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The other day I played a competition where Stableford scores are involved. What I try to figure out is the probability of our Stableford scores as a team. We played an Interclub competition, where the best 8 scores out of 12 players are added. That becomes the team result. This is the way they play Interclub competition in Spain (Andalusia). I am under the impression that (trying not to be too harsh) in my surroundings there is a more then average amount of sandbaggers. But I miss the statistics to build my case. If you score 36 Stableford points, that is equivalent to play to your current index. One point more is one stroke better etc. Off course the weatherconditions are not taken into account, so statistics might be a bit off, but in Andalusia the weather is mostly sunny and not a lot of wind. So the results were (we only played with 10 team members): 31, 34, 34, 35, 37, 38, 38, 40, 41 and 43 Stableford points. All players hcp 8-18. I think this is outlier score, I think this is proof of sandbagging to the max. I would love to know the probability of these scores, but I don’t have the statistics to build my case. Tried to find some info but could not find more then ‘65% you play 33 or worse’. Anybody here that could help me? @iacas you are well informed about where to find golfstatistics of all kinds. p.s. My score was 35
I have been silent for a bit on this blog. Time to start blathering again. A new tournament season is rapidly approaching for our club-without-real estate. 2018 will be my first season as Handicap Chairman after serving a few years on the committee. We play a 15-event net tournament season so the Handicap Chairman is a somewhat thankless job. There is always a vocal group that believes every winner is a sandbagger and successful players yap about the downward handicap adjustments we dole out. One big happy family! I just got off the phone with one of our members who has been quite vocal about all the sandbaggers shooting net 64 when he has the same index and can barely break 72 on a net basis. I pointed out to him that at our 3-day Club Championship in 2016, he shot a net 64, 79 and 63 and won his Flight. Yes, he had a tough 2017. It was, however, a result of his poor play rather than his fellow flight competitors consistently shooting net 64. Sometimes facts overcome emotions. Our biggest challenge over the years has been to slow down members who, for whatever reason, become overly successful. No one wants to see the same handful of members at the top of every tournament and the final season standings. Generally, the use of handicaps should serve to level the playing field and no one should regularly beat their handicap, with a few exceptions (e.g. a rapidly improving player or a player who has been injured and now is healthy). We have resorted to a number of modifications to our tournament handicapping. I have previously described our Knuth Tournament Point System. In addition to that we have begun to use solely “T” scores in the computation of our tournament handicaps. We do not adjust a member’s GHIN index, just his index for our events. Unfortunately, our use of only “T” scores has its own set of problems. Some of our members only play 4-5 “T” rounds a year. A “T-only” index might use scores going back 4+ years. We are vigilant to members whose games have declined and give them an upward adjustment to keep them somewhat competitive. This year we have 24 new members. Fortunately, only a handful have no scoring history with the Golf Association of Michigan. For those members who are a blank slate, we usually call them and discuss their game. Do they have a league handicap? What was their best round last year (where and what tee)? What is their average score and what score would usually make them happy? We occasionally make an error, like with “J.B.” a few years ago. J.B. was a self-estimated “8.0” index and he won the first event's A flight by 6 shots with a net 64 (74 gross; 71.1/140 rating; 2.3 differential). Of course, that could have been J.B.’s personal best round but it seemed a prudent idea to make an adjustment in his 8.0 tournament index going forward. With a bit of luck this year, we will have a different group atop the flight leader boards each tournament. If we don’t, our committee is ready.
Our state association recently announced that the handicap reporting season has been extended to November 15. This came after they opened the reporting season early with a March 15 opening rather than the traditional April 1st date. I am all for reporting as many scores as possible but extending the handicap reporting season, on both ends, seems like a bad idea. Certainly most courses in Southeast Michigan become playable by mid-March and remain so until mid-November. There is a big difference, however, between being playable versus being in decent shape. Early in the year the ground is extremely soggy, temperatures are barely above freezing, and the greens are slow & bumpy. Late October and November often sport similar conditions with aerated greens and reduced course maintenance. Many course’s bunkers look like a battle zone with deer tracks, leaves and water puddles. There are no tournaments played after September or scheduled prior to May in recognition of the rough conditions that exist early and late in the season. These rough conditions often lead to what I call, “seasonal sandbagging.” Those of us who play regularly through November and then start early in March typically see our indexes rise. As an example, at the end of tournament season in 2015 my index was 7.3. By the first May tournament in 2016, my index was 9.4. Until the improved conditions allowed me to score better (and lower my index), I had a 2-3 shot advantage over competitors whose indexes reflected the fact that they started the season late and put their clubs away early. Undoubtedly, the Golf Association of Michigan staff have their reasons for extending the reporting season. I remain unconvinced that reporting scores from March or November create a more accurate handicap index. Still, rules are rules so that 86 I will shoot in November will replace that 78 I carded in the last tournament at the end of August. And I will be that much more competitive in our first net event of 2017.