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lastings

Wind, weather, and handicaps..

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So..   I have a question for y'all.  

I've been working hard to reduce my handicap (basically, been working hard to become a better player and would like my handicap to reflect that).   

Yesterday I was playing a course called The Prairie Club in Valentine, NE.   
--Side note:  If you are ever traveling through the sand hills of Nebraska, I highly, highly recommend this course.   it's absolutely great.--  

Anyways, while I was playing the wind was absolutely absurd.  15-20 mph constant wind with gusts up to 40mph.   Thats said, I had everything working for me.  crushing my driver on every hole.   I was playing the wind well.  despite the wind, I hit 11 fairways.  I hit 3 of 4 greens on par-3's (which I thought was impressive as I was often aiming 20yds offline and having a crosswind blow it on course.   

but..   when you're looking at a 558yd par 5 with a 20-40mph wind blowing directly in your face, you just aren't getting there in 3.  This wind was literally knocking 100 yds off my drives.  
Worst of all, this course had extremely fast and hilly greens.   putting was basically impossible.  I putt decently and still had 39 putts.   There was one instance where I had a 15ft putt on a bit of a sidehill with the wind blowing directly towards the downhill side of the green.   I hit a putt that came to rest about an inch from the cup.  just as it was coming to a rest, the wind picked up and gave it another roll...    then it picked up a bit of speed as it went downhill a bit and the wind gust kept blowing..   then it picked up more speed.   then it kept rolling.   then it kept rolling.   then I found that a 1-inch tap in put had rolled 20-yds down to the fringe at the bottom of the green.   which took me 3 more putts to get into the hole.   

anyways..   I ended up shooting an 89.  This 15.5 differential was my worst in my past 5 or 6 rounds.  but, from a ball striking-standpoint, this was probably my best round of the bunch.   Given the conditions, I thought the 89 was an excellent score.   But, this will not reflect positively on my handicap card.   Nor, does this represent how I played.   The blustery conditions seem unaccounted for in any way.  It doesn't seems to me that this is accurately reflected in the handicap system.  

 

your thoughts?  

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, lastings said:

So..   I have a question for y'all.  

.....

Given the conditions, I thought the 89 was an excellent score.   But, this will not reflect positively on my handicap card.   Nor, does this represent how I played.   The blustery conditions seem unaccounted for in any way.  It doesn't seems to me that this is accurately reflected in the handicap system.  

At the moment, in the USGA handicap system, there's no accounting for conditions.  In the CONGU system, used in the UK and a few other places, there's a calculation made to evaluate how difficult conditions are on a particular day, resulting in a Competition Scratch Score (CSS), which is essentially a "course rating" for that specific day.  Each score posted is evaluated against the CSS, not the Standard Scratch Score.  When a unified worldwide handicap system is implemented (expected to be within the next few years), it may include something of this type.  The worldwide system may also include something like the USGA's Course Rating and Slope Rating system, and could potentially restrict which rounds to post.  Heck it could do a lot of things differently from the current USGA system, but those couple things are the ones I've read about.

You might want to read more of the discussion here:

 

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On the other hand, if you use your handicap in competitions, playing in all kinds of weather will give you a slightly higher handicap, totally within the rules, as opposed to only playing in good conditions.  You might as well give yourself an edge if you can.  Not only that, you'll be better prepared for some of those "bucket list" trips you may take some day.

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This kind of got me thinking.  If I'm playing a team tournament, I would much rather have a 10 hcp from west Texas on my team than a 10 hcp from Scottsdale.   The guys that plays in blustery winds every day but shoots the same scores, is obviously a much better golfer.   

Meaning...  handicaps are not really universal, but instead just local.  

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2 minutes ago, lastings said:

Meaning...  handicaps are not really universal, but instead just local.  

Perhaps @iacas can respond to this, are factors like prevailing wind direction and typical wind speed taken into account in either the Slope or Course Rating process?

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It's a wash unless you're playing in the same direction the entire time, which doesn't usually happen. Some holes wind will hurt and others it will help. Regardless for all but the very best there are other factors that affect how we score, wind or lack of doesn't change what I am capable of it just adds another element to consider.

We played in 22 MPH winds last night on holes 10-13 and then it died to limp flag calm. Because of it my well struck drive on 10 left me a 193 yd shot to front edge on a 385 yard par 4. Much longer than usual for a well struck shot but not something I haven't faced often with mediocre shots when there is no wind. I made bogey which is average for that hole. On 11 the wind was helping and it's a 225 yd par 3 that I rarely hit the green, talking like 5% of the time and it's not uncommon to miss the green by 50 yds in any direction you can think of including short. With wind helping I clubbed down two and stuck it 10 feet from the flag and made par on a hole I often double. It goes both ways.

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11 minutes ago, Dave2512 said:

It's a wash unless you're playing in the same direction the entire time, which doesn't usually happen. Some holes wind will hurt and others it will help. Regardless for all but the very best there are other factors that affect how we score, wind or lack of doesn't change what I am capable of it just adds another element to consider.

I'm not so sure I agree, I think wind generally makes things more difficult.  Into the wind, curvature is increased, and distance is decreased.  Downwind, it becomes more difficult to hold a green.  No matter which way it blows, it adds an additional "guestimate" to make, and variable winds can negate even the best "guestimate".  All shots become less predictable.  Wind also adds to the mental strain, coping with the results of a good swing that a gust of wind turns into a bad result.  To me, that means scores generally rise when it gets windy.  

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19 minutes ago, Dave2512 said:

It's a wash unless you're playing in the same direction the entire time, which doesn't usually happen. Some holes wind will hurt and others it will help. Regardless for all but the very best there are other factors that affect how we score, wind or lack of doesn't change what I am capable of it just adds another element to consider.

We played in 22 MPH winds last night on holes 10-13 and then it died to limp flag calm. Because of it my well struck drive on 10 left me a 193 yd shot to front edge on a 385 yard par 4. Much longer than usual for a well struck shot but not something I haven't faced often with mediocre shots when there is no wind. I made bogey which is average for that hole. On 11 the wind was helping and it's a 225 yd par 3 that I rarely hit the green, talking like 5% of the time and it's not uncommon to miss the green by 50 yds in any direction you can think of including short. With wind helping I clubbed down two and stuck it 10 feet from the flag and made par on a hole I often double. It goes both ways.

Disagree.  Wind is more difficult than no wind.  Doesn't matter which way it's blowing. 

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

Perhaps @iacas can respond to this, are factors like prevailing wind direction and typical wind speed taken into account in either the Slope or Course Rating process?

Prevailing wind is factored in.  from here:  http://www.usga.org/handicapping-articles/course-rating-primer-e5bf725f.html

Quote

Accuracy and consistency are the keys to effective course rating. A course must first be accurately measured. The measured yardage must then be corrected for the effective playing length. These effective playing length corrections are roll, elevation, dogleg/forced lay-up, prevailing wind, and altitude. Obstacles that affect playing difficulty must then be evaluated in accordance with established standards. These standards increase objectivity in course rating. 

 

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1 minute ago, No Mulligans said:

Thanks, sorry I was too lazy to actually look for that on my own.

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3 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Thanks, sorry I was too lazy to actually look for that on my own.

Still a good question for @iacas .  From reading that link, it only states distance is adjusted based on prevailing wind for course rating/slope.  However, wind doesn't just affect distance, it makes it harder to hit targets, and high winds are also uncomfortable mentally to play in.

Edited by No Mulligans

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

I'm not so sure I agree, I think wind generally makes things more difficult.  Into the wind, curvature is increased, and distance is decreased.  Downwind, it becomes more difficult to hold a green.  No matter which way it blows, it adds an additional "guestimate" to make, and variable winds can negate even the best "guestimate".  All shots become less predictable.  Wind also adds to the mental strain, coping with the results of a good swing that a gust of wind turns into a bad result.  To me, that means scores generally rise when it gets windy.  

IMO splitting hairs, especially for a guy like the OP playing to a 12.5 handicap, it is for me too. We don't hit exact enough shots to put that much thought into it. After a hole or two you get a feel for it and adjust. On a dead calm day, on the range in a controlled situation my shot scatter is a 25 yard oval (FlightScope) with a 7i. Armed with that knowledge it's a "guestimate" no matter what the wind is doing.

I don't know what the data shows but for a player with scores that vary quite a bit without weather factors (my last 20 has a range 15 strokes).  My scores in wind, rain or whatever still fall within that range. A good day in wind might be better than a day of bad bounces and poor shot decisions when it's calm.

A windy day score wouldn't be something I would sweat regarding handicap. It's not permanent and if it's well above whatever my 11th best is unlikely it ever enters the calculation.

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26 minutes ago, Dave2512 said:

IMO splitting hairs, especially for a guy like the OP playing to a 12.5 handicap,

Hey!!   Trending to an 11.2..  you just wait until the 1st!!

all kidding aside..  wind is wind and I get that.  a breezy day or a light sprinkle aren't going to affect me enough that to cause a score that my own inconsistencies can't cause on their own.  

normally, not an issue.   But this particular day was something entirely different.  I had balls on the green moving all on their own.   I was aiming well out-of-bounds on drives that ended up in the middle of the fairway.  I mean, we're talking about legit 40+ mph gusts.  

entering my score after this round just really me question how weather impacts handicaps.   I mean, for a handicap to be accurate, I would think that winds like that should certainly increase the slope.  The worse a golfer is, the more that wind is going to ravage a score..   

 

Edited by lastings

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1 hour ago, lastings said:

Hey!!   Trending to an 11.2..  you just wait until the 1st!!

all kidding aside..  wind is wind and I get that.  a breezy day or a light sprinkle aren't going to affect me enough that to cause a score that my own inconsistencies can't cause on their own.  

normally, not an issue.   But this particular day was something entirely different.  I had balls on the green moving all on their own.   I was aiming well out-of-bounds on drives that ended up in the middle of the fairway.  I mean, we're talking about legit 40+ mph gusts.  

entering my score after this round just really me question how weather impacts handicaps.   I mean, for a handicap to be accurate, I would think that winds like that should certainly increase the slope.  The worse a golfer is, the more that wind is going to ravage a score..   

 

LOL yeah I get it. When the wind is so bad it's blowing balls off the green most people aren't out golfing. You basically answered you own question in your first post. If it was the worst round of your last 5-6 rounds, and you are trending down, you have a 5-6 round cushion before it does anything that would cause much movement. An 89 is a isn't an unusual score in your handicap range even if it's at the upper end.

Though it sounds like you may be thinking an 89 in wind deserves extra credit. The only way to know for sure would be if a bunch of golfers on that course returned scores that day and it was determined there was a higher than usual scoring average. But you still have a bunch of golfers out there that have a wide variance of scores without or without unusual weather, tough to determine who is having a good day or bad and no way of knowing if the returned scores are honest. I doubt any factor that could be applied would be significant as it relates to handicap. What's the difference when you post an 82 or 89, just a couple tenths right.  

 

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1 minute ago, Dave2512 said:

LOL yeah I get it. When the wind is so bad it's blowing balls off the green most people aren't out golfing. You basically answered you own question in your first post. If it was the worst round of your last 5-6 rounds, and you are trending down, you have a 5-6 round cushion before it does anything that would cause much movement. An 89 is a isn't an unusual score in your handicap range even if it's at the upper end.

Though it sounds like you may be thinking an 89 in wind deserves extra credit. The only way to know for sure would be if a bunch of golfers on that course returned scores that day and it was determined there was a higher than usual scoring average. But you still have a bunch of golfers out there that have a wide variance of scores without or without unusual weather, tough to determine who is having a good day or bad and no way of knowing if the returned scores are honest. I doubt any factor that could be applied would be significant as it relates to handicap. What's the difference when you post an 82 or 89, just a couple tenths right.  

 

no..   the single 89 in bad weather doesn't affect the handicap much at all.   But, thats not really what I'm getting at.    

I'm just thinking in a much broader sense.   i.e. the person that live in West Texas vs. the person that lives in Scottsdale.   dealing with high winds round after round after round would have a pretty significant effect on handicap vs. playing in perfect calm weather every round.   and, since there is no real way account for the unusual weather on a round by round basis, there really isn't a way to normalize handicaps between the two.   

 

 

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5 hours ago, David in FL said:

Some days you're the windshield, some days you're the bug.

Generally speaking, these things tend to even out...

When you're retired, it doesn't matter...

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Oddly enough, I shot my best score of the year on one of the worst of days. The wind must have blown all my wayward shots back onto the greens and fairways.:-D

The weather that day: https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KCAD/2017/4/7/DailyHistory.html?req_city=Cadillac&req_state=MI&req_statename=Michigan&reqdb.zip=49601&reqdb.magic=1&reqdb.wmo=99999

My round that day: https://www.gamegolf.com/player/JonMa1/round/1476807

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Note: This thread is 858 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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