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

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I see little point in discussing that. It virtually never happens.

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'.

That's basically the entire discussion. And no, there's not agreement on that right now.

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

If your course handicap is 14, P+H means you bogey any of the 1-14 handicap holes and par any of the 15-18 holes.

If you're asking about the handicap index versus the "course handicap" it's the second that we're talking about. You can be a 12.3 index but get 14 strokes on the course. Or 10. Your index has a decimal point, your course handicap does not.

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I see little point in discussing that. It virtually never happens.

That's basically the entire discussion. And no, there's not agreement on that right now.

If your course handicap is 14, P+H means you bogey any of the 1-14 handicap holes and par any of the 15-18 holes.

If you're asking about the handicap index versus the "course handicap" it's the second that we're talking about. You can be a 12.3 index but get 14 strokes on the course. Or 10. Your index has a decimal point, your course handicap does not.

So even among rules officials it's not clear whether a hole with a pickup is an unfinished hole vs unplayed hole (under the rules which typically require holing out)?

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So even among rules officials it's not clear whether a hole with a pickup is an unfinished hole vs unplayed hole (under the rules which typically require holing out)?

There's unanimous agreement among those I've talked to. @Fourputt and maybe one other disagree here.

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There's unanimous agreement among those I've talked to. @Fourputt and maybe one other disagree here.

Works for me, then. Since most of my pickups occur with tee balls L/OB I would expect my 'most likely' score to be par + HCP plus stroke & penalties incurred on the unfinished / partial hole.

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Works for me, then. Since most of my pickups occur with tee balls L/OB I would expect my 'most likely' score to be par + HCP plus stroke & penalties incurred on the unfinished / partial hole.

To be fair I've talked to under a dozen people at this point. They're in the handicapping departments of various groups, but still… it's a high single digits number (or maybe low double?).

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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.

I don't believe the USGA set up these two rules to deal with sandbaggers.  In reading the rules, and the examples, and the decisions, I don't see anything that directly addresses the situation we've talked about, i.e. unexpectedly lost balls or OB.  The examples talk about conceded strokes on one hand, and a hole not played due to maintenance on the other.  Anyone trying to add strokes by intentionally incurring penalties is definitely not playing in accordance with the principles of the rules, but someone who has accidentally fired a couple of his ProV1's over a fence or into the hay doesn't deserve that label, or the lower (penalizing from a handicap standpoint) score that P+H would require.

I do believe the USGA would prefer not to have handicaps manipulated, which is why the local Handicap Committee is given such broad authority to increase, decrease, or even withdraw a player's handicap.

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I don't believe the USGA set up these two rules to deal with sandbaggers.  In reading the rules, and the examples, and the decisions, I don't see anything that directly addresses the situation we've talked about, i.e. unexpectedly lost balls or OB.  The examples talk about conceded strokes on one hand, and a hole not played due to maintenance on the other.  Anyone trying to add strokes by intentionally incurring penalties is definitely not playing in accordance with the principles of the rules, but someone who has accidentally fired a couple of his ProV1's over a fence or into the hay doesn't deserve that label, or the lower (penalizing from a handicap standpoint) score that P+H would require.

I do believe the USGA would prefer not to have handicaps manipulated, which is why the local Handicap Committee is given such broad authority to increase, decrease, or even withdraw a player's handicap.

I wasn't doing any labeling. I think the 'most likely score' with strokes played on a pickup in a casual round vs. is reasonable if the goal is accuracy. I was just thinking about why the different treatment of scores and possible roots in formation of HCP rules long ago.

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For me, here's what I've done to date:

Scenario 1:   Two different scenarios for me.   If the ball is near OB/Hazard/area where finding is difficult like high grass or woods, then I have to assume it's in those areas and play accordingly.   For hazard I take 1 stroke and play under RoG.   For OB or an area where it could have been lost I have dropped a ball and then added 2 to my score since both Lost Ball and OB are stroke + distance.

However if the ball is near nothing and very clearly did not go out of play, then I take a drop to the closet point where I think the ball was and proceed with out penalty.   My course has a couple of areas where plugged balls are frequent and if you and your opponents/other players agree that it clearly was in play, then you may drop w/o penalty.   This happened to me on Wednesday.   First hole I hit a shot that I watched and it cleared trouble.   The ground is very wet and the ball would have come in high. I was alone, but knowing the ball cleared trouble, I did not take a penalty and went to the place most likely that the ball would have hit.

Scenario 2:  I take ESC.   I am not good enough to have a miracle eagle save me if I put two balls out of play.  I hate not finishing a hole, so I would play what I could to not hold up the course and take my ESC on the card.  I think whenever this has happened, I declare "give me my max" and then drop a ball so I don't sit in the cart bored.

Scenario 3:  I take ESC because I did not properly hit a provisional ball and I basically there is no option available to me but to say "I screwed up".

However, after reading this, it seems like this is what I should to for each scenario:

1 -  Take par + handicap

2 -  Take ESC

3 -  Take par + handicap

My thinking is that the rules have always been penalizing, however I can see the reverse here.   This helps not inflate handicaps for an error in judgement, not hitting a bad shot.  The error in judgment on #1 and #3 is not hitting a second ball as a provisional.   However if you keep an honest handicap, if you keep getting into that situation enough will raise your handicap.   For #2, If I hit multiple balls off the tee, it is clear I am going over my ESC.   I would never pick up and take par + handicap.

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I hope no one minds that I continued this conversation under a new thread...

@Lihu - I know you were kind of joking, but I think under the circumstances, it would be hard to argue I'd have likely shot anything lower than my ESC (or an 8). The score I wrote on my scorecard was a 9 which my playing partner agreed was fair. I agree on posting "random" scores, but I don't believe it applies here.

I had just hit 2 shots out of bounds. If I had played the hole by the rules, I'd be back at the tee shooting my 5th shot on a par 4. From that point on, I'd have had to "birdie" the hole to shoot a 7, right? But I'm unsure of how the review system works with HC committees.

Here's the hole in question. The tee shot represents my provisional (3rd shot) and it landed just out of bounds...

Off-topic...

Spoiler

Not to muddy the waters but for full disclosure, I did birdie this hole the next time through because I used a 5w off the tee and kept it in bounds, Lol. I don't believe that would be relevant though as it brings all kinds of subjectivity into play... something I'm trying to avoid. (I average less than 1 birdie per round.)

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23 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

Not to muddy the waters but for full disclosure, I did birdie this hole the next time through because I used a 5w off the tee and kept it in bounds, Lol. I don't believe that would be relevant though as it brings all kinds of subjectivity into play... something I'm trying to avoid. (I average less than 1 birdie per round.)

There you go, that's why you have a 22 HC or possibly better if you continue to score birdies.

BTW, we probably could have put this into the thread Erik quoted in the Grint thread. . .

Edited by Lihu

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