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Changes to Handicap System for 2016 Released

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27 minutes ago, Rulesman said:

Many thanks.

I was discussing the proposed world wide system with someone from CONGU and they insisted that all USGA scores were entered hole by hole. I said I thought she was wrong but hadn't got access to my PC to confirm.

If anyone has any further info on proportion of scores etc I will open another thread as I don't want the threadjack this.

 I have never seen anyone enter a hole by hole score. 

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For what it is worth, the USGA clarified one issue with playing with someone you don't know or who is not really involved in your playing.

"It’s not considered playing alone when a player is accompanied during the round (e.g., fellow competitor, opponent, caddie, marker for a tournament, friend riding in golf cart). (Note: a player does not need to have a scorecard attested to verify it was an accompanied round.)"  [I added the bolding & underline]

Previous versions of the frequently asked questions did not have the "Note".

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What do you guys think of the new rule that we can't post solo rounds for handicap? In Washington, we can't post between November thru March. So starting March 1st this rule is in effect. I've been playing all winter and my game is improving. I'm a 9.2, but as of March 1st, I've played 4 rounds under 80, but could only post one score. I guess this rule is supposed to detour sandbaggers, but there is no way to police this, and cheaters will cheat. By not posting my scores, I feel like a sandbagger because my handicap doesn't reflect how I'm playing right now. 

http://golfweek.com/news/2015/nov/23/usga-handicap-golf-single-rounds-scores-peer-revie/

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I think the peer review rule is important. However, a lot of golfers do have an issue with this. IMHO, the rule is more to protect the integrity of the handicap system more than anything else.

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I understand the thinking behind it, but I think it's a terrible idea. Lots of golfers will end up with inaccurate caps (or no caps) because they will be recording such a low % of their rounds. I play most of my rounds alone and when I do play with others, it's often with strangers. Not sure how having a total stranger sign off on a score card is useful, it's not like a stranger is likely to have paid enough attention to my game to question my card. 

As far as I know, Golf Canada is not adopting the rule, so we can still post solo rounds here. 

One of the rags (Golf Digest, I think), wrote an editorial condemning the rule and is offering free handicap service to anyone who wants to maintain a non-official handicap. Ironically, these non-official handicaps will likely be far more accurate for a considerable portion of golfers. I suppose that for club members with weekly games and relatively steady playing partners, this rule makes sense, but for the rest of us lone-wolf, commando golfers it poses a real problem if you want to maintain a 100% legit handicap.

At the end of the day, as someone who only keeps a loose approximation of a handicap and never competes in tournaments, I don't really care all that much. 

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7 hours ago, Dholmes said:

What do you guys think of the new rule that we can't post solo rounds for handicap? In Washington, we can't post between November thru March. So starting March 1st this rule is in effect. I've been playing all winter and my game is improving. I'm a 9.2, but as of March 1st, I've played 4 rounds under 80, but could only post one score. I guess this rule is supposed to detour sandbaggers, but there is no way to police this, and cheaters will cheat. By not posting my scores, I feel like a sandbagger because my handicap doesn't reflect how I'm playing right now. 

http://golfweek.com/news/2015/nov/23/usga-handicap-golf-single-rounds-scores-peer-revie/

If you're talking about rounds you can't post because your season officially starts April 1, that's the same as it always was. Those scores can't be posted anyway.

1 hour ago, Ernest Jones said:

I understand the thinking behind it, but I think it's a terrible idea. Lots of golfers will end up with inaccurate caps (or no caps) because they will be recording such a low % of their rounds. I play most of my rounds alone and when I do play with others, it's often with strangers. Not sure how having a total stranger sign off on a score card is useful, it's not like a stranger is likely to have paid enough attention to my game to question my card.

The point of the handicap system is to generate correct handicaps when you're playing against someone else. That's the whole point of it. So it makes sense that it should only count when the scores derived are… played against (or at least with) someone else.

You play a lot by yourself. So what do you care about what your handicap is, except as perhaps a measure of your progress? If that's the only reason you care, well, keep track of your own handicap for your own knowledge - the scores you shoot playing against/with others are representative of what you shoot when playing against/with others, which is the only time handicaps are even used.

Plus, I don't think it's going to be all that inaccurate. Very few golfers have periods of rapid improvement or decline while ALSO playing the majority of those rounds alone.

Lastly, if you're the type of golfer who has a lower (or higher?) index when playing alone, again, the entire point is to have a handicap for when you play against others (or with others), so you could argue that your "solo handicap" was the misleading or wrong one.

1 hour ago, Ernest Jones said:

As far as I know, Golf Canada is not adopting the rule, so we can still post solo rounds here. 

I would wager that you'll be adopting it soon. I also think the USGA is putting this rule in to help with the 2018 (or 2020) world handicap thing…

1 hour ago, Ernest Jones said:

One of the rags (Golf Digest, I think), wrote an editorial condemning the rule and is offering free handicap service to anyone who wants to maintain a non-official handicap. Ironically, these non-official handicaps will likely be far more accurate for a considerable portion of golfers.

I don't think that's accurate, for two reasons:

  • The vast majority of golfers play golf with others.
  • Scores don't vary that much, and if they do, the score "with people" is the more accurate one.

Plus, how many people when playing alone hit extra balls or do other things that are quasi-practice and not in true spirit with "playing a round under the Rules of Golf"? I imagine quite a few.

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3 hours ago, Ernest Jones said:

I understand the thinking behind it, but I think it's a terrible idea. Lots of golfers will end up with inaccurate caps (or no caps) because they will be recording such a low % of their rounds. I play most of my rounds alone and when I do play with others, it's often with strangers. Not sure how having a total stranger sign off on a score card is useful, it's not like a stranger is likely to have paid enough attention to my game to question my card. 

As far as I know, Golf Canada is not adopting the rule, so we can still post solo rounds here. 

One of the rags (Golf Digest, I think), wrote an editorial condemning the rule and is offering free handicap service to anyone who wants to maintain a non-official handicap. Ironically, these non-official handicaps will likely be far more accurate for a considerable portion of golfers. I suppose that for club members with weekly games and relatively steady playing partners, this rule makes sense, but for the rest of us lone-wolf, commando golfers it poses a real problem if you want to maintain a 100% legit handicap.

At the end of the day, as someone who only keeps a loose approximation of a handicap and never competes in tournaments, I don't really care all that much. 

Golf Canada adopted the same "rule" in January.

http://golfcanada.ca/blogs/article/rules-and-rants/faq-playing-golf-alone/

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I agree with @iacas in everything he's posted above.  I understand that some people are unhappy with the change in the rule, but in the end, we all have to play by the same rules.  We all have to take a stroke-and-distance penalty for a lost ball or a ball that's OB, we all have to drop (not place) the ball for most relief situations, just to name a couple of rules that some golfers think are unfair.  Fair or not, those are the rules.  By the same token, we all have to post all of our acceptable scores, and ONLY our acceptable scores, in order to have a valid USGA handicap.  If you don't like the S&D penalty, or you don't like the handicap posting requirements, that's fine, do as you choose.  But I'm not interested in competing against you unless you're playing by the same rules as I am.  

 

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Previously, we were required to enter all rounds into the system, or at least we were supposed to enter them. Now those solo "quasi-practice rounds" can become full practice rounds without feeling bad about it. 

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5 hours ago, Jeremie Boop said:

In all honesty, I actually forgot about it... Though 18 of the 27 I played Sunday was with two other young guys so I can still post that part. I really think this rule is pretty garbage.

Why?

Your handicap is completely unimportant unless you're playing golf with other people. You can't compete alone.

If you want to track your scores/handicaps to judge whether you're getting better or not, keep doing it. It's really easy to calculate.

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6 minutes ago, iacas said:

Why?

Your handicap is completely unimportant unless you're playing golf with other people. You can't compete alone.

If you want to track your scores/handicaps to judge whether you're getting better or not, keep doing it. It's really easy to calculate.

Because if I plan to try to play in any tournaments, like the city tournament, I need to have a valid handicap. Given that I rarely ever get a chance to play with others in order to be able to post a round for handicap purposes it makes it much harder to keep a valid handicap. This wouldn't matter to me, but I do actually want to participate in the city this year. If I didn't want to do that, I could pretty much just go by my GG HC to know how much I'm improving. That said, maybe I'm over reacting because it's basically like someone saying they don't trust me to tell the truth about my score if I play alone. I just hate being called a liar.

 

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I wasn't sure how I felt about it and until I finally played with someone this year wasn't sure I'd even renew my ghin. The long winter layoff due to lots of unusual snow in CO had me off the course a long time. Boom the feel and groove of trying to smoke the guys I was paired with had me shooting a decent round. I dig it, I get lazy out there by myself.  

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Just now, Jeremie Boop said:

Because if I plan to try to play in any tournaments, like the city tournament, I need to have a valid handicap.

Then play with people. You're going to have to play with people in the city tournament, so practice by… playing with other people.

Just now, Jeremie Boop said:

Given that I rarely ever get a chance to play with others in order to be able to post a round for handicap purposes it makes it much harder to keep a valid handicap.

If you don't post a handicap round because you play alone from now until August, you still have a "valid handicap."

Just now, Jeremie Boop said:

This wouldn't matter to me, but I do actually want to participate in the city this year. If I didn't want to do that, I could pretty much just go by my GG HC to know how much I'm improving. That said, maybe I'm over reacting because it's basically like someone saying they don't trust me to tell the truth about my score if I play alone. I just hate being called a liar.

Yeah, the USGA is not calling people liars. :-)

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Just now, iacas said:

Then play with people. You're going to have to play with people in the city tournament, so practice by… playing with other people.

If you don't post a handicap round because you play alone from now until August, you still have a "valid handicap."

Yeah, the USGA is not calling people liars. :-)

You don't think I'd like to play with others? I just don't have people around that I know play golf, or the ones that do don't follow the rules, or they are on a completely different schedule as I'm on. I've tried for years to get some people I can play with even semi regularly. I do get some rounds in with the guys from down in Dayton, but that's not happening as often as it used to and it's a bit of a drive to go down there multiple times a month. True enough, I'll still have a "valid" handicap, but I wouldn't consider it all that accurate depending on any potential improvement I make between now and then. Coming in with a handicap that's not accurate to how I'm playing would probably not be very appreciated. Perhaps "liar" wasn't a fair word to use, but not being trusted to post legitimate scores sure makes it feel that way. Again, I freely admit I may be over-reacting.

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26 minutes ago, Jeremie Boop said:

Because if I plan to try to play in any tournaments, like the city tournament, I need to have a valid handicap. Given that I rarely ever get a chance to play with others in order to be able to post a round for handicap purposes it makes it much harder to keep a valid handicap. This wouldn't matter to me, but I do actually want to participate in the city this year. If I didn't want to do that, I could pretty much just go by my GG HC to know how much I'm improving. That said, maybe I'm over reacting because it's basically like someone saying they don't trust me to tell the truth about my score if I play alone. I just hate being called a liar.

 

I agree with this for the fact that I play a lot of rounds by myself. I usually get off of work in the summer and head right to the course so I can play a round before sunset. I don't understand why a solo round isn't credible but playing with a complete stranger that you're not competing with is. If I get paired up with someone, I will never call them out for improving their lie or picking up on the green because that's their business and it doesn't effect me. I could care less if they were recording the round for their handicap because in the end, they are pretty much doing the opposite of sandbagging and it will eventually come back to hurt them if they do indeed compete.

I know how to play by the rules and shooting a good round is only rewarding if you know you did it within the rules. The only other reason I can assume this rule was enacted is for the situations where you don't have anyone to consult if you do indeed have a question about a procedure. In that case, I usually just take the penalty or look up the actual ruling on my smart phone if the play is slow.

To be honest, I'm considering keeping my handicap this way again this year just for the fact that I feel it's far more accurate than to keep track of scores only at the chance that I'm paired with someone on the first tee.

Edited by Mop Bucket

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1 hour ago, Jeremie Boop said:

You don't think I'd like to play with others? I just don't have people around that I know play golf, or the ones that do don't follow the rules, or they are on a completely different schedule as I'm on. I've tried for years to get some people I can play with even semi regularly. I do get some rounds in with the guys from down in Dayton, but that's not happening as often as it used to and it's a bit of a drive to go down there multiple times a month. True enough, I'll still have a "valid" handicap, but I wouldn't consider it all that accurate depending on any potential improvement I make between now and then. Coming in with a handicap that's not accurate to how I'm playing would probably not be very appreciated. Perhaps "liar" wasn't a fair word to use, but not being trusted to post legitimate scores sure makes it feel that way. Again, I freely admit I may be over-reacting.

Just play with strangers and get grouped up with random people. Not that big a deal. I'm starting to play with the same people even though we are randomly grouped. I even met some people I want to play more often with as a result of it. Exchange numbers after the round, and you have instant partners for the next time around.

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33 minutes ago, Lihu said:

Just play with strangers and get grouped up with random people. Not that big a deal. I'm starting to play with the same people even though we are randomly grouped. I even met some people I want to play more often with as a result of it. Exchange numbers after the round, and you have instant partners for the next time around.

... I think people sometimes don't understand how much different it can be around here. There aren't many times that I can get grouped with random people. Typically it's me as a single and the rest of the people on the course are all foursomes or there aren't any other people really there. I can see how it may be different other places, but here I get maybe 3 or 4 chances to play with people. When I have that opportunity I usually try to take it. That's the only reason I played with the two younger guys Sunday, they were a twosome set to tee off after me and I offered to let them join me. However, that's a rarity, and typically the people I make the offer to decline.

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Note: This thread is 1038 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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