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Rules & Regulations / Re: World Handicapping Scheme Education Discussion
« Last post by Blofeld on Jan 13, 2021, 17:25:03 »
We will have all forgotten about WHS by the time we get back playing

must admit....it has been nice not having to fend off members queries!!!!!
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We will have all forgotten about WHS by the time we get back playing
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Rules & Regulations / Re: World Handicapping Scheme Education Discussion
« Last post by Scotty on Jan 10, 2021, 23:49:17 »
The two you mention  are close in difficulty as shown by their course ratings. :  East Berks is  70.8 and Hankley Common  is 70.9. These are the scores expected of a scratch golfer in normal conditions

I average about 67 or 68 round East Berks. I couldn't average 71 round Hankley if you paid me. 






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Rules & Regulations / Re: World Handicapping Scheme Education Discussion
« Last post by Colin L on Jan 10, 2021, 23:37:13 »
I think you are misrepresenting this.  The two courses you mention  are close in difficulty as shown by their course ratings. :  East Berks is  70.8 and Hankley Common  is 70.9. These are the scores expected of a scratch golfer in normal conditions - the scores expected of you. As you have indicated, if you score 69 at East Berks you have played almost 2 strokes below your handicap; score 71 at Hankley and you have played virtually to handicap.  If you are in the habit of scoring like that on these courses, there will be reasons no doubt why you regularly play better on the one than other but  the pars of the courses tell us nothing because par is too variable. Here you have a 2 stroke difference in par between two courses of virtually equal difficulty.  One of those strokes could be the outcome of East Berks deciding to make a 250 yard hole a par 3 whereas Hankley makes a hole of the same length a par 4.  The other could be because East Berks chooses to make a 480 yard hole a par 4 while Hankley has a 480 yard par 5.  The two courses are also very close in difficulty for a bogey golfer like me. The bogey rating of East Berks is 94.1 and of Hankley, 94.3.

Scoring level par on a particular course does not necessarily mean you have played to handicap.  To be precise, level par means you  have played to handicap only if par is the same as the course rating.  Comparing scores on the same course in terms of under, over or level par is fine.    Comparing scores on different courses in terms of par doesn't work.
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Rules & Regulations / Re: World Handicapping Scheme Education Discussion
« Last post by Scotty on Jan 10, 2021, 20:43:14 »
Thanks for that, some good info there and a healthy source to point our club to.

A minor point but the rating to par is very relevant. As a scratch golfer, I can assure you its easier to shoot a level round of 69 at East Berks at 6240 than it is to shoot level 71 at Hankley at 6500 yards. If I average level at East Berks my WHS index is +2. The same at Hankley would make me 0.

The point here is maintaining a handicap lower than +1 for national comps is far easier at East Berks than it is at Hankley, unless they change the rating to something more reflective of its actual difficulty

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Rules & Regulations / Re: World Handicapping Scheme Education Discussion
« Last post by Blofeld on Jan 10, 2021, 11:07:20 »
The best comparison I can give you is East Berkshire, rated at 70.8 (Par 69) so 1.8 over par for white tees. It's shorter and easier by an absolute mile than our white tees. Our place is longer, has more heather and more difficult and rated at 70.9 (par 71) so 0.1 under par.

Effingham black course (not even a heathland) measures up similarly to our white course - it's rated at 72.9 (Par 71) so 1.9 over par.

Walton Heath Old white, again similar to our place and a bit easier IMO comes in at 72.7 (Par 72) so 0.7 over par.

I actually can't find any heathland courses at normal length in England with a level par course rating...


Comparing course rating against par is not relevant....the two have no relation to each other. You could have a course consisting of 18 x 420yd par 4 holes giving a course length of 7560yds but still only a par 72.....this, due to the nature of its length (which it is true to say has the overriding contribution to Course rating) would have a much higher course rating than another par 72 course of say only 6000 yards.

I dont quite get your comparisons....according to the the course rating database the RAC Old Course white tees have a rating of 73 and a slope of 135, I believe the course yardage is 6695yds. The Coronation Course has a rating of 70.4 and a slope of 128 and a yardage of 6177.

East Berkshire CR 70.8 Slope 125, yardage is 6240 yds
Effingham Black CR 72.9 Slope 131, yardage is 6800 yds
Walton Heath Old CR72.7 Slope 131, yardage is 6786 yds

Your Old Course CR of 73 is very similar to those of Effingham and WH and the yardages are in the same ballpark, East Berks is much shorter and this is reflected in the CR which is similar to the Coronation Course rating. Really dont see where your issue arises....unless it was die to comparing CR with Par, which I've allready said is just not a relevant comparison.

As for the rating team saying that they don't consider what is wide of the fairway - they are not correct.

Recoverability from rough (which is dependent on the depth, thickness etc) is a key component of the rating process, as are the presence of out of bound areas and obstacles close to the landing area (water hazards, bunkers, extreme rough, trees, mounds, swales and hollows just a few examples). Sidehill/uphill/downhill lies are all included in the assessment as is an assessment of the "true playing length" which will be affected by shot elevation, roll, doglegs, forced lay-ups.

Here is a snippet from a US (for the system we use for rating courses comes from the US...its not a British system) website describing the course rating process at a high level...

There are five playing-length factors that are considered for each hole: roll, elevation, wind, dogleg/forced lay-ups, and altitude. Between these five factors, or a combination of them, the overall playing length of a golf course is either lengthened or shortened from the physical yardage of a golf course.

In addition to the effective playing length of a course, there are 10 obstacles that are evaluated on each hole (nine of the obstacles are physical and one psychological). The nine obstacles are as follows: topography, fairway, green target, rough and recoverability, bunkers, out-of-bounds/extreme rough, water, trees, and green surface. If that weren’t enough, the hole is given an extra boost of difficulty under the obstacle of psychology if the rating numbers determine that the hole plays more difficult.

Each obstacle is given a numerical value ranging from zero to 10 (zero being non-existent, 10 being extreme). To avoid subjectivity, the values assigned are taken from a table in the USGA Course Rating Guide. These values are based off of the distances the obstacle is from the center of the landing zone or target.

For example: assuming there are no effective playing length corrections, the team of course raters would first evaluate the landing area for the bogey golfer 200 yards off the tee. In this area, the team would measure the width of the fairway, the distance from the center of the fairway to the nearest boundary line, trees, hazard line, and whether there are any bunkers nearby. The same procedure would be done for the scratch player’s landing area 250 yards off the tee. This evaluation process is repeated until the group reaches the green. The green width and depth are then measured as well as the amount of water and/or bunkers surrounding the green as well as how far it is to the nearest boundary line.

This process is repeated on every hole and for every tee. Through this data, a scratch and bogey rating are achieved. We are then able to use these two numbers to calculate the slope number.


The full rating manual is available here... http://www.scga.org/pdfs/volunteers/10125/2016-17_usga_course_rating_system_manual.pdf


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Rules & Regulations / Re: World Handicapping Scheme Education Discussion
« Last post by Scotty on Jan 09, 2021, 19:01:43 »
Course rating should have taken into account the proximity of hazards and deep rough to the fairway in typical landing areas...knowing what heather is like to play out of I would be surprised if it wasn't taken into consideration when rating the course

The team that rated our course told our club there is no allowance in the rating criteria to differentiate between heather, deep rough, concrete, short rough, left or right of landing zones. As far as the criteria goes, its the fairway width and not what is wide of the fairway that counts, apparently!

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Rules & Regulations / Re: World Handicapping Scheme Education Discussion
« Last post by Scotty on Jan 09, 2021, 18:55:12 »
The best comparison I can give you is East Berkshire, rated at 70.8 (Par 69) so 1.8 over par for white tees. It's shorter and easier by an absolute mile than our white tees. Our place is longer, has more heather and more difficult and rated at 70.9 (par 71) so 0.1 under par.

Effingham black course (not even a heathland) measures up similarly to our white course - it's rated at 72.9 (Par 71) so 1.9 over par.

Walton Heath Old white, again similar to our place and a bit easier IMO comes in at 72.7 (Par 72) so 0.7 over par.

I actually can't find any heathland courses at normal length in England with a level par course rating...
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Rules & Regulations / Re: World Handicapping Scheme Education Discussion
« Last post by Blofeld on Jan 08, 2021, 21:58:20 »


On another note, have you heard much about the course rating criteria being changed or changing? We had our place rated at 70.9 (Par 71) and it's lined with heather. Apparently when it was rated the criteria didn't allow for what was wide of the fairways (heather, rough, concrete, heavy rough etc), just how wide the fairways were, length, hazards and carry. There are a couple of much shorter (and easier) courses with less heather rated one or two strokes higher than our place and I reckon they've made a mistake or the other places were rated after some kind of criteria change and our place was done before....

Course rating should have taken into account the proximity of hazards and deep rough to the fairway in typical landing areas...knowing what heather is like to play out of I would be surprised if it wasn't taken into consideration when rating the course. The rating system as I understand it has not changed under the WHS and we have been using the same system as the US for many years now. I've not heard of any recent changes nor any proposed changes.

What courses are you reckoning are easier?
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Rules & Regulations / Re: World Handicapping Scheme Education Discussion
« Last post by Scotty on Jan 08, 2021, 19:04:19 »

Obviously I do not know if there were specific circumstances that the "club up North" felt justified changing the status....it may well have been a special case where they had a significant period(s) of inclement weather that rendered a number of rounds as non-qualifying and with the implementation of the WHS has meant that the majority of members had very few counting scores in their handicap records. By changing the status they were able to "flesh out their players records" and make them more "meaningful".

They had some course work going on, lots of noise and a few bunkers out of action for that period. It was deemed unfair if players handicaps went up, so non-counting. I forgot to mention it was reduction only so even though pre-WHS they were non-counting, players would have still been cut. Personally, I think they got that rule mixed up too - as far as I knew the CONGU rule changed to ensure non-counters were exactly that for up or down revisions.

Post WHS they've allowed the reduction scores into player records, which to me is the same as adding previously non-counting rounds to player records, hence why I thought it should be allowed at our place.

Reason I'm interested - one of the players at that club shot a 10 under round of 60 playing off +2 and his new WHS index is +1 with that score on his record. He'd go up to a 1 handicap if the score isn't allowed and miss out on some national events (West of Ireland, some English strokeplay events and perhaps a few of the early season Scottish events) this year with an index that's too high.

Anyway, seems we won't get an outcome to that one but thought I'd ask your thoughts. Not met many that have your level of understanding of the system.

On another note, have you heard much about the course rating criteria being changed or changing? We had our place rated at 70.9 (Par 71) and it's lined with heather. Apparently when it was rated the criteria didn't allow for what was wide of the fairways (heather, rough, concrete, heavy rough etc), just how wide the fairways were, length, hazards and carry. There are a couple of much shorter (and easier) courses with less heather rated one or two strokes higher than our place and I reckon they've made a mistake or the other places were rated after some kind of criteria change and our place was done before....
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