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Playing a Round of Golf Solo

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I still question the worth of this rule.....I am retired, my playing partners are not, so I do play a lot of solo rounds.  But what does posting or not posting matter?

I play with my friends, go home and post my score online, they are not looking over my shoulder, does it count?

I play at my home course with one other player I only know casually, we both keep our own scorecards, really could care less what the other person scores, does it count?

I play away at a course, I am paired up with 3 strangers, I play my round, never see them again, then post my score, does it count?

Nobody's called me yet to say these scores do or don't count, or ask who witnessed them.  The concept behind the rule is supposedly to achieve more honest scores for handicaps, right?  I can see no way it has ANY affect, other than penalizing the solo golfer and questioning his integrity.

I want to have an honest handicap that best reflects my abilities, both good and bad, but posting rounds I play with others would only be about 20% to 25% of my scores.  With greater than 75%  not being counted, it can only skew the results, not better reflect reality.

Edited by metbid

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4 minutes ago, metbid said:

I still question the worth of this rule.....I am retired, my playing partners are not, so I do play a lot of solo rounds.  But what does posting or not posting matter?

I play with my friends, go home and post my score online, they are not looking over my shoulder, does it count?

I play at my home course with one other player I only know casually, we both keep our own scorecards, really could care less what the other person scores, does it count?

I play away at a course, I am paired up with 3 strangers, I play my round, never see them again, then post my score, does it count?

Nobody's called me yet to say these scores do or don't count, or ask who witnessed them.  The concept behind the rule is supposedly to achieve more honest scores for handicaps, right?  I can see no way it has ANY affect, other than penalizing the solo golfer and questioning his integrity.

I want to have an honest handicap that best reflects my abilities both good and bad, posting rounds I play with others would only be about 20% to 25% of my scores.  With greater than 75%  not being counted, it can only skew the results, not better reflect reality.

Agreed. It's like gun control laws in that they only hurt the law biding citizen, but in no way curtail the accessibility to criminals who will get their guns anyway. This rule only penalizes the honest golfer and in no way checks the cheater.

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4 minutes ago, iacas said:

Where was that written?

The closest, I think, is from the USGA here and here.

Quote

Why will scores made while playing alone no longer be eligible for posting?

Primarily, to support a key tenet of the USGA Handicap System: peer review. Knowing golfers rely on the integrity of the system to produce an accurate view of playing ability, this change helps golfers form a better basis to support or dispute scores that have been posted to a player’s scoring record.

Quote
Handicapping FAQs

Section 5

Playing Alone

Q.  Can a score from a round played alone be posted? Are there any exceptions? 

A.  Playing an entire round alone/unaccompanied doesn’t meet the definition of "peer review," which is essentially having a reasonable and regular opportunity to play golf with others and the ability to form a reasonable basis for supporting or disputing a score that has been posted. These scores are unacceptable

While they don't use the word "honesty," they indicate that peer review of posted scores is their primary reason. Mentioning disputing scores could imply an honesty issue, but also might refer to lack of compliance with RoG out of ignorance of the rules.

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3 minutes ago, Missouri Swede said:

The closest, I think, is from the USGA here and here.

While they don't use the word "honesty," they indicate that peer review of posted scores is their primary reason. Mentioning disputing scores could imply an honesty issue, but also might refer to lack of compliance with RoG out of ignorance of the rules.

Yes, peer review is an important part. If people can only post scores that were played with other golfers, a club's handicap committee can investigate more easily.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

Yes, peer review is an important part. If people can only post scores that were played with other golfers, a club's handicap committee can investigate more easily.

But as has been noted before, it doesn't have to be a golfer. 

Do the other handicap systems require the "accompanying person" be a golfer? (If so, the USGA might be expected to change that in the future, if they are to be unified.)

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3 hours ago, metbid said:

I still question the worth of this rule.....I am retired, my playing partners are not, so I do play a lot of solo rounds.  But what does posting or not posting matter?

I play with my friends, go home and post my score online, they are not looking over my shoulder, does it count?

I play at my home course with one other player I only know casually, we both keep our own scorecards, really could care less what the other person scores, does it count?

I play away at a course, I am paired up with 3 strangers, I play my round, never see them again, then post my score, does it count?

Nobody's called me yet to say these scores do or don't count, or ask who witnessed them.  The concept behind the rule is supposedly to achieve more honest scores for handicaps, right?  I can see no way it has ANY affect, other than penalizing the solo golfer and questioning his integrity.

I want to have an honest handicap that best reflects my abilities, both good and bad, but posting rounds I play with others would only be about 20% to 25% of my scores.  With greater than 75%  not being counted, it can only skew the results, not better reflect reality.

Since the  only real reason for carrying an official handicap is to play in competition, doesn't it make sense to play handicap eligible rounds with other people, just as you would be required to do in a tournament?  Some players play worse when alone, others play better.  That can be in part due to the difference in the speed of the game, or in the uneven flow when a single is playing on a course filled with mostly other groups.  In either case it doesn't do a very good job of simulating the play of a four player group in the typical competition round.

Another point made previously in this thread, but maybe missed by a late participant, is that this is nothing new.  Until the mid 90's, all players carrying a USGA handicap were required to return a physical scorecard, signed and attested, for every qualifying round.  The new regulation is much less stringent than that, so I find all of the complaining about it to be rather amusing.  

If the various handicap systems around the world end up being unified as has been rumored, then I have a feeling that the rule will become even more strict than it is right now. 

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44 minutes ago, Missouri Swede said:

But as has been noted before, it doesn't have to be a golfer. 

Do the other handicap systems require the "accompanying person" be a golfer? (If so, the USGA might be expected to change that in the future, if they are to be unified.)

I think that the upcoming world handicap system is a big part of why they made this change, in fact…

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8 hours ago, Fourputt said:

The new regulation is much less stringent than that, so I find all of the complaining about it to be rather amusing.

I'm glad you are amused, but I really wasn't complaining, I was airing a concern about not having a handicap the truly reflected my abilities.  If we still had to turn in signed cards, that would make more sense than the current way.  I was pointing out that the new method was as fallible as posting solo rounds, and not a very accurate way to rate a player.

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2 hours ago, metbid said:

I'm glad you are amused, but I really wasn't complaining, I was airing a concern about not having a handicap the truly reflected my abilities.  If we still had to turn in signed cards, that would make more sense than the current way.  I was pointing out that the new method was as fallible as posting solo rounds, and not a very accurate way to rate a player.

Sure it is.  It's still assumed that the great majority will follow the rules and post honest scores, and the few who try to abuse the system have at least a slightly better chance of being found out.  No guarantees - even when we had to return cards, cheaters found a way around it at clubs where the handicap committee was not very proactive.

The handicap system isn't designed to rate players anyway.  It's function is to provide a more or less level playing field for competition among players of differing abilities.  If you return honestly reported qualifying scores, your handicap will still be accurate, even if the total number of qualified scores isn't as great.  The only time when it will really affect anything is during periods of improvement or decline, when it will take more time for the changes to become apparent.  

In most of Europe, handicap eligible scores can only be returned from competitions or sanctioned rounds.  Here in the US for the moment at least, we are still being trusted to return only those scores which conform to the new policies, but we can still use scores from casual play as long as we play with at least one other person.

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12 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

Sure it is.  It's still assumed that the great majority will follow the rules and post honest scores, and the few who try to abuse the system have at least a slightly better chance of being found out.  No guarantees - even when we had to return cards, cheaters found a way around it at clubs where the handicap committee was not very proactive.

The handicap system isn't designed to rate players anyway.  It's function is to provide a more or less level playing field for competition among players of differing abilities.  If you return honestly reported qualifying scores, your handicap will still be accurate, even if the total number of qualified scores isn't as great.  The only time when it will really affect anything is during periods of improvement or decline, when it will take more time for the changes to become apparent.  

In most of Europe, handicap eligible scores can only be returned from competitions or sanctioned rounds.  Here in the US for the moment at least, we are still being trusted to return only those scores which conform to the new policies, but we can still use scores from casual play as long as we play with at least one other person.

Funny thing, I use GameGolf for just about all my rounds and I only post my rounds for handicap if I have someone with me and they both come out with pretty much the same HC number. So, for anyone curious how much impact not being able to post all your rounds really has, it's pretty minimal. Typically the two are within .5 of each other.

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16 hours ago, metbid said:

I still question the worth of this rule.....I am retired, my playing partners are not, so I do play a lot of solo rounds.  But what does posting or not posting matter?

I play with my friends, go home and post my score online, they are not looking over my shoulder, does it count?

I play at my home course with one other player I only know casually, we both keep our own scorecards, really could care less what the other person scores, does it count?

I play away at a course, I am paired up with 3 strangers, I play my round, never see them again, then post my score, does it count?

Nobody's called me yet to say these scores do or don't count, or ask who witnessed them.  The concept behind the rule is supposedly to achieve more honest scores for handicaps, right?  I can see no way it has ANY affect, other than penalizing the solo golfer and questioning his integrity.

I want to have an honest handicap that best reflects my abilities, both good and bad, but posting rounds I play with others would only be about 20% to 25% of my scores.  With greater than 75%  not being counted, it can only skew the results, not better reflect reality.

I think it cuts both ways.   By requiring solo rounds posted, it allows people to cheat by putting in whatever they want.  I'm sure my playing partners don't know if I shot an 85 vs an 87 when we play...but if you are playing well and they see you put in a 95 then it's more of a red flag.

However I also see the other side of this, and my old caddy master told me that people did this.   You can have an index that is not reflective (and higher than it should be) because you play a lot of solo rounds so your game is in better shape than your index reflects.  So you could game the system by playing solo and not posting to bring it down.

So they took action to prevent the unverified scores.  I don't agree with it.  But people will find a way to game the system no matter what.

To answer the questions, I suppose the intent is that if possible you could ask whoever you played with if the score posted seems real.  Or the intent could be that playing with other people is a check and you won't pull a fast one with anyone else present.

Edited by imsys0042

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So, then, should I not count the round with a casual acquaintance, or the three strangers at an away course?  Should I only be posting my rounds with my normal playing partners if I am at the clubhouse with them in attendance?  Plus any tournament verified scores?  Why have Internet posting of scores available at all?  I am not trying to be facetious or contentious, I would like honest answers to these questions for guidance.

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38 minutes ago, metbid said:

So, then, should I not count the round with a casual acquaintance, or the three strangers at an away course?  Should I only be posting my rounds with my normal playing partners if I am at the clubhouse with them in attendance?  Plus any tournament verified scores?  Why have Internet posting of scores available at all?  I am not trying to be facetious or contentious, I would like honest answers to these questions for guidance.

The rule says you post them if you are not unaccompanied.  It does not request bloodlines, or friendship history.

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1 hour ago, metbid said:

So, then, should I not count the round with a casual acquaintance, or the three strangers at an away course?  Should I only be posting my rounds with my normal playing partners if I am at the clubhouse with them in attendance?  Plus any tournament verified scores?  Why have Internet posting of scores available at all?  I am not trying to be facetious or contentious, I would like honest answers to these questions for guidance.

First, if you have questions as to which scores you are required to post, you can refer to the USGA Handicap Manual:

http://www.usga.org/Handicapping/handicap-manual.html#!rule-14379

Simply put, post all scores that are played with another person, and are played in accordance with the rules of golf.  If you play at least 7 holes, post a 9 hole score, if you play 13 or more, post an 18 hole score.  There are some more details, but that's the main points,

As to why allow internet posting, I believe (my opinion here, not verified fact) that the USGA has made a decision to make posting of scores as easy as possible, with the goal being to capture as many postable scores as possible.  As @iacas mentioned earlier, we're probably going to be seeing more changes to our handicap system in the next couple of years, so don't get too accustomed to the current set-up.  Just do your best to follow the rules as they are.

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