* *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Jun 20, 2019, 18:02:11

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Guide to Handicapping  (Read 2537 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Foxholer

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • 4 Iron
  • ***
  • Posts: 2052
  • Thanks: 12
Guide to Handicapping
« on: Mar 13, 2008, 09:32:47 »
Folks,

A couple of posts/threads have suggested the need - and I have a long-standing challenge from RG to produce a 'Guide to handicapping'.

I'd like to keep this thread clean, so that it can be Sticky-ised, but feel free to start another one for comments (aka Events) or PM me with comments. I'll be happy to action stuff I feel warrants it. I'd like to stick to facts in this thread though - that'll be 'interesting' as I am passionate about some aspects of 'handicapping'.

I'll start the thread in the next Post, so bear with me (have to do some work too). I'll also Lock the thread (once i find out how to) to prevent 'spurious' posts. If that seems 'arrogant' I apologise, but 'tuff''.

Ross
Bag for this Month Week Today:

Tour FT3 Tour 8.5 Ozik Code 6 SX
Tour Exotics 15* Ozik TP7 S
Adams 17* Altus HB S
TM300 4-PW Rifle 6.0
Miura 52*,XDC 56*, Fatbox-ed 60* P-Grind
TP Mills Limited Edition (15/24) 33"

Winner Foxholer Benefit (MSG 2008 Summer Masters)

Offline Foxholer

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • 4 Iron
  • ***
  • Posts: 2052
  • Thanks: 12
Re: Guide to Handicapping
« Reply #1 on: Mar 13, 2008, 11:24:16 »
Scenario:

So you’ve joined a Club for the first time but haven’t got a handicap. How do you get one and what happens after that!

This guide might help. It might not be totally applicable to your Club, so check with whoever accepted your Membership Application and/or the guff sent to you when it was accepted. There should be (but often isn’t) a guide to how things work at the Club and a list of contacts. 

This describes the system that covers handicapping in UK and Ireland. There is another system run by the USGA (Aus and NZ have adopted it too and may be applicable elsewhere) that uses ‘Slope’ and ‘Course Rating’ to standardise handicaps. Google ‘Slope Golf’ to get some links, or go directly to www.popeofslope.com for Dean Knuth’s site.

To the meat!

To get a handicap at most clubs, you are required to hand in 3 cards. These need to be signed by someone qualified to do so – normally a fellow member – and can be from either (or any) set of tees. Yellows are normally the most appropriate for newbies. The (Match &) Handicap Secretary, or other suitably qualified person, will use (normally the lowest of) these cards to set your initial handicap.  Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful (and frustrating) world of Golf Handicap! You are now a bona-fide golfer and can play in competitions using this handicap!

Some clubs actually have a ‘playing interview’ where your play – including etiquette – is checked out. That round may also be used to simply assign your initial handicap.

Your handicap is meant to indicate your ‘potential’. It is not expected that you will play to it every time, but it is a meant to equate your ability with every other golfer in the UK. That is quite a challenge for the body that supervises its administration (Congu – see www.congu.com ). Your ‘Playing Handicap’ is an Integer from the ‘rounded (up)’ of your ‘Exact Handicap’ - eg 7.4 Exact gives Playing of 7; 7.5 (to 8.4) Exact gives Playing of 8. Congu delegate authority and responsibility wrt Handicapping to Area Authorities (normally County) who, in turn, delegate to Clubs. Any disputes not settled at Club level can be referred for resolution upwards.

Handicaps are ‘normally’ adjusted by your performance in ‘Qualifying’ competitions. There is scope for a ‘General Play Adjustment’ (GPA) but I’ll come to that later. Qualifying competitions are held at regular intervals throughout the year. There are certain conditions that must be satisfied for a competition to be deemed ‘qualifying’ – so some clubs only have them during ‘the Season’.

Basically, if you play better than your handicap, you (actually your Exact Handicap) will be adjusted down (cut) and if you play significantly poorer than it is adjusted up. The amount of cut depends on the Category your Exact Handicap falls into. Cat 1 5.4 and below Cat 2 5.5-12.4 Cat 3 12.5-20.4 Cat 4 21-28 Ladies have a Category 5 of 28.5-36.  The amount of cut is ‘Diff’ * Category * 0.1. Upward adjustments are only ever 0.1. Diff is covered in next section. So if you are a 20 handicap and play to 16 over, you could be in for a cut of 1.2. If you played to 30, (or even 50) you will most likely be adjusted up 0.1. As you are not actually expected to play to your handicap every time, there is actually a ‘buffer’ and it is only if you score outside that that you are adjusted up. The buffer for Cat 1 is 1, Cat 2 is 2 and so on.

Complications:

As previously stated, your handicap is meant to be comparable with all golfers in the UK. As the difficulty – and even Par - of each course can vary across the country, each course is rated. This is the Standard Scratch Score (SSS) and is a nominal value that a ‘Scratch’ player should score on the course. Difficult courses will have a SSS greater than Par. Easier courses will have a SSS less than Par. It is the SSS that your handicap is measured against. Except! In order to allow for the conditions that applied when a particular competition was played – either favourable or unfavourable – the Competition Scratch Score (CSS) is calculated from all returned scores (well Cat 1 – 3). The CSS can vary down 1 or up by 3. If CSS varies up by more than 3, the competition is deemed ‘non-qualifying’ though downward adjustments can be made (Reductions Only).

One further adjustment: While qualifying competitions (like Monthly Medals) are normally Strokeplay – and the (handicap) winner is the person whose Nett  Score (calculated as Gross Score minus Handicap) is the least, Handicapping actually applies a ‘Stableford Adjustment’ if required. This makes an reduces the score on any hole to reflect ‘zero points’. So on a hole Par 5 hole where you would get 1 shot, the adjustment would mean that, for handicap purpose, the maximum score would be 8. So while a couple of blowout holes might mean you cannot win the competition, you could still be cut while some who finish higher up the competition might be adjusted upward by 0.1! Before the Mens and Ladies handicap systems were ‘unified’ the Stableford Adjustnment did not apply to Ladies so made ‘combined’ Stableford competitions unbalanced.

To calculate Cut

Let's take a potential TP round/
Exact Handicap 22.4, Playing 22
Qualifying Competition on your Par 68 SSS 71 course
Benign conditions, so CSS 70.

TP shoots 96 (Strokeplay Nett 74) so comes nowhere in the competition. However he had a pair of 10s on the 8th ( Par 4 SI 3) and 13 (Par 3 SI 9). For handicap purposes (only), a Stableford Adjustment is made on each of these. 10 on 8th becomes an 8 (he gets 2 shots). 10 on 13th becomes a 6. Stableford Adjustment = 6!

Score for handicap purpose  = Gross Score - Handicap - Stableford Adjustments; 96 - 22 - 6 = 68.

Diff = Score for Handicap Purpose - CSS ; 68 - 70 = -2

TP is in Cat 4, so gets cut 2 * 4 * 0.1 = 0.8 and Exact Handicap is now 21.6 but Playing Handicap is still 22! :curse:

BTW. Had the Stableford Adjustments not been applicable, the Nett 74 with CSS = 70 would have meant 'no change' as that would have been 'in buffer' (just). Any higher score would have resulted in an adjustment up of 0.1 - irrespective if it was 1 or 20 higher.

Now for the Monster - The General Play Adjustment.

While pretty much everything above is totally objective, there may be times where the adjustment process is not fast enough – in either direction. It may be appropriate to subjectively adjust you handicap to account for changes to your ability. There is a set of guidelines on how to apply these – and it is a Congu requirement for a review at least annually. Because it is subjective it is quite contentious and  because it is done at a Club level introduces the potential for inconsistencies between Clubs. It is occasionally used (normally invalidly imo) over Winter. It can be used very effectively with Juniors (and others) who improve dramatically in a short period. The minimum adjustment that can be made is 1.0. GPAs (also known as Rule (or Clause) 19) - but apparently now covered by clause 23! -cannot be applied to Cat 1 players (or where the adjustment will make them a Cat 1 player) without authorisation from the Area Authority.

Other methods to get 'Qualifying' Scores at your Club
 
Recently, a Supplementary Score process has been introduced (currently experimental and 'voluntary' for Clubs) as used to exist in the Ladies system as ‘Away Day’ scores. If your Club participates, the conditions to use these are available, but not necessary to describe here. Such tools are useful to cover situations where Clubs require a certain number of qualifying rounds to be played before entering knockout competitions and the fact that in Scotland and Ireland your handicap will lapse (so you play off scratch!) if you don’t return 3 scores in a year.

There is also a 'similar' option for 9 hole scores. see your (Match &) Handicap Secretary for details - and whether Club is participating!

Here's another site that might be useful too http://www.handicapmaster.org/handicaps/home.php

Hope all this helps. Most members will be happy to help with any queries.

Ross
« Last Edit: Mar 13, 2008, 15:08:13 by Foxholer »
Bag for this Month Week Today:

Tour FT3 Tour 8.5 Ozik Code 6 SX
Tour Exotics 15* Ozik TP7 S
Adams 17* Altus HB S
TM300 4-PW Rifle 6.0
Miura 52*,XDC 56*, Fatbox-ed 60* P-Grind
TP Mills Limited Edition (15/24) 33"

Winner Foxholer Benefit (MSG 2008 Summer Masters)

 

Recent