The handicap system artificially lowers a player's handicap with regard to their average scores, so most people will complain about their handicap regardless. If you play to it on any particular day, odds are that you will come out a winner in a friendly money match. I was the handicap chairman for years and I found that the guys who you have to watch are the guys who have a very small differential in their scoring and their handicap never changes. 

We use a point system over a rolling two year period where you get points for finishing in the top five, and certain amounts of accumulated points will lower your handicap for tournaments. 

 

 

I was the Handicap guy in my social club in Sydney, I made sure everyone played fair, the President and I would have a quiet word with anyone trying to boost their handicap. We knew what everyone’s handicap was, we hated cheaters so much we played with them on Champions competition days, mostly works....

2 minutes ago, Shorty said:

In Australia the majority of events we play are stableford. If you played twice a week in competition it would be very likely that 7 of your rounds would be stableford. The other would be stroke.

36 points is 2 points a hole, playing to your handicap.

You would be very surprised if you won a competition with 38 or 39 points and would fully expect 42 or 43 to win - 6 or 7 under a handicap.

No-one would ever accuse someone playing off 18 to be  a "sandbagger" in these circumstances. You just rarely see  2 markers playing 5 under par.

Honest golfers off, so 15, can absolutely shoot between 78 and 100 and raise no eyebrows at all.

 

Yeah agree, anyone from a 1 to a 36 handicap can shoot 5-6 under their handicap. The problem is when they do it only on the Champions rounds , the committee needs to be aware of that lol...

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