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woodzie264

How important is your handicap to you?

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On 10/25/2016 at 4:34 PM, Pretzel said:

Playing individually against a high handicapper I have no large complaints (other than my course putting a par 3 as the #1 handicap hole...)

When one person quite literally has to play like a hall of fame golfer to have a chance at winning or tying, it's generally not a fair system 

Making a par 3 as the number 1 handicap hole is rather odd.  That makes me guess that your club has actually collected hole-by-hole scoring records and determined that the hole in question actually deserves to be the number 1 hole, that is, this is the hole where the difference between high-handicapper scores and low-handicapper scores is the greatest.  I understand that you don't want to give a stroke on a par 3, but it just might be the right thing to do.  On the other hand, you won't give a stroke on some other hole where your opponent would probably need it to halve the hole.  

As for your chances of winning in a large-field event, the problem isn't with the handicap system, the problem is with the way those events are organized.  You might consider talking with some of the other low handicappers, and get together to present a case to the tournament organizers for flighting these tournaments

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52 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

At 5 or 6 if you shoot 74 as your best usually (I am sure there are a couple of 72-73 in there..:-) too), then that's a -3 or a -4. Just like a 22 would have to break 90 (in a tourney!).  

I still think a large part of the reason high cappers win is because in most single day things there simply are MORE of them.

I also think in large groups with bunch of high cappers you run into more sandbaggers. I don't know, I just don't expect to come home with anything in these type of tourneys. Just too many fliers.

 

I would agree with both of these.

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52 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

At 5 or 6 if you shoot 74 as your best usually (I am sure there are a couple of 72-73 in there..:-) too), then that's a -3 or a -4. Just like a 22 would have to break 90 (in a tourney!).  

I still think a large part of the reason high cappers win is because in most single day things there simply are MORE of them.

I also think in large groups with bunch of high cappers you run into more sandbaggers. I don't know, I just don't expect to come home with anything in these type of tourneys. Just too many fliers.

 

It's more based on the spread of scores.  If we take a 5 and make him shoot lights out, it might be even.  If we have a 25 shoot lights out, it would be closer to 16 or 17 over.   Typically, I think higher handicappers will have more penalty strokes, so just by taking a couple of those away, the score is much better.  It's hard to find as many of those strokes on lower handicappers.  Granted yes you have to do that in a tourney, but like golflug said, there are usually a lot of them and it only takes one or two of them to have a good day to get a low net.

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1 hour ago, GolfLug said:

I still think a large part of the reason high cappers win is because in most single day things there simply are MORE of them.

I'm not so sure.  Based on the data reported by Dean Knuth, as well as a similar table from the USGA Handicap Manual's Appendix E, a higher-handicap player is more likely to shoot a low net score than a lower handicap player.  He's also more likely to shoot a higher net score score too, but we don't often argue about the guys who play poorly.  If you had a group of 40 players, half of them 20-handicaps and and the other half at 5, chances are that  the low net score would come from one of the 20's.  If the numbers of players at each level were even, its not an overwhelming probability, but when you combine the distributions of scores for different handicap ranges with the larger number of higher-handicap players (as you mention), the odds tilt more heavily toward a higher-handicapper shooting the low net round.

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On 10/25/2016 at 1:34 PM, Pretzel said:

Their best 10 rounds has a much wider range than my best ten. My best ten rounds are all within 2 strokes of each other, looking at my differentials. Their best ten rounds probably have a range of around 5-10 strokes, depending on their handicap. This means that if they match their best round of the last twenty, they're playing between 3 and 5 strokes better than their handicap. If I match my best round of the last twenty, I'm playing 1 stroke better than my handicap.

Playing individually against a high handicapper I have no large complaints (other than my course putting a par 3 as the #1 handicap hole...), the system works out over time to level the playing field if I play the same person repeatedly. Playing against a full field of people in a net tournament is when it irritates me to no end, and I'll explain why using the table of probabilities for exceptional tournament scores here: http://www.popeofslope.com/sandbagging/odds.html

 

Makes sense when playing against a group of players that the low HI player is at a disadvantage.

But because of the higher variance of the higher HI, the higher HI is at a disadvantage and will lose more often than they win.  The higher handicap player would win most of the time when they play better than their handicap (about 25% of the time), but lose most of the time when they play worse than their handicap (about 75% of the time). 

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On 10/25/2016 at 1:14 PM, DaveP043 said:

Isn't it funny, that each of us, no matter which end of the spectrum we fall on, feels like we're at a disadvantage when playing someone with a substantially different handicap?  I have no idea whether these two individuals' statistics really bear out their claims, or if its more a matter of perception, but there's no way that both experiences can be generally valid for the full population of golfers.

I think expectations may have a bit to do with it. A higher HCP player would usually 'expect' to lose to a better player so it's not surprising to them when they do even if HCP is supposed to 'even things out'. Flipping it around, losing to a 'lesser player' seems to leave a more memorable sting for the better player.

Also, besides having a larger variance in the best of 10 scores, a higher HCP player is much more likely than a lower HCP player to be on an improving trend. Even if a lower HCP player is still getting better, they are likely improving at a slower rate than a higher HCP who is also improving. A lower HCP player is usually closer to their potential physical skill limit than a higher HCP player who hasn't been playing that long.

While I accept that there are some out there, I've wondered whether the general perception of 'lots' of sandbaggers was due largely to these effects. I can't believe I lost, the other guy must be a cheat.

Edited by natureboy

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16 minutes ago, natureboy said:

Also, besides having a larger variance in the best of 10 scores, a higher HCP player is much more likely than a lower HCP player to be on an improving trend. Even if a lower HCP player is still getting better, they are likely improving at a slower rate than a higher HCP who is also improving. A lower HCP player is usually closer to their potential physical skill limit than a higher HCP player who hasn't been playing that long.

Never considered that...good point

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7 hours ago, No Mulligans said:

But because of the higher variance of the higher HI, the higher HI is at a disadvantage and will lose more often than they win.  The higher handicap player would win most of the time when they play better than their handicap (about 25% of the time), but lose most of the time when they play worse than their handicap (about 75% of the time). 

Like I mentioned, I have fewer issues with the system when I play against a single high handicap golfer (preferably multiple times) because it balances out in the long run and the USGA "bonus for excellence" (that .96 multiplier at the end of the calculation) is calibrated such that the lower handicap golfer is supposed to win ~60% of the time when playing against an individual competitor a large number of times. I know that the odds are in my favor if I play against a high handicapped individual, and the odds are against me if I play against a high handicapped field (hence the reason for flighted competition over multiple days, to level the playing field for everyone as best as possible).

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It's important to me only in that it gives me one other indicator to measure my progress.  I don't compete and none of the guys I play with regularly maintain official handicaps (we usually give each other strokes more or less based on our history playing against one another, which usually entails a fair amount of pre-round negotiations).         

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40 minutes ago, GangGreen said:

It's important to me only in that it gives me one other indicator to measure my progress.  I don't compete and none of the guys I play with regularly maintain official handicaps (we usually give each other strokes more or less based on our history playing against one another, which usually entails a fair amount of pre-round negotiations).         

and a bit more fun and calling for more  "poker" skills. 

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On 10/20/2016 at 5:59 PM, woodzie264 said:

So lately I feel like I'm obsessing over my Hcp, which is due to my recent improvements (which I'm excited about). But I've noticed that the times I play my best is when I approach my rounds with the nonchalant attitude of "I'm not concerned about my score today, but just hoping that today's round will make me a better golfer in the long run." So I think my obsessing over it may actually have the inverse effect of what I want. I realize that the handicap falling is only a reflection of my game improving and so focus should be on my game...not the handicap, but yet I get focused the scores I need to lower my handicap. I suppose as things plateau for me this excitement will fade.

Can anyone relate?

I feel the same way so much so that there is no such thing as practice round.  Every casual round, I do my best to score the best I can so that I can improve my HI.   

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On 11/3/2016 at 6:29 PM, rkim291968 said:

I feel the same way so much so that there is no such thing as practice round.  Every casual round, I do my best to score the best I can so that I can improve my HI.   

IDK if I agree with this statement. . .

Practice rounds can be fun and interesting because you can try out stuff you don't know for sure works or not, but playing "outside the box" can lead to improvements in score and make the game more interesting. . .

Generally, handicap is important to golfers who want to improve. Some people just score and post and don't really look at it while others don't even post any more because it's possibly just not worth the effort to them, and, in my case, I just don't really care any more as I've met my improvement goals and now just play for fun. I get out and shoot in the 70s one day then a 98 on the next. No big deal, really. Some golfers I know have this attitude as well. It takes pressure off and makes it a fun game to play.

Lately, I've also taken up playing pool (8 ball and 9 ball), and it's kind of the same thing. I can run a table (like shooting in the 70s), or flop around not getting any balls in for 3 or more turns (like shooting a 98). It's still fun no matter how well I shoot any given game, just don't track it and it can be fun.

That's kind of how I see practice rounds. In fact that's kind of how I see all rounds these days.

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