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Sandbagger is an overused word.


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my handicap now is a 1.7 (yes i need to update my profile). my club i just joined has many member only tournements during the year and one happened to be a member guest two man scramble. My friend has been a member for a long time but took a year off to get his business going so he wasnt a member and we paired up. i have never belonged to a club or played in flighted tournements (always play stroke for stroke either i win or loose). we are both good players so i am thinking we would be in the "A" flight. at the end of the first nine we are 8 under and my buddy tells me we need to slow down or they will put us in the "A" flight. i asked him why that would be a bad thing and he told me that the guys in the "A flight" are all great golfers and they are sandbagging today which causes everyone else to do the samething. So i go along with this because he had been a member there for 10 plus years. so the second day we were flighted to the "B" flight and wouldnt you know it we took second in our flight we shot a two day total of 22 under. so im looking at the "A" flight totals and every second day score was 17 under or more. im looking at the winning pair and one says he is a solid 9 and the other says he is a 10. and yet they managed to shoot those scores which happen to be the exact number before they shoot themselves out.

I agree with you on this. I change my handicap on my profile RELIGIOUSLY. I take pride in my game. Its been almost a year and Ive dropped 11 strokes. I love this game and love to tell people Im an 8.
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I agree with you on this. I change my handicap on my profile RELIGIOUSLY. I take pride in my game. Its been almost a year and Ive dropped 11 strokes. I love this game and love to tell people Im an 8.

I agree with you,its a sport so how can anyone take victory while knowingly cheating.116 is an very easy course,14 handicap could shoot 78 on a good day.

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I also agree that it is a over used term. But I have seen the damage of what true sandbaggers can do to a golf association when the association officers refuse to adjust the handicap of these individuals. The association I left a few years ago went from 123 members..... down to 35. My current association will adjust a hdcp of a sandbagger in a heartbeat and if the guys dont like it...... they are told to get lost . I LIKE IT! :)
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Yeah, clubs should be ruthless about this. But so should individual golfers. If you personally play by the rules, keep score accurately and put in all your rounds then you can cheerfully tell anyone calling you a sandbagger to go sodomize•••• themselves. Because you won't be one.

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i can only tell you that at my my club there a more false low HC then high...most guys prefer to say I am a 7 or whatever. Bottom line there are lots of putts left out there in match play that are given because they don't matter or becuase low guys want to drop the numbers....nothing pisses me off like a low guy who gives a 5 or 6 footer for boggey becuase he alread is in for a bird...lets face it NOBODY is giving a 6 footer for cash so why do it just push up a number? it happens all of the time. Same thing when a high HC has blown up and is out of the hole....there is virtually always a "problem" and the low man takes a 5, wins the hole and moves on! The arguement will never end as long as people are golfing!!!

in the end it all evens out and if it doesn't don't golf with them.
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Oh yeah, the huge prize for coming in third was a $35 gift certificate for the pro shop.

You're getting ripped off on a $35 umbrella!
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I'm a sandbagger.
I never played in competitions really, I shot a 84 off 28 last tuesday so I'll be off 25 or something this week.
It'll take a while to get a proper handicap.
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I'm a sandbagger.

Do you have a link to your association? The RCGA system updates after every round. They encourage entering every score immediately after the round, because your handicap can change a couple times over a long weekend.

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I also agree that it is a over used term. But I have seen the damage of what true sandbaggers can do to a golf association when the association officers refuse to adjust the handicap of these individuals. The association I left a few years ago went from 123 members..... down to 35. My current association will adjust a hdcp of a sandbagger in a heartbeat and if the guys dont like it......

That's great. I used to belong to a men's association that had a bunch of players who would "manage" their handicaps, meaning if they were shooting a good score, they would not complete the round because they didn't want their handicap to go down.

I rarely play in handicapped events. It's just too easy for someone (I won't say sandbagger) with an inaccurate handicap to come in and blow everyone's doors off. I keep my handicap because I play in events that require players to be under a certain handicap threshold.
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That's great. I used to belong to a men's association that had a bunch of players who would "manage" their handicaps, meaning if they were shooting a good score, they would not complete the round because they didn't want their handicap to go down.

If I was a sneaky person by nature, I could easily manage my handicap. You can too - here's how: 1.) Never play a course where you get low differentials. A course which really suits your game (where you play decent considering the rating and slope), will generate a low differential. Don't ever play there. 2.) Conversely, if you find a course that has a very low rating and slope relative to its difficulty for you, a half decent gross will yield a high differential. Turn in a lot of cards from that course. Alternatively play the shortest set of tees that seems to provide no actual advantage to scoring - this is a fast and easy way to bump up differentials. 3.) Shoot strategic high scores - lay up on all the par 5s and even long par 4s. Try to lag all puts to a specific spot a foot below the cup by missing all your putts on the low side, leaving an easy second or third putt. You want to eliminate the chance of accidentally draining a long bomb. No sense throwing away two strokes. 4.) Try to make the occasional hero recovery shot that you have a less than 10% chance of pulling off. It will look like you're really trying hard, but in reality it's almost guaranteed to add a stroke and distance penalty. To really impress bystanders try to peel it off the hosel or hit it really fat and produce a porcupine sized divot - beautiful. 5.) On holes with forced carries over water or series of bunkers, don't even glance at the bailout area. A safe bailout still leaves the risk of getting up and down for par. What you want do instead is take one club less than you need and swing really hard - when you almost make it over, it's much less obvious. Once in awhile you can take too much club, but make sure you hit it off the toe or make a decelerating 3/4 swing while faking a leg cramp. 6.) Don't forget to take along your rule book - there are countless ways to add strokes to your game without even trying. Oops, 3 extra clubs in the bag - darned practice round leftovers!! Forgot to take the flagstick out while putting - again - my bad! When using your 7 iron out of a greenside bunker, an absent minded practice swing is a timeless classic. See you all at the next Net tournament!!
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If I'm not mistaken, the statistic is that you'll shoot around your handicap 1 out of every five times. It's amazing to me that many of the guys at our club who are 12-18 handicap shoot at or better than their handicap two days in a row. What's really great is when they play in a match play event, beat someone before the 18th hole and then shoot triple bogeys on the remaining holes to up their "tournament" score. It unfortunate that many who simply have an extraordinary good round get lumped with the habitual sandbaggers but it's the SBs that frustrate us so much. Don't take it personally, you know the truth.
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Here's a good explanation of why shooting under your handicap is unlikely to happen. Sandbaggers are those guys who can shoot several once in a lifetime rounds a year, usually during a tournament. If you've earned the name, wear it.

I'm a regular 8-10 handicapper (currently 9.1) on a course rated 72.7 and a slope of 123. I've got 21 rounds in this year and scores range from 83 - 86, with one 89 and a low score of 81. I will shoot 1 - 3 rounds of 78 or 79 in a year.


WHY IS IT that we so rarely play to our single-digit handicaps or that some of those 14-handicappers often play a lot better than we think they should? We asked Contributing Editor and golf handicap expert Dean Knuth for some explanations and mathematical possibilities when it comes to playing to "your number."
Q: How often should I play to--or beat--my handicap?
Knuth: If it's accurate, you should average about three shots above your handicap. For example, a player with a course handicap of 16 on a course with a rating of 71.1 should score on average about 90. The USGA handicap system is based on 96 percent of the best 10 of a golfer's last 20 rounds, not simply average score.
Scores normally fit into the classic bell-shaped curve. More than half of your scores should be within three strokes of three over your handicap. In other words, taking our 16-handicapper, more than half of the rounds should be between 87 and 93. The player will better the handicap--shooting 87 or lower--only about 20 percent of the time, or once every five rounds. Golfers should only beat their handicap by three strokes one out of every 20 rounds.
Q: What are the odds of that 16-handicapper breaking 80?
Knuth: The odds of someone beating their handicap--if it's an honest handicap--by eight strokes are 1,138 to 1. For most players that represents about 54 years of golf--a lifetime for many. The odds of beating your number by eight strokes twice are 14,912 to 1, or 710 years of golf.
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Knuth: The odds of someone beating their handicap--if it's an honest handicap--by eight strokes are 1,138 to 1. For most players that represents about 54 years of golf--a lifetime for many. The odds of beating your number by eight strokes twice are 14,912 to 1, or 710 years of golf.

That's crap. Unless you are not improving, you'll beat your handicap a LOT more often than those tables will tell you. Either that or I've had my two best rounds for the next 300 years in the last three months. My handicap is as honest as one can be, yet I shot more than 10 strokes under once, then about 6 strokes under a short time later (same score, harder course, but my handicap had fallen in between). It gets harder to do this as your handicap falls, but it's b.s. to assume that dishonesty is the only reason that those tables might not always apply. This guy might know what he's talking about, but if he *really* means what he's saying, he's too wrapped up in his statistics to see reality.

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That's crap. Unless you are not improving, you'll beat your handicap a LOT more often than those tables will tell you. Either that or I've had my two best rounds for the next 300 years in the last three months. My handicap is as honest as one can be, yet I shot more than 10 strokes under once, then about 6 strokes under a short time later (same score, harder course, but my handicap had fallen in between). It gets harder to do this as your handicap falls, but it's b.s. to assume that dishonesty is the only reason that those tables might not always apply. This guy might know what he's talking about, but if he *really* means what he's saying, he's too wrapped up in his statistics to see reality.

That’s what I was thinking. His whole premise is based on no one improving.

My story is a perfect example. In high school and college I played all the time. My handicap was in single digits. Then a wife and kids entered the picture and golf became a rare occurrence. Now I’m enthusiastically back in the game. I joined a club and a fairly competitive league. My scores are dropping at a fairly good rate because my abilities of reading greens, course management, etc. were always there and it was a matter of getting back in the groove of shot making. I record every score, right after the round, and do everything by the books because it’s the only way to gauge my progress. This guy and his “statistics” don’t take into account that type of scenario.
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I shoot my handicap a couple times a month. Which i guess on most courses is 2 to 3 over. My average round is probably 6 or 7 strokes over par. It doesn't mean i cant get hot one day and shoot 4 strokes under my handicap.
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That's crap. Unless you are not improving, you'll beat your handicap a LOT more often than those tables will tell you. Either that or I've had my two best rounds for the next 300 years in the last three months. My handicap is as honest as one can be, yet I shot more than 10 strokes under once, then about 6 strokes under a short time later (same score, harder course, but my handicap had fallen in between). It gets harder to do this as your handicap falls, but it's b.s. to assume that dishonesty is the only reason that those tables might not always apply. This guy might know what he's talking about, but if he *really* means what he's saying, he's too wrapped up in his statistics to see reality.

The way statistics work and the way the USGA calculates your handicap it is impossible to determine the probability of any individual golfer scoring better than or equal to a specific score knowing only their handicap. You can calculate the probability of the average likely hood of any individual in the group of all golfers scoring 8 strokes or better than their handicap. I think that is what "redlabel" did. While I didn't check the math, the answer looks about right as the probability of scoring 8 stokes or better than your handicap on any given round has got to be pretty low for the group of all golfers (e.g. not many golfers do that very often). But applying that to any specific golfer is probably inaccurate because the likely hood of any one of us scoring 8 strokes or better than our handicap can be different. But if you're a betting man I would bet $100 against anyone with an honest handicap of scoring 8 strokes or better than their handicap provided we made the same bet for the next 100 rounds and I would make a lot of money (better odds than Vegas). I would think that if we limit the set of golfers to those with handicaps of 25 or more it would be more probably that they would on any given round score 8 strokes or better than thier handicap. But on the other hand if we limited the set to golfers with single digit handicaps that probability would shrink some. So I don't think "redlabel" was trying to impugn your integrity with this calculation but just say when someone scores 8 strokes or better than their handicap it is an unlikely event.

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Despite it being mentioned several times on this thread, there is the big variable : the difficulty of the course being played on that given day.
If a 14 handicap plays a Par 70, slope 116, course rating 67.8 (as in this case) the odds are incredibly more likely of him shooting a 78 as opposed the same guy playing Bethpage Black from the tips.
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