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MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Big changes coming to the handicap system but they still haven't addressed the fundamental problem of calculating hcp index (i.e. potential)  based on total Medal score when most informal and many formal competitions are played at Match-Play.

https://golfweek.usatoday.com/lists/world-handicap-system-updates-short-courses-expected-scores-usga/?utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&fbclid=IwAR064_-dmVfuBR67bz_7LNDJIKCiBZHqc2J6l61LV2UR-hth_PoNBByXyZo
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
I am as disappointed in the WHS as anybody. However, at the core of a handicapping system is the idea of creating competitive golf across a wide range of abilities. To be honest, I think this has been achieved. But to be fair, it was achieved prior to WHS. Everything else is gravy. Some good gravy and some rancid gravy.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Sean,


I would contend that very few people actually use (or even understand, Equitable Stroke Control) and since the system doesn't enforce hole-by-hole scoring it is difficult to fix the present situation without it.    My contention is that most higher handicap players I know can par or birdie any hole, and then take an 8 or more on any other hole, leading to total Medal handicaps that are very difficult to play against.


I can recall a match two years ago where a 24 I was giving two strokes to on a par five was on the green in two, essentially putting for a 1 in our match.   I'm pretty sure...no...really sure that the present system doesn't really measure "potential" very well at all.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Bryan Izatt

  • Karma: +0/-0
Not sure they are such BIG changes.  Re match play, that's already covered.  I guess their analysis didn't highlight that as an area that needed addressing.  From USGA, here is how to handle match play.


Handicap CompetitionsQ. Should match play scores be posted even if I do not hole out on every hole?

A. Yes. When a hole is started but a player does not hole out, the player must record their most likely score for handicap purposes. (Rule 3.3, Rules of Handicapping)

If the match ends with holes left to play and the players continue to play, the actual scores must be posted on every hole played.

If a match ends with holes left to play and the players do not play the remaining holes, net par should be recorded as the hole scores for the remaining holes (keeping in mind at least 7 or 14 holes must be played for a 9- or 18-hole score to posted).

Bryan Izatt

  • Karma: +0/-0
Mike,


In Canada they enforce the entry of hole by hole scoring under the WHS.  Not sure why USGA doesn't other than it makes posting scores more annoying and time consuming. 


It doesn't really solve the situation you describe.  I once got trashed in a match against a 17 index guy who shot 75.  The system did knock his index down by 2 under the exceptional score provision of WHS.  Any system is going to have these outlier results, especially if there are sandbaggers about.

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Bryan,


Thanks for all that but my point is that without enforcement of hole by hole scoring (and thus automated enforcement of ESC as I'd bet a very large % of players don't even know it exists or how to apply it) the much larger variance of higher handicappers hole scores provides them a distorted advantage, usually unintentially I'd suggest.   When I get a little free time, I'll suggest what I think is a good viable alternative, but even that requires enforcement of hole by hole entry.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

John Bouffard

  • Karma: +0/-0
... I can recall a match two years ago where a 24 I was giving two strokes to on a par five was on the green in two, essentially putting for a 1 in our match.   I'm pretty sure...no...really sure that the present system doesn't really measure "potential" very well at all.


Can a system be devised, based on averages derived from pools of highly variable data, to handle every eventuality "fairly?" No, I don't think it can.


Yes, you got screwed by the system in this case. But how many times does a 24 hcp end up lying 2 on the green on a par 5? Almost never.


I'm very happy with the handicap system. I've been anywhere from a 6 to an 18 in my playing days, and I never felt like I was getting screwed or stealing from anyone. It's a game. It is rife with uncertainty, both in our native ability and in the breaks of random chance, bounces, etc.


If you (the generic "you," not you personally Sean :)) want certainty and complete fairness, I say take up chess.

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0



Can a system be devised, based on averages derived from pools of highly variable data, to handle every eventuality "fairly?" No, I don't think it can.


Yes, you got screwed by the system in this case. But how many times does a 24 hcp end up lying 2 on the green on a par 5? Almost never.


I'm very happy with the handicap system. I've been anywhere from a 6 to an 18 in my playing days, and I never felt like I was getting screwed or stealing from anyone. It's a game. It is rife with uncertainty, both in our native ability and in the breaks of random chance, bounces, etc.


If you (the generic "you," not you personally Sean :) ) want certainty and complete fairness, I say take up chess.




John,


it's me who brought up that example, not Sean.   Did I also mention that the 24 was on 3 of the par 3s in one shot?   Yet that person's wild inconsistency and ability to hit the ball a far way provided that reality, even though his handicap reflected his usual medal score.


I think it's funny that you suggest I'm not open to the vagaries and uncertainties of the game as I'm Mr. Quirk and grew up playing mostly hard-scrabble munis where conditions were...inconsistent.   But that's ok.


I would simply suggest that because a perfect system isn't possible doesn't mean we should stop trying to perfect it as much as possible.   Thanks.



"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Big changes coming to the handicap system but they still haven't addressed the fundamental problem of calculating hcp index (i.e. potential)  based on total Medal score when most informal and many formal competitions are played at Match-Play.

https://golfweek.usatoday.com/lists/world-handicap-system-updates-short-courses-expected-scores-usga/?utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&fbclid=IwAR064_-dmVfuBR67bz_7LNDJIKCiBZHqc2J6l61LV2UR-hth_PoNBByXyZo



Mike,


With all due respect, Iím not sure why you think that there is more match play than stroke play. 


I play a TON of competitive golf (too much, probably) and the vast majority of it is stroke play.  The only match play that I play are interclub matches, 9 hole matches in my clubís Member-Member and Member-Guest, and 9 hole matches in our Wednesday night league that runs all summer. Thereís almost no way to have a match play format in tournament play unless you are going to have a multi-day tournament because match play pretty much requires a round robin of some sort.


In casual play, even for a few dollars, the format is usually some variety of stroke play.  Points games, skins games, large groups split into groups of four playing against each other, and so on; all stroke play.


Without bothering to go back and count, Iíd guess that of the 130+ rounds if posted so far in 2023, maybe a dozen have been match play, and thatís IF I combine 9 hole scores.  I know there are guys who play match play with a buddy, like I used to do on Sunday mornings at a former club, but I just donít think there are many.


But more to the point, I think youíd have a hard time proving to me that the system works better or worse for stroke play vs match play.  I just donít see it.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Tim Martin

  • Karma: +0/-0
One in ten people carry an official handicap and I would think that correlates to how many play in sanctioned stroke play events(certainly less). In my experience match play and stableford are the formats that rule the day in casual play.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2023, 11:37:27 AM by Tim Martin »

Pete Lavallee

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2023, 01:13:58 PM »
The 2 clubs where I play in the weekly Menís Day both require Golf Genius for scoring. Scores are entered on your phone after each hole is completed. You receive an email as soon as the last score is entered so you can verify your score is accurate. It also automatically applies equitable stroke control. You can also check the leaderboard at any time during the round. It makes scoring the event a breeze for those who are computer savvy. The Club can designate them as Competition Scores if they wish. Which brings me to my main beef with the current system. The SCGA will not allow us to have an official Competition Handicap using the online data. This would weed out the main cause of sandbagging: posting casual rounds outside of a formal competition.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2023, 01:23:18 PM by Pete Lavallee »
"...one inoculated with the virus must swing a golf-club or perish."  Robert Hunter

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2023, 02:40:14 PM »
Thanks all for the additional information and opinions.   Whether competitive play is at the Matchplay or Medal format, I still think it makes more sense to try and collect as much data as possible in an effort to more closely define anyone's "potential" scoring capabilities, which is what the handicap system attempts to do so I'm all for enforcing the hole by hole score entry, even if some consider it a minor inconvenience that takes maybe another 30 seconds or so.


Ok, this is half-baked, but let me offer an alternative to spur discussion.  It's a straw man, so I won't be offended by any criticisms.  It's based on the predicate that most amateur handicaps, even those of better players (but mostly of high handicappers) are often distorted by a few bad "disaster" holes that artificially elevate scoring overall.   It's also based on a belief that very few players even know what ESC is, much less use it, so hole-by-hole scoring takes that out of the equation.


The concept is simple.   Instead of total medal score total up the number of holes a player achieves some number indicating "proficiency", which I'd argue translates directly to "potential".    For arguments sake, lets say any hole where a player scores 5 or better (it could alternatively be total pars, or bogeys even) before ESC is applied counts towards their handicap and the other's are strewn to the wind.


In this example, let's say an 18 index has an average round (you could include all scores instead of just the best 8 of 20) of 95 but it's made up of 3s, 5s, 6s, 7s, and 8s and such.   The average number of holes where they score 5 or better becomes their index.   Let's say it's 4 holes per average.   


Compare that with a 5 index who's average round is let's say 80, but who cards 5 or better on an average of 15 holes per round.   In a match between these two hypothetical players the higher handicap would receive 11 strokes, as opposed to the 13 they would normally receive.   This would in effect reduce the impact of those disaster holes on "potential" for all players as well as eliminate the need for ESC and some other complexities that are neither well understood nor universally applied.


Someone smarter than me can likely easily figure out how to adjust for slope and course ratings to apply to this method.


Darts and arrows welcomed, thanks.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2023, 02:57:50 PM by MCirba »
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Jason Thurman

  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2023, 02:59:44 PM »
Why do you believe that nobody knows how ESC works? I have, like, zero faith in my fellow man's intelligence. If your thesis is "People are morons," I nod aggressively. But I don't know a golfer with a handicap who doesn't understand "net double bogey is the ESC limit." And I don't exactly think the golfers at my club are a special bunch of Einsteins...


I never want to enter a hole-by-hole score ever again, especially under the mistaken guise that it will stop cheating. Sandbaggers will continue to exist regardless of how much fruitless tedium we add to our already tedious game. As noted above, I have no faith in people's intelligence... but I still think sandbaggers will figure out how to carry the one and tack it onto another hole instead.
"There will always be haters. Thatís just the way it is. Hating dudes marry hating women and have hating ass kids." - Evan Turner

Some of y'all have never been called out in bold green font and it really shows.

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2023, 04:22:17 PM »
Jason,


Respectfully, I just believe a high % of golfers aren't into that level of detailed adminstrative minutae and just enter their front & back nine total scores.


On one hand, you say it's too laborious a process to enter scores by hole but argue that the larger golf world is going to go through their scorecard manually for each hole, comparing their scores to the handicaps of each hole and then manually adjust said score for ESC.


Ultimately, and to my chagrin as a scorecard collector, the golf world will someday soon realize that there is no longer a need for the costs of printed scorecards and we'll all be entering electronically in either typed or some automated fashion that hasn't been invented yet and I'm a little worried that implementing the system I'm suggesting would hurry along that regrettable eventuality.   :-\
« Last Edit: November 09, 2023, 04:32:20 PM by MCirba »
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Pete Lavallee

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2023, 05:12:57 PM »
Mike,


It has been invented and itís called Golf Genius! The basic version is free. The updated version has a cost associated, but most Mens Club can afford it. It addresses all your concerns: equitable stroke control, hole by hole scoring and eliminates the tedious task of collating manual scorecards at the end of the event. As far as getting trounced by a golfer whose handicap is 10 or more higher than yours there is no system which can stop that; thatís why we fight tournaments and pair similar abilities in match play.
"...one inoculated with the virus must swing a golf-club or perish."  Robert Hunter

Rob Marshall

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2023, 05:50:44 PM »
Mike,


It has been invented and itís called Golf Genius! The basic version is free. The updated version has a cost associated, but most Mens Club can afford it. It addresses all your concerns: equitable stroke control, hole by hole scoring and eliminates the tedious task of collating manual scorecards at the end of the event. As far as getting trounced by a golfer whose handicap is 10 or more higher than yours there is no system which can stop that; thatís why we fight tournaments and pair similar abilities in match play.


IF the system worked you wouldn't need flights IMO.
If life gives you limes, make margaritas.Ē Jimmy Buffett

Pete Lavallee

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2023, 06:04:32 PM »
Higher handicaps have a greater variance in their scores. Not unusual for a 20 handicap to shoot a net 62. How many times as a good player have you shot a net 62!  We had a 9 handicap win the first flight yesterday with a gross 71, net 62. At least heíll get the dreaded penalty score!
"...one inoculated with the virus must swing a golf-club or perish."  Robert Hunter

Rob Marshall

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2023, 06:46:25 PM »
Higher handicaps have a greater variance in their scores. Not unusual for a 20 handicap to shoot a net 62. How many times as a good player have you shot a net 62!  We had a 9 handicap win the first flight yesterday with a gross 71, net 62. At least heíll get the dreaded penalty score!


Exactly my point.
If life gives you limes, make margaritas.Ē Jimmy Buffett

Ken Moum

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2023, 08:15:00 PM »
Higher handicaps have a greater variance in their scores. Not unusual for a 20 handicap to shoot a net 62. How many times as a good player have you shot a net 62!  We had a 9 handicap win the first flight yesterday with a gross 71, net 62. At least heíll get the dreaded penalty score!


Exactly my point.


There's no way a system can account for that possibility.


If the field size is big enough,  someone with a 15-20 handicap will always shoot a low round.


At least flighting means he'll beat a bunch of other 15s.


I've been a 5, and now I'm a 15+ but never had an ability to shoot 65 net.


I've won my share shooting one or two under net, however.
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

Chris Hughes

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2023, 11:02:35 PM »
The expectation that "hole by hole" scoring would be widely adhered to, is laughable, IMHO.  Unless that is, the pro-shop is willing to take every card, every day, and enter those scores.


 I didn't see any update on the "soft-cap/hard-cap" provisions in the "update".  That joke of a "anti-abuse" codicil is absurd and completely neuters previous (effective) sanctions in place to penalize serial sandbaggers. 

Erik J. Barzeski

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2023, 12:12:21 AM »
Can we stop talking about something (Equitable Stroke Control) that hasn't been a thing since 2020? It's Net Double Bogey (NDB), not ESC. ESC went out with the old system and was slightly more confusing.

The stats really don't back up your anecdata, @MCirba.
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, Instructor/Coach, and Lifetime Student of the Game.

I ignore Rob, Tim, and Garland.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2023, 03:27:06 AM »
Sean,


I would contend that very few people actually use (or even understand, Equitable Stroke Control) and since the system doesn't enforce hole-by-hole scoring it is difficult to fix the present situation without it.    My contention is that most higher handicap players I know can par or birdie any hole, and then take an 8 or more on any other hole, leading to total Medal handicaps that are very difficult to play against.


I can recall a match two years ago where a 24 I was giving two strokes to on a par five was on the green in two, essentially putting for a 1 in our match.   I'm pretty sure...no...really sure that the present system doesn't really measure "potential" very well at all.

Can a handicap system ever properly account for medal, match  and stableford using one index?

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2023, 06:13:47 AM »
Not unusual for a 20 handicap to shoot a net 62.
Yes it is.  It is just a bit less unusual than for a 10 handicap, and substantially more unusual than a scratch player.


http://www.popeofslope.com/sandbagging/odds.html
« Last Edit: November 10, 2023, 06:16:02 AM by Mark Pearce »

Kyle Harris

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2023, 06:27:31 AM »
Sean,


I would contend that very few people actually use (or even understand, Equitable Stroke Control) and since the system doesn't enforce hole-by-hole scoring it is difficult to fix the present situation without it.    My contention is that most higher handicap players I know can par or birdie any hole, and then take an 8 or more on any other hole, leading to total Medal handicaps that are very difficult to play against.


I can recall a match two years ago where a 24 I was giving two strokes to on a par five was on the green in two, essentially putting for a 1 in our match.   I'm pretty sure...no...really sure that the present system doesn't really measure "potential" very well at all.


Two points.


A: Stroke allocations should put pressure on the better player as opposed to bailing out the worse.


B: Stroke allocations are solely the responsibility of the club or committee.
http://kylewharris.com

Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

Thank you for changing the font of your posts. It makes them easier to scroll past.

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New expanded Handicap system still leaves fundamental issues unaddressed
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2023, 06:31:59 AM »
Sean,


I would contend that very few people actually use (or even understand, Equitable Stroke Control) and since the system doesn't enforce hole-by-hole scoring it is difficult to fix the present situation without it.    My contention is that most higher handicap players I know can par or birdie any hole, and then take an 8 or more on any other hole, leading to total Medal handicaps that are very difficult to play against.


I can recall a match two years ago where a 24 I was giving two strokes to on a par five was on the green in two, essentially putting for a 1 in our match.   I'm pretty sure...no...really sure that the present system doesn't really measure "potential" very well at all.


Two points.


A: Stroke allocations should put pressure on the better player as opposed to bailing out the worse.


B: Stroke allocations are solely the responsibility of the club or committee.
Quite.  Too many players (and clubs) think that stroke allocation should be a result of the hardness of  hole, rather than the differential between the expected score of a good player and a bad player.  At least for match play.  And it shouldn't matter for stroke play.

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