Should USGA go to competitive-only handicaps?

wadesworld

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I know in some handicap systems around the world, only competitive rounds are counted for handicap purposes.

Anyone think the USGA should adopt that system? It certainly would go a long ways towards eliminating sandbagging.

The biggest problem I see though is a lot of golfers don't play much competitive golf. If you only play in your friend's member-guest once a year, it will take forever until you get enough competition rounds to establish a statistically-meaningful handicap. Of course that could be mitigated by the USGA just assigning a handicap which is far lower would be expected, until your official one is available. That would encourage you to get one as quickly as possible, or just take your lumps if you don't care.
 

RoundersRob

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I don't think it would work for the very reason you mention in that a log of golfers don't play much, or indeed any, competitive golf. The NCGA keeps your two lowest tournament rounds in the handicap calculation for an entire year, regardless of the number of rounds played so that helps a little.
 

Damaikis

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No, I don't think that would be a good idea. Like you said, many players don't play many competitive rounds. And who decides what is competitive? What if I play a competitive round with a few of my buddies but it's not really "official"?
 

TripleBogieTim

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I don't think that would work at all, there are alot of golfers out there that don't ever play in competitive golf, including me. My home course does not offer league play and 98% of all tournaments are scramble of some sort. There are 2 tournaments a year that are individual play...and one of those is a match play tournament so it wouldn't work either, that leaves me with one 3 day tournament a year that I could use to establish a handicap.
 

giorgiokaan

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I know in some handicap systems around the world, only competitive rounds are counted for handicap purposes.

Anyone think the USGA should adopt that system? It certainly would go a long ways towards eliminating sandbagging.

The biggest problem I see though is a lot of golfers don't play much competitive golf. If you only play in your friend's member-guest once a year, it will take forever until you get enough competition rounds to establish a statistically-meaningful handicap. Of course that could be mitigated by the USGA just assigning a handicap which is far lower would be expected, until your official one is available. That would encourage you to get one as quickly as possible, or just take your lumps if you don't care.
That's what we do in Italy, we only count competitions for our handicap and there is only one type of handicap which is calculated differently.
 

dirkules

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I think it makes a lot of sense to count only tournament play. That's the way it is done in Germany. However, there is a possibility for those who don't play many tournaments. You can count individual casual rounds but I think they have to be announced before you start so you don't start picking your best or worst rounds depending on what handicap you want to get to. I don't know how it works exactly though.
 

Perkins Rooster

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I wouldn't even have a handicap if that was the case.
 

rghilljr

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I don't think its a good idea but would it make people want to start playing in these events?
 

Lawrence

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I think they should be Competition-Only, I really like the way our handicap system works in England..

I play around anywhere from 30 to 50 comps a year.

I'm not sure about the handicap systems over the pond but here's what happens over here in England:

Firstly, the CSS will be calculated from the scores from that competition and if it changes, practically changed the par if the course.

Ok, there are different Handicap categories being:
Cat 1 5 or better
Cat 2 6-12
Cat 3 13-20
And so on.

For each category there is a buffer, where the handicap will not be increased e.g.

Cat 1 (0-+1 buffer) meaning a 4 handicap shoots +5, no change.

Cat 3(0-+3 buffer) meaning a 14 handicap can shoot +17 and not get an increase.

In a similar way you get cut via which cat your in e.g.

Cat 1 gets 0.1 cut per shot under handicap meaning if a 4 handicap shoots +2 they will get cut 0.2 (level CSS)

Cat 3 gets 0.3 cut per shot under handicap meaning 14 handicap shoots +12 they will get cut 0.6 (if CSS is level of course)

And how ever many you shoot I've your handicap you will only ever get an increase of 0.1

All of this can happen only if the competition being played is a handicap qualifier.

Dunno about you guys, but I really like this system to be honest.

Out of interest, is this the same in the US or not?
 
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Smallville

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No, because the only competitive rounds I have played in the last 33 years were last July in Myrtle Beach.

Although I don't keep an official handicap, so I guess the real answer should be "I don't care".
 

Oregon Golfer

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I don't like the idea. If it happened I think it would just turn people away from "official USGA" handicaps and turn them to other "non-official" handicapping methods. This would be a big loss in revenue for the USGA and/or state associations.
 

Mulligan9111

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I think that having the handicaps go on competitive rounds only should be the way it's done. Lets face it, the only time that handicap is really important is with regards to handicapped events.

Why else would you need a handicap? If it's to play with your buddies, then you can always adjust the strokes being given if your group feels like one person is getting more strokes than they should get. Playing a "competitive round with buddies" is not an official event, therefore I don't see why you would need a set-in-stone handicap to play.

But that's just my two cents.
 

Oregon Golfer

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I think that having the handicaps go on competitive rounds only should be the way it's done. Lets face it, the only time that handicap is really important is with regards to handicapped events.

Why else would you need a handicap? If it's to play with your buddies, then you can always adjust the strokes being given if your group feels like one person is getting more strokes than they should get. Playing a "competitive round with buddies" is not an official event, therefore I don't see why you would need a set-in-stone handicap to play.

But that's just my two cents.
I use my handicap as a barometer of where my game is at and also as a way to support my state association.
 

Sighman23

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Would it really help? We have competitions every couple of weeks at the club. Minimum 36 holes. You know what happens when the guys that are playing know they aren't in contention? They start sandbagging and miss easy 1-2 foot putts to lower their handicap. They know it is a tournament score and if they have a bad first day then they can have a bad second day and the tournament scores will have more meaning against their handicap.
 

Renren89

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But you wouldn't need one either.
that's not true

I've never played any competitive tournaments but I still needed a handicap in order to play my men's league
 

Smallville

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Mulligan9111

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I use my handicap as a barometer of where my game is at and also as a way to support my state association.
So is the handicap the only way to tell where your game is at? I guess I just don't see what would be so hard as to evaluate your game after each round.

But hey, to each their own.
 

staticline

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How would I get a competition handicap if I've never played in a competition? But, I want to start playing in competitions.

This sounds like: You can't get a job unless you have experience. But, you get get experience unless you have a job.
 

wadesworld

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How would I get a competition handicap if I've never played in a competition? But, I want to start playing in competitions.

This sounds like: You can't get a job unless you have experience. But, you get get experience unless you have a job.
Clubs have ways of assigning you a handicap if you don't have one. Basically, you play on a much lower handicap until your real one is established.
 

Wicked Cool Bearded Man

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staticline

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Clubs have ways of assigning you a handicap if you don't have one. Basically, you play on a much lower handicap until your real one is established.
Why would I pay to play in a tournament "on a much lower handicap"? That's throwing good money after bad.

GHIN already has a system in place to monitor tournament play, by specifically including tournament rounds in handicap determination.

When there is a flighted tournament, the host proshop has a responsibility to the field, to properly monitor handicaps. If the player does not have an established GHIN, the shop should be calling that players host club/course to confirm that players handicap, or average score. There are 2 issues with that: 1) Shops don't take the time to call other courses to verify a players handicap and 2) the players club, wanting to remain on friendly terms with the player who spends money at their course, says "Yes, Shooter McGavin is a 15 handicap and belongs in the 3rd flight."

The downside of technology, is now, a player no longer has to turn in a scorecard with attested signatures on it, so that scores can be input/verified by the home course staff. Now, it's honor system (it is a gentelman's game) and, we just go online and enter our own scores.

Back in the day, the Pro knew you played and knew if you turned in a card. When I was younger, at my home course, if word got out that you shot a low score and didn't turn it in, the pro would turn in a card for you with a score of whatever par was for that course.
 

krank78

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sadly i think comp only handicaps would be the only really true fair way to do it.
 

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