That’s a great point. In 1968, there were 4 rinks within 45 miles of my town in the Boston suburbs. Today there is 92, and many call them “the houses that Orr built”. As someone that moved here from the south, with no knowledge of hockey, it’s taken me quite a few years to get it.
"Again I ask—are there that many cheaters out there, that so many restrictions were built into the WHS? "
it is frustrating. My index went down 3 points after watching Padraig Harrington Twitter lessons and now I've plateaued a little and its a real bear playing to my index.
I will say though that I've found the cheating actually goes the other way. People cheat themselves. I've seen so many turn a bad playing round into a 'practice round' or give themselves shots and record their scores. A lot of people I've seen can never play to their index because they don't actually record all their scores. If they did, I think their index would be at least 1-2 strokes higher.
There must be a lot of sand baggers out there that the WHS was trying to "catch," but I’m a struggling golfer who has been caught in a system that only seems to hurt me.
My HI was up to 38 early this year. I took a series of lessons and had a few very good rounds. BOOM! Exceptional, Score Reduction applied to not just THESE rounds, but to all of the previous revision scores. In my case, an ESR of -3. My index dropped like a rock, down to 24. I was excited, but that didn’t really represent my ability... I continued to play and my scores bumped up and down as I tried to find my new normal. As scores went up, the SOFT CAP was applied, reducing my index's upward movement by 50%. And the HARD CAP is also in place, so if I get in the doldrums again, my handicap index can never go higher than +5 from my previous 12-month low!
My good friend has been on a similar journey of rapid improvement followed by inconsistent scores. We are playing in a tournament together on Monday, and neither of us believes our current HI is realistically representative of our expected ability. Again I ask—are there that many cheaters out there, that so many restrictions were built into the WHS?