The GHIN Soft Cap

PentaKev

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If you have a legitimate medical condition that has caused your handicap to balloon, your handicap chair can go in and manually adjust your handicap beyond either the soft or hard cap limits. I've seen it done for two people this season.
 

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Anyone being impacted by the soft cap from GHIN this year?

I'm not playing bad golf, but I am not playing anywhere close to the golf I was to close out 2020. I got hit with the soft cap limit on GHIN (which means that any additional gain after a 3 point swing is at 50%. I've got one more round to kick off from last year, which is 0.0 differential.

With that in mind, my numbers are pretty consistent this year, and yet I'm currently a full point lower on my index than I should be.

How the soft cap isn't year relevant is beyond my comprehension.
This rule is extremely frustrating to me. I got as low as a 1.9 last year when I had a really hot period in the fall. My index is now being held artificially low. Our best tournaments locally are in April and May and the extra stroke I should have had would have made a difference. I am working my way back down and the difference is only about .3, but it doesn’t feel fair. In my mind, it is very easy to range between a 2 and a 7, especially early in the year.
 
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Et Tu Brute?

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The system (not just Soft Cap but the whole system) is clearly designed to protect against someone who *can* play really well having the potential for being way under his 'cap for a single round. If you're capable of playing to a 2hcp but also go through periods of playing like an 8hcp the system does not want you playing off anything near 8.

I applaud the intent but I also think it goes a little overboard in making low handicaps "sticky" for a long, long time after even a few really good rounds. Especially with the best 8 of 10 now it really doesn't take much of a hot streak to drive that index down by 5-6 strokes. And it can take a long time for it to come back up.
 

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The system (not just Soft Cap but the whole system) is clearly designed to protect against someone who *can* play really well having the potential for being way under his 'cap for a single round. If you're capable of playing to a 2hcp but also go through periods of playing like an 8hcp the system does not want you playing off anything near 8.

I applaud the intent but I also think it goes a little overboard in making low handicaps "sticky" for a long, long time after even a few really good rounds. Especially with the best 8 of 10 now it really doesn't take much of a hot streak to drive that index down by 5-6 strokes. And it can take a long time for it to come back up.
On average under the old system, you were expected on average to play about 4 shots above your handicap, and play to your handicap about 25% of the time. I believe it is around the same number now, so it isn't at all unusual for a 2 to shoot like an 8 from time to time.
 

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The system (not just Soft Cap but the whole system) is clearly designed to protect against someone who *can* play really well having the potential for being way under his 'cap for a single round. If you're capable of playing to a 2hcp but also go through periods of playing like an 8hcp the system does not want you playing off anything near 8.

I applaud the intent but I also think it goes a little overboard in making low handicaps "sticky" for a long, long time after even a few really good rounds. Especially with the best 8 of 10 now it really doesn't take much of a hot streak to drive that index down by 5-6 strokes. And it can take a long time for it to come back up.
This is how I feel as well. I have historically played between a 4.5 and 6.5. However, everything really clicked near the end of the year last year. In addition, I played a few rounds at a course (Wolf Creek in Mesquite) that has a very high slope rating, but for some reason, I have learned how to score really well there. These two factors drove my index down (and made me think I was better than I am). Now, I don’t get to compete at my historical index.

It already is difficult enough to compete against real sandbaggers. If you play to a 5 index, a stroke is very significant. Like @Canadan said, why should honest people who accurately report their scores be penalized for a hot streak?
 

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Yeah, I got hit with the soft cap. I am making a major swing change. Yesterday I shot a 79, today a 90, lol.
 

Phil75070

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In my mind, it is very easy to range between a 2 and a 7, especially early in the year.
This is especially true in areas where scores are accepted year 'round, like here in North Texas. We can play in some pretty extreme weather conditions such as bitter cold where wearing many layers of clothes has its impact on one's swing, not to mention the varying ground conditions. Also, weather factors into how much we can play and practice. As a result, I'll struggle the first couple of months of the year, then, once the weather turns around, so does my game.
 
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I don’t pay attention to the details of hc calculations. Play, post, look at hc in bewilderment. I have played poorly for awhile and my hc is stuck at 7. Sucker won’t budge. But if I have one good round it will drop down around 6.5 in an instant. IDK.

And then in league (parter is about same hc) we give up strokes every match and get slayed as people with 15-20 hc shoot better than their hc over and over. I don’t get it. I just swing and smile. 😆
 

Canadan

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Quick little update on the GHIN handicap saga of 2021 hahaha

Current soft cap number is 0.9 on the app.
Actually number should be 2.1.

I really am looking forward to getting back to good golf, and it sneaks in here and there, but oof.
 

JB

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Quick little update on the GHIN handicap saga of 2021 hahaha

Current soft cap number is 0.9 on the app.
Actually number should be 2.1.

I really am looking forward to getting back to good golf, and it sneaks in here and there, but oof.
I think I will enjoy that extra 1.2 next week. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

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I don’t pay attention to the details of hc calculations. Play, post, look at hc in bewilderment. I have played poorly for awhile and my hc is stuck at 7. Sucker won’t budge. But if I have one good round it will drop down around 6.5 in an instant. IDK.

And then in league (parter is about same hc) we give up strokes every match and get slayed as people with 15-20 hc shoot better than their hc over and over. I don’t get it. I just swing and smile. 😆
This is the mental health-y approach. (y) lol
 

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Tenputt

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Quick little update on the GHIN handicap saga of 2021 hahaha

Current soft cap number is 0.9 on the app.
Actually number should be 2.1.

I really am looking forward to getting back to good golf, and it sneaks in here and there, but oof.
I feel your pain. My index is back to within .2 of what it actually should be (although it is not where I would like it to be). At least I can compete again without giving up too many strokes.
 

Canadan

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I feel your pain. My index is back to within .2 of what it actually should be (although it is not where I would like it to be). At least I can compete again without giving up too many strokes.
For what it's worth, it's not pain - it's just a joke to me since I don't play in much from a competitive standpoint (based mostly on how f'ed I think the system is to begin with.

I'm glad you're close to where you should be.
 

Et Tu Brute?

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In reality, one extra stroke isn’t going to decide a match all that often.

Look on the bright side, if you lose the match on the final hole under the soft cap at least you have a good excuse, right?
 

Canadan

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In reality, one extra stroke isn’t going to decide a match all that often.

Look on the bright side, if you lose the match on the final hole under the soft cap at least you have a good excuse, right?
I don't think this has anything to do with winning or losing a match (although saying it wouldn't impact it is incorrect, obviously).
 
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Tenputt

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In reality, one extra stroke isn’t going to decide a match all that often.

Look on the bright side, if you lose the match on the final hole under the soft cap at least you have a good excuse, right?
Your doorbell just rang. It’s Louis Oosthuizen. He has a bone to pick with you regarding whether one stroke is going to be the determining factor very often. 😉.

Actually, I have missed qualifying for my state’s Senior Am by one stroke. It felt like a bit deal to me. The context is different, but one stroke is a huge deal sometimes. This soft cap issue has me upset, because I don’t think you should be penalized for posting honest scores. You go down fast with good scores. You should be able to come up again if your scores calculate to a higher index.
 
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ToddJ027b

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Your doorbell just rang. It’s Louis Oosthuizen. He has a bone to pick with you regarding whether one stroke is going to be the determining factor very often. 😉.

Actually, I have missed qualifying for my state’s Senior Am by one stroke. It felt like a bit deal to me. The context is different, but one stroke is a huge deal sometimes. This soft cap issue has me upset, because I don’t think you should be penalized for posting honest scores. You go down fast with good scores. You should be able to come up again if your scores calculate to a higher index.
I couldn't have said it better. Totally agree!!
 

Et Tu Brute?

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Your doorbell just rang. It’s Louis Oosthuizen. He has a bone to pick with you regarding whether one stroke is going to be the determining factor very often. 😉.

Actually, I have missed qualifying for my state’s Senior Am by one stroke. It felt like a bit deal to me. The context is different, but one stroke is a huge deal sometimes. This soft cap issue has me upset, because I don’t think you should be penalized for posting honest scores. You go down fast with good scores. You should be able to come up again if your scores calculate to a higher index.
I guess that's how it feels to you but it's not "penalizing" you. There's a whole bunch of stuff (some of it junk in my opinion) that goes into the formula for calculating handicaps. The soft cap is one of those many pieces. It is what it is.

People in the UK have lived with a similar type of dynamic for a long time. Under their old pre-WHS system (if I understand it correctly) handicaps were very, very slow to increase but quicker to decrease. Especially given that they only used competition scores to start with, some of my UK friends complained of playing for months at a stretch with a handicap that was two or three strokes lower than how they were playing at the time.

I suspect the current implementation of the USGA formula is a little more aggressive with this whole Soft Cap/Hard Cap thing partly as a compromise to make the WHS palatable to the UK handicapping authorities. But I might be wrong about that.

For whatever reason, though, you post some unusually good scores and your handicap is going to stay low for a while even after you go back to posting what you think of as your "normal" scores. That's how USGA wants it and like a lot of other things, we all seem to go along with it whether we agree or not.

P.S. About Louis. I suspect one stroke to him matters more often than one stroke to me. When I lose I'm often blown out so badly even three or four strokes wouldn't have helped!
 

Canadan

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I guess that's how it feels to you but it's not "penalizing" you. There's a whole bunch of stuff (some of it junk in my opinion) that goes into the formula for calculating handicaps. The soft cap is one of those many pieces. It is what it is.
What? The handicap formula is flat. top 8 of 20 average scoring based on differential.

The soft cap has absolutely nothing to do with that. It's designed to stop golfers from bloating their scores. So as I kick off my rounds that were completed an entire year ago (since we all don't play 100+ rounds a year), I am penalized NOW for shooting career lows back then when all things were clicking.

It's complete nonsense for 99% of golfers. The 1% of golfers (read: dbags) out there inclined to cheat are going to cheat anyways.
 

Et Tu Brute?

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What? The handicap formula is flat. top 8 of 20 average scoring based on differential.
The handicap manual has pages and pages of rules for how your handicap is determined. Averaging the 8-of-20 differentials is just the jumping-off point.

It's one thing I hate about the USGA whether it's the Rules or the handicap system. They can't stop at simple, clear and understandable. Everything reads like it's been worked over by a team of lawyers billing by the hour.

But in the case of the handicap system, they turn around and let people post whatever numbers they feel like in GHIN with no oversight, no attestation, no nothing. So if somebody really wants to boost their handicap by a couple of strokes it's as easy as punching numbers into the app. Or if they don't want to get hit with the soft cap they just "forget" to punch in a couple of those low scores. No sweat.
 

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You go down fast with good scores. You should be able to come up again if your scores calculate to a higher index.
my vanity cap lingered WAY too long because of this. a few rounds in the low 70s and the handicap drops like a stone. takes a helluva lot more rounds in the 90s to get it back up to where it should probably be.
 

Canadan

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The handicap manual has pages and pages of rules for how your handicap is determined. Averaging the 8-of-20 differentials is just the jumping-off point.

It's one thing I hate about the USGA whether it's the Rules or the handicap system. They can't stop at simple, clear and understandable. Everything reads like it's been worked over by a team of lawyers billing by the hour.

But in the case of the handicap system, they turn around and let people post whatever numbers they feel like in GHIN with no oversight, no attestation, no nothing. So if somebody really wants to boost their handicap by a couple of strokes it's as easy as punching numbers into the app. Or if they don't want to get hit with the soft cap they just "forget" to punch in a couple of those low scores. No sweat.
You're talking about how differential and slope/rating is created, I guess. A handicap is a handicap.

That in mind, to your additional commentary, you are already 100% limited on strokes while on the golf course. Net double bogey and no more if posting hole by hole. Anything factored into the final score that isn't a reflection of that is cheating.

Maybe I'll just start doubling my scores to par until I lose my soft cap.
 

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