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woodzie264

"Winter rules" and HCP

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This is my first year carrying an official HCP and with the fall here (leaves covering areas of fairways) and winter on the way, how do we handle "lost" balls due to leaves in fairway and in rough and other seasonal hazards? Do we score those rounds? Before I carried a legit HCP, I would play the "leaf rule" giving myself a free drop in cases where I knew my ball was not truly lost from a poor shot, but just hidden. But now that I'm official, I want to do it correctly

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Don't know about VA, but handicapping season is over here in Ohio as of today. Dayton's muni courses stay open for casual play all year if the weather is ok, but they do shut down the restaurants, pick up the tee box and yardage markers and drop prices.

Generally, I don't even bother posting much after September due to the leaf issues. Even if I have company on a particular round, there's almost no way to post a clean round. I'm losing multiple balls.

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19 minutes ago, woodzie264 said:

and other seasonal hazards?

Course conditions change throughout the golf season, sometimes in a matter of moments.
There is no such condition as "seasonal hazards" and certainly no rulings.
Local rules cover winter play in many areas and most regions close score posting.

Golfer's handicaps do not reflect a single round above their 10 lowest scores, but it would when it's a lower score.
Granted it would suck to have a great round, possible a best round ever, loss due to losing a ball in leaf areas.
It happens to everyone, some will accept the fate while others do not.

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56 minutes ago, woodzie264 said:

... how do we handle "lost" balls due to leaves in fairway and in rough ...?...

The USGA, within their "Decisions" suggests a Local Rule for areas of a course with large accumulation of leaves.

33-8/31

 

Local Rule Providing Relief from Accumulations of Leaves Through the Green

The Committee may make a temporary Local Rule declaring accumulations of leaves through the green at certain holes to be ground under repair (see Definition of "Ground Under Repair") and Rule 25-1 will apply.

The Local Rule should be restricted to the hole(s) at which trouble with leaves occurs and it should be withdrawn as soon as conditions permit. Particular attention is drawn to the opening paragraph of Rule 25-1c; unless it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the leaves, it must be treated as lost elsewhere and Rule 27-1 applies.

If your course(s) does not have a "committee", your group could decide prior to the round to invoke this Local Rule.

1 hour ago, woodzie264 said:

This is my first year carrying an official HCP ... other seasonal hazards? Do we score those rounds? .. I want to do it correctly

Virginia allows posting of scores to your handicap year round.  If you play a round that qualifies to be posted, you should post.  I recommend you play the ball as it lies and accept the tougher scoring conditions.  Your handicap will truly reflect your ability in all conditions.

If/when the conditions are truly atrocious and you still want to play, declare the round a "practice round" before starting off and tromp all over the Rules (or not) and don't post the score.

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To add to what @bkuehn1952 has said, refer to Section 7 of the USGA Handicap Manual:

http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/Handicapping/handicap-manual.html#!rule-14383

That section says that when a local rule for preferred lies is in effect, scores must still be posted.  Although the section doesn't mention other local rules, such as the "leaf rule" that @bkuehn1952 cites, I'd say that the same should apply, those rounds should be posted.  Its also possible that a handicap committee could determine that conditions are simply too bad, so that scores shouldn't be posted.  The club pro or other manager might make this decision for casual play.  I'm in Northern Virginia, and have played rounds in wet conditions, in extreme winds (just two weeks ago), on mostly frozen fairways, while snow is falling, and in almost every case the round was required to be posted for handicap.  

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I don't keep a handicap, but if I did I honestly would only have practice rounds in the fall/winter. Here in NC our season is also year-round, but it does get much tougher to play on the muni's and my cheaper home course than say Spring/Summer. We're hybrid Bermuda fairways that get awfully matted, tough, and bumpy when the cold comes in. Also no fluff. 

Also, those same muni's and my home course aren't very good with the leaves. I lose a lot more balls in the fall than any other time of the year... and I know it's because of the leaves. The last thing I want to do is roll my ankle so I typically won't even look that hard for my ball even if I knew it ended up find. Being that I play practice rounds that time of the year for this, it makes it a lot less frustrating.

So I just wouldn't record them, personally. But that's up to you.

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3 minutes ago, jkelley9 said:

So I just wouldn't record them, personally. But that's up to you.

Here's the thing.  If you're going to keep an official USGA handicap, you're required to follow the USGA rules for handicaps.  There are certainly a few judgments you make along the way, such as what your most likely score would be for a hole you don't complete, but whether or not to post your score isn't one of them.  That's why I referenced the USGA Handicap Manual, so those of us who are new to keeping a handicap can read the requirements for themselves.  

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1 minute ago, DaveP043 said:

Here's the thing.  If you're going to keep an official USGA handicap, you're required to follow the USGA rules for handicaps.  There are certainly a few judgments you make along the way, such as what your most likely score would be for a hole you don't complete, but whether or not to post your score isn't one of them.  That's why I referenced the USGA Handicap Manual, so those of us who are new to keeping a handicap can read the requirements for themselves.  

I thought that per the rules you're allowed to declare a "practice round" if you indicate as such prior to your first tee shot? This is what I do. I don't just lose a ball and say "Meh, I just won't record this round." I just know in those months I'm only going to be playing practice rounds.

Is that a violation of the rules? 

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About the only "winter" rules we see out here (most of the time) is casual water, or possibly ice in those casual water areas. 

Some days I play for a score, other days are for just "goofing off" with friends. When playing for a score, it gets counted no matter what the weather is and/or what the rules allow for. 

I figure in the end,  my scoes/hdcp will equal out over time anyways, so it's not a big deal when living in the desert southwest. 

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3 minutes ago, jkelley9 said:

I thought that per the rules you're allowed to declare a "practice round" if you indicate as such prior to your first tee shot? This is what I do. I don't just lose a ball and say "Meh, I just won't record this round." I just know in those months I'm only going to be playing practice rounds.

Is that a violation of the rules? 

You're welcome to review the rules for yourself ( http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/Handicapping/handicap-manual.html#!rule-14379, Section 5), but I see no provision for declaring a "practice round".  Section 5-1.e outlines which scores you do NOT post.  You've said you don't keep an official handicap, so you're free to make your own choices.

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On 11/1/2016 at 8:05 AM, woodzie264 said:

This is my first year carrying an official HCP and with the fall here (leaves covering areas of fairways) and winter on the way, how do we handle "lost" balls due to leaves in fairway and in rough and other seasonal hazards? Do we score those rounds? Before I carried a legit HCP, I would play the "leaf rule" giving myself a free drop in cases where I knew my ball was not truly lost from a poor shot, but just hidden. But now that I'm official, I want to do it correctly

A hidden ball that is not found is still lost, is it not?

 

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39 minutes ago, jkelley9 said:

I don't keep a handicap, but if I did I honestly would only have practice rounds in the fall/winter. Here in NC our season is also year-round, but it does get much tougher to play on the muni's and my cheaper home course than say Spring/Summer. We're hybrid Bermuda fairways that get awfully matted, tough, and bumpy when the cold comes in. Also no fluff. 

Also, those same muni's and my home course aren't very good with the leaves. I lose a lot more balls in the fall than any other time of the year... and I know it's because of the leaves. The last thing I want to do is roll my ankle so I typically won't even look that hard for my ball even if I knew it ended up find. Being that I play practice rounds that time of the year for this, it makes it a lot less frustrating.

So I just wouldn't record them, personally. But that's up to you.

So 12.5T is your best guess?

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23 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

You're welcome to review the rules for yourself ( http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/Handicapping/handicap-manual.html#!rule-14379, Section 5), but I see no provision for declaring a "practice round".  Section 5-1.e outlines which scores you do NOT post.  You've said you don't keep an official handicap, so you're free to make your own choices.

I've spent 10 minutes looking through the rules. I can't even find a reference to "practice round."

To me, it looks like the rules of golf are explaining what disqualifies you from recording rounds under several situations. However, the underlying intention of every rule I read is under the assumption that the player is actively seeking to post a round for handicapping purposes.

Are you not allowed to just "play a round of golf." I swear there used to (or is, but I haven't found it) a mention of declaring a practice round on the first tee box and therefor you do not have to record the round for handicapping purposes.

Again, I don't keep a handicap, so it doesn't matter to me much. I WOULD be keeping one this year (I started golf a little less than 2 years ago) except the USGA redacted the ability to record solo rounds. Which I'm sure most people are aware of. So... thanks USGA... for that. When they decided on that rule, my "caring" about any personal handicap went to near-zero.

4 minutes ago, Natural Patrick said:

So 12.5T is your best guess?

Yea so I looked up the variations of posting some type of skill level of a golfer without being an "official handicap index." There were 5 or 6 variations of posting. I was looking for a way to say "look, this is what scores I've posted but they're unofficial" but apparently a 'U' means something other than "unofficial," if I'm remembering correctly.

My 12.5T "trend" is from my personal scoring when playing with others and adhering to the rules of golf. 

I didn't know until a couple days ago that I can type anything into the box there on TST. So proabbly I need to just go back and put "I shoot in the 80's." I'd be content with that. Since some people may get all butthurt over me putting 12.5T when it's not "official."

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10 minutes ago, jkelley9 said:

I've spent 10 minutes looking through the rules. I can't even find a reference to "practice round."

To me, it looks like the rules of golf are explaining what disqualifies you from recording rounds under several situations. However, the underlying intention of every rule I read is under the assumption that the player is actively seeking to post a round for handicapping purposes.

Are you not allowed to just "play a round of golf." I swear there used to (or is, but I haven't found it) a mention of declaring a practice round on the first tee box and therefor you do not have to record the round for handicapping purposes.

I did find a reference to a "practice round" in the decisions:

Quote

An exception would occur if, for example, a player plays 27 holes in one day, and the first nine is a practice round. If this were the case, the nine-hole practice round would be posted as a nine-hole score, and the subsequent two nine-hole rounds would be combined to form an 18-hole score.

The practice 9 is posted, assuming its acceptable in all other ways.

The assumption is that the player is trying to make the lowest score possible on each hole in every round.  If you're doing that, you are required post the score, assuming those other conditions are met.  There are a few exceptions I'd accept, from my position on a handicap committee.  Say a player is trying out some clubs, so he's hitting a drive on each hole with two different drivers, or making multiple chip shots to try out wedges, that kind of thing would invalidate the score for posting purposes.  A round played when taking a playing lesson on the course isn't posted.  A practice round that's played like the pro's do, checking out different pins, chipping from different angles, trying different clubs of tees, all prior to a competition, that's a legit practice round, and not posted.  Remember, if you're doing all that, you're not playing under the rules of golf, that's why the exception applies. But those should be a small minority of the rounds played, not the norm.

As for what the rules used to say about practice rounds, I don't really know.  As for what the rules might say in the future, assuming we end up with a globally unified handicap system, I really don't know!  

 

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@DaveP043 thanks for the info. I feel like there's a grey area here. I think that the examples you gave about being a playing lesson, multiple drivers, etc don't conform to the rules of golf to begin with, so I don't think those examples would even be in the discretionary category (committee)? 

What I'm talking about is me being me and saying "I'm going to play as much to the Rules of Golf that I possibly can" with a group of fellas, and not do anything intentional to sabotage my own score to be force-omitted from being recorded. 

For example, say I'm playing with a bunch of guys who play to the Rules of Golf and keep accurate handicaps. We finish hole #18 and I've played to the rules of golf, myself, as have they. Say I do keep a handicap (but we know I don't, but say I was sitting on a 10.1 HCI and I cared about soon becoming a single-digit player [of course, the definition of a 'single-digit' player varies between people... but I digress]) but I wanted to go out and just have a good time and not worry about it and just to have fun and drink a few beers (which I also think is acceptable in recording rounds). Do the Rules of Golf say that I have to post that round, if I'm (wanting to) keep a valid, accurate handicap?

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