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iacas

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

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Finally, someone else sees it!  :doh:

:sigh: Yeah. Look, if that's all that matters to you and you think matters like this are popularity votes, then I guess you'll have to begin supporting divots and divot holes as ground under repair. How anyone who lies 5 on the tee should be required to write 4 or 5 down I'll never know, and you've never actually taken a stab at explaining. I think you're wrong. I've laid out reasons in detail why I think so. You, between claiming you're done, respond quickly to a side point about scrambles. Where's your response to @turtleback 's last few thorough posts? Several guys at the handicap committees of local/state golf associations think you're wrong too. Does their vote count in the popularity contest you're running?

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wadesworld

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!

Except it's not that simple.  ESC is there to limit how high a score you can post so that your handicap isn't artificially high, and that's fine.  But if you use Par Plus instead of taking into account strokes and penalties already incurred on a hole, your handicap is going to be artificially low. I would think the USGA's goal is for people to have an *accurate* handicap.

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Originally Posted by wadesworld View Post

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.

The real problem is that you and @Fourputt think the handicap process should have a bias in it.  I don't.  The handicap should accurately reflect the reality.  ESC is there because those holes are deemed to be outlers.  A 12 on a par 4 hole is not a reasonable score for ANY handicap.  But a 7 for a 15 Hcap on a par 4 is not an unreasonable score.  The Hcap should not have a built in bias though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacm3bill View Post

Finally, someone else sees it! :doh:

Except it's not that simple.  ESC is there to limit how high a score you can post so that your handicap isn't artificially high, and that's fine.  But if you use Par Plus instead of taking into account strokes and penalties already incurred on a hole, your handicap is going to be artificially low. I would think the USGA's goal is for people to have an *accurate* handicap.

Exactly.  Some people seem to be so fixated on sandbagging that they get carried away.  The purpose of the Hcap system is to provide accurate handicaps.  If it does that and people follow the rules then sandbagging cannot occur.  But the very fact that the handicap rules allow (nay, require) scores to be posted even when egregious rules violation occur (E.g, being DQed is no reason not to post) strongly implies that the handicap is a measure of ability, not a measure of how closely you adhere to the rules.

Another 2 situations - assume that neither Player A nor Player B stroke on the hole:

Player A hits a drive OB, then re-tees, goes on to score a 4 with the second ball, and records a 6 for both score and posting purposes.

Player B hit a drive OB.  He drops a ball near where the original ball went out of bounds, plays 3 more strokes in holing the dropped ball.  He records a 6 for score purposes, but is technically DQed for a serious breach.  There is no version of reality in which posting a 4, which is what @Fourputt 's interpretation would require, makes a lick of sense in furthering the goal of having ACCURATE handicaps, i.e., handicaps that reflect the player's potential..

Because in this example we have a 2 stroke difference in posting score which is based NOT on any measure of the players' relative abilities but solely due to the degree to which each payer adheres to the rules.

Just as we look to the Principles of the rule of golf to help us understand what they mean and how to interpret them, I think we are losing sight of the fact that the purpose of the handicap is to measure playing ability, not rules fidelity.

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... the handicap is a measure of ability, not a measure of how closely you adhere to the rules.

Very well said.  (The whole post, but this is the perfect synopsis.) :beer:

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Quote:

Originally Posted by turtleback

... the handicap is a measure of ability, not a measure of how closely you adhere to the rules.

Very well said.  (The whole post, but this is the perfect synopsis.)

In that case there should be no such thing as ESC.  If I really made that 9 then your sense of "reality" says I should get credit for it.  I don't see how it can go one way but not the other if you apply any sort of logic to the process.  By the reverse, if I apply ESC to an exceptional hole score, then the same logic should apply to the manual's statement about holes not played by the rules.  That score should also be reduced to par plus.  I'm sure that Mr. Spock would see the logic in that.

And Erik: you asked me to come back to the discussion.  I really didn't anticipate continuing to fighting a losing battle, but you seemed to think I should keep it up so here I am.  And I'm a bit miffed at you calling it some popularity crap.  I find one person who can see what I'm talking about and all you can do is call it a popularity contest?  That's beneath you.  As to answering those other comments, I've done that ad nausem to my satisfaction.  I've found that my arguments won't sway any of you so why should I continue to repeat them?

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In that case there should be no such thing as ESC.  If I really made that 9 then your sense of "reality" says I should get credit for it. I don't see how it can go one way but not the other if you apply any sort of logic to the process.

Because the handicap is about potential. A 12 that becomes a 6 keeps it closer to the "potential" than just a "scoring average."

By the reverse, if I apply ESC to an exceptional hole score, then the same logic should apply to the manual's statement about holes not played by the rules. That score should also be reduced to par plus.

You continue to ignore the mountain of arguments made against "P+H".

TONS of holes are "not played by the rules." The USGA snippet YOU quoted said that they're loose with the rules because they want to capture more scores. They ask people to make an estimate of the likely score. Hitting 5 from the tee and writing down 4 makes no sense . If you pick up from the tee, versus dropping a ball and playing in from there, your score should likely be the same, not LOWER if you hack it around after dropping the ball where you think you lost the other two (or where they went OB, or whatever).

And Erik: you asked me to come back to the discussion.

No I didn't. I told you to stop saying you were done and then continuing to post. I told you to just stop saying "I'm done" because it made you look silly. I did ask you to respond to the posts and points made by myself, @turtleback , @sacm3bill , etc., but you've still largely ignored them.

And I'm a bit miffed at you calling it some popularity crap. I find one person who can see what I'm talking about and all you can do is call it a popularity contest?

I think it's lame for anyone to say "see! someone else agrees with me!" It doesn't further the discussion.

As to answering those other comments, I've done that ad nausem to my satisfaction. I've found that my arguments won't sway any of you so why should I continue to repeat them?

We'll agree to disagree that you've answered them. You've never answered the questions in the original post, IIRC. You've not answered the specific questions I've asked you, or responded at all to anything but the scramble thing, really, in the posts I've made. You've not responded to @turtleback pointing out the concept of equity. It's a long list.

Here's a simple question:

A scratch golfer hits two balls OB on a par four.

  • Scenario A: he doesn't play any more shots and just skips to the next hole, sitting in the cart and helping tend the pin for his friends, etc.
  • Scenario B: he drops in the fairway just to play the hole out with his friends.

What should each golfer write down for their score on the hole? If you say 4 for either, how do you feel that's justified given that the golfer has already earnestly earned a five (should he hole out with his next tee shot)?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

... the handicap is a measure of ability, not a measure of how closely you adhere to the rules.

Very well said.  (The whole post, but this is the perfect synopsis.) :beer:

In that case there should be no such thing as ESC.  If I really made that 9 then your sense of "reality" says I should get credit for it.  I don't see how it can go one way but not the other if you apply any sort of logic to the process.  By the reverse, if I apply ESC to an exceptional hole score, then the same logic should apply to the manual's statement about holes not played by the rules.  That score should also be reduced to par plus.  I'm sure that Mr. Spock would see the logic in that.

And Erik: you asked me to come back to the discussion.  I really didn't anticipate continuing to fighting a losing battle, but you seemed to think I should keep it up so here I am.  And I'm a bit miffed at you calling it some popularity crap.  I find one person who can see what I'm talking about and all you can do is call it a popularity contest?  That's beneath you.  As to answering those other comments, I've done that ad nausem to my satisfaction.  I've found that my arguments won't sway any of you so why should I continue to repeat them?

You really see no logical reason why the way you reflect a penalty in your score and trimming outliers out of something designed to measure potential should be thought about differently?  Due respect, but your argument about ESC is tantamount to saying that the relief procedures for water hazards violate the principle of playing it as it lies.  In BOTH the ROG and the Hcap manual there are cases where the general principle is subordinated to specific circumstances.  The existence of the specific circumstances does not lessen the validity of the principles.  For handicapping the general principle is that the handicap should accurately reflect the player's potential.

C'mon, you're just being a little stubborn here now, right?  You can't really think these two things are in any way shape or form the same.  You are "punishing" the guy for not playing by the rules  in the exact opposite direction that rules violations go.  Usually when you violate rules you have to add shots to your score.  Now, in this one situation you want to subtract them, effectively?  And when I apply "any sort of logic" to the process, the notion that a penalty would reduce the posting score is, well, illogical.

Let's look at it from a little different perspective.  Say a scratch player is playing a par 3 where the whole tee shot is over water, so the only practicable relief for a ball hit into the water hazard is re-teeing.  The player hits 2 shots into the water.  In frustration he gives up, drops a ball on the other side, and completes the hole.  3 (par plus) or 5 (most likely, limited by ESC) for posting purposes?  Note that when he was lying 3, completely in accordance with the ROG, he was at the bottom of the lake.  And even with super-powers there is no way he could have gotten any better than a 4.  But somehow a subsequent breach of the rules makes one of those strokes disappear for posting?

You talk about logic but I have given situation after situation where it is illogical in the extreme to use par plus for posting.  And other than some general hand waving and aspersion casting you really haven't addressed any of them.

Here is the relevant Decision:

Quote:

Q: What is meant by the phrase "in accordance with the principles of the Rules of Golf" in "The USGA Handicap System" manual?

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).

If a player uses a distance (only) measuring device or plays a round under preferred lies, regardless of the Local Rule established, the score remains acceptable for handicap purposes. (See Decision 5-1e/2 and Section 7.) This policy also includes situations that are generally out of the player's control, such as incorrectly installed hole liners or an incorrectly marked golf course. (See Section 15-5.) (NEW)

Now, in what way does dropping make the score too inaccurate for posting purposes?  The decision doesn't say much about what it means to NOT play the hole " in accordance with the principles of the Rules of Golf". But the basic rule in the Hcap manual says the following:

Quote:

4-1. Unfinished Holes and Conceded Strokes

A player who starts, but does not complete a hole or is conceded a stroke must record for handicap purposes the most likely score . The most likely score may not exceed the player's Equitable Stroke Control limit, defined in Section 4-3 . This most likely score should be preceded by an "X." (See Decision 4-1/1 .)

. . .

4-2. Holes Not Played or Not Played Under The Principles of The Rules of Golf

If a player does not play a hole or plays it other than under the principles of the Rules of Golf (except for preferred lies ), the score recorded for that hole for handicap purposes must be par plus any handicap strokes the player is entitled to receive on that hole. This hole score, when recorded, should be preceded by an "X."

Example: A player with a Course Handicap of 10 receives a handicap stroke on the first 10 allocated handicap-stroke holes. If the player does not play the sixth allocated handicap-stroke hole, which is a par 4, because of construction on the green, the player must record a score of par plus one for handicap purposes, or X-5. (See Decision 4-2/1 and Section 5-2b .)

I would suggest, while not claiming that it is supported completely in the manual, that once you start a hole in accordance with the ROG, par plus is out the window and most likely becomes the proper process.  If you hit your tee shot under the principles of the Rules of Golf then you have played at least part of the hole under the Rules.  Only a portion of the hole was not played in accordance . . .

4-2 contemplates a situation where you have no idea what a proper score would be because the hole was not played - or it was played so far outside the rules that no reasonable estimate is possible.  It is interesting that they give no examples of a hole not played under the principles of the ROG - just the example of skipping a hole entirely.  I would further suggest that a single breach of a rule on a hole is not nearly sufficient to make the determination that the hole was not played in accordance with the principles of the ROG - even one which, uncorrected, would result in a DQ.

Note the phrase "sufficiently accurate" in the Decision quoted above.  Therefore, par plus is for when you do NOT have sufficient accuracy for handicapping purposes.  Is that the case here?  I would answer with a resounding NO!  In my par 3 example you certainly have plenty of accuracy to justify the 5 as the posting score.  The handicap manual seems pretty concerned with having hole scores be as accurate as possible, notwithstanding the "relief procedure" of ESC.  Par plus is for specific circumstances, IMO, where you have no way of knowing.  Yet you seem to want, in effect if not intent, to use it to punish that player for not playing by the rules.

So, to summarize, MY take is as follows, and I think it is amply justified by the manual:

1) Skip a hole - par plus

2) play a hole from the inception with no effort or intent to follow the rules - e.g., play the hole with a juiced up ball, play the hole using your playing companions clubs, play the whole hole with your wedge, - par plus

3) start the hole and hit your tee shot within the rules and with the intent to play the hole by the rules but then deviate from the rules in a serious way that would ordinarily result in a DQ in a tournament situation - most likely

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2) play a hole from the inception with no effort or intent to follow the rules - e.g., play the hole with a juiced up ball, play the hole using your playing companions clubs, play the whole hole with your wedge, - par plus

I agree with everything that you posted except the bold, which could certainly be 100% within the principles and even the Rules of Golf. It'd just be sandbagging to play a hole without the intent of getting the lowest score, just as it would be to intentionally miss a tap-in.

It likely will not matter, though, as @Fourputt has not yet responded to any of the examples put forth. Maybe he will, but given the history, I would advise against holding your proverbial breath. Your latest example is similar to this one:

Here's a simple question:

A scratch golfer hits two balls OB on a par four.

Scenario A: he doesn't play any more shots and just skips to the next hole, sitting in the cart and helping tend the pin for his friends, etc.

Scenario B: he drops in the fairway just to play the hole out with his friends.

What should each golfer write down for their score on the hole? If you say 4 for either, how do you feel that's justified given that the golfer has already earnestly earned a five (should he hole out with his next tee shot)?

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You can post examples til the cows come home, but since I disagree with your basic premise, and you disagree with mine, we are never going to find a meeting ground.  I see both reporting methods as having the same intent of preventing a player from inflating his handicap by an unusual score - what's more unusual than reporting a hole for handicap that was not played by the rules?  You don't agree.  What more is there to say?

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You can post examples til the cows come home, but since I disagree with your basic premise, and you disagree with mine, we are never going to find a meeting ground.  I see both reporting methods as having the same intent of preventing a player from inflating his handicap by an unusual score - what's more unusual than reporting a hole for handicap that was not played by the rules?  You don't agree.  What more is there to say?

They weren't just examples; they were questions directed toward everyone but specifically toward you. Many of the scenarios involve unfinished holes, not "holes that weren't played under the rules." Furthermore, the very quote you posted explains that rules violations do not prevent scores from being posted.

For example, the scratch golfer who hits two tee shots OB and doesn't finish the hole. Writing down 4 for that hole makes no sense. Even if he holed his next tee shot on a par four… he would have taken five strokes.

Not for nothing, but I'm up to five people in regional/state golf associations in positions specifically related to handicapping who say you're wrong about this, too.

I think, deep down, you feel like you're wrong and just not willing to say so. Your "agree to disagree" stance citing "the basic premise" feels like a cop out. @turtleback and I have made several points and you've just ignored them.

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Rick seriously buddy just admit you are wrong.-Holes not played under the principles means like @turtleback said and others said - scrambles, holes played with an illegal ball, holes being renovated, holes played by throwing it or with a different set of clubs. My club had a tournament once where we did goofy things like a free beer for anyone who hit the fairway over 250 yards-The beer cart was in the middle of the fairway at 250 yards-on one hole and other things. On four holes the Rules of Golf were suspended in unique ways-For example on one of them everyone was given a golf ball without dimples. It plays very oddly. We added everyones score to the handicap computer but on those four holes they got Par and Handicap because they were not under the Rules of Golf.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

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.

Why in the world wouldn't "most likely score" included penalties already incurred ?

Once the ball is lost or OB, the player has already incurred the stroke and distance penalty. Even if he walked back to the tee at that point, and made a good tee shot, the best he could say is he might have made a 6, but that is assuming a good tee shot. But once he illegally dropped a ball, he at a minimum already incurred an additional 2 stroke penalty.  So at best he realistically might have scored an 8 on that hole. But he didn't, because he was in  "serious breach".

Still, the rules permit him to correct his serious breach by walking back to the tee and hitting his 5th shot from there.  He can do this at any time before moving on to the next tee. Under what scenario is he ever going to record a legal score on this hole that is better than his ESC, which we know is 7? He would have to hole out his tee shot to make a 6.

Quote:
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.

This is because you aren't counting penalty strokes. Is there anywhere that it says penalty strokes shouldn't count for handicap purposes? If you include the appropriate penalties, I don't think it's mathematically possible for this player to artificially increase his index, even doing this a half dozen times a round. Even holing out the tee shot is really only possible on a par 3.

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I think the basis of this discussion goes back to our perceptions of the INTENT of the handicap system.  On one side seems to be the belief that the system is in place to prevent sandbagging, so the lower P+H score is the "right" score to record.  On the other side is the belief that the system prefers accuracy, so that in many cases the "most likely score" is the right score to post.  I believe that the goal is accuracy.  The stated purpose of the handicap system  "to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis."   Rules won't stop sandbagging, the cheaters will try to find ways to cheat, no matter what the rules say.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

2) play a hole from the inception with no effort or intent to follow the rules - e.g., play the hole with a juiced up ball, play the hole using your playing companions clubs, play the whole hole with your wedge , - par plus

I agree with everything that you posted except the bold, which could certainly be 100% within the principles and even the Rules of Golf. It'd just be sandbagging to play a hole without the intent of getting the lowest score, just as it would be to intentionally miss a tap-in.

I'm not so sure.  One of the thing that makes a round unpostable is

Quote:
(iv) When, as a condition of the competition, the maximum number of clubs allowed is less than 14, or types of clubs are limited as, for example, in a competition that allows only iron clubs;

Granted it is not fully on point, but it seems to me that if you inflict on yourself a condition that would make the round unpostable if it were a condition of competition, it should still be unpostable.

And I think that can be extended to a single hole.  Lt's say you play an event which is strict;y ROG EXCEPT that on hole 14, the 600 yard monster par 5, you are only allowed to use any one club and your putter.  In this instance I think that for posting purposes you would do everything the usual way except that for the 14th you would take par plus.

At least that was why I included that.  I could be wrong.

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I'm not so sure.  One of the thing that makes a round unpostable is

I would agree with P+H if those are the actual rules enforced by others, but just saying "play the whole hole with your wedge" implied to me it was a player just choosing to do it, not someone imposing a "rule" that is against the "Rules".

A player just choosing to play a par five with a wedge is not violating any "Rules of Golf" but he is sandbagging, hence my agreement that P+H is apt. Players should give an earnest effort to shoot their best scores.

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So, just so I'm clear, on a Par 4 that I get no HC strokes on, if I hit a tee shot that I think is playable but then can't find it and don't go back to the tee box because the group behind me is already at the tee box and I then proceed to hole out in 3 more shots, is it more acceptable to put down a 5 or a 6 for HC purposes?

IIRC, Erik suggested a 5 is more accurate.

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So, just so I'm clear, on a Par 4 that I get no HC strokes on, if I hit a tee shot that I think is playable but then can't find it and don't go back to the tee box because the group behind me is already at the tee box and I then proceed to hole out in 3 more shots, is it more acceptable to put down a 5 or a 6 for HC purposes?

IIRC, Erik suggested a 5 is more accurate.

If you go by Par Plus, you'd enter a 4. (Par plus 0 HC strokes). That's Fourputt's stance, since he believes this is an unplayed hole.

If you go by most likely score, you'd enter a 6. (Tee shot + penalty stroke for lost ball, then an extra stroke to account for the hypothetical 2nd tee shot, then the 3 more actual strokes you took.)  This is my stance and I believe Erik's as well, since we consider this an unfinished hole.

Another possibility is to pick up and call it unfinished, and add Par Plus to the strokes you've already taken. I.e., if you hadn't played the hole at all, Par Plus says to put down a 4. But since you're already lying 2, you'd add that to Par Plus. So you'd enter a 6 in that scenario as well.

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I would agree with P+H if those are the actual rules enforced by others, but just saying "play the whole hole with your wedge" implied to me it was a player just choosing to do it, not someone imposing a "rule" that is against the "Rules".

A player just choosing to play a par five with a wedge is not violating any "Rules of Golf" but he is sandbagging, hence my agreement that P+H is apt. Players should give an earnest effort to shoot their best scores.

Given your wedge example, would tweaking the game definition as below help address that possible sandbagging? If they didn't make a fair attempt to play in as few as possible ('reasonable' test) then it wouldn't be 'under the rules' and then the par + HCP would apply?

The game of golf consists of player moving a ball at rest from the teeing ground into the hole with a stroke or as few successive strokes as possible using a club in accordance with the rules.

I wonder if a historic concern for sandbaggers didn't lead to the two different procedures? The procedure for not playing under the rules would seem to have a 'cheaters never prosper' bias toward lower HCP for a player who might be trying to add strokes by violating rules vs. making at least a 'reasonable' attempt to hole out properly where a 'miraculous' recovery of form in later rounds could at least be observed.

If you go by Par Plus, you'd enter a 4. (Par plus 0 HC strokes). That's Fourputt's stance, since he believes this is an unplayed hole.

If you go by most likely score, you'd enter a 6. (Tee shot + penalty stroke for lost ball, then an extra stroke to account for the hypothetical 2nd tee shot, then the 3 more actual strokes you took.)  This is my stance and I believe Erik's as well, since we consider this an unfinished hole.

Another possibility is to pick up and call it unfinished, and add Par Plus to the strokes you've already taken. I.e., if you hadn't played the hole at all, Par Plus says to put down a 4. But since you're already lying 2, you'd add that to Par Plus. So you'd enter a 6 in that scenario as well.

I don't understand the difference between the rule for unfinished hole vs. not playing under the rules. Does the 'unfinished hole' rule only apply to match play scores such that if I pick up when playing a non-competitive but HCP round I am not playing under the rules? So playing a round by myself if I hit OB and picked up for pace of play I would record (as currently written) par plus HCP strokes, yes? I would agree that your procedure is more accurate to most likely score for the hole as partially played. In the example on a par-4 where I did it it would be a '5' under par + HCP and a '7' (still under my ESC) for 'most likely'.

General question: for par + HCP which handicap do you use - actual or course?

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