Jump to content
IGNORED

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


Note: This thread is 3720 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

Recommended Posts

I know a few guys who are very good players ( ie. close to scratch ) but their rounds consist of a high percentage playing on their home course.....ie. they play 60 rounds a year, but 50 of them are on their home track - which are the best scores given they know it back to front

Do you think this is a slight loophole in the handicap system?

If a low handicap player plays 60 different courses every year, and another guy plays the same course 60 times a year, it's obvious who's handicap will most likely improve

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent point – I am nowhere near a scratch golfer but due to the familiar surroundings of my regular course I regularly shoot lower there than I do elsewhere. Reckon that will be the case for most. In answer to your question, it could indeed be a slight loophole in the handicap system.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Loophole? Sure.

Will they be embarrassed when they tell their partner they are a 5 handicap and play an "away" course and shoot a 90?

I'm not too familiar with the handicap system becoming "official", but I would imagine someone would catch on after a while.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally Posted by Mattplusness

Loophole? Sure.

Will they be embarrassed when they tell their partner they are a 5 handicap and play an "away" course and shoot a 90?

I'm not too familiar with the handicap system becoming "official", but I would imagine someone would catch on after a while.



If your scores are honest and you're playing from the correct tees, should there be any bias in your index? For some players I suppose it might, if the course suits their game better than any others in the area. I currently have the opposite problem. I shoot better every where else but my home course. There's not one score from there in my current index. I anticipate losing a couple matches before my index corrects itself or I learn to play that course better.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mots good players I know around can't travel well.  I know a couple guys that are good for 68 -72 on their home track any given day.  When we go on a road trip they always have some reason they shot 83.  I am fortunate,  I shoot about the same numbers regardless of where I play or if the course is difficult or easy.  Golf is at least 90% mental and my comfort zone is well intact, too damned intact if you asked me!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that there is some truth to what the OP is suggesting. Knowing the safe places to miss, the location hazards, feeling confident about what lies ahead... it all helps me score a bit lower at home.

Often times some of the strokes on new course come from not know how the fairway runs sidehill into a hazard or waste area, or being unfamiliar with distances and the depth of the green.  I'll almost always shoot 3 or 4 strokes above my average at home when playing a course for the first time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Slope is supposed to equalize differences in the courses themselves but nothing compensates for the experience of knowing a course.  So yes, it is a characteristic of the handicap system (I hesitate to use the term loophole).  However, if one accepts the premise that a player will generally shoot higher on an "away" course then it places them at a disadvantage when playing away from their home course - i.e. their handicap is too low. If it were reversed - their handicap was too high at an away course - then I'd call it a loophole because it would give them an unfair advantage.  I guess the lesson would be for a golfer to ensure that he played enough away rounds to compensate for the normal home course advantage in his handicap.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal experience is that I don't play all that different on different courses. If I'm on a course I've never played before, the score will probably reflect it since I don't know how the holes look, but regardless of how well you know your home course, you still have to hit good shots all the time to be a scratch player.

I don't really see why this is a problem either. If anything, it gives them a disadvantage if they venture to other courses and play in tournaments or for money.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

A good player will be able to make more use of course knowledge than most but even for the average golfer it will count for something.

You just cannot go to a new course, survey the lay of the land from the tee box and expect to hit optimal shots. You'll get up to your ball and actually find that the fairway opened out on the other side, that there is a hollow which presents a difficult lie, that the green on a dog leg was better approached from the other side of the fairway. You'll be 100 yards out from the hole and not be able to tell which way the green slopes or see where the danger lies behind or to the side. You'll hit your chip or long putt and misread the borrow but know for again.

I think it is fair to say that most players who play in professional tournaments have a very good idea about course management prior to the round. They remember how putts break from previous visits or have some idea based on research by the caddy. For those of us that don't have a caddy we play ad hoc and it's going to cost us strokes even on some good strokes.

The course I played tonight was fairly new to me. I misread at least 2 putts which cost me a 'chance of birdie' but I'll know for again. I misjudged a couple of approach shots but it's been duly noted. Had I dropped a ball and selected the appropriate club or reset the putts I'd probably have saved a couple more shots.

it's all about knowledge really.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It may or may not be an issue, depending on one's skill level and style of play.  An aggressive player is going to play better on a familiar track because he knows its pitfalls.  Playing the same style when he doesn't know what around the next bend is going to put him in trouble more often that it will on his home course.

However, a player who uses good course management techniques would not see as large a swing simply because he won't take chances as often on either course, and is more likely to stay out of serious trouble on the new course.  I shot exactly to my handicap last Sunday on a course which I've played 5 times in the last 25 years, so although it has a vague familiarity, I certainly don't remember where the trouble spots are if I can't see them.  As a result I mostly planned my play so that I never hit the ball beyond where I could see.  It paid off well for me.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

The handicap system does not have a "Local Knowledge" factor built in. To be honest a scratch at a home course and a scratch that travels are two different animals. The traveling scratch is a better golfer as the scratch is earned over a variety of situations and tests of golf.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an excellent topic and I am amazed that it hasn't come up many times before.  I have been on another Forum for 5 years and I thought I'd give Sand trap a try for a while because the content quality was going down on the other Forum.  I truly believe that playing the same course gives you a false reading on your index.  I know it does for me.  I could fill in my score on the first tee at my home course.  When I play elsewhere, I am usually 3 or 4 strokes higher.  Not only do I play my home course many times per year, but being retired, I work a couple of shifts per week as a Ranger.  I know the course so well that I know where the "Homes" of all the Chipmunks are.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeez, I'm thinking golf is hard enough on any course at anytime to worry too much about if a handicap is off because you know the track too well.  Don't get me wrong it's a valid point, but you still have to play the game consistently for it to count either way.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I play more than half my rounds (Summer) on one course and spend Winter in a warmer place and play various courses.  My experience is that my handicap tends to go up in the Summer and down in the Winter.  Not a lot but one or two strokes.  So I guess I am the odd ball here.  The "home" course is great but there are some holes that just don't fit my game or eye as they say.   So it ain't necessarily so that playing  a majority of rounds on one course will decrease your handicap index.  Just depends upon the course and the player.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Regardless of knowing ahead of time what side of the fairway to be on for your next shot, you still have to make that shot.  If you can't make that shot consistently then being on your home course doesn't make as much of a difference.  I do think being familiar with a course has advantages but I think it still comes down to your ability.  So, I guess I would say a handicap is fairly accurate regardless of the course when you're a high handicap such as myself and home courses come into play when you're scores are lower.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites



Originally Posted by ghalfaire

I play more than half my rounds (Summer) on one course and spend Winter in a warmer place and play various courses.  My experience is that my handicap tends to go up in the Summer and down in the Winter.  Not a lot but one or two strokes.  So I guess I am the odd ball here.  The "home" course is great but there are some holes that just don't fit my game or eye as they say.   So it ain't necessarily so that playing  a majority of rounds on one course will decrease your handicap index.  Just depends upon the course and the player.


Actually I can understand this.  I sometimes get too lackadaisical on my home course.  I'm too familiar with it, so sometimes I lose focus during the round, something which rarely happens on a strange course.

My scores tend to vary more with the difficulty of the course than they do with familiarity or lack thereof.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades



Originally Posted by BrushCaddy

Regardless of knowing ahead of time what side of the fairway to be on for your next shot, you still have to make that shot.  If you can't make that shot consistently then being on your home course doesn't make as much of a difference.  I do think being familiar with a course has advantages but I think it still comes down to your ability.  So, I guess I would say a handicap is fairly accurate regardless of the course when you're a high handicap such as myself and home courses come into play when you're scores are lower.



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

Link to post
Share on other sites

Note: This thread is 3720 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • Support TST Affiliates

    TourStriker PlaneMate
    Golfer's Journal
    Whoop
    SuperSpeed
    FlightScope Mevo
    Use the code "iacas" for 10% off Mevo and the code "iacasjun21" for 10% off SuperSpeed.
  • Posts

    • Also, his drives hardly end up in a hazard or OB. Avoiding stroke and distance is a big thing.  Yea, like he said for par 5's. You need on really good shot to make par. (i think this is close enough). You can hit a bad drive (not OB), maybe thin a hybrid, miss the green, but still get up and down for par.  Also helps he is a really good putter and has a really good short game ;).   
    • Nobody is rewriting history. Renaming a team from an offensive name IS learning from history.
    • …😁 but I did shank one the other day in a tournament to get a bogey. Still shot a 72! Golf is hard, take the good with the bad, but learn to score, not just hit a ball.
    • Why wouldn't you just go to Scotland? You could probably stay around St. Andrews and never have to travel more than hour to play golf for months on end.
    • I had the pleasure to play 5 rounds with @iacas during our Sand Valley trip. 3 on the Sandbox, and then once on Mammoth Dunes and Sand Valley. He is the best player I've ever played with, and it was interesting to notice a few things that were different in our games beyond our golf abilities. Specifically, there were a few course management things I noticed that he did really well that I did not do nearly as well. I wanted to share these things, because I think they are generally good things to think about, and they might help you shave some strokes off your score. I believe all of these are discussed in LSW, but it doesn't hurt to have a refresher. 1. Avoid Doubles This was by far the biggest thing I noticed. @iacas did get in some bad spots on the course, as everybody does. But, every time he got in trouble, he made a bogey at worst. I don't think he made a double while we played together. I made more than my fair share of them, despite driving the ball almost as well as him. I tend to get sloppy when I get myself into trouble and end up with a double bogey instead of a bogey. A bogey doesn't kill your round, and it only takes one good shot to get the stroke back. A double is a lot harder to recover from.  How did he do it? He got himself back in play and gave himself a great chance to hit the green with his next shot. Sometimes, this meant going for the green. Most of the time, this meant getting out of trouble while advancing the ball down the fairway. For me, I need to think more about giving myself a wedge that I feel comfortable getting on the green most of the time when I'm in trouble off the tee instead of always trying to find a way to go for the green. It also means being more crisp around the greens when I'm already in trouble. I tend to check out of a hole if I don't have a par putt, and that leads to a double that really should have been a bogey (or a worse score than a double). Also, if you're in trouble around the green, just get on the green. Forget about the flagstick. Find the shot that will give you a 20 foot putt as your next shot. If the only shot you can try is a risky flop shot to get it close, it is likely to be better to play towards the center of the green than trying that really hard shot. If you're not a good bunker player, forget the flag and concentrate on getting the ball on the green for that 20 foot putt. For higher handicapped players, you can change this advice to avoid triples. But the bottom line is, bogeys aren't bad, even for a plus handicap. Doubles are bad. 2. Give Yourself a Par Putt This is really similar to above, but I wanted to separate it out. You are not a PGA Tour pro. You can live with putting for par. If you are in trouble, your goal should be to give yourself a par putt. Unless you are a really bad putter, you will likely 2 putt and make a bogey. If you are chipping for par, that is not good. If you are putting for par, that's fine. If you follow the advice above, you will likely have a shorter putt that you can make more than you think. Think about this - if you have a 20 foot putt for par, your stroke average will below bogey, because you'll make more than you 3 putt, As an amateur golfer, you can live with that. I separated this out, because this is the matra I need to repeat to myself over and over. A par putt is a good thing! 3. Avoid Shots You Haven't Practiced We played the Sandbox 3 times together, which is a great par 3 course. It encourages you to try different types of shots - high pitches, hitting a bump and run, chipping an iron, even putting from 50 yards. @iacasliked to try all those types of shots. And it was a lot of fun trying some of those myself, and he definitely had fun trying to pull them off. Here's the thing, though. If you're trying to get your lowest score possible, don't hit a bunch of creative shots. Almost without fail, whenever @iacas tried a unique shot, someone else would hit a standard pitch and get it closer to the hole than him. Which makes sense - we work on pitching a lot more than we work on chipping an 8 iron into a slope to bounce the ball onto an upper tier. So, the bottom line is, if you haven't practiced the shot, it's not something you should try when you're playing for a score.  I almost titled this "never hit shots you haven't practiced," but there are going to be times on a golf course when you're going to have to try a shot you haven't practiced. Just don't do it very often. Stick with what you know and have practiced if at all possible.
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. chriswuk
      chriswuk
      (30 years old)
    2. Gero
      Gero
      (78 years old)
    3. nettscore
      nettscore
      (50 years old)
    4. RandMart3
      RandMart3
      (69 years old)

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...