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Tim Martin

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Combining 9 Hole Scores for Handicap
« on: July 18, 2022, 09:50:48 AM »
I realize there are a fair number of golfers who only play nine holes and want to take advantage of the GHIN system allowing for combined scores. Is it a true reflection of ones ability to combine scores from varying days/months/seasons/years with vastly different weather conditions? GHIN states its okay to use different tees and/or courses to complete the score. Often the best 18 holes scores I see out of the twenty latest are combined and are lower than full rounds. If there is a thread out there that already deals with the issue I missed it.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2022, 10:07:24 AM by Tim Martin »

Erik J. Barzeski

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Re: Combining 9 Hole Scores for Handicap
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2022, 11:28:16 AM »
I realize there are a fair number of golfers who only play nine holes and want to take advantage of the GHIN system allowing for combined scores. Is it a true reflection of ones ability to combine scores from varying days/months/seasons/years with vastly different weather conditions? GHIN states its okay to use different tees and/or courses to complete the score. Often the best 18 holes scores I see out of the twenty latest are combined and are lower than full rounds. If there is a thread out there that already deals with the issue I missed it.
As with any of these types of things it probably helps some people and hurts others. If you're a slow starter, maybe you get in a groove and finish out an 18-hole round lower than you do two nine-hole rounds. Or maybe you get tired and play holes 10-18 worse than 1-9.

Different weather? That kind of stuff evens out. If you play 18 holes in average weather, what if you play nine in poor weather and nine in great weather? Etc.

It all just tends to even out, just not across a small sample size (of rounds, or individuals, or whatever). And the overall "good" it does of allowing more people to keep handicaps is worth any small negatives, IMO.
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, and Lifetime Student of the Game

Tom Bacsanyi

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Re: Combining 9 Hole Scores for Handicap
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2022, 09:49:47 PM »
I've been combining 9 hole scores for years now and I feel that there isn't any effect on one's index vs. posting full 18s . My scores are just as shitty either way (2.3 to a 6 to prove it).
Don't play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty.

--Harry Vardon

Ken Moum

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Re: Combining 9 Hole Scores for Handicap
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2022, 01:25:08 AM »
There was a time when players at nine-hole courses had nine-hole handicaps.  IOW, if they played 18 holes on one day, it posted as two nine-hole rounds.


So shooting 38-44 posted as if it was a 76, because the 44 didn't count.


I don't know when that changed but had a discussion about it with a nine-hole course member at a South Dakota State Tournament about 1990.
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Mark Chaplin

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Re: Combining 9 Hole Scores for Handicap
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2022, 03:55:47 PM »
There is much abuse of the 9 hole rule at the top end of amateur golf where handicap inflation can get you into an event. At my club Deal, the average 5 handicapper would be a scratch if he just played the front nine holes for handicap purposes. If he decided just to play the back nine hed probably be a 10-12 handicap.
Cave Nil Vino

Tom_Doak

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Re: Combining 9 Hole Scores for Handicap
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2022, 04:48:57 PM »
Often the best 18 holes scores I see out of the twenty latest are combined and are lower than full rounds. If there is a thread out there that already deals with the issue I missed it.


I suspect if there is any reason for this it's selection bias:  players are more likely to post the nine-hole round at all if they played well.

Erik J. Barzeski

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Re: Combining 9 Hole Scores for Handicap
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2022, 07:46:05 PM »
There was a time when players at nine-hole courses had nine-hole handicaps.  IOW, if they played 18 holes on one day, it posted as two nine-hole rounds.
I'm not sure that's real, or if it was, it must have been a loooooong time ago. In the 90s I believe I remember nine-hole scores being combined with others to form 18-hole scores. We had to account for that when we built "Scorecard" - a golf stats tracking app.
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, and Lifetime Student of the Game

Tom Bacsanyi

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Re: Combining 9 Hole Scores for Handicap
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2022, 07:50:16 PM »
Often the best 18 holes scores I see out of the twenty latest are combined and are lower than full rounds. If there is a thread out there that already deals with the issue I missed it.


I suspect if there is any reason for this it's selection bias:  players are more likely to post the nine-hole round at all if they played well.


Yeah but isn't selective posting a problem regardless of 9 vs. 18? The idea is to post all the scores, every last one. I'm sure everyone always posts all their scores (wink, wink).
Don't play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty.

--Harry Vardon

Ken Moum

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Re: Combining 9 Hole Scores for Handicap
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2022, 04:46:05 PM »
There was a time when players at nine-hole courses had nine-hole handicaps.  IOW, if they played 18 holes on one day, it posted as two nine-hole rounds.
I'm not sure that's real, or if it was, it must have been a loooooong time ago. In the 90s I believe I remember nine-hole scores being combined with others to form 18-hole scores. We had to account for that when we built "Scorecard" - a golf stats tracking app.


I believe you. But when we're you ever a member of a nine-hole course?


This discussion was in the 90s and at the time the system had no way of posting 18-hole scores on 9-hole courses.


I am currently a member of one, and we do have to choose 9 or 18 when we post now.
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Erik J. Barzeski

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Re: Combining 9 Hole Scores for Handicap
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2022, 06:41:02 PM »
I believe you. But when we're you ever a member of a nine-hole course?
We have a few around here. Two public ones in Erie alone. And as a member at an 18-hole course, you could post nine-hole scores after you played only nine holes. You could even play the front twice and it would combine them into an 18-hole score (with the course rating doubled and the slope the same, of course).

I'm seeking info here - I don't recall that ever being the case, that GHIN doubled a nine-hole score and posted a 78 for a 39. You couldn't even get an odd score that way.  ;D

I am currently a member of one, and we do have to choose 9 or 18 when we post now.
Yes, and the 9-hole scores are combined now, as they were then (from memory anyway), not doubled.

That's the bit about which I'm inquiring.


P.S. A quick search yields nothing relevant at http://popeofslope.com/history/index.html.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2022, 06:42:37 PM by Erik J. Barzeski »
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, and Lifetime Student of the Game

Ken Moum

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Re: Combining 9 Hole Scores for Handicap
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2022, 07:04:59 PM »
I believe you. But when we're you ever a member of a nine-hole course?
We have a few around here. Two public ones in Erie alone. And as a member at an 18-hole course, you could post nine-hole scores after you played only nine holes. You could even play the front twice and it would combine them into an 18-hole score (with the course rating doubled and the slope the same, of course).

I'm seeking info here - I don't recall that ever being the case, that GHIN doubled a nine-hole score and posted a 78 for a 39. You couldn't even get an odd score that way.  ;D

I am currently a member of one, and we do have to choose 9 or 18 when we post now.
Yes, and the 9-hole scores are combined now, as they were then (from memory anyway), not doubled.

That's the bit about which I'm inquiring.


P.S. A quick search yields nothing relevant at http://popeofslope.com/history/index.html.


Sorry, I wasn't clear.  The issue was that nearly every time this fellow played 18 holes one of the nines was 3 or 4 shots lower than the other one.


This is not rare. My men's league captain the last two weeks shot 50/42 and 50/43.


So when his low 10 of 20 were selected,  his scores were much lower than if he'd posted them as 18-hole scores.
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Erik J. Barzeski

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Re: Combining 9 Hole Scores for Handicap
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2022, 07:08:49 PM »
Sorry, I wasn't clear.  The issue was that nearly every time this fellow played 18 holes one of the nines was 3 or 4 shots lower than the other one.

This is not rare. My men's league captain the last two weeks shot 50/42 and 50/43.

So when his low 10 of 20 were selected, his scores were much lower than if he'd posted them as 18-hole scores.
Roger that. I'll blame myself for misreading. Sorry for the diversion.
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, and Lifetime Student of the Game

Tim Martin

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