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# Handicap from Different Tees

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Does anyone play where players compete against each other from different sets of tees based on their index?  How do they compute players handicaps?

I played my first Men's League round this year and they have the low third play the tips (gold), the middle third play the blue and the high cappers play the whites.  When I asked in the shop what my course handicap would be, they said that you round .5+ up and .4- down, but this seems inconsistent with the idea of looking at the course slope to calculate handicap.

How should the league be computing our handicaps based on the following

Gold 66.8/117

Blue 64.8/113

While 62.6/103

A index= 10.4 playing Gold

B index= 10.5 playing Blue

C index= 30.5 playing White

League Handicap

(my calculation based on info from the USGA site- I think section 3-5 and a supplemental paper explaining the logic of an adjustment for different tees)

A= 15 from Gold

B= 13 from Blue

C= 28 from White

or (per guys in the shop)

A= 10 from Gold

B= 11 from Blue

C= 31 from White

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Should be 11,11,28 ... Just google course handicap calculator, usga has one.

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Originally Posted by MEfree

Does anyone play where players compete against each other from different sets of tees based on their index?  How do they compute players handicaps?

I played my first Men's League round this year and they have the low third play the tips (gold), the middle third play the blue and the high cappers play the whites.  When I asked in the shop what my course handicap would be, they said that you round .5+ up and .4- down, but this seems inconsistent with the idea of looking at the course slope to calculate handicap.

How should the league be computing our handicaps based on the following

Gold 66.8/117

Blue 64.8/113

While 62.6/103

A index= 10.4 playing Gold

B index= 10.5 playing Blue

C index= 30.5 playing White

League Handicap

(my calculation based on info from the USGA site- I think section 3-5 and a supplemental paper explaining the logic of an adjustment for different tees)

A= 15 from Gold

B= 13 from Blue

C= 28 from White

or (per guys in the shop)

A= 10 from Gold

B= 11 from Blue

C= 31 from White

You're close, but I think you miscalculated B's course handicap.  The guys in the shop are way off.

Should be 11,11,28 ... Just google course handicap calculator, usga has one.

Not quite.

You calculate each individuals course handicap as always, based on the slope for the set of tees they're playing.  However, if they're competing against each other, you also need to adjust their handicaps relative to each other based on the difference in the course rating for each set of tees.

First step is to calculate the individual course handicaps based on their handicap indexes and the set of tees from which they're playing.  Then you adjust those further based on the difference in course rating for the tees each is playing.  In this case the results would be as follows:

A from Gold:    Course Handicap = 11     Competition Handicap = 15

B from Blue:    Course Handicap = 10        Competition Handicap = 12

C from White:  Course Handicap = 28      Competition Handicap = 28

You see that A and B have strokes added to their handicaps to match the difference in each tee's course rating (rounded to the nearest whole).

From the USGA Handicap Manual:

c. Players Competing From Different Tees or Men and Women From Same Tees

(i) Different Tees: Men vs. Men; Women vs. Women; Women vs. Men
Different tees usually have different ratings. Since a USGA Course Rating reflects the probable scores of scratch golfers , the higher-rated course is more difficult, and the player playing from the set of tees with the higher USGA Course Rating receives additional stroke(s) equal to the difference between each USGA Course Rating , with the resulting figure rounded off to the nearest whole number (.5 or more is rounded upward). (See Decision 3-5/1 .)

Example 1: If men playing from the middle tees, from which the men's USGA Course Rating is 70.3, compete against men playing from the back tees, from which the men's USGA Course Rating is 72.6, the men playing from the back tees will add two strokes
(72.6 - 70.3 = 2.3 rounded to 2) to Course Handicap .

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Originally Posted by David in FL

You're close, but I think you miscalculated B's course handicap.  The guys in the shop are way off.

Not quite.

You calculate each individuals course handicap as always, based on the slope for the set of tees they're playing.  However, if they're competing against each other, you also need to adjust their handicaps relative to each other based on the difference in the course rating for each set of tees.

First step is to calculate the individual course handicaps based on their handicap indexes and the set of tees from which they're playing.  Then you adjust those further based on the difference in course rating for the tees each is playing.  In this case the results would be as follows:

A from Gold:    Course Handicap = 11     Competition Handicap = 15

B from Blue:    Course Handicap = 10        Competition Handicap = 12

C from White:  Course Handicap = 28      Competition Handicap = 28

You see that A and B have strokes added to their handicaps to match the difference in each tee's course rating (rounded to the nearest whole).

From the USGA Handicap Manual:

c. Players Competing From Different Tees or Men and Women From Same Tees

(i) Different Tees: Men vs. Men; Women vs. Women; Women vs. Men

Different tees usually have different ratings. Since a USGA Course Rating reflects the probable scores of scratch golfers, the higher-rated course is more difficult, and the player playing from the set of tees with the higher USGA Course Rating receives additional stroke(s) equal to the difference between each USGA Course Rating, with the resulting figure rounded off to the nearest whole number (.5 or more is rounded upward). (See Decision 3-5/1.)

Example 1: If men playing from the middle tees, from which the men's USGA Course Rating is 70.3, compete against men playing from the back tees, from which the men's USGA Course Rating is 72.6, the men playing from the back tees will add two strokes

(72.6 - 70.3 = 2.3 rounded to 2) to Course Handicap.

Sorry, I got B's course handicap wrong......wrong slope.  You're right and the guys in the shop were way off.

B's course handicap is 11 and his competition handicap is 13.

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Sorry, I got B's course handicap wrong......wrong slope.  You're right and the guys in the shop were way off. B's course handicap is 11 and his competition handicap is 13.

Thanks David! Very interesting, and makes sense too. A and b getting same strokes from different tees does look weird on paper.

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Originally Posted by David in FL

Sorry, I got B's course handicap wrong......wrong slope.  You're right and the guys in the shop were way off.

B's course handicap is 11 and his competition handicap is 13.

Thanks for the confirmation...last night I replied to an email that the league had sent out and wrote what I thought the handicaps should be and asking what they thought but have not gotten a reply yet.  I realize that many might not be aware of the course rating adjustment when different tees are used, but the guys in the shop didn't even seem to know that slope factors into determining your course handicap...I tried explaining it briefly and all he said was that it seemed I knew more than him and said that it doesn't matter because it is the same for everyone.

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Thanks for the confirmation...last night I replied to an email that the league had sent out and wrote what I thought the handicaps should be and asking what they thought but have not gotten a reply yet.  I realize that many might not be aware of the course rating adjustment when different tees are used, but the guys in the shop didn't even seem to know that slope factors into determining your course handicap...I tried explaining it briefly and all he said was that it seemed I knew more than him and said that it doesn't matter because it is the same for everyone.

They're out of their minds. In this example player A is giving player C 8 strokes more than he should. That's an ENORMOUS difference!

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David is spot on. It's NOT the same for everyone if you don't make the adjustment.  Also, as in David's example, you add strokes for the players playing form the higher rated tee boxes.  Depending on what tees most of the players are playing you can also leave the player's handicap who is playing the highest rated tee alone and subtract the difference in ratings from the handicaps for the players playing the lower rated tees. Decision 3-5/1 in the Handicap Manual.

You can print out the "handigram section 3-5" and take it to the shop.

BTW if I went to 10 pro shops, I bet 8 would have no idea how to do this.

Edit:  It's actually sad the lack of understanding most clubs have regarding the handicap system.  We use the USGA system at our club and it was a requirement for a representative to go to a USGA handicap seminar when it came to town and pass and open book test.  I think you have a couple of years to get this done. I've gone a couple of times, well worth the half a day......and lunch is included.

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This web site it GREAT!!

My dad has been screwing me for years.  I'm headed to NC next week to play their course and boy am I going surprise him.  Not only does he have home course advantage but he's been taking way too many strokes from me.

In the past we have just looked at our indexes.  His is 16.0 and mine is 9.1(damn knee surgery and yes I know my profile is wrong).  Well, I used to just give him 7 strokes.  NO MORE.

I play the maroons at 70.4/140 and he plays the greens at 66/122(he's 71yr old).

Computing for course handicap that's 17 for him and 11 for me.  6 strokes.

But then accounting for tee handicap it's 70.4-66=4.4

He's only getting 2 strokes next time we play.  This should be fun!

Correct me if I'm wrong please before I make an ass of myself..............

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Originally Posted by Dormie1360

All's good.  It's all friendly banter between us.........

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Originally Posted by MEfree

Thanks for the confirmation...last night I replied to an email that the league had sent out and wrote what I thought the handicaps should be and asking what they thought but have not gotten a reply yet.  I realize that many might not be aware of the course rating adjustment when different tees are used, but the guys in the shop didn't even seem to know that slope factors into determining your course handicap...I tried explaining it briefly and all he said was that it seemed I knew more than him and said that it doesn't matter because it is the same for everyone.

IMO, this is basic knowledge that all pro shop employees should know, especially if they are in charge of tournaments/events.  It makes me wonder what other stuff your guys don't know or what other wrong information they have passed on to other golfers.

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Originally Posted by SCfanatic35

IMO, this is basic knowledge that all pro shop employees should know, especially if they are in charge of tournaments/events.  It makes me wonder what other stuff your guys don't know or what other wrong information they have passed on to other golfers.

I agree, but to be fair, I was not talking to a Pro or the league coordinator, just the people present who ring the register and check you in.

With that said, I have a number of pending issues that I would like to get resolved without coming off as an a*****e-

1.  I got an email from the Director of Golf saying that he would get with the league coordinator to go over my questions, but have not heard back yet.

2.  In addition to the handicap issue in my OP, I asked in the shop if I should post or would they post and was given their i pad to post (after a bit of uncertainty on their part).  I later noticed that the last "local rule" on the league sheet said not to post, that they would do it.  So in my Wednesday night email, I also asked them not to double post.  This resulted in the following:

a. They posted my actual score of 76 instead of my ESC score of 75 BUT with a completely different course rating/slope of 70.0/113 (which as far as I know does not exist from any tees for this course) instead of 66.8/117.

b. After informing them of the double post, they replied " Not sure how the score got double posted as we posted the score on Friday .  The rating/slope has been fixed. ".  They also changed the date to the 12th, instead of the 10th when I actually played but did not remove either my original posting or their double post.

The score cards have no place for you to write your adjusted score, so my guess is that some league players either write their adjusted score as their actual score and/or those that write their actual score like I did have a higher handicap than they should (Unless those players don't notice when their score gets entered with a rating 3.8 above the course rating like mine did- still can't figure out how that happened.

3.  The lack of red and yellow stakes is make for a lot of ambiguity in my opinion.  As an example, hole 5 has two different water hazards right of the fairway.  Neither is marked with stakes despite the fact that the local rules on the card say lateral hazards are marked with red stakes and water hazards are marked with yellow stakes.  As I played 9 today, I asked one of the maintenance guys who was cutting some tall grass leading into the first hazard about this.  He replied that the first hazard is lateral and the 2nd is a regular water hazard.  I asked him how I would know this without stakes and he replied it is because the first runs lateral to the hole and the second hazard (which runs mostly lateral to the 5th hole but is direct for the 6th) is a regular water hazard because its border is made up of railroad ties.  The only mention of railroad ties on the card is that they are an integral part of the course with no relief.

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Hi MeFree,

What golf course are you guys playing at?

The Slope numbers seems very low. Are they for a Nine hole Rating?

These Slopes seem typical of a short yardage course, just over 5000 yards.

As an example of adjustments for the different tees, we use a base from the tees which the majority of players are playing.

Example, in our league the majority of players would be playing your Blue Course then as per the Course rating these players would play to their Course Handicap and 2 stokes would be added to players at the Gold Course and 2 stokes would be subtracted from Players on the White Course.

Adjusting Handicaps Based off the White Course when there are players at White, Blue & Gold, adding strokes to the Blue & Gold players

would be as per USGA guidelines.

It sometimes gets tricky calculating, especially when sometimes there may only be players at Gold and White or Blue and White, or just Gold and Blue.

To keep it simple and accurate, I created an Excel spreadsheet with the calculations based from the Slope/Rating.

I update the Players Index and it calculates each players Course Handicap.

Here is an example. Notice - Some Players have a 3 stroke reduction when they move up to the White or back to the Black and Gold.

 Home Course Calculations Name Index Red/Wht White Blu/Wht Blue Black Gold Tony 15.4 12 14 16 17 20 22 Ken na - - - - - - Mike na - - - - - - Mike 14.7 11 13 15 17 19 21 Randy 4.9 1 3 4 6 8 10 Dustin 2.5 -1 1 2 3 5 7 Curtis 21.4 18 21 23 24 26 29 Micheal 17 13 16 18 19 21 24 Joe 14.5 11 13 15 16 19 21 Gary 18.2 14 17 19 20 23 26

The formula for the Blue Course I use is (Index multiplied by Slope, then divide by 113)

The other course formulas add or subtract 2. We have Combo Tee courses and the diff is only 1 stroke.

I post these sheets on the board and everyone can view their Index and Course Handicaps and I keep a copy

handy when I enter scores into our Game Program.

I get questions from guys all the time as to Why, Why, Why do they lose strokes when they play the whites.

I just show them the sheet and say here your are. Saves a lot of headaches explaining the process and equations.

How's your golf game this summer?

Club Rat

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I agree that the slope is low as there is the possibility of a lost ball, OB or hazard on every hole, many on multiple sides.  However, it is under 6 K and at altitude so it is short on the card.

My game is ok, but I have been making some big numbers- yesterday I was hit 7 GIR on the front and the fringe on another and still managed to be +7 with 20 putts and a 9 on the only green I missed, hitting it OB off the tee and then flying the green on the approach into a hazard when the wind died momentarily.

A new guy took over the league just before last weeks comp- I talked with him some yesterday but was more concerned with the double posting of my Wednesday score and the lack of stakes on many of the hazards and forgot to ask him how he calculated the HCs.

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Thanks Club Rat...it looks like you are very organized with this.

Originally Posted by Club Rat

Hi MeFree,

As an example of adjustments for the different tees, we use a base from the tees which the majority of players are playing.

Example, in our league the majority of players would be playing your Blue Course then as per the Course rating these players would play to their Course Handicap and 2 stokes would be added to players at the Gold Course and 2 stokes would be subtracted from Players on the White Course.

Club Rat

The way I understand it, if you have 3 sets of tees involved, the USGA allows you to add strokes to the guys playing the two back sets or subtract strokes from the two front sets. Does the USGA allow you to adjust off the middle set? While adjusting from the middle has the same effect from my course, I could see some scenarios where that comes up with a different result based on rounding.

i.e. Front= 69.0

Middle= 70.4

Back= 72.8

In this case the guys from the back should get an extra 4 shots relative to the guys in the front, but if you adjust from the middle it would only be 3 shots.

Another example

Front= 69.0

Middle= 70.6

Back= 72.2

Here, the guys on the back should get an extra 3 relative to the guys on the front, but would be getting 4 if you adjust from the middle.

Overall, I like the idea of adjusting from the middle and/or the most used set of tees so more guys are playing closer to their actual course handicap, but wonder about the rounding issues in some cases.

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I don't have an answer for you.  I'm not sure the USGA contemplates 3 different tees competing at once, all against each other.  The problem is just changing the handicaps based on one end of the slope (highest or lowest) adjust all players referencing that slope (highest or lowest).  When you have 3 tees competing against each other,  the middle player may not have the same number of strokes as if he were just playing against one other player.

In your second example, the handicaps based off of 69.0 would add 2 strokes to the middle player, and 3 strokes to the back player.....a difference of 1 stroke between the middle and back player.    If the middle player were just competing against the back player, their handicap difference would be 2 strokes.  So, although the middle and back players are competing against each other in both scenarios, their handicap adjustments are not the same.

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Originally Posted by Dormie1360

I don't have an answer for you.  I'm not sure the USGA contemplates 3 different tees competing at once, all against each other.  The problem is just changing the handicaps based on one end of the slope (highest or lowest) adjust all players referencing that slope (highest or lowest).  When you have 3 tees competing against each other,  the middle player may not have the same number of strokes as if he were just playing against one other player.

In your second example, the handicaps based off of 69.0 would add 2 strokes to the middle player, and 3 strokes to the back player.....a difference of 1 stroke between the middle and back player.    If the middle player were just competing against the back player, their handicap difference would be 2 strokes.  So, although the middle and back players are competing against each other in both scenarios, their handicap adjustments are not the same.

It really is an odd setup.  We always flighted by handicap, so we were never competing against someone playing from a different tee.

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