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Handicaps and playing the same course over...and over....and over and over


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Originally Posted by Kieran123

This is a very good point. Having to make the shot, and knowing what shot you're supposed to play are different things.

But when it comes down to lower handicap players, they can usually place the ball in a general area where they want it, and this is where the advantage of knowing the course comes in

Even a  high handicap player should be able to play to avoid the worst of the trouble on a course he is familiar with, even if that means laying up short of bunkers and hazards, etc.  If he doesn't think about such things, then that may be a part of why he has a high handicap.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

Even a  high handicap player should be able to play to avoid the worst of the trouble on a course he is familiar with, even if that means laying up short of bunkers and hazards, etc.  If he doesn't think about such things, then that may be a part of why he has a high handicap.


High handicappers can't always hit straight

ie. "I need to hit the left side of the fairway to have a good angle at this green" SLICE onto right side.

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I think a high handicapper will gain more from playing on a course he's familiar with than a scratch. At scratch you pretty much as to hit a lot of fairways, greens, have a good short game and putt well. You can use that on any course. A high handicapper might hit it over there because if he tops it, he won't be in such a bad shape. He is more confident on his home course. A new course can be intimidating if you've never played it before and don't play well.

I don't mind vanity handicaps, but don't much care for sandbaggers.

Another point is that if this low handicapper plays his home course 95% of his rounds through a year, would it not be logical that his handicap reflected his skills on that course, not courses he plays once or twice a year?

You can never get a perfect system, it is what it is.

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Originally Posted by Kieran123

High handicappers can't always hit straight

ie. "I need to hit the left side of the fairway to have a good angle at this green" SLICE onto right side.


I'm not talking about anything as subtle as angles to the green.  I'm talking about playing to avoid trouble.  Even a 20 handicap can use course management techniques to help avoid some of those problems which he is involved with more often than necessary.  Too many high handicappers I know don't even consider such things, and as a result they try to play shots which they shouldn't.  They try to play shouts I wouldn't even try unless I was desperate.  All such a player has to do start thinking with his head instead of his ego and he could quickly drop a few strokes from his handicap.  It isn't going to make him a single digit overnight, but it's a start in the right direction.

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I think too much is made of handicaps as it is, I could care less how someone arrived at theirs. Now, if it's a friend of mine whom I play regularly with, yeah I like to know because it keeps the friendly competition going. But, I can't stand when a complete stranger asks me about mine when we aren't in a tournament or playing for money...it's completely irrelevant.

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Originally Posted by soloredd

I think too much is made of handicaps as it is, I could care less how someone arrived at theirs. Now, if it's a friend of mine whom I play regularly with, yeah I like to know because it keeps the friendly competition going. But, I can't stand when a complete stranger asks me about mine when we aren't in a tournament or playing for money...it's completely irrelevant.



Why would it bother you?  It's just something that golfers talk about - an icebreaker between strangers, or just something that comes up when people are talking golf.  It certainly isn't an automatic precursor to someone trying to hustle you.  Most often it's either simple curiosity or an innocent attempt at conversation.  I've never met anyone who would have a problem discussing handicaps just for the hell of it.

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My HCP is definitely lower thanks to play on my home course.  Calling it a loophole implies that it benefits me.  I'd call it a liability.

But that's pretty much the only place it gets used, so I guess it's ok.

I'm a 9-something currently and just shot the best 9 holes of my life yesterday, 1 over par for nine on the back tees (pardon the brag). There goes the handicap (again).

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At my home course growing up, we would actually hit into the left woods intentionally on one long par 4 that doglegged sharply to the left.  We knew that the grass in those woods was, for some odd reason, almost as soft and short as the fairway, and the trees were spaced quite far apart once you actually got into the woods.  Instead of laying up to the dogleg, then having to hit over a deep gully with the approach, we'd cut the corner and shave about 180 yards off the hole.  I actually managed a par that way once, when playing the hole the "correct" way often resulted in skulling into that gully and needing two strokes just to get out the other side.

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I agree to a point that it effect's your handicap............ However, if you're home course is a tough one it does the opposite. I used to play a lot of different courses. Now that I'm a member somewhere, my handicap has gone up in part because the course is very difficult and doesn't fit my game well at all  (In part because my game went in the crapper)

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Home course advantage does give you a huge bonus.. especially around the greens.. My experience is that if I'm playing a new course and wish to play safe, I normally shoot my average, maybe better.. This is simply because I just aim for middle of everything and NEVER attempt to go for it.. Call me chicken.. lol  However there are times I play a new course and feel brave, then find out that my aggressive shot was the LAST thing I wanted to do on that hole.. So it can work for you, or against you.. However the PUTTING on the greens is always a bonus..  It takes me 17 holes, or so it feels to get comfy for the new greens.. lol

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I would venture to guess that the USGA has already thought of this idea. Thats why, in order to carry an official handicap, you must record all scores.  If thats the case, then the handicap will be a reflection of the golfers true ability no matter where they play.  If a golfer is only playing away courses two or three times in a year, then it won't matter anyway....their handicap will still be reflective of their ability.

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A few things are in effect:

  1. Courses for horses - I've been to course for the first time and shot great rounds.  They just fit my game better
  2. Some days are better than other - when you're hitting it well, you only see fairways and greens
  3. Learning to play a course is part of the game - I had some of my worst rounds on my home courses, until I learned how they should be played.  Also true with the big boys, ie., Augusta and Sawgrass
  4. Conditions - a tournament round, casual weekend outing, and golfing trip plays differently.  Not to mention the setup and conditions such as weather and maintenance of the courses
  5. Playing partners - always helps when playing with people who knows how to play the course.  Even when it's the home course, it seems there's always someone who knows something more

Can't capture everything.  That's why index is an estimate of one's potential and not how the golfer is suppose to play every round.  Even tour pros can have 10 shot swings from round to round on the same course.

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