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Vector Zero

Worried about getting a sandbagging reputation

9 posts in this topic

This is something that's become a real issue for me this season due to a recent adjustment to my swing which has resulted in a far more consistent ball flight.

Ironically, the recently introduced rule about only being able to submit competition cards, which was supposed to reduce sandbagging, is actually turning me into one, albeit unintentionally.

I play off of 13 and have done so for over a year now but after improving my swing, I'm scoring well over 40 points on stableford quite frequently with the social group I play with at weekends (an interchangeable bunch of about 25 guys). I played a doubles better ball with an 18 handicapper a few weeks back and we were gross par for the round when the dust settled, thoroughly smashing the two unfortunate chaps on the other side who actually played quite well.

Unfortunately, I've only been able to get to one competition this season due to diary clashes and the expectation I placed on myself to get a hefty cut meant I started off poorly, making 50 out but then relaxed and came back in 39. Overal, another 0.1 increase... sigh.

I know the guys I play with will tolerate it for a good while yet because we are all friends but I've noticed a few exchanges of looks around the table in the bar afterwards when they thought I wasn't looking.

If I was totally consistent it would be easier but I'm still capable of carding a 20 over gross which means I could come off as a bit arrogant if I request to have my handicap cut or volunteer to play off a lower number in social situations.

Most worrying is the captains day coming up in August. I won it last year with 43 points and if it happens again this year I suspect I may get strung up from the nearest tree.

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I bet if you take few of your signed scorecards to your club, they will review your handicap.

edit. sorry, but I did not read your post fully first. But I still think you would not look arrogant if you present your cards as they are. They will then make the decision.

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Thanks Luu

It's mostly a combination of stableford and doubles that I play. Would a stableford scorecard be any good or should I keep my own strokeplay card going seperate and then ask one of my group to sign at the end? If I did that I'd have to hole out on everything which would slow up the pace a bit.

I've been considering have a chat with the handicap secretary for some time now. Perhaps I will.

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Originally Posted by luu5

edit. sorry, but I did not read your post fully first. But I still think you would not look arrogant if you present your cards as they are. They will then make the decision.

Thanks again. I've been told that an official handicap review gets carried out annually but not until February which would obviously miss this season. So unless I am an exceptional case I may be stuck until next year.

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A sandbagger is someone who intentionally throws higher scores in order to drive up their handicap, and subsequently scores much better in net tournament games as a result.  The fact that you've improved, should be evident across all your rounds and your normal playing partners should be able to clearly see that.  It's not your fault that the handicapping procedures were changed and you're benefiting somewhat as a result.

If the shoe were on the other foot, if (when ) you have a downturn in your game, it'll take longer for your handicap to catch up to your actual, current game and you'll be at a disadvantage as a result.  There's no perfect system.  Accept it for what it is and enjoy the ride.  Oh yeah, it wouldn't hurt to pick up an extra round after the match either......

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Don't base too much on doubles better ball.

My buddy Maxx and I are 20+ handicaps, and we shot 37 on the front nine a couple weeks back...not an easy course either. But by ourselves, we probably would have had 10 more strokes a piece.

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Some good advice there David, thank you. I'll keep buying the drinks for now and wait for things to even out but I just wish I had more time for competative play because I seem to always do worse when the scores count.

I think I'll start holing out all "gimmes" in causal play for a while. This may add a few shots on in the short term and will hopefully increase my resliance for the next competition.

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Originally Posted by Slice of Life

Don't base too much on doubles better ball.

My buddy Maxx and I are 20+ handicaps, and we shot 37 on the front nine a couple weeks back...not an easy course either. But by ourselves, we probably would have had 10 more strokes a piece.

A fair point, although in that particular game I had 12 pars and 2 birdies, it was just that my playing partner dove-tailed perfectly on my weaker holes.

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Originally Posted by Vector Zero

A fair point, although in that particular game I had 12 pars and 2 birdies, it was just that my playing partner dove-tailed perfectly on my weaker holes.

Ok, yeah 12 pars and 2 birdies is pretty good. Haha.

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