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Handicap Ethics - Is everyone being honest


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I've been a member at private clubs for like 15 years now so have seen all kinds. But i would say ~95% of people keep an index i would call mostly valid. In my experience there is a lot more "vanity" caps than true sandbaggers. I have known a few legit ones in both categories. 

 

I think picking up 2-3 footers doesn't affect index nearly as much as guys think. You might only have a couple of these a round, and in many rounds if you putted them you would make most of them anyway (2-3 footers you would have a high make percentage on). Someone who is a 5.4 and maybe "should" be a 5.8...i don't consider much of a vanity capper. A "real" vanity capper is someone who doesn't even finish holes and gives himself a bogey on them. Who hits balls out of bounds twice on the same hole and gives himself a bogey etc....I have seen a couple of guys whose indexes are probably 5-7 shots lower than they should be. I know someone who is a 6-7 index and if he played my friend who is a 15 straight up, i'd put 100$ on my friend without even thinking about it. But again this is NOT common

 

Sandbaggers in Canada, to me the easiest way to do is play a ton of rounds in October when the conditions are terrible, it's silly season anyway, club championship is over etc...So i've seen some guys always seem to shoot a lot of 85's in October, they are drinking during the rounds etc...Than all of a sudden they are a 5.8 for the early season tournaments the next season, when they should be a 2.0....I hate that stuff

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I would go 35% vanity, 10% sandbagger and 55% accurate.    My rational (as someone that has spent 10+ years on handicap committees)- 1. A very high proportion of women golfers I have en

I’d say 15 percent vanity caps, 35% sandbaggers and 50% are accurate 

Two basic premises underlie the Handicap System, namely that each player will try to make the best score at every hole in every round, regardless of where the round is played, and that the player will

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6 hours ago, Deceptively Short said:

If there are so many vanity handicappers in the US it would be good to see individual strokeplay competition results. I understand that these are no commonly run but if they were, theoretically, you should get a lot of PCC kicking in as a significant % of the field would not be able to play to their handicap. 

PCC kicked in at every stroke play tourney I played in this year. Get a bunch of guys that don’t know the course that play it down putt it out and post all the scores. 
 

Doesn’t mean the rating is wrong. Doesn’t mean the players are vanity caps. It means, most people play 90% of their golf on their home course. Playing elsewhere, casually, is hard. Playing elsewhere, in a tournament setting, is even harder. 
 

My index would be at least 4 points higher if I played different courses all the time. I’m not very good, but I know where to miss on my home course, know the speed, know the breaks etc etc. Since my course closed for the season and we started playing anywhere that was open, if we were allowed to keep posting, my index would have skyrocketed. I never shot a round that the differential was within 3 shots of my index. 

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2 hours ago, MtlJeff said:

I've been a member at private clubs for like 15 years now so have seen all kinds. But i would say ~95% of people keep an index i would call mostly valid. In my experience there is a lot more "vanity" caps than true sandbaggers. I have known a few legit ones in both categories. 

 

I think picking up 2-3 footers doesn't affect index nearly as much as guys think. You might only have a couple of these a round, and in many rounds if you putted them you would make most of them anyway (2-3 footers you would have a high make percentage on). Someone who is a 5.4 and maybe "should" be a 5.8...i don't consider much of a vanity capper. A "real" vanity capper is someone who doesn't even finish holes and gives himself a bogey on them. Who hits balls out of bounds twice on the same hole and gives himself a bogey etc....I have seen a couple of guys whose indexes are probably 5-7 shots lower than they should be. I know someone who is a 6-7 index and if he played my friend who is a 15 straight up, i'd put 100$ on my friend without even thinking about it. But again this is NOT common

 

Sandbaggers in Canada, to me the easiest way to do is play a ton of rounds in October when the conditions are terrible, it's silly season anyway, club championship is over etc...So i've seen some guys always seem to shoot a lot of 85's in October, they are drinking during the rounds etc...Than all of a sudden they are a 5.8 for the early season tournaments the next season, when they should be a 2.0....I hate that stuff

 

That's not sandbagging, and of course you can (should ?) do it too.

 

So long as the round is shot "in season" it counts towards caps. It really is just that simple.

 

When I first joined my old club in the late 80s we played Sat and Sunday so there'd be 4 rounds between revisions, easily enough to move a cap a fair bit. and in NYC we had the same "problem". Guys who played all season long would be playing in very difficult conditions in Oct/Nov and again in Apr and part of May.

 

From Oct through April is roughly 14 weeks and 28 rounds.

 

Since I was an avid player back then my cap followed that same pattern. Would rise quite a bit later one season and again in the early part of the next and then, in prime May and June conditions would go fairly sharply down.

 

But it's not sandbagging. ¯\_()_/¯

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8 minutes ago, nsxguy said:

 

That's not sandbagging, and of course you can (should ?) do it too.

 

So long as the round is shot "in season" it counts towards caps. It really is just that simple.

 

When I first joined my old club in the late 80s we played Sat and Sunday so there'd be 4 rounds between revisions, easily enough to move a cap a fair bit. and in NYC we had the same "problem". Guys who played all season long would be playing in very difficult conditions in Oct/Nov and again in Apr and part of May.

 

From Oct through April is roughly 14 weeks and 28 rounds.

 

Since I was an avid player back then my cap followed that same pattern. Would rise quite a bit later one season and again in the early part of the next and then, in prime May and June conditions would go fairly sharply down.

 

But it's not sandbagging. ¯\_()_/¯

 

I would consider it sandbagging if you aren't actually trying to shoot good scores. At the very least it's gaming the system a bit. 

 

At some clubs after the CC members do a lot of "skins" type rounds, fun formats etc. A guy goes out and pulls driver on every hole trying to make birdies, gets super aggressive etc...And then posts 87's in October like "wink wink" i was trying to make birdies to win skins etc...October is kind of silly season as i mentioned at a lot of places

 

Here a lot of our club tournaments are early in the season, so if you are 3-4 pts higher it benefits you for those. 

 

My index goes up in October too, most people's do. It's usually within a normal range though

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10 minutes ago, MtlJeff said:

 

I would consider it sandbagging if you aren't actually trying to shoot good scores. At the very least it's gaming the system a bit. 

 

At some clubs after the CC members do a lot of "skins" type rounds, fun formats etc. A guy goes out and pulls driver on every hole trying to make birdies, gets super aggressive etc...And then posts 87's in October like "wink wink" i was trying to make birdies to win skins etc...October is kind of silly season as i mentioned at a lot of places

 

Here a lot of our club tournaments are early in the season, so if you are 3-4 pts higher it benefits you for those. 

 

My index goes up in October too, most people's do. It's usually within a normal range though

 

Sandbagging is cheating. Sandbagging is intentionally manipulating your handicap. I mean doesn't the definition of a round for posting purposes include the phrase "where the player is trying to make the best score on every hole" (or words to that effect). So by definition, if they're not trying to shoot their best scores the round shouldn't be posted in the first place.

 

It's up to your Committee (I believe). I think, but am not sure, it's in your Committee's power to exclude those rounds in your silly season month of October. That would likely take care of the early season tourney issues. It's certainly in the Committee's power to review handicaps and adjust if necessary. Maybe you should approach them with the issue ?

 

As I mentioned earlier we played 8 rounds in Oct and another 8 in April. By May we had an almost brand new handicap so of course it could be considerably higher. If Oct is excluded and only April is included, especially if there's only 1 round per week, problem solved.

 

As for skins games I guess it depends. If it's a pure skins game, that is, once you can't make birdie you pick up and move on (I've played in only a handful of them), it shouldn't be posted.

 

If however, the skins are a secondary tourney within a tourney, that is, there's a comp for low gross/net/points/Stableford/whatever, then the round should still count. I've played in plenty of those.

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As someone with a legit extremely low handicap, there is another component to where guys see someone with my handicap and try their absolute hardest like it’s a club championship against you every time you tee it up. It doesn’t bother me, but I find it pretty funny how many times I get to witness the lowest round of someone’s life.

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8 hours ago, Deceptively Short said:

If there are so many vanity handicappers in the US it would be good to see individual strokeplay competition results. I understand that these are no commonly run but if they were, theoretically, you should get a lot of PCC kicking in as a significant % of the field would not be able to play to their handicap. 

 

As you and Newby mentioned earlier, in the UK handicaps are much more controlled than here in the U.S. Virtually 100% of them are peer reviewed.

 

Here in the States, anyone can get a handicap number and they can input any scores they want. It's anybody's guess as to how many keep their own handicaps "just for fun". And many of these players simply play with their buddies and the Rule ? The Rules are just something that others play by. So it's not an apples-to-apples comparison.

 

That said there are even groups who keep their handicaps carefully that play by preferred lies all year round, take a "breakfast ball" (Mulligan) off the first tee.

 

I daresay if anyone in the UK suggested a breakfast ball off the first tee somebody'd be making them eat their ball for breakfast. 51683a_0161516974bf4cada1700f14fbbd7aea~

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21 minutes ago, nsxguy said:

 

As you and Newby mentioned earlier, in the UK handicaps are much more controlled than here in the U.S. Virtually 100% of them are peer reviewed.

 

Here in the States, anyone can get a handicap number and they can input any scores they want. It's anybody's guess as to how many keep their own handicaps "just for fun". And many of these players simply play with their buddies and the Rule ? The Rules are just something that others play by. So it's not an apples-to-apples comparison.

 

That said there are even groups who keep their handicaps carefully that play by preferred lies all year round, take a "breakfast ball" (Mulligan) off the first tee.

 

I daresay if anyone in the UK suggested a breakfast ball off the first tee somebody'd be making them eat their ball for breakfast. 51683a_0161516974bf4cada1700f14fbbd7aea~

As almost all posted rounds are in club competitions, they would be made to eat their ball shortly before being asked to leave the Club!

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Bob Hope wrote about some NY gamblers coming to the Riviera CC in LA and betting the pro there $20,000 he couldn't break 90; the catch was he had to play two balls on every shot, even putts, then play the worst of them on his next shot. The pro shot 56 on the front nine, paid off the bet and walked in.

 

As a tool for game improvement improvement, record keeping in any format benefits from honesty in that omitting bad shots will make make actual improvement hard to discern.  

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1 hour ago, MtlJeff said:

 

I would consider it sandbagging if you aren't actually trying to shoot good scores. At the very least it's gaming the system a bit. 

 

At some clubs after the CC members do a lot of "skins" type rounds, fun formats etc. A guy goes out and pulls driver on every hole trying to make birdies, gets super aggressive etc...And then posts 87's in October like "wink wink" i was trying to make birdies to win skins etc...October is kind of silly season as i mentioned at a lot of places

 

Here a lot of our club tournaments are early in the season, so if you are 3-4 pts higher it benefits you for those. 

 

My index goes up in October too, most people's do. It's usually within a normal range though

What are people supposed to do in these rounds then?  Surely they are allowed to play aggressively to try to make birdies if they are playing a skins game.  I don’t think they have the options to not post the score.  So it seems it is just part of the system/game.

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9 hours ago, cardoustie said:

I will clarify my sand bagger numbers... 60% of them have no clue what they are doing

 

It is the balance that intentionally keep an inflated cap that drive me nuts ... also coming from 10 plus years as a committee member ..Captain, tournament chair, handicap chair etc

 

Some guys love to win shop certs at all costs ... and have their name called out in front of everyone on league day

 

You know the guy, shoots 92 four days a week but on men’s day as a 18 cap here comes a legit 80. (These guys are different than the 9 caps that shoot 75 every men’s day with Mullies, picked up 5 footers and fluff all lies .. the guy that can’t break 90 in the club C)

 

Given you have been in positions of authority what did you do about those guys? Always interested to see how different captains/chairs handle sandbaggers.

 

I have to say when I had access to all the information it was really rare that people accused of being baggers actually were. But when then was solid evidence I did have to make adjustments from time to time, but it was rare.

 

One of the better moves we did as a committee was posted historical winning net scores for 5years in the locker room better than 5 under. If you were on multiple times it was a wall of shame that helped curb bad actors.

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1 hour ago, Shupe said:

As someone with a legit extremely low handicap, there is another component to where guys see someone with my handicap and try their absolute hardest like it’s a club championship against you every time you tee it up. It doesn’t bother me, but I find it pretty funny how many times I get to witness the lowest round of someone’s life.

Do you think it has to do more with the fact that they are trying harder or that they pick up on your rhythm/timing subconsciously? I’m a 7ish now but always play better when I play with better players.  I don’t think I try harder in an effort to beat them but I do think that the way they conduct themselves rubs of on me some.  By the time the back nine rolls around when I’m playing with people who are much worse than me I am just mentally over it...

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16 minutes ago, jomatty said:

What are people supposed to do in these rounds then?  Surely they are allowed to play aggressively to try to make birdies if they are playing a skins game.  I don’t think they have the options to not post the score.  So it seems it is just part of the system/game.

 

I dont really want to get into this more, in a theoretical sense. I know what I have seen

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4 hours ago, jomatty said:

Do you think it has to do more with the fact that they are trying harder or that they pick up on your rhythm/timing subconsciously? I’m a 7ish now but always play better when I play with better players.  I don’t think I try harder in an effort to beat them but I do think that the way they conduct themselves rubs of on me some.  By the time the back nine rolls around when I’m playing with people who are much worse than me I am just mentally over it...

In the last two months of the season this year I had (all) different guys shoot net 60, 63 and two 65s.  That's tough to beat...  Due to the rounds being so low, I think it is people trying for all 18 holes instead of going through the motions and then trying hard the last couple holes when there are a lot of bets out.  Two of the rounds were 18 handicappers shooting in the 70s.  Never seen them shoot under 80 with anyone else.  The handicap system is deeply flawed, so I never play for big money unless it's straight up.  Most semi/pros will only give you 4 or 5 shots max if you are any where around scratch and they don't know you because of this phenomenon.

 

On the flip side, my partners in cart games always play terrible.  Had one guy all year shoot under his handicap.  Golf is a funny mental game.

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5 hours ago, jomatty said:

What are people supposed to do in these rounds then?  Surely they are allowed to play aggressively to try to make birdies if they are playing a skins game.  I don’t think they have the options to not post the score.  So it seems it is just part of the system/game.

The new WHS does a great job, I feel, of reigning this type of behavior in without oversight. It’s really hard to get your index to raise 3 whole points now over your year long low. It’s nearly impossible to get your index to raise 5 points over your low. If a player is getting close to 5 points over their lowest index, the handicap chair should really contact them and find out what is going on. Then cut them or throw out the scores. 
 

In the old system, 10/20 and assuming no T-scores, you could “play aggressively” during the silly season and really boost your index. You could knock all the good scores out in 20 rounds or less. It would just average the differentials and kick out your new, higher, index. 
 

The WHS puts an automatic governor on raising indexes. During the late and early seasons, by and large everyone’s index goes up. It’s just not as easy to shoot good scores as it is in July. But once your index raises to 3 points over your lowest index, the reductions automatically kick in and limit how far ones index can rise. 

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11 hours ago, Shupe said:

In the last two months of the season this year I had (all) different guys shoot net 60, 63 and two 65s.  That's tough to beat...  Due to the rounds being so low, I think it is people trying for all 18 holes instead of going through the motions and then trying hard the last couple holes when there are a lot of bets out.  Two of the rounds were 18 handicappers shooting in the 70s.  Never seen them shoot under 80 with anyone else.  The handicap system is deeply flawed, so I never play for big money unless it's straight up.  Most semi/pros will only give you 4 or 5 shots max if you are any where around scratch and they don't know you because of this phenomenon.

 

On the flip side, my partners in cart games always play terrible.  Had one guy all year shoot under his handicap.  Golf is a funny mental game.

 

Let me guess. You're a low single digit cap ? Meet my good buddy bladehunter. He's scratch and swears the handicap system can be so easily gamed by higher cappers - no matter how much "proof" is given to the opposite pov. He "always" (not really) loses to higher handicappers having a great round or 3. At least in net stroke play (see below) :classic_biggrin:

 

Net 60, 63 and 2 65s ? This is surprising ? and "proof" of something ?

 

Firstly, net scores don't (really) count. What counts is being below the course rating, which, from where higher handicappers usually play from, is usually lower than par, often by 2 strokes or more. So that "60" is probably roughly a -10 differential,,,,, and possibly a stroke or 2 less than that. Not so rare as one might think.

 

As you can see from the (granted old) chart linked to at the bottom the odds of your 18 shooting a differential 10 strokes below their handicap are roughly 37000 to 1. Doesn't happen very often, does it ? 

 

There are a bit over 1,000,000 rounds played per day in the U.S. So that once-in-a-lifetime -10 differential happens roughly 27 times per day

 

-7 (63) ? A "mere" 550-1. 1800 times per day. -5 (65) ? A mere 175-1. Over 5700 times per day.

 

Had a guy at my old club, a perfectly legitimate 14 handicapper. This guy's best rounds ? Once in awhile he'd shoot about 8-10 over, which at our course would be a diff of -4-6 (between 87 and 300-1). One day goes out a shoots even par. -12 differential. Off the charts good. Stuff happens ¯\_()_/¯

 

I've been between a 2 and a 5 in "prime time".  Of course I don't keep all my numbers but best guesses,,,,,,,,,, best diff ever ? -6 once (with a triple 51683a_68e6d7ad7b364e5faba39b4735f0b059~). -4 or -5 once or twice. -3 about 6 times with a number of -2s. Over approx 1200 rounds, not so different from the chart. Certainly within standard deviation (I think). 

 

If the handicap system is deeply flawed, feel free to explain who/why. Also, if you have proof of same, feel free to send it in to the USGA; OK, make that the WHS :classic_biggrin:. I assure you, if you have excellent ideas of how to make it better, they'll listen.

 

The consensus(?) around here is, assuming you are a lower single digit, that if you are playing a match against a high handicapper, you will win more often than you lose. If you are playing in a net stroke play event against a larger number of higher handicappers you are in big trouble as at least one of them is likely to have a day you can't match on a net basis.

 

Personally I find the above very consistent.

 

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22 hours ago, Hawkeye77 said:

I'm just trying to nudge the OP off this honesty thing and get him on the important and relevant track which is getting about the business of becoming a single digit while counting them all (that will put him in very rarified air among all those who play golf - and at a 17 he's better than most, as someone would say)!  Merry Christmas!

Yes you are about 65% accurate and the only reason it's not 100% is because I deleted the backstory that would have helped explain

 

The justification for the post is I played a round with "acquaintances" and there were many holes where I'd save par with incredible putts when while they were punching from the trees. I'd feel great about my score and when we get to the cart and I say "what'd you take on that" and the answer was "par" or "bogey" when I KNOW that wasn't the case. I didn't say anything. At the end we tallied up and I shot 86. I included all kinds of penalty strokes and every single shot even the mess that happens towards the end of the round when everyone has given up on shooting a PR. Their scores were low 90s and high 80s which I know that's not true.

 

Now the Crux of my issue is I really don't care about their scores or their handicap. I don't play with them often and they weren't on my team to penalize me with a heavily weighted score because of a bogus handicap but this got me thinking. Am I just being a stickler for the rules when the rest of the world is far more laid back when they play for fun? I would be a much closer to my goal of single digit if I tallied like that but that's not playing by the rules that I am learning. Is everyone doing it that way and I'm the dummy?

 

So I dont consider the OP about my goal of single digit because once I enter that ultimate round into the ghin app from the parking lot of the course and see that "pending hdcp" in the single digits, in the car on the way home, the new goal is to get to 5, then 0. It's a never ending journey. I am using my handicap solely to track whether I am getting better with a side benefit of being able to enter tournaments so every nudge forward I take as progress toward that never ending goal. Now I have learned of a few cases that I have over-penalized myself with 2 strokes rather than one, mishandling conceded putts, etc. but it's not earthshaking to my overall hdcp. 

 

So perhaps "ethics" was not the most appropriate term to use. But I couldn't think of another way to ask that was not at least somewhat insulting at it's core like "do you cheat or know anyone who does". An alternative title could have been "how accurate is your handicap? Why or why not and what are you seeing on the course". I worry that people wouldnt be honest because they may feel they are telling on themselves so I did provide a few examples that may help people remember things and discuss what they have seen in their years of playing.

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38 minutes ago, nsxguy said:

 

Let me guess. You're a low single digit cap ? Meet my good buddy bladehunter. He's scratch and swears the handicap system can be so easily gamed by higher cappers - no matter how much "proof" is given to the opposite pov. He "always" (not really) loses to higher handicappers having a great round or 3. At least in net stroke play (see below) :classic_biggrin:

 

Net 60, 63 and 2 65s ? This is surprising ? and "proof" of something ?

 

Firstly, net scores don't (really) count. What counts is being below the course rating, which, from where higher handicappers usually play from, is usually lower than par, often by 2 strokes or more. So that "60" is probably roughly a -10 differential,,,,, and possibly a stroke or 2 less than that. Not so rare as one might think.

 

As you can see from the (granted old) chart linked to at the bottom the odds of your 18 shooting a differential 10 strokes below their handicap are roughly 37000 to 1. Doesn't happen very often, does it ? 

 

There are a bit over 1,000,000 rounds played per day in the U.S. So that once-in-a-lifetime -10 differential happens roughly 27 times per day

 

-7 (63) ? A "mere" 550-1. 1800 times per day. -5 (65) ? A mere 175-1. Over 5700 times per day.

 

Had a guy at my old club, a perfectly legitimate 14 handicapper. This guy's best rounds ? Once in awhile he'd shoot about 8-10 over, which at our course would be a diff of -4-6 (between 87 and 300-1). One day goes out a shoots even par. -12 differential. Off the charts good. Stuff happens ¯\_()_/¯

 

I've been between a 2 and a 5 in "prime time".  Of course I don't keep all my numbers but best guesses,,,,,,,,,, best diff ever ? -6 once (with a triple 51683a_68e6d7ad7b364e5faba39b4735f0b059~). -4 or -5 once or twice. -3 about 6 times with a number of -2s. Over approx 1200 rounds, not so different from the chart. Certainly within standard deviation (I think). 

 

If the handicap system is deeply flawed, feel free to explain who/why. Also, if you have proof of same, feel free to send it in to the USGA; OK, make that the WHS :classic_biggrin:. I assure you, if you have excellent ideas of how to make it better, they'll listen.

 

The consensus(?) around here is, assuming you are a lower single digit, that if you are playing a match against a high handicapper, you will win more often than you lose. If you are playing in a net stroke play event against a larger number of higher handicappers you are in big trouble as at least one of them is likely to have a day you can't match on a net basis.

 

Personally I find the above very consistent.

 

Merry Christmas !!!

 

Link to Probability Table

 

 

Nah, I play to a +5 in season.  Once you get deep on the other side of scratch, handicap stuff isn't fun at all.  I try and avoid it unless its with friends.  There are only a couple holes on the course that actually matter when you are that low and I'm almost never shooting a 58 to match the 60 which happens more than it should. 

 

And on the low scores, for only playing 8 handicap matches in the last two months, those scores are fairly outrageous statistically. 

 

There isn't a better way to do the handicap system other than making it so people can't post their own scores.  That is a little bit of a logistics nightmare.

 

My case is a rare case in terms of handicap, I just find it funny how people generally play far under their handicap when they play with a really good player.  Me and a couple of my really good friends see it all the time.  That's my point, I'm not out here to change a system I could care less about in general.  

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8 minutes ago, Shupe said:

Nah, I play to a +5 in season.  Once you get deep on the other side of scratch, handicap stuff isn't fun at all.  I try and avoid it unless its with friends.  There are only a couple holes on the course that actually matter when you are that low and I'm almost never shooting a 58 to match the 60 which happens more than it should. 

 

And on the low scores, for only playing 8 handicap matches in the last two months, those scores are fairly outrageous statistically. 

 

There isn't a better way to do the handicap system other than making it so people can't post there own scores.  That is a little bit of a logistics nightmare.

 

My case is rare case in terms of handicap, I just find it funny how people generally play far under there handicap when they play with a really good player.  Me and a couple of my really good friends see it all the time.  That's my point, I'm not out here to change a system I could care less about in general.  

 

Ahhhhh,,,,,,,, +5. I can only dream,,,,,,,,,, but understood. I guess the better the player the less likely he/she wants to play a net event against higher handicappers. Makes total sense.

 

Agree about not being allowed to post your own scores but the cultural differences are still there. In the UK, I believe all scores must be posted by the Committee and pretty much all scores are in comps run by the course/club.

 

Here in the States there is virtually no control over what or how many scores are posted. At this point I keep a GHIN number with my old club who I haven't played with for 8 years now and I report my own scores. I only play 1 or 2 stroke play events a week and it's with 2 different "groups", neither of which is a GHIN "club". 

 

As for playing well when playing with better players goes, I found that happening when I first started playing. I played as a single. If I was with 3 other hackers, who cares ?

 

But when I was paired with 3 guys who could play, at least a bit (which was often pretty obvious just watching their pre-round mannerisms, preparation, etc), I found myself not wanting to look the fool and simply paid more attention.

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2 minutes ago, nsxguy said:

 

Ahhhhh,,,,,,,, +5. I can only dream,,,,,,,,,, but understood. I guess the better the player the less likely he/she wants to play a net event against higher handicappers. Makes total sense.

 

Agree about not being allowed to post your own scores but the cultural differences are still there. In the UK, I believe all scores must be posted by the Committee and pretty much all scores are in comps run by the course/club.

 

Here in the States there is virtually no control over what or how many scores are posted. At this point I keep a GHIN number with my old club who I haven't played with for 8 years now and I report my own scores. I only play 1 or 2 stroke play events a week and it's with 2 different "groups", neither of which is a GHIN "club". 

 

As for playing well when playing with better players goes, I found that happening when I first started playing. I played as a single. If I was with 3 other hackers, who cares ?

 

But when I was paired with 3 guys who could play, at least a bit (which was often pretty obvious just watching their pre-round mannerisms, preparation, etc), I found myself not wanting to look the fool and simply paid more attention.

Haha, trust me, everyone wants to be a +5 till they actually are one.  I've wasted way too much of my life chasing around a little white ball.  The only thing that keeps me going is playing in tourneys at this point.

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5 hours ago, wkndhckr said:

Yes you are about 65% accurate and the only reason it's not 100% is because I deleted the backstory that would have helped explain

 

The justification for the post is I played a round with "acquaintances" and there were many holes where I'd save par with incredible putts when while they were punching from the trees. I'd feel great about my score and when we get to the cart and I say "what'd you take on that" and the answer was "par" or "bogey" when I KNOW that wasn't the case. I didn't say anything. At the end we tallied up and I shot 86. I included all kinds of penalty strokes and every single shot even the mess that happens towards the end of the round when everyone has given up on shooting a PR. Their scores were low 90s and high 80s which I know that's not true.

 

Now the Crux of my issue is I really don't care about their scores or their handicap. I don't play with them often and they weren't on my team to penalize me with a heavily weighted score because of a bogus handicap but this got me thinking. Am I just being a stickler for the rules when the rest of the world is far more laid back when they play for fun? I would be a much closer to my goal of single digit if I tallied like that but that's not playing by the rules that I am learning. Is everyone doing it that way and I'm the dummy?

 

So I dont consider the OP about my goal of single digit because once I enter that ultimate round into the ghin app from the parking lot of the course and see that "pending hdcp" in the single digits, in the car on the way home, the new goal is to get to 5, then 0. It's a never ending journey. I am using my handicap solely to track whether I am getting better with a side benefit of being able to enter tournaments so every nudge forward I take as progress toward that never ending goal. Now I have learned of a few cases that I have over-penalized myself with 2 strokes rather than one, mishandling conceded putts, etc. but it's not earthshaking to my overall hdcp. 

 

So perhaps "ethics" was not the most appropriate term to use. But I couldn't think of another way to ask that was not at least somewhat insulting at it's core like "do you cheat or know anyone who does". An alternative title could have been "how accurate is your handicap? Why or why not and what are you seeing on the course". I worry that people wouldnt be honest because they may feel they are telling on themselves so I did provide a few examples that may help people remember things and discuss what they have seen in their years of playing.

I tell people all the time who want to go on about the rules being a barrier to getting new folks into golf that youngsters and new adult players actually want to learn and play by the rules - so well done!

 

 

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10 hours ago, wkndhckr said:

Yes you are about 65% accurate and the only reason it's not 100% is because I deleted the backstory that would have helped explain

 

The justification for the post is I played a round with "acquaintances" and there were many holes where I'd save par with incredible putts when while they were punching from the trees. I'd feel great about my score and when we get to the cart and I say "what'd you take on that" and the answer was "par" or "bogey" when I KNOW that wasn't the case. I didn't say anything. At the end we tallied up and I shot 86. I included all kinds of penalty strokes and every single shot even the mess that happens towards the end of the round when everyone has given up on shooting a PR. Their scores were low 90s and high 80s which I know that's not true.

 

Now the Crux of my issue is I really don't care about their scores or their handicap. I don't play with them often and they weren't on my team to penalize me with a heavily weighted score because of a bogus handicap but this got me thinking. Am I just being a stickler for the rules when the rest of the world is far more laid back when they play for fun? I would be a much closer to my goal of single digit if I tallied like that but that's not playing by the rules that I am learning. Is everyone doing it that way and I'm the dummy?

 

So I dont consider the OP about my goal of single digit because once I enter that ultimate round into the ghin app from the parking lot of the course and see that "pending hdcp" in the single digits, in the car on the way home, the new goal is to get to 5, then 0. It's a never ending journey. I am using my handicap solely to track whether I am getting better with a side benefit of being able to enter tournaments so every nudge forward I take as progress toward that never ending goal. Now I have learned of a few cases that I have over-penalized myself with 2 strokes rather than one, mishandling conceded putts, etc. but it's not earthshaking to my overall hdcp. 

 

So perhaps "ethics" was not the most appropriate term to use. But I couldn't think of another way to ask that was not at least somewhat insulting at it's core like "do you cheat or know anyone who does". An alternative title could have been "how accurate is your handicap? Why or why not and what are you seeing on the course". I worry that people wouldnt be honest because they may feel they are telling on themselves so I did provide a few examples that may help people remember things and discuss what they have seen in their years of playing.

 

I'm still not sure exactly what you're going for but most of the posters on this site are hardcore/enthusiastic golfers who I hope play by the Rules and have honest handicaps. Are all poster's handicaps 100% legit ? Probably not. But again, it's to their benefit to be honest. If you "cheat" the handicap will be lower than it should be (vanity cap) and when it DOES become time for you to enter a tournament THEN you'll have to play by the rules and you will be at a disadvantage with your vanity cap.

 

But as others have already explained why do you care ? You say you don't but it sure sounds like you do. Your friends, who are kicking the ball out from the roots of the tree do not have a legitimate handicap. They have a handicap that, when it comes time for them to use it, they will be at a disadvantage against those whose caps are honest.

 

If, after a round, you shot a legitimate 86 and your buddy shot his phony baloney 88, simply smile at him and say "nice round". :classic_biggrin: YOU know he's not legit and HE knows he's not legit. If he goes on about it ask him how many times he kicked his ball out from behind a tree - that'll quiet him down. :classic_laugh:

 

If you guys ever play a "real" match using your handicaps you'll keep an eye on him & make him count every stroke. He won't be able to use his foot wedge and you'll kick his butt. THAT will be your "reward" for keeping an honest 'cap. 

 

Now, your lack of concentration is on you (as has been mentioned before). But remember, the Rules say you have to try to make your best score on every shot. So if you backhand a 6 inch putt and miss it you haven't tried your best. The missed stroke does count towards your gross score (if you're playing a competition). But that same missed putt shouldn't count towards your handicap score entered into the system

 

So if you did that once in the round and shot an 88 you should record an 87 into the system.

 

Under the old rules I was under the impression that it was a handicapping "rule" to deduct strokes (for handicap purposes) if the player clearly wasn't trying.

 

It was explained to me right here in the Rules" forum that there was no such "rule" and if that was the case in my club it was most likely due to a committee decision.

 

The committee has power over scores and handicaps and can adjust them based on evidence. In your own casual groups YOU are the "committee". So for any sort of competition you shot 88. For handicap purposes you shot 87.

 

Note - the stroke where you took that awkward stance and missed. You WERE trying to make it so that stroke counts all around. :classic_wink:

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31 minutes ago, nsxguy said:

 

 

Now, your lack of concentration is on you (as has been mentioned before). But remember, the Rules say you have to try to make your best score on every shot. So if you backhand a 6 inch putt and miss it you haven't tried your best. The missed stroke does count towards your gross score (if you're playing a competition). But that same missed putt shouldn't count towards your handicap score entered into the system

 

So if you did that once in the round and shot an 88 you should record an 87 into the system.

 

Under the old rules I was under the impression that it was a handicapping "rule" to deduct strokes (for handicap purposes) if the player clearly wasn't trying.

 

It was explained to me right here in the Rules" forum that there was no such "rule" and if that was the case in my club it was most likely due to a committee decision.

 

The committee has power over scores and handicaps and can adjust them based on evidence. In your own casual groups YOU are the "committee". So for any sort of competition you shot 88. For handicap purposes you shot 87.

 

Note - the stroke where you took that awkward stance and missed. You WERE trying to make it so that stroke counts all around. :classic_wink:

 

So at this point I may have been recording the score wrong. This was a big part of why I posted this. I'm trying to see what's "normal". I'm still learning all the rules.

 

And those contorted putts are sometimes backhanded just to get out of the way especially after a good chip or lag putt.

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10 hours ago, wkndhckr said:

 

So at this point I may have been recording the score wrong. This was a big part of why I posted this. I'm trying to see what's "normal". I'm still learning all the rules.

 

And those contorted putts are sometimes backhanded just to get out of the way especially after a good chip or lag putt.

Just pick them up or knock them away from the hole.  The rules of handicapping will tell you what score to post for your handicap.

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I personally see more male ego 'vanity cappers' when the wife and I travel and golf. I bet its 10 to 1 in my experience and we play probably 50 travel rounds getting randomly paired up all over my province in the summer.

 

My home course I would say has a handful of 'those guys' who might have a cap that is inflated a little. @MtlJeffis right though I do see quite a few guys up north here in Canada who go up 2-3 strokes playing into Late October etc and then end up making some mad cash early on the next year. Part of me hates it...But also golf is hard when it's windy, wet and cold out. I know my scores go up. 

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On 12/24/2020 at 11:51 AM, MtlJeff said:

I've been a member at private clubs for like 15 years now so have seen all kinds. But i would say ~95% of people keep an index i would call mostly valid. In my experience there is a lot more "vanity" caps than true sandbaggers. I have known a few legit ones in both categories. 

 

I think picking up 2-3 footers doesn't affect index nearly as much as guys think. You might only have a couple of these a round, and in many rounds if you putted them you would make most of them anyway (2-3 footers you would have a high make percentage on). Someone who is a 5.4 and maybe "should" be a 5.8...i don't consider much of a vanity capper. A "real" vanity capper is someone who doesn't even finish holes and gives himself a bogey on them. Who hits balls out of bounds twice on the same hole and gives himself a bogey etc....I have seen a couple of guys whose indexes are probably 5-7 shots lower than they should be. I know someone who is a 6-7 index and if he played my friend who is a 15 straight up, i'd put 100$ on my friend without even thinking about it. But again this is NOT common

 

Sandbaggers in Canada, to me the easiest way to do is play a ton of rounds in October when the conditions are terrible, it's silly season anyway, club championship is over etc...So i've seen some guys always seem to shoot a lot of 85's in October, they are drinking during the rounds etc...Than all of a sudden they are a 5.8 for the early season tournaments the next season, when they should be a 2.0....I hate that stuff

I agree with this.

 

By many peoples definitions, I fall on the side of being a vanity cap. Outside of tournaments I typically play match play. As I result I take conceded putts and on occasion I pick up before finishing a hole. In both instances I know the rules for how to to post the holes for handicapping purpose. There is grey area in these rules and they do at times call for judgement by the player. I will always go with the interpretation that yields the lowest score. I would much rather error on being a vanity capper than sandbagger. 

 

The net effect - pretty much nothing. In medal play events I play to handicap regularly. 

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2 hours ago, 2bGood said:

 

The net effect - pretty much nothing. In medal play events I play to handicap regularly. 

I’m not sure how this will work under WHS but normally anyone, over here, who plays ‘regularly’ to handicap in medal competitions is not necessarily a ‘sandbagger’ but would certainly require watching.

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23 minutes ago, Deceptively Short said:

I’m not sure how this will work under WHS but normally anyone, over here, who plays ‘regularly’ to handicap in medal competitions is not necessarily a ‘sandbagger’ but would certainly require watching.

 

Without putting words in anybody's mouth I think "playing to one's handicap" is a very vague term.

 

I think MOST who say that would be referring to a net of even par (or better ?). Knowing how the handicap system works and what tee sets most people play, playing a net of even par would actually result in a differential above their current index/cap.

 

Of course the further back you play the less that would be true but,,,,,,,,

 

And given that one's cap is derived from the average of their best 8 of 20, and only 2 or 3 of those 8 will be at or below their cap, playing "to one's handicap" doesn't happen very often.

 

That said there are plenty of golfers who play close to their index far more often than others. 

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I think it depends on the club etc.  I have seen clubs full of vanity caps.  And the club I belong to is full of baggers.  It cracks me up actually.  I know I was at a clinic once with my son and someone asked my handicap.  My son jokingly called me a bagger, but didn't understand the situation.  The guy doing the asking, then proceeds to explain how so many at his club are vanity caps.  This guy couldn't break 100 if I gave him 10 mulligans and I am not being dramatic, I am talking 36 handicap minimum.  Someone asks him his handicap and he proceeds to say 13 LOL!  My son and I about died.  This guy had money but if he were a member at my club he would quickly be broke.  Or would learn to be less vain?

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