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Even the playing field

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Hello, I'm new to this forum and have just this year started taking my game seriously. My playing partner plays 2 leagues a week and is on his home course for 4 rounds a week. I am still a weekend warrior (or every other weekend depending on work). His skills have passed mine up and its getting frustrating golfing with him. Its always me vs him and that's getting frustrating with him crying about not having birdie opportunities and I'm shooting for bogie's. We never incorporate our handicaps and course ratings but I think its time we did. Or our golfing together is gonna end up going to shit... He holds a handicap of 8 in his league on his course which is a par 72 slope of 128. I am a 14.5 on my course which is a par 70 and slope of 112. If we were to just use those handicaps it doesn't seem right that id only get 6.5 strokes when his course is a much higher slope rating. So my question is how do we calculate these slope ratings into our handicaps so make it enjoyable? Or is that right...and I just get my 6.5? Ive tried to read the book and understand but its confusing. Any info would be appreciated as I went last weekend alone for the first time and it was a fun time no stress but I had some great shots and drives I would have liked for someone to see.  Am I just being a sore loser and poor golf partner? Or should we be doing something different?

Thanks to all who reply...

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You have handicaps for a reason, they exist to give players of different abilities the opportunity to play against each other. You should use them.

As for the US handicap system, I'm English, it confuses me beyond belief.

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Ya I plan on using our handicaps from now on. But what I need to know is how to incorporate the slope ratings into our handicaps. If he shoots and average 8 over on his 128 slope he would do way better on a 112 slope. So his 8 would have to drop. Same in reverse if I shoot a 14.5 average on my 112 course which is way easier than his, to go to his course my 14.5 is not right and should go up. From what I understand thats why theres slope ratings. For bogey golfers like me. I believe your handicap is adjusted on the slope ratings. To help even the playing field

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It confuses me too! lol Thats why im posting here to try and get answers so my golf game can be less frustrating. And even the playing field.

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If you are a member of a club which uses GHIN ( golf handicap and information network) ... thewebsite will tell you what your playing handicap would be on each course (by its Slope).  As an example: I am a 17.2 Index and on a course with a Slope of 132 I am a 23 hcp.  There is even an GHIN app.  So worth it too

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**WARNING** I may be totally off on this but somebody once told me the way to figure your HC on a different course is to do this: Multiply your HC (21.3 for me) and the slope of the course your playing (Say 123) =2619.9. Than divide that number by 113 (The average/low slope of most courses) = 23.2 which would be my HC for the course. If this is totally wrong I'm sure somebody here will be able to correct me.

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Originally Posted by jetsknicks1

**WARNING** I may be totally off on this but somebody once told me the way to figure your HC on a different course is to do this: Multiply your HC (21.3 for me) and the slope of the course your playing (Say 123) =2619.9. Than divide that number by 113 (The average/low slope of most courses) = 23.2 which would be my HC for the course. If this is totally wrong I'm sure somebody here will be able to correct me.

That works for me and my index at home course... just sayin

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A real handicap is not on a particular course. It is normalized. The thing we call a "handicap" is really a handicap index. You take that and get a Course Handicap for the course you are playing. Someone said it above already. Index * Slope of Course / 113.

I am an 8.1 so on your course I would get 8 strokes (8.1 * 112 / 113  = 8.02 rounded to nearest stroke).

On his course I would get 9 strokes (8.1 * 128 / 113 = 9.1)

Be sure your golf app is actually calculating differentials and not just doing an average. There are sites to explain it but basically you take you score - rating, multiple by 113 and then divide by slope. This is your normalized score over/under par for a given round. Then you average your best 10 out of your last 20 for your Index (oh and then multiply the average by .96)

As Wansteadimp said, quite confusing but necessary if you want to compete fairly.

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Originally Posted by Jason M Henley

As Wansteadimp said, quite confusing but necessary if you want to compete fairly.

I can only begin to imagine the arguments, its bad enough in the UK using the Congu system which takes no account of the course difficulty for competition purposes but does for handicap purposes.

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The USGA Handicap service is somewhat confusing. People think that their handicap INDEX equates into the number of stokes they receive. (e.g. 14.2 index = 14 strokes) This is not the case. Your handicap index has to be mobile so it can be used at different courses. A 14.2 index might receive 13 actual handicap strokes at an easy course but receive 17 actual handicap strokes at a very difficult course. In order for someone to use their USGA handicap index in competition it must first be converted into a course handicap. The USGA provides a course handicap calculator on their website HERE . Just go to that link put in the slope and rating of the golf course you will be playing then put in your index and it will tell you how many strokes you actually receive.

Hope this helps.

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Well I went ahead and purchased me an official handicap at the golf couse I play the most. After 5 rounds this should set me up with a handicap number that I can use. The CDGA has an app for my phone which has a couse handicap calculator. So when were golfing together we can even the playing field. Well see how this goes. I believe this will totally change my golfing experience and not make it me vs him so much but me vs myself/him. So far im glad I did it and cannot wait to get my 5 rounds in so my handicap takes affect.   Thanks for all your help and explanations guys.

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Originally Posted by Mattplusness

I say just play to better yourself. Don't worry about beating somebody you're not capable of.


Why not do both? That is what the handicap is for. You may not beat someone's gross score but you can beat their net score. I enjoy golf as a game, but I also enjoy competition so when you put them together I'm in heaven.

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Originally Posted by Mattplusness

I say just play to better yourself. Don't worry about beating somebody you're not capable of.

That's great in theory but that will never happen when two people have differing time commitments that results in one simply not being able to put the same amount of time at the range or on the course.  In the OP's case, one is a frequent golfer in multiple weekly leagues while the other is an every-other-weekend warrior.  So the OP should be penalized and prohibited from playing a competitive match simply because he cannot commit to the same level of practice?

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Yes! Exactly! That's why I was inquiring about the handicap index and course index. Which I now understand thanks to Jason for his explanation. We should now be able to take our handicap indexes and calculate our course handicap for which ever course were playing and that's the number we play from. Which should then make it a more even playing field so it can be competitive.

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Note: This thread is 2930 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!

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