New Handicap System in 2020

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By Darius V

  • 15 Replies
  1. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    So it looks like some of our concerns regarding handicapping will finally be addressed starting in January 2020. The new World Handicapping System will have a number of changes but in my opinion the key changes that will make the biggest impact on us are:

    - Using the best 8 of 20 instead of 10 of 20 games, and using some method of applying previous history to better manage sudden changes

    - Changing the adjusted stroke system for entering your scores for handicap purposes to what they call Net Double Bogey. What that means is that for someone like me with an 8 handicap I could only use a double bogey as a max score on any hole. Now it will be a double bogey on the 10 non-stroke holes, and a triple bogey on my 8 stroke holes. This will be a little tougher to manage and keep track of but likely worth it in the end.

    - The one I love the most will be the adjustment of handicap in some fashion based on course and weather conditions. It does mean that you need to input your scores on the day you played, and not wait a week to put them all in so that the system can make the adjustments based on the local weather data.

    Many of us have often suggested there needed to be some way to reflect that our games are not the same in the cold weather of the spring and fall as they are in the warmth of the summer and finally they will be doing that !!! Overall I am pleased with the new system coming in. What are your thoughts ?

  2. Hotsauce

    Georgetown MA

    First off I love that course conditions and weather will be a factor. I also love the Net Double max. This will keep a couple tough days or a couple of tough holes from ballooning or torpedoing someone's cap. Caps will always fluctuate, and they should ebb and flow with our games, but I'm a fan of caps moving too much over a short period of time.
  3. James G

    James G
    Kitchener, Ontario, ON

    The Max net double bogey will be a great addition to Members leagues and club events everywhere as its standard and hopefully helps many of the "reverse" sandbaggers get more accurate handicaps. Nobody wants to take huge number on holes playing intramural or recreational golf, however many people also keep a handicap that is way lower than their actual, we call it the "Ego Handicap".
    Just look at any club championship any where and see the scores in relation to actual handicaps and daily play. Way up!! (Except for a few that shoot way below their caps, that's another story lol)
    Anyways I think that the net max double and weather considerations will help players In a great positive way across the board.

    Tillsonburg, ON

    I'm liking the new system in that the cap will adjust immediately when you enter the score. I think it's the USGA that adjusts on the 1st and 15th of each month.
  5. There will be absolutely no reason why anyone who plays even a half dozen times a year can't keep a handicap now. I organize a golf trip each year with 7 other guys, and 3 of them don't have handicaps. As I play with them a couple times a month, I estimate their handicap for our games. It is hit and miss, and to be truthful I am usually get it wrong, and after playing good golf for the last 2 years, I am tired of losing money (not a lot, we throw in $20 a person and play teams, but it is the principle of the matter). This should make things a little more even moving forward.
  6. Hughie G

    Hughie G
    Yellowknife, NT

    I'm curious to know if any of your home courses enforce handicap input? If so, how?
  7. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    At our home course, the pro both insists and ensures that scores are input at least on "men's night and ladies night" since these scores are used for the weekly prizes. He actually keeps a separate system tracking those scores and only uses those scores for the men's night or ladies night competition handicaps.
    Apart from that, I understand there has been some review in the past on how many scores have been input by players relative to the number of rounds they registered to play. That is difficult to enforce given some people may go out and play more than one ball when the course is empty or drop a number of balls around the green after missing some pitches or chips making that round ineligible as far as I understand.
    We will never get rid of sandbaggers though as it is easy to simply - not try as hard - when playing recreationally vs playing in a match for the title. I don't know if that can ever be truly solved.
  8. Jason R

    Jason R
    Ottawa, ON

    We tried at our course to "automate" the reminder system. The Pro Shop set up an auto-generated email if the member had a tee time and did not register a score in the system. It did not last long as the members felt they were being spammed and there was much push-back. Now we rely on word of mouth and peer pressure to get folks to register their scores. Pro Shop still knows who has and hasn't entered their scores, serial offenders still get a gentle email reminder but beyond that I am not sure what can be done. And at a public course with no membership tracking I am not sure much can be done at all.

    I do like the addition of the daily weather conditions adjustment. I wonder what happens if you forget to enter and enter the following day.
  9. Barry S

    Barry S
    Oakville, ON

    I think that the adjustment for weather conditions will be a tough one.
  10. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    Barry S said:

    I think that the adjustment for weather conditions will be a tough one.

    According to the R&A, the Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC), will analyze how players have performed that day compared to their expected performance. If expected results fall outside a tolerance level, an adjustment will apply to all scores played on that course for that day. At least 8 scores from people playing that course on that day will need to have been entered for the calculation to take effect. So - it is not like they actually look at the weather, but rather at the general trend of scores as compared to normal scoring by the average players for the day that would adjust the calculation. Seems fair to me. If everyone is scoring 4 or 5 strokes above their norm on that day, it seems logical that something like wind or rain or course set-up has changed and made it tougher. Not really different than saying the slope has changed for that course for that particular day.

    Does that make sense ?
  11. The other thing about weather conditions: how often will it be updated through out the day? For example, if I play my course first thing in the morning you have to deal with dew on the grass, but usually mild winds. By 1pm, you could be facing 20km+ winds on some holes. I am glad they are trying, but it could become a dog's breakfast.
  12. Todd J

    Todd J
    Calgary, Alberta

    Now that Golf Canada has upgraded their system, anyone else have their handicap change? mine went down .1 lol
  13. Barry S

    Barry S
    Oakville, ON

    I just checked, and it has stayed the same.
  14. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    I checked, but I can't remember :)
    I would imagine it would have gone down for most simply because they are now taking the best 8 out of 20 instead of the best 10 out of 20. As such, eliminating the two highest differentials that used to contribute to your handicap one should expect in most cases to see a small reduction.
  15. Never even thought about it. Just went back and checked, and yes mine has gone down as well.
  16. Going one step further, it looks like they have adjusted course handicaps. My index has gone down to 8.5, but for the tees I normally play on 3 different courses, my handicap is now 4,4, and 5 respectively. Last year, with an 8.5 index, my course handicaps were either 7 or 8. Interesting.

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