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What does an "R" mean after my HCP?


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#1 klaymon

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 08:18 AM

I read once about someone having a "restricted" HCP.  Is that what this means and what does it mean for me?  If it helps here's some background:

I've been golfing about 10 months.  I started keeping my HCP this past May and it started around 27.9.  I just got my latest revision today and I'm down to a 17.5R.  As fate would have it, my best scores have been tourney scores, but I'm certainly no sandbagger.  I'm just picking up the game quickly.

Thanks.


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#2 CowtownTexas

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 09:02 AM

Readjusted because of your tournament scores.

#3 Gallery_midasmulligan2000_*

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 09:15 AM

If you're improving that quickly, and playing a lot, the R will go away fairly soon. The "R" is added automatically by the GHIN software. When handicap revisions are calculated, the software compares your latest handicap index with your best two tournament scores within the last twelve months.

The Restricted handicap value can change over time, or be removed, based on your play. The better you play outside of tournaments (after you acquire the R tag), the more your best two tournament scores will be closer to your true scores, and thus the R tag and value will be dropped. The R value will be your tournament handicap until it is dropped.

This part of the rules was introduced into the system precisely because people lie - there are sandbaggers out there. Because software runs the GHIN system, and nobody wanted subjective judgement entering the equation, they tried to determine what the data trail of sandbagging would look like. And, quite obviously, the clearest sign (in fact, almost the definition of sandbagging) is for someone to mysteriously shoot considerably better in tournaments then do on an ordinary Sunday.

What you are saying is that you've managed to leave the same data trail even though you aren't a sandbagger. Which is possible - but is quite rare. You are an anomoly in several ways. Your improvement over a very short period of time has been dramatic (you've cut ten strokes off your handicap in three months). In addition, very few players just taking up the game even play in tournaments. (Remember, the R comes about due to the differential between your handicap index and your tournament performance).

No worries ... I'll bet in another month or two your handicap will stabilize, and the R will get removed.

Edited by midasmulligan2000, 06 August 2008 - 09:21 AM.


#4 klaymon

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 09:28 AM

I've made some decent swing changes in the last couple of months and have really been working on my game.  The fact that I scored well in tournaments is really a coincidence (it could have been my regular Sunday round had a tourney not fallen on that day).  First off, the tourneys have no payout or anything.  It's more for bragging rights at a small club than anything.  Second, I thrive on competition so that's why I'm in tourneys my first year.  My goal is to compete in golf, not just be a Sunday ball beater.  I've already bargained with the wife for me to go to the World Am in Myrtle Beach next year.

I realize my scores could earn me the dreaded "S" word, but I've been nothing but honest.  I even busted my a** to get to the course the day before the latest HCP revision to get my new low scores in so my HCP would be accurate for the tourney.

#5 Gallery_midasmulligan2000_*

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 09:55 AM

I doubt anyone here would call you a sandbagger - you've explained how the differential between your tourney scores and index came about, and it makes sense. It is actually software that is calling you a sandbagger ... :rolleyes: - because the algorithm that looks at your scores sees a pattern that, 99% of the time, does indicate sandbagging. However, I do believe you'll see the R go away quite quickly.

Consider this, however, if you are going to be a decent golfer and play a lot of tournaments (which everything you've said indicates), within a short period of time you'll love the rule ... because your (undeserved) R will go away, and you'll be playing against (and won't be hurt by) those that have it because they do deserve it (because they are sandbaggers).


#6 CowtownTexas

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 10:41 AM

I didn't realize that GHIN was calling me a sandbagger a couple of months ago when I was getting the "R".  But then, my situation is the opposite.  My second year of parenthood has managed to let me go from an 8.5 to a 12 in one year.  I just don't have time to practice anymore and it shows.  But, my low tournament scores have now expired and the label is gone.

It actually didn't make a huge difference.  I went from 12.2R to 12.5 and now back to 12.0.  Doesn't sound like I was getting a huge adjustment.

#7 Gallery_midasmulligan2000_*

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 02:56 PM

 CowtownTexas, on Aug 6 2008, 11:41 AM, said:

I didn't realize that GHIN was calling me a sandbagger a couple of months ago when I was getting the "R".  But then, my situation is the opposite.  My second year of parenthood has managed to let me go from an 8.5 to a 12 in one year.  I just don't have time to practice anymore and it shows.  But, my low tournament scores have now expired and the label is gone.

It actually didn't make a huge difference.  I went from 12.2R to 12.5 and now back to 12.0.  Doesn't sound like I was getting a huge adjustment.

Yes ... generally the way the math works is that most of the time an "R" really is a sandbagger. The only thing that might appear the same way is when there is a large movement in one's handicap index in a short period of time, and the tourneys were at one end of the change - meaning either the index is artificially high, or the tourneys are artificially low.

In other words, in the case of the OP (someone getting dramatically better in a few months) ... the handicap would include scores from the beginning of the period of improvement, and if the tourneys were closer to the end of the period, the index would look higher than it really ultimately will become ... because the handicap index changes more slowly. In this case, the rapid chage means the index is artificially high (termporarily), but will soon come close to tournament performance.

In the case of cowtown, it is the opposite ... tournaments mostly from the beginning of a period in which the handicap changed, so in this case, the tourneys are artificially low, but the next few he plays will probably be more in line with the current index. (And if you're a new daddy, and don't play any for a year, the R disappears anyway ... it only looks at the top two tournaments in the past 12 months ... if there's no tourneys, there's no differential).

#8 CowtownTexas

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 03:18 PM

Very true.  My two lowest tournament scores as of June were 79 and 82.  Once those expired, my two lowest scores became 91 and 87 which is more in line with my current index.  I won the tournament in June of 2007 (the low scores) and finished close to last in the same tournament this year (the high scores).  

The reason mine got the R is because I still play about the same amount of rounds (2-3 per week) but just don't practice at all between them and don't have much of a short game anymore.

Great explanation Midas.  I have a decent understanding of the handicap system, but couldn't have explained it nearly as well as you did.

Edited by CowtownTexas, 06 August 2008 - 03:19 PM.


#9 777twist

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 05:35 PM

I have an "L" after mine...  does that mean "LIMIT"?

I think mine is as high as it can go!!!

#10 StaffBag

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 11:03 PM

If you have a "M".... that means it has been MANUALLY ADJUSTED by your local handicap authority (PGA Pro or handicap chairman).

If you have an "R".... that means it is RESTRICTED.  You are not allowed to have your handicap go UP more than 5 strokes when comming back up north from your southern scores.  (We mannually adjust players back to only changing 2 strokes higher until there are a couple of revisions here in the north in the springtime.  It is only fair to do this.  Conditions and ratings of courses make a huge difference.)




The "L" that follows the trend number on the GHIN means................... (I'm still trying to figure that one out!)

Edited by StaffBag, 06 August 2008 - 11:06 PM.


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#11 kevcarter

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 11:02 AM

 777twist, on Aug 6 2008, 05:35 PM, said:

I have an "L" after mine...  does that mean "LIMIT"?

I think mine is as high as it can go!!!


 StaffBag, on Aug 6 2008, 11:03 PM, said:

If you have a "M".... that means it has been MANUALLY ADJUSTED by your local handicap authority (PGA Pro or handicap chairman).

If you have an "R".... that means it is RESTRICTED.  You are not allowed to have your handicap go UP more than 5 strokes when comming back up north from your southern scores.  (We mannually adjust players back to only changing 2 strokes higher until there are a couple of revisions here in the north in the springtime.  It is only fair to do this.  Conditions and ratings of courses make a huge difference.)




The "L" that follows the trend number on the GHIN means................... (I'm still trying to figure that one out!)

L = Local

Local Handicap
A "local handicap" is either a handicap that is above the maximum Handicap Index limit (Section 3-4), a handicap that is revised more frequently than allowed (Section 8-3) or a handicap based on a player's temporary disability. A local handicap is not a Handicap Index, and it must be identified by the letter "L" to indicate that it is for local use only. A local handicap is expressed as a number taken to one decimal place and is used to convert to a Course Handicap (e.g., 41.5L). (See handicap type, trend handicap, and Section 3-3.)


Kevin

Edited by KevCarter, 07 August 2008 - 11:30 AM.

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#12 78Staff

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:37 AM

 midasmulligan2000, on 06 August 2008 - 09:15 AM, said:

If you're improving that quickly, and playing a lot, the R will go away fairly soon. The "R" is added automatically by the GHIN software. When handicap revisions are calculated, the software compares your latest handicap index with your best two tournament scores within the last twelve months.


This is an older post, but as someone recently tagged with an R, i though I would reply.  The calculation is flawed, IMO.  First, It's actually if your index becomes 3 pts higher than your second lowest tournament diff - so they give you the benefit of the doubt on the low one I reckon.  In my case the lowest T scores were the same so it didn't matter.  Tournament scores stick for a year, so that part of the deal isn't going to change for me till later next summer, unless i happen to go lower in a future tournament...

Anyway, taking the formula out for a moment, my February index was 3.4 pts higher than my low index the for the prev 12 months.  And 3.1 pts higher than my 2nd low tournament index.  Did I mention it is February?  And the lowest tournament scores are from June/July?  Maybe it's just me, but I always shoot higher in the winter than the warmer seasons.  3 pt's just does not seem like enough of a swing to me.  At least not comparing scores from winter to summer.  Heck, my most recent tournament diff (from 2 weeks ago) was like 8-9 pts higher than my "2nd lowest", so I dang sure ain't taking advantage LOL...

I agree the calculation is needed, and serves a good purpose.  I just believe the formula is flawed.

EDIT - Actually, to be correct, I should have said above my February "R" index is 3.4 pts higher...

Honestly, I don't like handicaps at all.  Let;s just play strait up.  If i beat you, go practice more,  If you beat me, that's what I am going to do.  I routinely get scalped in the Sat games and blitzes by guys who are a 12 or whatever and pulls 45 points or drops a nice little net 68.  I basically have to shoot under part gross to even have a chance, it's like throwing money away.

Edited by 78Staff, 16 February 2011 - 10:58 AM.

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#13 DaveLeeNC

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 12:00 PM

See http://www.golfwrx.c...-handicap-hell/ for a hypothetical scenario related to this discussion.

IMHO, the basic concept is valid and should be included in a USGA type handicap system. In some cases the specifics of how it works seems quite odd to me.

dave



#14 teejaywhy

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 01:49 PM

All pretty much as the others have explained but I'm pretty sure the R stands for a "REDUCED" handicap index.

http://www.usga.org/...l/Rule-10/#10-3

#15 ssf301

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 07:06 AM

I just got hit with the "R" on my handicap and stumbled across this post.  Thanks for the informative information.  I do need to vent a bit as the R is really jacked up in my situtation.  I have a couple tournament scores in the low/mid 70's late last summer which historically is fairly accurate based on my handicap range the last few years.   I had to go in for knee surgery last fall and between that and a winter layoff I have 20 scores in for 2011, the best of which is an 82.  It's going to be at least 4 more months before the doctors say I will be back to 100% strength in my knee and maybe a full season before I can fully get my game sorted back out as I just can't play as much as I would like on this knee.   By all rights I am a double digit handicap right now, yet this system will make me play as a 7 handicap basically all summer based off pre-surgery scores that are getting close to a full year old.   This systems makes sense to me if I shot those scores a few months ago, but 10 months ago?  Really?   That's total BS.

In some ways it doesn't matter as I don't plan to play any tournaments until I can start playing better, but it does tick me off.


#16 DaveLeeNC

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:40 AM

 ssf301, on 01 June 2011 - 07:06 AM, said:

I just got hit with the "R" on my handicap and stumbled across this post.  Thanks for the informative information.  I do need to vent a bit as the R is really jacked up in my situtation.  I have a couple tournament scores in the low/mid 70's late last summer which historically is fairly accurate based on my handicap range the last few years.   I had to go in for knee surgery last fall and between that and a winter layoff I have 20 scores in for 2011, the best of which is an 82.  It's going to be at least 4 more months before the doctors say I will be back to 100% strength in my knee and maybe a full season before I can fully get my game sorted back out as I just can't play as much as I would like on this knee.   By all rights I am a double digit handicap right now, yet this system will make me play as a 7 handicap basically all summer based off pre-surgery scores that are getting close to a full year old.   This systems makes sense to me if I shot those scores a few months ago, but 10 months ago?  Really?   That's total BS.

In some ways it doesn't matter as I don't plan to play any tournaments until I can start playing better, but it does tick me off.

We run into this a bunch at our club where handicaps drift up (sometimes significantly) in the winter, but a couple of good (summertime) T scores bring forward the 'dreaded R'.

When things get complicated by an injury (one that would typically not get a disability index exception from your Handicap Committee), the situation becomes quite insidious. What you'll find is that the worse your golf scores, the lower your index will go. If you want a higher index, then you need to shoot lower scores. Honest - that is how it works.

While I think the concept is valid and required, it actually operation seems illogical to me.

dave




#17 jrichardson4769

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 12:06 AM

L is for local handicap – this is the letter you will see most commonly.  A “local handicap” is either a handicap that is above the maximum USGA Handicap Index limit (36.4 for Men, 40.4 for Women), a handicap that is revised more frequently than allowed or a handicap based on a player’s temporary disability. A local handicap” is not a Handicap Index, and it must be identified by the letter “L” to indicate that it is for local use only.  * A trend handicap” (which may include un-reviewed scores posted since the last revision) is not a Handicap Index and must be identified by the letter “L” to indicate it is a “local handicap”.

R designates that a handicap has been automatically reduced for exceptional tournament performance.  A “reduced handicap” must be reviewed by the Handicap Committee and the committee may decide to let the reduction run its normal course, override the reduction or adjust the reduction. Contrary to popular belief, a reduced handicap is an official Handicap Index and must be used unless the club’s Handicap Committee chooses to take further action.

M means that a Handicap has been modified by the Handicap Committee.  A Handicap may be modified when the committee feels that a player’s Handicap Index is not reflecting their potential ability.  Some reasons a Handicap might be modified include: improving faster that the Handicap System can react, numerous Away or Internet scores which results in a Handicap Index increasing by 3.0 or more, etc.  The committee must give the player an opportunity to explain their circumstances before making a modification to their Handicap Index.

Another reason why you might see an M is when your scoring record has been reactivated in between revision periods.  This allows your previous Handicap Index to be displayed until a revision. Otherwise, you would see an “NH” – No Handicap displayed. In this instance, the M will drop at the next revision.

N  stands for a nine-hole Handicap Index.  A nine-hole handicap may be used in inter-club play against other players with nine-hole handicaps.  If a competition requires a Handicap Index, a nine-hole handicap should be doubled for 18-hole play.
NL is a nine-hole handicap which exceeds the maximum nine-hole handicap index of 18.2 for men and 20.2 for women.

WD designates that a player’s Handicap has been withdrawn by the Handicap Committee.  The committee must withdraw the Handicap Index of a player who repeatedly fails to meet the player responsibilities under the USGA Handicap System.  Before a players handicap is withdrawn, the player must be advised of this action, provided any information supporting the withdrawal and be invited to respond to the committee either in person or in writing.  A withdrawn handicap will be reinstated under the conditions set forth by the Handicap Committee.

#18 Sawgrass

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 09:39 AM

Very thorough, very nice explanation.

A laudatory first post if ever there was one.

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#19 DDNorCal

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 03:12 PM

 DaveLeeNC, on 01 June 2011 - 09:40 AM, said:

 ssf301, on 01 June 2011 - 07:06 AM, said:

I just got hit with the "R" on my handicap and stumbled across this post.  Thanks for the informative information.  I do need to vent a bit as the R is really jacked up in my situtation.  I have a couple tournament scores in the low/mid 70's late last summer which historically is fairly accurate based on my handicap range the last few years.   I had to go in for knee surgery last fall and between that and a winter layoff I have 20 scores in for 2011, the best of which is an 82.  It's going to be at least 4 more months before the doctors say I will be back to 100% strength in my knee and maybe a full season before I can fully get my game sorted back out as I just can't play as much as I would like on this knee.   By all rights I am a double digit handicap right now, yet this system will make me play as a 7 handicap basically all summer based off pre-surgery scores that are getting close to a full year old.   This systems makes sense to me if I shot those scores a few months ago, but 10 months ago?  Really?   That's total BS.

In some ways it doesn't matter as I don't plan to play any tournaments until I can start playing better, but it does tick me off.

We run into this a bunch at our club where handicaps drift up (sometimes significantly) in the winter, but a couple of good (summertime) T scores bring forward the 'dreaded R'.

When things get complicated by an injury (one that would typically not get a disability index exception from your Handicap Committee), the situation becomes quite insidious. What you'll find is that the worse your golf scores, the lower your index will go. If you want a higher index, then you need to shoot lower scores. Honest - that is how it works.

While I think the concept is valid and required, it actually operation seems illogical to me.

dave

Certainly have to agree on the 10-3 "R" Exceptional Tournament Performance calculation (which is the formal name.  It is a great idea but poorly implemented.  I have a feeling they watered it down a lot for political reasons and to not give club officials the false sense of security that it was going to be the fix all for spotting baggers.  It does work very oddly.  I have rarely see it work at all but every once in awhile it rears its head.  If you accumulate more than 5-7 tournaments in a year, it rarely does anything. But if you get on the wrong side of it; ie: have two low T rounds and then your handicap slides up like 2-3 shots it will bite you until those T scores hit the anniversary date and then fall off.

#20 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 03:20 PM

A fellow I play with several times a month got hit with one of those after shooting 74-72 off a 10 handicap in two rounds of the club championship. What I don't get is the guy had been playing off basically the same handicap for the better part of a decade, give or take a couple strokes. And he'd post the odd low-70's once in a blue moon but never two of them back to back and not generally in a tournament. But we all know this guys and he has hundreds of competitive (albeit non-tournament) rounds in the computer.

Anyway they docked him down to a 6, he appealed to the handicap committee and they told him to live with it. So for months he and whoever he happened to be partnered with took it on the chin stroke-wise. Dude was a 9-10 handicapper before those two rounds and he ain't magically going to be four strokes better after. Always seemed excessive to me. He just about left the club after that but decided to ride it out, unfair as it might be.

Edited by Fourmyle of Ceres, 12 September 2013 - 03:21 PM.


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#21 Imp

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 07:25 AM

So he was capabable of shooting low, yes? Isn't that what handicap is? Performance capability?

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#22 TheCityGame

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 10:07 AM

 Imp, on 13 September 2013 - 07:25 AM, said:

So he was capabable of shooting low, yes? Isn't that what handicap is? Performance capability?

--kC
I think there can still be uncommonly good rounds that actually represent more than your potential.

I still can't noodle it, but just like Fourmyle's guy, we had a long-standing member of the club put up a 73(!!) as a 13 last year. Shot like an 88 the next day (two day tournament). He was just able to hit his best shot enough times in a round. He went down to like a 9 or so from that one round, and hasn't sniffed the money since. I don't know what got into him. He doesn't know what got into him. I'd play that guy as a 13 most days and give him odds.

It happens.

This is the problem with any system/test/algorithm. You need to it be sensitive enough to catch the people you want to catch, and not so sensitive that it catches the people you don't want to catch. Handicap committee could have been nicer to Fourmyle's guy, but you're opening up a can of worms once you start making judgement calls.

#23 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 10:33 AM

I recently played one of the toughest golf courses I've ever seen, from tees a few hundred yards longer than I play my home course where my handicap is 17. But for about an hour or so I caught the genie in the bottle and hit five greens in a row, seven greens in an eight hole stretch and was just strolling along making par after par. No real reason for it, just found a groove for my swing and tried to stay out of my own way.

In the end I played to just a stroke or two under my handicap but there's no question in my mind that someone, somewhere that same day managed to keep ahold of the genie for a whole round. It can happen.

The hell of it is this. I understand that the system tries to err on the side of catching whatever small percentage of sandbaggers it can. But the false positive rate is not zero. It's like giving drug tests, yeah you might catch half the guys who are doping but you're also going to unfairly persecute an occasional perfectly innocent victim of random chance. One guy getting screwed out of four strokes for a year is a bigger deal to me than maybe having one more 'bagger game the system and win an appeal.

#24 Bluefan75

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 10:59 AM

I don't know.  I think that there is something to be said for the fact that, genie in a bottle or not, it was done under tournament/competitive conditions.  Scores which, conceivably, are the most reliable given the fact they are most definitely trying their best, and the score is attested(although match plays can be manipulated).  No system is perfect, but I think in this case it is pretty good.  While I can see an injury or swing change case(had it happen myself), "getting screwed out of 4 strokes for a year" does not sound to me like a statement that reflects someone whose handicap is completely accurate.

#25 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:20 AM

Well he'd never been under a 9 in his life and he spent his "penalty year" shooting the same scores he'd always shot. Dude was a 10 handicapper, no doubt about it.

Thing is, this guy plays in the daily dogfight game five or six times a week for years. So his game is about as much of a known quantity as anything could possibly be (at least to the 20-30 guys he plays with regularly). I think that should be part of "peer review" and why you have an appeal process at all. It ain't like some guy who posts 80% of his scores as either solo or "away" rounds. With those guys you've gotta rely on exceptional tournament scores or other statistical formulas. But I'll bet of a typical 20 scores this guy posts, at least 18-19 of them were attested by three other players in his foursome of the day.

Like I say, if all you have to go on is mysterious numbers showing up in the computer there's a certain burden of proof on the part of the player when he goes low in a tournament. But there ought to be some allowance in the system for the opposite type of player. One who plays every round, hundreds of rounds a year, with attested scores because there was money on the line. No way he's going to blow his daily dogfight scores 200 times just to sandbag for a once-a-year tournament where he's not even in the championship flight.


#26 dplasters

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:37 AM

There is a reason for the modification of handicaps.

Ceres presents an example of when a committee could reasonably step in and modify one.  They chose not to.

---

To me - a handicap is an indication of what you are capable of shooting on a good day.  Not what you are capable of shooting if God decides to touch you pre round.  We all have good rounds, bad rounds and mediocre rounds.  Some people have those rare days when they are on.  I'll take 10 years of known scoring over a random two day span for predicting the future.

#27 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:48 AM

By the way, my guy solved the problem moving forward by no longer playing in any of the club's "T" events. Too much agita generated by what should have been a great two day experience.

#28 Bluefan75

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:53 PM

 dplasters, on 13 September 2013 - 11:37 AM, said:

There is a reason for the modification of handicaps.

Ceres presents an example of when a committee could reasonably step in and modify one.  They chose not to.

---

To me - a handicap is an indication of what you are capable of shooting on a good day.  Not what you are capable of shooting if God decides to touch you pre round.  We all have good rounds, bad rounds and mediocre rounds.  Some people have those rare days when they are on.  I'll take 10 years of known scoring over a random two day span for predicting the future.

I guess Fourmyle's is an extreme example.  I would be curious to know why the committee chose not to do anything.  Does seem a little strange based on the evidence presented.  Fourmyle, did they refuse to hear an appeal, or did the process go through, and they gave him a reasoning?

#29 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 01:09 PM

No the way I heard it the head pro (who is one member of the committee) told him it was "automatic" and the chair of the committee backed the pro. It was never formally presented to the entire committee. Just rubber stamp the sacrosanct Handicap System manual as though it came down from the mountain with Moses.

#30 Bluefan75

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 02:44 PM

 Fourmyle of Ceres, on 13 September 2013 - 01:09 PM, said:

No the way I heard it the head pro (who is one member of the committee) told him it was "automatic" and the chair of the committee backed the pro. It was never formally presented to the entire committee. Just rubber stamp the sacrosanct Handicap System manual as though it came down from the mountain with Moses.

While I won't say they would have come to a different conclusion(maybe somehow there is some other evidence), the fact they handled it this way does not reflect well on the committee.  He at least had a case worth hearing.


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