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Par + Handicap for Holes Not Played under the Principles of the RoG

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

I believe that I did a fairly good job of explaining the reasoning earlier in this thread. Just as the penalty for breaking a rule is scaled to be sufficient to prevent a player from gaining an advantage by his mistake, so too is the handicap system secured from a player using a breach of the rules to artificially inflate his handicap.  If a player plays out a hole properly and makes a 7, that is acceptable to post for any handicap over 9.  If he plays a poor tee shot (or the ball becomes mysteriously lost) and doesn't bother with a provisional ball, proper use of the system prevents him from simply "assuming" that he would have made a 7.

I don't believe you did a fairly good job, which is why so many still disagree with you.

As I've said, a guy who is already hitting 3 from the tee and who has never even parred the hole he's playing is basically not going to make a bogey (his par+handicap score), not hitting 3 from the tee.

There are plenty of means of gaming the handicap system, but the Principles re: "penalties" don't really apply to handicapping like you seem to want to force them to be. The person in this scenario is in no way going to legitimately get a bogey.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

We have all played holes where it appeared off the tee that we were taking dead aim at our ESC max, then the miracle happened.  Playing the downhill 556 yard par 5 9th hole on the Ridge 9 at Pole  Creek in Colorado, I pulled my tee shot about 20 yards into the woods on the left.  After a search, I was just about to drop and play it for fun the rest of the way when my brother found my ball.  I hit a tree on my first attempt to escape and only advanced the ball about 20 yards, still well in the woods.  On my third shot I hit a 3 wood through a 5 foot gap in the trees to 10 yards in front of the green, then chipped in for what was probably the best birdie I ever made.  If I had proceeded with my "most likely score" after the second shot I'd have said bogey at best, and more likely double.  I'd have been guilty of sandbagging, at least in my mind.

I've never had a situation like that, and the situations are not common enough to really affect anyone's handicap. And… you found your ball. Had you been hitting 3 from the tee, you were not making birdie. The situations are not the same.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

It's not my rationale, it's the USGA's rationale, and for me that 's good enough.

The USGA does not say that. You believe they do, but they do not say that. You keep saying it's a hole not played under the principles, but others (including me) say it's an unfinished hole. The USGA is fairly clear in saying that you should write down your most likely score for a hole you start but do not finish.

We will never agree on that so that's why I'm done here.  You say it's not finished, and I can't see how you say that when it so obviously has been finished, but not by the rules of golf.  If I play all the strokes and hole out then I've finished the hole.  I just haven't done it by the rules.  How you can possibly say otherwise just baffles me.

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We will never agree on that so that's why I'm done here.

You keep posting. Which is fine, but don't say "I'm done here."

You say it's not finished

Do you disagree that the hole is started?

and I can't see how you say that when it so obviously has been finished, but not by the rules of golf.

It hasn't been finished. The hole isn't played out. The guy could pick up or something. What are you going to do - DQ a guy for playing from a wrong place that's serious enough of a breach to warrant a DQ? It's a handicap round, not a tournament round.

If you hit even two balls OB, you're already hitting more than your "par + handicap" off the tee in some cases.

If I play all the strokes and hole out then I've finished the hole.  I just haven't done it by the rules.  How you can possibly say otherwise just baffles me.

And how you can think that a guy hitting multiple shots OB (or losing them) and yet still being required to keep hitting balls just so he can "finish the hole" despite a ruling for handicap purposes on holes that are begun but not finished is beyond me, too, particularly when the guy may have already surpassed what his par+handicap allotment would be.

Seriously, Rich, take it to the extreme: you're a 9 handicap playing the 13th handicap hole. You hit three balls OB. You're hitting 7. How on earth does it make sense to write down a 4?

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

We will never agree on that so that's why I'm done here.

You keep posting. Which is fine, but don't say "I'm done here."

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

You say it's not finished

Do you disagree that the hole is started?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

and I can't see how you say that when it so obviously has been finished, but not by the rules of golf.

It hasn't been finished. The hole isn't played out. The guy could pick up or something. What are you going to do - DQ a guy for playing from a wrong place that's serious enough of a breach to warrant a DQ? It's a handicap round, not a tournament round.

If you hit even two balls OB, you're already hitting more than your "par + handicap" off the tee in some cases.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

If I play all the strokes and hole out then I've finished the hole.  I just haven't done it by the rules.  How you can possibly say otherwise just baffles me.

And how you can think that a guy hitting multiple shots OB (or losing them) and yet still being required to keep hitting balls just so he can "finish the hole" despite a ruling for handicap purposes on holes that are begun but not finished is beyond me, too, particularly when the guy may have already surpassed what his par+handicap allotment would be.

Seriously, Rich, take it to the extreme: you're a 9 handicap playing the 13th handicap hole. You hit three balls OB. You're hitting 7. How on earth does it make sense to write down a 4?

If you don't want to write a 4 then don't play out the hole - pick up and write your ESC.  If you finish the hole by other than the rules then write the 4.  It's just that simple.

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If you don't want to write a 4 then don't play out the hole - pick up and write your ESC.  If you finish the hole by other than the rules then write the 4.  It's just that simple.

So you say. I don't see it as "finishing the hole" to drop a ball and play in. It's "practice" more than "finishing" if anything. I disagree that the USGA supports your take on this. I don't have an ESC. Or a handicap.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

If you don't want to write a 4 then don't play out the hole - pick up and write your ESC.  If you finish the hole by other than the rules then write the 4.  It's just that simple.

So you say. I don't see it as "finishing the hole" to drop a ball and play in. It's "practice" more than "finishing" if anything. I disagree that the USGA supports your take on this.

I don't have an ESC. Or a handicap.

Then you really don't even have a horse in this race.  I'm taking the handicap manual literally.  You are making an interpretation as to how you think it should be.  I guess that's your privilege, but I disagree.

Now I really am done here.

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Then you really don't even have a horse in this race.

Spare me. It's my site, I rate courses, I play with golfers, and the topic interests me. [quote name="Fourputt" url="/t/69867/unexpected-lost-ball-no-provisional-what-do-you-do/210#post_1156102"] I'm taking the handicap manual literally.  You are making an interpretation as to how you think it should be.  I guess that's your privilege, but I disagree.[/quote] I'm also using the USGA's own language, decisions, etc. I disagree that you're "taking it literally" and I'm making an interpretation. I'm taking it literally. The hole is begun. And unfinished.

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I'm interested in this because of the sole fact of how my league tries to force people to just take drops from OB shots and lost balls. If I try to hit a provisional some of the other players seem to get angry and tell me "that's not how we play, league rule is"... I typically just ignore them and re-tee if I OB on the tee, however they will NOT allow me to go back and hit from my previous position if a ball is lost. When this happens I always add 2 strokes to my score *even though they only add one for theirs* however for handicap purposes I really have never known the correct way to score the hole. By which I mean, a hole not finished or not finished under the rules of golf. I've parred or birdied basically every hole on the course, even eagled a few, so it's entirely possible that par + handicap could be accurate, but I'm also aware that estimated score would make sense as well. I don't tend to lose too many balls once I'm off the tee so the impact to my HI is likely to be very minimal regardless, but that doesn't change that I want to try and be as accurate as I can when it comes to reporting my scores.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

Then you really don't even have a horse in this race.

Spare me. It's my site, I rate courses, I play with golfers, and the topic interests me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

I'm taking the handicap manual literally.  You are making an interpretation as to how you think it should be.  I guess that's your privilege, but I disagree.

I'm also using the USGA's own language, decisions, etc. I disagree that you're "taking it literally" and I'm making an interpretation. I'm taking it literally. The hole is begun. And unfinished.

One more question for you - by your interpretation, it would seem to me to impossible to ever to be considered as having played a hole not by the rules then.  If you say that a hole played by dropping incorrectly and played out from there is unfinished, then how could a hole ever be " Not Played Under The Principles of The Rules of Golf"?  You seem to be saying that any hole played out after breaching a rule is unfinished, so why does the USGA even have that condition in the manual?

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One more question for you - by your interpretation, it would seem to me to impossible to ever to be considered as having played a hole not by the rules then.  If you say that a hole played by dropping incorrectly and played out from there is unfinished, then how could a hole ever be "Not Played Under The Principles of The Rules of Golf"?  You seem to be saying that any hole played out after breaching a rule is unfinished, so why does the USGA even have that condition in the manual?

Some examples of holes not played under the principles of the rules of golf:

- a scramble

- playing 2 balls when by yourself and the course is empty

- using the foot wedge if you don't like your lie

- having 15 clubs in your bag

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Again, @Fourputt , this is why I advised simply not saying "I'm done" because then you look silly coming back and posting again. You're welcome and encouraged to keep posting - just stop saying "I'm done," please. [QUOTE name="Fourputt" url="/t/82295/par-handicap-for-holes-not-played-under-the-principles-of-the-rog/36#post_1156222"]   One more question for you - by your interpretation, it would seem to me to impossible to ever to be considered as having played a hole not by the rules then. [/QUOTE] No. Not true. The very quote you posted in post #2 in this thread (I moved some posts) says: [QUOTE] A: The phrase "in accordance with the principles of the Rules of Golf " refers to situations where the player has played a hole in such a manner that the score would be sufficiently accurate to be used for handicap computation purposes. Occasionally, holes are not played strictly in accordance with the Rules of Golf. Thus, flexibility has been provided in the USGA Handicap System for a score to remain acceptable for handicap posting purposes in certain situations. This policy better ascertains the player's potential ability by attempting to capture more scores for handicap purposes than just those made in accordance with the Rules of Golf. For example, a player starting but not finishing a hole in stroke play (e.g., picking up before holing out) records the "most likely score" for handicap purposes (see Section 4-1). [/QUOTE] So, if a player "plays" the hole by throwing the ball several times and so on, that's not in accordance with principles of the Rules of Golf. But the stated purpose in the quote above is to capture scores to better assess the player's skill/potential, and so "flexibility" has been provided even if the Rules of Golf are not strictly followed. [QUOTE name="Fourputt" url="/t/82295/par-handicap-for-holes-not-played-under-the-principles-of-the-rog/36#post_1156222"]   If you say that a hole played by dropping incorrectly and played out from there is unfinished, then how could a hole ever be "[COLOR=474B55]Not Played Under The Principles of The Rules of Golf"?[/COLOR] [/QUOTE] I answered that above. It's a grey line, and we could debate scenarios all day. But some I think we can agree on: [LIST] [*] Holes that you skip entirely. [*] Holes which are undergoing maintenance and/or re-design and have a temporary green or something (or which are now 130-yard par threes instead of the 410-yard par fours they were before the fairway renovation). [*] A scramble. [*] (Edit: I'll cut my list off here as @sacm3bill has added a few good ones.) [/LIST] I was tempted to add "holes where you have no information at all as to the actual number of likely strokes" but that's too vague, as a guy hitting ten tee shots all OB has plenty of information to know that he exceeded his ESC, but not enough information to know what he'd actually score on the hole if he kept hitting.   [QUOTE name="Fourputt" url="/t/82295/par-handicap-for-holes-not-played-under-the-principles-of-the-rog/36#post_1156222"]   [COLOR=474B55]You seem to be saying that any hole played out after breaching a rule is unfinished, so why does the USGA even have that condition in the manual?[/COLOR] [/QUOTE] No, I'm not saying that, and I don't know how you're reading that into what I've said. I am not saying that any old rules breach (say, moving a stone in a bunker without a Local Rule condoning such) makes the hole unfinished. The statement you posted covers that sort of stuff - the USGA allows leeway to capture more scores. I'm saying this. Andy is a 9 handicap (course handicap). He's playing the 420-yard 12th hole, which is handicap hole 12, coincidentally. He hits two balls OB - he's been fighting the rights all day and there's OB right. He thinks one or both might be in bounds, so because the group behind him has caught up, he drives forward with his foursome. They look for three minutes and find both of his balls out of bounds. Under the Rules of Golf, he should return to the tee and hit his fifth shot. He's already beyond his P+H allotment for the hole. He's made legitimate strokes in earnest at the ball. He has earned at least a 5, and the odds of holing out from the tee are zero (if we round to the nearest millionths of a percent). His ESC is 6, which would mean eagling with his third ball. Andy has three eagles in his life, and two of them came on a 496-yard par five when the course was dry and he could get home in two. So, what I'm saying, is that at that point it's inconsequential what Andy does from there. If he drops a ball near where he found his balls OB, then he's just basically practicing. Staying in the flow of his group. In my opinion, his score has already been established for that hole as 6. That was not even his "most likely score" - it was, in fact, the lowest possible score. Can he legitimately brag about his 79 that day? No. Can he post a 79 for his handicap? Yes, IMO, he can. Your reading of the posted information by the USGA would have him posting a four. He's already incurred four strokes and he's sitting on the teebox! But, you say, he plays shots after he finds the two balls OB! He did not play under the Rules of Golf! I agree! But… what are you going to do… Penalize him for "practicing"? That'll just inflate his score more (whether on the hole he hasn't finished or the next hole I don't care to discuss). DQ him for playing from a position that would be a significant breach? It's a casual round for handicap purposes, so that makes no sense. How could the ruling on what his score should be vary depending on whether, for his fifth shot, he: [LIST] [*] Treks back to the tee, taps a ball off the tee, and his fellow golfers (they're not even playing a match) "concede" his next shot or he just picks up. [*] Drops a ball near where his balls went OB and plays in from there just for practice or whatever. [*] Stops playing the hole immediately and doesn't take another stroke until the next tee box. [/LIST] He's already taken four shots, and thus already scored a minimum of 6. What's it matter what he does after that? The hole, upon reaching his ESC, is finished. [rule] I phoned up two friends in the handicapping departments of some local (i.e. state-wide or big chunks of a state) golf associations, and they agree with this. P+H is for holes where you so completely abandon the way golf is played (like you decide to play the last three holes in your foursome as a scramble, holes you just skip entirely, holes being renovated, etc.) that you cannot even reasonably estimate what you would have scored. Their opinions don't really mean a TON to me, but they weigh a little. I actually tried to lead them into saying what you have been saying - I tried to argue your side. They were adamant that it made no sense that a guy who lay 5 on the tee could possibly make a 4. One said that was "not what handicapping is all about." He pointed out that amateurs commonly violate little Rules of Golf. One used the example of tapping in while the flagstick is in. Technically a two-stroke penalty, but what, you're going to add that two strokes? No. If the tap-in was for a 5, the player gets a 5 for handicapping. @Fourputt , I think you need to differentiate between "holes played under the principles of the RoG" and "holes played while violating some RoG." The principles are broad, as you know. Andy made an earnest effort to play his best on the 12th hole. It turns out that he hit two balls OB and could have scored, at best (with a high degree of confidence), a 6, which is also his ESC. [rule] There's clearly no black and white line here, but there doesn't need to be, @Fourputt . It's just handicapping. For example, what if Bob, Andy's friend and a 14 handicapper, also hits a ball he thinks is in bounds but finds it out of bounds. He'd only be hitting 3 from the tee. He'd need to birdie with his second ball to make his 5 (P+H), but in that case, I think he's justified in doing so. Someone else might say "look, the guy's never birdied the hole in his life, lies 3 on the tee, and would make a 6 at best by 'parring' the second ball." I could see the argument in that approach, too. Whether he writes down 5 or 6, will it likely matter much overall? Probably not. Lots of grey here, @Fourputt . I'm willing to acknowledge it. The USGA is willing to acknowledge it, using the very stuff you posted in the second post. You, however, seem unwilling to acknowledge the grey areas.

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Situation 1:  Match play: On a par 4 where no one get any strokes and both layers have an ESC of 6.  Player A hits 2 drive OB and concedes the hole.    To keep his opponent company he drops a ball and plays in. Score for posting purposes is 6 , most likely, as limited by ESC.

Situation 2:  Stroke play:  Exact same sequence but after the 2 OB shots the players drops a ball and plays in from there in  3 more strokes. Score for posting purposes is 4 ?

I cannot see how the form of play should make a 2 stroke difference in what is posted for the exact same sequence of actions.

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Situation 1:  Match play: On a par 4 where no one get any strokes and both layers have an ESC of 6.  Player A hits 2 drive OB and concedes the hole.    To keep his opponent company he drops a ball and plays in.  Score for posting purposes is 6, most likely, as limited by ESC.

Situation 2:  Stroke play:  Exact same sequence but after the 2 OB shots the players drops a ball and plays in from there in  3 more strokes.  Score for posting purposes is 4?

I cannot see how the form of play should make a 2 stroke difference in what is posted for the exact same sequence of actions.

Yet both would be technically correct under the loose interpretation of that section of the manual that is being discussed.  It would seem to me that a player A could post situation 1 and player B post situation 2 and neither would be wrong.  That in itself says something is wrong with the wording in the manual.

To Erik:  First of all I can't imagine anyone twisting the handicap rules to allow posting a scramble.  Scrambles by their very nature would disqualify them from any consideration at all.  I've never known anyone to finish a normal round with a 3 hole scramble, although I won't put it beyond the realm of possibility.

My contention is not the extreme of playing multiple balls OB or lost.  I'm more in the case of the 15 handicap player who plays his tee shot into the rough, assumes that he will find it, and goes forward without playing a provisional ball.  He is lying one, then drops when he doesn't find his ball, calls that 2 and plays on recording a 5.  Since he is allowed a 7, and he more realistically made a 6 rather than a 5 (if you assume that he would have put his provisional in good playing position had he hit one), then what would you use for his most likely score, knowing that a 15 handicap could take 2 from there, or he could take 6 more to get down.  The higher the handicap, the less precise is such an estimate.  Do you do it one way for a single digit, but differently for 25 capper?  It seems that the manual would not only allow that, but maybe even encourage it.  Maybe that is the reason for the loose language in the manual.

As far as affecting one's handicap, I've seen a high handicapper make this sort of a drop 3 or 4 times in a single round.  In such a case that score certainly could have an effect on his index.  2 or 3 or more rounds like that on his active list would definitely affect his index.  Instant sandbagger unless he reports par plus for posting purposes.

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Yet both would be technically correct under the loose interpretation of that section of the manual that is being discussed.  It would seem to me that a player A could post situation 1 and player B post situation 2 and neither would be wrong.  That in itself says something is wrong with the wording in the manual.

They leave it to the discretion of the player and rely on the handicap committee. I think that handicapping, unlike the Rules of Golf themselves, have more grey areas. What you derisively call "loose interpretations" may in fact be the way the USGA intends them to be taken. The very nature of "most likely score" leaves plenty of room for judgment.

To Erik:  First of all I can't imagine anyone twisting the handicap rules to allow posting a scramble.  Scrambles by their very nature would disqualify them from any consideration at all.  I've never known anyone to finish a normal round with a 3 hole scramble, although I won't put it beyond the realm of possibility.

Of all the situations I've presented, that's the one you pick on? Because it's the easiest, no doubt. The point remains that nobody would be "twisting" the handicap rules in doing this: they'd be FOLLOWING the handicap rules by posting P+H.

My contention is not the extreme of playing multiple balls OB or lost. I'm more in the case of the 15 handicap player who plays his tee shot into the rough, assumes that he will find it, and goes forward without playing a provisional ball. He is lying one, then drops when he doesn't find his ball, calls that 2 and plays on recording a 5.  Since he is allowed a 7, and he more realistically made a 6 rather than a 5 (if you assume that he would have put his provisional in good playing position had he hit one), then what would you use for his most likely score, knowing that a 15 handicap could take 2 from there, or he could take 6 more to get down. The higher the handicap, the less precise is such an estimate.  Do you do it one way for a single digit, but differently for 25 capper?  It seems that the manual would not only allow that, but maybe even encourage it.  Maybe that is the reason for the loose language in the manual.

I feel like this is such a complete departure from the original discussion that all I can say is that I have no idea what the guy should write down. Somewhere between a 5 and a 7 seems right, but… it's up to the interpretation of the player. He should write down the score he thinks is most accurate. I don't know. Maybe there's water, OB, horrible bunkers on the hole. Maybe it's wide open with a flat green. I don't know. You've not given much information. Let him write down a 5 if he wants, let him write down a 6 if, hitting three from the tee, he's almost never birdied the hole (for a 5).

As far as affecting one's handicap, I've seen a high handicapper make this sort of a drop 3 or 4 times in a single round. In such a case that score certainly could have an effect on his index. 2 or 3 or more rounds like that on his active list would definitely affect his index. Instant sandbagger unless he reports par plus for posting purposes.

I don't really care about high handicappers, nor do I agree that he's a sandbagger. What are the odds the guy who lost his ball in your example is going to birdie with his second ball? If they're tiny, he's justified in writing down a 6, and that's not sandbagging. If he birdies it often, then it is… but he can fight it out with the other high handicappers.

I'm assuming that he made an honest effort to look for his ball and find it, and that it truly was lost and that he didn't just add a penalty and play on and thus intentionally add strokes to his score.

You avoided responding to nearly everything I posted (except the scramble bit), and then went on with your own example when this thread itself provided three from which to choose.

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My contention is not the extreme of playing multiple balls OB or lost.  I'm more in the case of the 15 handicap player who plays his tee shot into the rough, assumes that he will find it, and goes forward without playing a provisional ball.  He is lying one, then drops when he doesn't find his ball, calls that 2 and plays on recording a 5.  Since he is allowed a 7, and he more realistically made a 6 rather than a 5 (if you assume that he would have put his provisional in good playing position had he hit one)...

You're of course correct that had a provisional been played he'd be lying 3 from wherever it ended up, not 2, which is why it's more accurate to add 2 when dropping for a lost ball when playing out the hole, which has been recommended in the threads on this subject.

...then what would you use for his most likely score, knowing that a 15 handicap could take 2 from there, or he could take 6 more to get down.  The higher the handicap, the less precise is such an estimate.

What I have always advocated is playing out the hole with the dropped ball (and adding 2 penalty strokes to the tee shot). Yes, I know that's not legal but it at least takes the guesswork out of what you would have taken to hole out - no estimate is needed because you're actually holing out. The only uncertainty is whether you would've successfully put a provisional ball in play somewhere in the area that you lost your first one and made the drop.  But it's at least a closer approximation of what you would've scored on the hole than taking Par Plus would be, given Par Plus completely ignores any shots and penalties already incurred.

Do you do it one way for a single digit, but differently for 25 capper?

As described above, you don't have to do anything differently if you just play out the hole. If you don't play out the hole and estimate instead, then yes, obviously a low handicapper might estimate a fewer number of shots then a high handicapper. But note that's what Par Plus does as well, when it uses the player's course handicap to determine how many strokes to add to par.

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Something that I think gets lost in many of these discussions is the issue of trust and integrity.  Both the rules of golf and the handicap rules put a huge amount of trust on the individual golfer.  We're not supposed to "call penalties" on our fellow competitors, they're supposed to call the penalties on themselves.  I believe the vast majority of golfers play and post their scores with integrity.  They may not know all the rules, but they do their best to do what's right.  As a player gets more experience, plays with different people, plays more competition, he (or she) generally learns more about the rules, and plays and posts in better conformance with them.  I don't believe a single golfer has ever started out playing and posting in strict accordance with the rules from day 1.

To me, a "sandbagger" is NOT a high handicapper who drops a ball in order to keep play moving, its a player who intentionally inflates his scores in order to gain a handicap advantage.  The first guy is doing the best he can, and should NOT be labeled as a "sandbagger", the second guy is a cheater.  All of the rules in the world won't stop sandbagging, the sandbaggers know they're cheating, and are doing it on purpose.  What limits sandbagging is proper peer review, through handicap committees everywhere, and a willingness to enforce the rules and responsibilities of the committee.

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Yet both would be technically correct under the loose interpretation of that section of the manual that is being discussed.  It would seem to me that a player A could post situation 1 and player B post situation 2 and neither would be wrong.  That in itself says something is wrong with the wording in the manual.

Isn't it possible that the problem is not with the "loose" wording or a "loose" interpretation of the rules but more with the way you seem to be reading them?  I applied the rule exactly as you suggested and got the absurd result of a player's posting score varying by 2 strokes on one hole depending on form of play?   These are precisely the kinds of inconsistencies the rule should prevent.  Which informs how the rule should be interpreted.  Rarely is an interpretation that gives absurd results the correct one.  It might be here, but I'm betting against it.

This is not exactly on point, but I once had a situation where in a match play event I hit my drive into a lateral hazard.  I had a complete brain fart and grounded my club.  In match play that is loss of hole, in stroke play it is 2 strokes.  So I asked the SCGA how I should treat this for posting purposes since it is not clear whether I should reflect the 2 strokes (which, since I was playing match play, did not really apply) in my estimate of most likely score.  They said I should.  Which made sense to me since to do otherwise would have distorted my score by penalizing me in a way that was not reflected in the score.  While they did not call it out and state it as such, what I took away from that answer is that the form of play should not be allowed to distort the posting score.

My contention is not the extreme of playing multiple balls OB or lost.  I'm more in the case of the 15 handicap player who plays his tee shot into the rough, assumes that he will find it, and goes forward without playing a provisional ball.  He is lying one, then drops when he doesn't find his ball, calls that 2 and plays on recording a 5.  Since he is allowed a 7, and he more realistically made a 6 rather than a 5 (if you assume that he would have put his provisional in good playing position had he hit one), then what would you use for his most likely score, knowing that a 15 handicap could take 2 from there, or he could take 6 more to get down.  The higher the handicap, the less precise is such an estimate.  Do you do it one way for a single digit, but differently for 25 capper?  It seems that the manual would not only allow that, but maybe even encourage it.  Maybe that is the reason for the loose language in the manual.

As we have discussed when talking about the ROG themselves, they are not just there for the easy situations they are there for all situations.  So dismissing the case of a couple of balls hit OB as not what you are talking about is kind of besides the point.  We need to address what to do then, and it should be consistent with all such cases.  So if it is the first ball lost in rough, or three balls pumped clearly out of bounds, we need to know what to do and we should be treating both situations the same (not in number of strokes, but in how we include those events in a final score) in equity, in the true meaning of equity - treating like situations alike.
In your example, ignoring the red herring of the guy only adding one penalty stroke, the reality is that if he hit a provisional to the point where he dropped, lying 3, the most likely result is that from there he will take 4 more shots.  How do I know? Because he is a 15 and 15s will usually take one extra stroke, compared to regulation, to get down (that is how they got to be 15s).  So he should post a 7 (lying 3 with a "most likely" 4 shots ahead of him).  You may call it sandbagging but I call it reality in this case.  And arguing that he might take 2 more strokes or he might take 7 is completely besides the point because the manual says "most likely", not "range of possible scores".
Look at it this way.  You are playing with someone you know has a legitimate 15 course handicap with whom you have never played before.  On the first hole, a par 4, say the #5 HC hole, he hits his tee shot OB.  Before he even hits a second shot OR (improperly) goes up and drops, what would you say is his most likely final score on that hole?  Seems clear as crystal to me that it is 7.  When he stepped on the tee it was 5 (that is why he gets a stroke at that hole) but then he added 2 strokes with the OB so we are back at the tee expecting to take 5 more strokes to complete the hole which, with the 2 for the OB, makes 7.

And yes the analysis changes if he is a 2 (most likely is 6 since his most likely on the hole absent any OBs is a par) , and it changes again if he is a 25 (most likely is an 8 since his most likely in the hole absent any OBs is a 6).  Well I should say that the analysis stays the same but the result changes AS IT SHOULD because a 2 is not a 15 is not a 25.

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Why the insistence that the USGA would be upset if you're turning in 5's when you couldn't have possibly made less than 7?

The USGA already forces you to turn in a 7 or 8 on a hole where you actually made a 12 - otherwise known as ESC.

It's still my contention the USGA doesn't care that you got to turn in a bogey on a hole where you hit two balls OB and then dropped in the wrong place.  They care that your handicap doesn't benefit (go up) from improper application of the Rules.  Par + handicap ensures that.

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Why the insistence that the USGA would be upset if you're turning in 5's when you couldn't have possibly made less than 7?

The USGA already forces you to turn in a 7 or 8 on a hole where you actually made a 12 - otherwise known as ESC.

It's still my contention the USGA doesn't care that you got to turn in a bogey on a hole where you hit two balls OB and then dropped in the wrong place.  They care that your handicap doesn't benefit (go up) from improper application of the Rules.  Par + handicap ensures that.

Finally, someone else sees it! :doh:

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