A COMMENT WORTH POSTING: HANDICAPS

Michael – allow me to clarify your comments around the handicap system and its application to golfing.The concept of maximum number of strokes per hole is called Equitable Stroke Control (ESC), and is in fact part of the RCGA rule (and USGA rules for our American friends) regarding maintaining accurate handicaps.  Its purpose is to prevent artificially high handicaps (deliberately or not).  While it might serve your ego to have a low handicap, it serves your pocketbook to have a high handicap.However, the application of ESC only occurs when you are entering your score for handicap purposes.  I agree with you – the person who scores 10 but says “put me down for a double since that is my max” is cheating.  His score for his round, whether it is tournament or not, stroke play or match play, is a 10.  However, when he enters his score in the computer to recalculate his handicap, his score for that hole is a 6.On the other hand, if he does not adjust his score for handicap calculation purposes, he is cheating as well.  The RCGA has instituted this rule because it works.  “The purpose of adjusting scores is to prevent exceptionally bad holes from artificially increasing your handicap”.  The handicap system works.  I play in numerous tournaments throughout the year, all with handicaps applied and it works.  It is a beautiful thing as it allows a scratch golfer to play with a hacker and there can be a competitive game.

Don’t mess with the system and don’t break the rules.  When you score a 10, your score for that day against your playing opponent, against the guys, or your score for the tournament is a 10 for that hole.  After everything is settled and you go to post your score on OGIN, or on your home handicap-tracker, be sure to adjust your score on that hole for ESC:

0 or plus            max 1 over par
1 – 18                max 2 over par
19 – 32              max 3 over par
33 +                   max 4 over par

For a good overview of the Handicap System, visit this site:

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