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Is a tournament only hcp legit?


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I got asked about this scenario and didn't really know what would be the best path forward.  So before the "committee" meets I thought I would run this hypothetical scenario by the "experts" to see what would make sense.

 

Let's say a golfer in one of these virtual clubs is a 13 index, but only has tournament scores posted; legitimate tournament posted scores, no shenanigans.  Player is a average golfer and when I play with this person in casual rounds, he shoots between 78-82.  But by the person's own admission, he is a lousy tournament player.  Shoots more like 85-90; hence the 13 index.  But when asked, why not post the casual rounds, the person's explanation is they are always bumping the ball, picking up short putts, and never really count more than a double on the holes he really butchers up, so his "78" could really be a 81 and 81s maybe as as high as 87.  Their point was they don't really know what to post, so why bother?  They just want to keep a tournament hcp.

 

So my questions are:

1. Does is matter?

2. If they really were to post the casual round legitimately, should they go back through their round and start adding penalty strokes for all the violations?

3. What happens when the potential shows up in the tournament and the 13 index shoots a legit 77 for a low 60s net?  Nothing?  It's a freak occurrence?  How about it happens 2 - 3 times in a row?

 

 

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I think tournament rounds are all that should count, it's the most legit.  It can go the other way and a person  post only high rounds outside on tournament play. Tournaments are where the money is on

Or you can just follow the rules of golf and post all your rounds like you are required to. 

This is both comical and absurd to me. I'm actually on the handicap committee at my club and a player like this would never be allowed into tournaments. The handicap system is there for a reason and y

This is both comical and absurd to me. I'm actually on the handicap committee at my club and a player like this would never be allowed into tournaments. The handicap system is there for a reason and you are to record ALL legitimate rounds of golf. There is no "tournament" only handicap. Yes, many people play worse in tournament play, but that does not allow for them to not count rounds outside of tournament play. If it were me and my club, I would probably let the individual know that until he starts posting his rounds on a regular basis, he will not be allowed to participate in tournament play. I'm telling you right now, if he comes in as a 13 and shoots a 75 in tournament play, you're going to have a mutiny on your hands that you don't want (once someone finds out the guy only has a "tournament index"). 

 

As for "kicking" or bumping the ball around, that's on him. He should go back and post all his scores. He will quickly learn that he should probably just play straight up and post accordingly or he will continue to have a "vanity" handicap that he can never play up to. 

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First let me say that I wouldn't trust this guy. Basically he's admitted that the only time he doesn't cheat when playing is when he's in a tournament, but who knows if that's the case. Based on his own admission I wouldn't put it past him to cheat in tournament play either.

 

Now to answer your questions:

1. Does is matter? It depends. If he's only posting tournament rounds and his handicap is only being used for tournaments then it shouldn't matter all that much if the scores line up. But if his handicap is being used for anything else then yeah it's sort of a big deal. 

2. If they really were to post the casual round legitimately, should they go back through their round and start adding penalty strokes for all the violations? If he's constantly picking up putts and kicking his ball around then just adding a penalty stroke isn't really a good "substitute" for all of those shots (or non-shots).

3. What happens when the potential shows up in the tournament and the 13 index shoots a legit 77 for a low 60s net?  Nothing?  It's a freak occurrence?  How about it happens 2 - 3 times in a row? This is when you would have  major issue on your hands. If he doesn't have a legit handicap then he shouldn't be allowed to play in handicapped tournaments. 

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None of it really matters - till you want to play in any event where having a verifiable USGA index is criteria for participation.  I know a number of people that have what I call questionable indexes, that I wouldn't trust for tournament play. 

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The committee at my club wouldn’t allow someone with a handicap like that to participate in tournaments and I would agree. I’m sure no one is forcing him to play the ball up and take a 3 footer. 

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Just to be a little more clear.  I play casual rounds with the guy and he does not do anything egregious in a money game.  We don't play stroke play in bets, so doesn't really matter if he makes bogey or double.  The course is natty so the "local rule" is grip length bumping all over.  It speeds up play vs having a conference every time someone is near/in a squirrel hole or the garbage left behind unmarked by maintenance crews.  He doesn't pick up a putt on his own ever, it was always conceded.

 

I've played in tournaments with him and not once did anything even remotely questionable happen.   The guy hits it OB, it's 3 off the tee.  Well, now it is a choice, but what I am saying is lots of high numbers made.  Mostly, he's just not a tournament player, gets all mental and hits dumb shots, but a good swing.  I think it is just a product of not having stroke play as a barometer when you are always playing skins.  And that's skins where no one gets a stroke.  Play scratch or don't play at all.

 

The conversation came up because he asked, what should he post when the rules are so lax in these causal games.  I said I really don't know, but it might be an issue if he ever got his head together and shot a 76 in a tournament.

 

But I am also of the mindset of worry about that when it actually happens.  After all the 13 index actually has to get it together for 18 holes and shoot a 76, so what if he wins once with the 13 index net 63.  Even if he does it again, so what, the tournament index will drop fast and his game is not sustainable.

 

I am much more concerned with the guy who does the opposite...posts a lot of scores in the 80s then shows up and shoots 74-77 every tournament seemingly never having a bad round.  That's ridiculous.  I was in a club two years ago where that happened and I quit.  This guy was always shooting mid 70s with the shortest ugliest swing ever but always showed up with a 10-11 index which is a crime playing from the white tees.  

 

 

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18 minutes ago, CasualLie said:

Just to be a little more clear.  I play casual rounds with the guy and he does not do anything egregious in a money game.  We don't play stroke play in bets, so doesn't really matter if he makes bogey or double.  The course is natty so the "local rule" is grip length bumping all over.  It speeds up play vs having a conference every time someone is near/in a squirrel hole or the garbage left behind unmarked by maintenance crews.  He doesn't pick up a putt on his own ever, it was always conceded.

 

I've played in tournaments with him and not once did anything even remotely questionable happen.   The guy hits it OB, it's 3 off the tee.  Well, now it is a choice, but what I am saying is lots of high numbers made.  Mostly, he's just not a tournament player, gets all mental and hits dumb shots, but a good swing.  I think it is just a product of not having stroke play as a barometer when you are always playing skins.  And that's skins where no one gets a stroke.  Play scratch or don't play at all.

 

The conversation came up because he asked, what should he post when the rules are so lax in these causal games.  I said I really don't know, but it might be an issue if he ever got his head together and shot a 76 in a tournament.

 

But I am also of the mindset of worry about that when it actually happens.  After all the 13 index actually has to get it together for 18 holes and shoot a 76, so what if he wins once with the 13 index net 63.  Even if he does it again, so what, the tournament index will drop fast and his game is not sustainable.

 

I am much more concerned with the guy who does the opposite...posts a lot of scores in the 80s then shows up and shoots 74-77 every tournament seemingly never having a bad round.  That's ridiculous.  I was in a club two years ago where that happened and I quit.  This guy was always shooting mid 70s with the shortest ugliest swing ever but always showed up with a 10-11 index which is a crime playing from the white tees.  

 

 

 

It sounds like you already had the answers to your questions...

 

But if you are looking for what sort of advice to give him I'd tell him to start actually playing out on all of the holes and stop picking his ball up. That way he can post legitimate scores and have a real handicap. Believe me if a day comes when he shoots 76 in a tournament when he is supposed to be a 13 handicap then he is going to have people waiting for him in the parking lot (a slight exaggeration for dramatic effect but you get my point). 

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So what exactly is a "legitimate" round of golf?

 

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3 hours ago, boyscout said:

I think tournament rounds are all that should count, it's the most legit.  It can go the other way and a person  post only high rounds outside on tournament play. Tournaments are where the money is on the line, thats when the scores really count. Anything outside of a tournament round is just practice. 

Or you can just follow the rules of golf and post all your rounds like you are required to. 

Edited by 2bGood
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The guy is a handicap cheat. Plain and simple. He should be kicked out of your club, or not allowed to participate, until he can show he has a legitimate handicap. 
 

Groups of players in the US are allowed to be their own committee. If they are going to play LCP, post it. It’s only going to lower scores. Nobody forces him to roll the ball. Nobody forced him to pick up a conceded putt. He can putt it for handicap after the hole is decided. 
 

The WHS is about integrity and accountability. It is obvious this player has neither. Choosing to keep an illegitimate handicap should be scorned and kicked out of the club. 

Edited by Augster
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49 minutes ago, 2bGood said:

Or you can just follow the rules of golf and post all your rounds like you are required to

This is not a Rules of golf issue - it's governed by the rules of handicapping.  They are two separate sets of "rules", which I'm sure you understand.

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3 minutes ago, rogolf said:

This is not a Rules of golf issue - it's governed by the rules of handicapping.  They are two separate sets of "rules".

Actually two issues presented for the golfer in question and my post was addressing both:

 

1. He needs to follow the rules of golf (play the ball down, putt out)

and

2. Post all his rounds like he required to

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1 minute ago, 2bGood said:

Actually two issues presented for the golfer in question:

 

1. He needs to follow the rules of golf (play the ball down, putt out)

and

2. Post all his rounds like he required to

And, as you know, the rules of handicapping cover issues of not finishing the hole (ie, not putting out).

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15 minutes ago, rogolf said:

And, as you know, the rules of handicapping cover issues of not finishing the hole (ie, not putting out).

Yes I do, but in your view is he complying with 2.1b given he is deliberately ignoring the rules of golf?

 

This why I suggest he follows the rules of golf. Makes the entire thing so much simpler.

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3 minutes ago, 2bGood said:

Yes I do, but in your view is he complying with 2.1b given he is deliberately ignoring the rules of golf?

 

This why I suggest he follows the rules of golf. Makes the entire thing so much simpler.

Not in my opinion.  The rules of handicapping provide a resolution for scores to be posted on holes not completed, including not holing out.  In the groups that I play with, very few actually hole out in our casual play, even though we' may be competing against others (individually or in groups).  Tournament play is a different issue.

We concede a few putts because we want can't afford to be accused of slow(er) play and want to get in before the beer runs out!!

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Just now, rogolf said:

Not in my opinion.  The rules of handicapping provide a resolution for scores to be posted on holes not completed, including not holing out.  In the groups that I play with, very few actually hole out in our casual play, even though we' may be competing against others (individually or in groups).  Tournament play is a different issue.

We concede a few putts because we want can't afford to be accused of slow(er) play and want to get in before the beer runs out!!

Yes the conceded putts thing is not a big deal to me, easily handled under the handicapping rules (if there is a valid reason). We play Match play 90% of the time in casual rounds, so concessions are common, as is picking up if out of the hole.

 

The part about the guy bumping the ball, taking doubles (not his maximum score) and picking collectively has me thinking he outside the rules in the handicap manual. You are allowed to not finish a hole, but you need a valid reason to not hole out, and you can not be doing to improve you score AND he seems to be deliberately ignoring the rules. 

 

At the end of the day, pretty easy to say his handicap is not valid and bar him from tournament play.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, 2bGood said:

Yes the conceded putts thing is not a big deal to me, easily handled under the handicapping rules (if there is a valid reason). We play Match play 90% of the time in casual rounds, so concessions are common, as is picking up if out of the hole.

 

The part about the guy bumping the ball, taking doubles (not his maximum score) and picking collectively has me thinking he outside the rules in the handicap manual. You are allowed to not finish a hole, but you need a valid reason to not hole out, and you can not be doing to improve you score AND he seems to be deliberately ignoring the rules. 

 

At the end of the day, pretty easy to say his handicap is not valid and bar him from tournament play.

 

 

I thought that I read that "bumping the ball" was permitted by Local Rule at the course he was playing?  Of course, adjusting the posted scores for net double bogey is required; if he only posts gross double, that likely results in a lower score posting and  potentially a lower handicap.

I believe that the Committee in charge of the competition has the authority to assign him a handicap, as opposed to barring him from the tournament?  After such handicap assignment, he may choose not to enter.

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8 hours ago, Tarheelnation3 said:

This is both comical and absurd to me. I'm actually on the handicap committee at my club and a player like this would never be allowed into tournaments. The handicap system is there for a reason and you are to record ALL legitimate rounds of golf. There is no "tournament" only handicap. Yes, many people play worse in tournament play, but that does not allow for them to not count rounds outside of tournament play. If it were me and my club, I would probably let the individual know that until he starts posting his rounds on a regular basis, he will not be allowed to participate in tournament play. I'm telling you right now, if he comes in as a 13 and shoots a 75 in tournament play, you're going to have a mutiny on your hands that you don't want (once someone finds out the guy only has a "tournament index"). 

 

As for "kicking" or bumping the ball around, that's on him. He should go back and post all his scores. He will quickly learn that he should probably just play straight up and post accordingly or he will continue to have a "vanity" handicap that he can never play up to. 

Depends.  In today’s handicap setup.  What’s considered “ competition “ and what isn’t ?  Is a club sponsored comp a competition round ? 

 

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guess what I’m driving at is it’s possible to not have any social rounds. I only have a couple for all of 2020.  Since covid I’ve only got out once a week. And it’s always the Saturday morning competitions.  
 

Now. Are these dogfights important to the club ?  I say yes.  They have been the glue that’s kept alot of guys active in the association.  That’s the standard I read that the USga uses for competition.  But I’m sure I missed something.  

 

They are played down and putted out and overseen by a committee that keeps track of a weekly book for the stableford points section.  Pays out a medalist , and a blind draw two person team on points. Which is a running Talley , weekly.    So my handicap consists of 40 something of these competitive rounds , and 8 larger tournament rounds. That’s it.  In years past I’d have 25-30 more social rounds in there.  But 2020 ate those. 

 

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12 minutes ago, James the Hogan Fan said:

Oddly enough, were he playing in most of Europe, ie Britain/Ireland, certainly Finland where I play, tournament scores and predeclared, attested handicap rounds would be all he (and you) could ever post.

 

So on this side of the ocean everyone is a handicap cheat, in a way. 

I knew this was coming. I can't speak for everywhere, but when I lived over in the UK the golf culture was different with multiple times per week a tournament being available to play in. It not the same in most place is in the US with some people only playing a tournament a few times per year.

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8 minutes ago, 2bGood said:

I knew this was coming. I can't speak for everywhere, but when I lived over in the UK the golf culture was different with multiple times per week a tournament being available to play in. It not the same in most place is in the US with some people only playing a tournament a few times per year.

 

Yeah I didn't wanna be that guy but I had to. The Finnish golf culture is kind of different from that in that although a weekly tournament is available at my club only the same 10-15 people are playing in it with any regularity. 

 

If you take out the weekly stableford competition, I only played in 4 competitions for 8 rounds of the 60 rounds I played this year, and I'd imagine most of my club is similar.

 

This is not meant to be an argument but rather an affirmation of how different the culture is between various golfing places.

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1 minute ago, James the Hogan Fan said:

 

Yeah I didn't wanna be that guy but I had to. The Finnish golf culture is kind of different from that in that although a weekly tournament is available at my club only the same 10-15 people are playing in it with any regularity. 

 

If you take out the weekly stableford competition, I only played in 4 competitions for 8 rounds of the 60 rounds I played this year, and I'd imagine most of my club is similar.

 

This is not meant to be an argument but rather an affirmation of how different the culture is between various golfing places.

That is super interesting. Its been about 20 years since I lived in the UK, but at that time it was also common where I was for the Club Captain to assign a handicap to you if you did not play  in allot of events, it seemed in some ways like a very good work around.

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Tournament handicap is the only legitimate handicap.  It's the best way to come close to knowing what someone actually shoots in competition.   Why should anyone be concerned how much one plays or "practices" outside of the tournaments they play. 

 

Don't forget, this is how real, professional golf is played.

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See, this is why I asked my question above. I have played in excess of 100 rounds some years and 95% of those are non-tournament rounds. I also travel extensively for work and most of my rounds are played last minute, often at courses I have never played (if lucky, I look at them on Google Earth and take some notes). I try to shoot the best score I can, but with little knowledge of the course and conditions of the day, I almost always shoot higher than I would a familiar course. Establishing my hcp with those rounds and then coming back home and playing a competition on a course I know well would not be fair at all for the other competitors, IMHO.

 

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5 minutes ago, Ri_Redneck said:

See, this is why I asked my question above. I have played in excess of 100 rounds some years and 95% of those are non-tournament rounds. I also travel extensively for work and most of my rounds are played last minute, often at courses I have never played (if lucky, I look at them on Google Earth and take some notes). I try to shoot the best score I can, but with little knowledge of the course and conditions of the day, I almost always shoot higher than I would a familiar course. Establishing my hcp with those rounds and then coming back home and playing a competition on a course I know well would not be fair at all for the other competitors, IMHO.

 

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3 hours ago, James the Hogan Fan said:

Oddly enough, were he playing in most of Europe, ie Britain/Ireland, certainly Finland where I play, tournament scores and predeclared, attested handicap rounds would be all he (and you) could ever post.

 

So on this side of the ocean everyone is a handicap cheat, in a way. 

Same here in Argentina. Clubs only expect tournament cards for handicap purposes. A player can declare in advance that they will post a card on a non tournament day but it is very rare.  

 

I think the cultural differences are most noticeable in this area of the game. USGA rules on handicap seem a bit lenient  

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As people have said, over here in CONGU land, in reality, tournament only handicaps are the norm.
We have a thriving culture of ‘Open’ competitions at all clubs. This is when members of other clubs can play competitions at other clubs in various formats. I, and all my playing partners, are more than happy to play in such competitions both at my own club and elsewhere and believe we have a relatively fair and equal chance of winning if you play well, which is in essence the purpose of having handicaps in the first place.
This is certainly the case in singles strokeplay slight less so in better ball competitions as these on occasion have some extraordinary scores but not so that it would prevent people playing in them.

I believe if your system cannot support such inter and intra club competitions on a relatively fair basis then there is something wrong with the system.

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