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# Courses and Handicap

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Sorry if this has been asked before. I’m still confused with counting handicap. A couple of questions:

(1) How does course slope and rating affect my handicap?
(2) What would happened if I play from black tees and score worse than if I play from regular tees? For example, I scored 95 from black tees and 89 from regular tees. Which one is more “detrimental” to my handicap index?
(3) What is the relationship between handicap index in particular hole with number of stroke?
(4) How to lower my handicap in terms of choosing golf course (slope/rating/yardage)?

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Sorry if this has been asked before. I’m still confused with counting handicap. A couple of questions:

(1) How does course slope and rating affect my handicap?

(2) What would happened if I play from black tees and score worse than if I play from regular tees? For example, I scored 95 from black tees and 89 from regular tees. Which one is more “detrimental” to my handicap index?

(3) What is the relationship between handicap index in particular hole with number of stroke?

(4) How to lower my handicap in terms of choosing golf course (slope/rating/yardage)?

A quick forum search will get you dozens of threads, that discuss the ins and outs of calculating your handicap.  As an added help, here's the USGA handicap manual.

Section 10 explains how the handicap index is calculated.

The short answer to your question is that it depends.  If you shoot the same score from the higher rated tees as from the lower rated tees, your differentials, and subsequently your handicap index will be lower.  When you start asking "how much lower", or "how much higher can I score and still lower my index from a different set of tees", the answer becomes situation specific, because you need to do the actual math.

You calculate your differential for any given round by subtracting the Course Rating from your score (adjusted for ESC), multiplying by 113, and dividing that by the slope.  Round to the nearest 10th.

By comparing various scores and the resulting differentials from the two different sets of tees, you'll be able to answer your questions for the specific courses and tees you want......

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(1) How does course slope and rating affect my handicap?

(2) What would happened if I play from black tees and score worse than if I play from regular tees? For example, I scored 95 from black tees and 89 from regular tees. Which one is more “detrimental” to my handicap index?

(3) What is the relationship between handicap index in particular hole with number of stroke?

(4) How to lower my handicap in terms of choosing golf course (slope/rating/yardage)?

(1) Check Dean Knuth's site (he is the guy that came up with the idea of slope) - www.popeofslope.com. But the idea of slope is that it recognizes that difficulty does not apply evenly across all golfers. A good example, say a course has a lot of forced carries of 200 yards off the tee. For the scratch golfer, these are manageable (almost negligible). For the bogey or worse golfer who can't carry the ball 200 yards, it's going to be a very long day. While technically the range of slope is 55 (easiest) to 155 (hardest), the average (neutral) slope is considered 113. Hence to calculate a course handicap for a set of tees, take your handicap index, multiply by slope, and divide by 113.

(2)  The back tees will have a higher course and slope rating. It's possible that your 95 from the back tees will yield the same differential (your score minus course rating x slope/113) as that 89 from regular tees.

(3) Stroke holes are determined by the club in question. They are a measure of those holes where the bogey golfer most likely needs a stroke to equal a scratch golfer. They are not necessarily a ranking of difficulty. A good example, a 470 yard par 4 will be hard for everybody (most might get bogeys) whereas a 440-yard par 4 creates much more of a separation from the good golfer (who will get on in two and have a shot at par) and a poorer one (who might need three to get on).

(4) Your first concern should be to play the tees appropriate for your game. The general assumptions in handicapping and course ratings are that scratch golfers hit the ball farther than bogey golfers. It seems a simplification, but the numbers hold up mostly because the caveat it isn't how far you hit, it is how far you hit it straight! Generally if you are a high handicapper, consider playing the forward tees. Once you get to be a bogey golfer or so, move to regular tees. Single digit, now go to the back tees. But as more direct answer to your question, mathematically, all things being equal (i.e. if you can hit the ball 250 or more off the tee and 220 or more from the fairway), playing the back tees will give you more opportunity to lower your handicap. However, not only is it a bit masochistic, but if you are playing from tees that are too hard for you, you will probably take a lot longer to get around the course. Think of your fellow golfers before your handicap in that regard.

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Shot Boulder Creek today 81 Par. 65 course is beautiful set in the trees and lush setting of the Santa Cruz mountains cheap green fees and carts are ok
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