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Why is there an offseason for handicap score reporting?


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#1 Awal

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:05 PM

Played yesterday in beautiful 60+ degree weather and shot a decent score. I'd like to be able to report it for handicap purposes, but it's offseason here in Colorado. What's the logic behind why there's an offseason in the north for score reporting? The course was in good shape; there was no lift, clean and place in effect. It doesn't seem like there's any reason that my score shouldn't count. If I would have played a couple hundred miles south in the same conditions, I believe it's a reportable score. Especially in these days when everything is just a score in a computer database that spits out an index, why is there an offseason for score reporting?


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#2 Allen Robertson

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:36 PM

Because in most cases this time of year,  the courses are in much worse shape than in the Regular playing season. Thus they limit the time of year for postable scores.

#3 RRFireblade

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:52 PM

Exactly.  They can't plan for non typical 'winter' conditions , once you get passed the point that the likely hood of typical avergae playing conditions get passed a certain point ,you have to shut it down. Otherwise there are people that would be out playing in the snow and posting scores. :)
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#4 lander215

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:50 PM

They can't maintain the course over the winter months the same as they can during the growth season. Right now the greens around here are very fast and won't hold an approach shot simply because they've gone dormant and the super's can't maintain their normal height. In fact, I played last Wednesday and after a few holes stopped making approaches on the green and instead made my approach shots short of the green to leave myself a nice short bump and run each time. Same thing Friday on completely different turf...the greens just aren't holding.

#5 Socrates

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:58 PM

I can see it back in the day, you know, before jet aeroplanes but maybe it's time to put this part of the Rule Book out to pasture.  Millions of golfers jet off to play in the offseason and many do it for months at a time playing dozens or 100's of rounds.  Do they just forget these scores ever happened when they get back to their home club?

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#6 Skaffa77

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:11 PM

View PostSocrates, on 26 November 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

I can see it back in the day, you know, before jet aeroplanes but maybe it's time to put this part of the Rule Book out to pasture.  Millions of golfers jet off to play in the offseason and many do it for months at a time playing dozens or 100's of rounds.  Do they just forget these scores ever happened when they get back to their home club?

The offseason is based on the location of the course.   If you live in Nebraska, but go to AZ to play 18 holes...it can be entered as part of your handicap since AZ has no offseason.

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#7 KDMullins

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:12 PM

View PostSocrates, on 26 November 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

I can see it back in the day, you know, before jet aeroplanes but maybe it's time to put this part of the Rule Book out to pasture.  Millions of golfers jet off to play in the offseason and many do it for months at a time playing dozens or 100's of rounds.  Do they just forget these scores ever happened when they get back to their home club?

No.  If you play in a location where they are still in season, the score should be posted.

#8 Skaffa77

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:17 PM

We know that the course conditions aren't the same in the winter as they are in the spring/summer/fall for some states.  My guess/assumption why seasonal handicaps were created is that the course conditions in the winter (or offseason) would adversely affect your scoring and as result your handicap would not reflect your true scoring potential (especially for tournaments).  

If you really wanted to be conspiracy theorist...one could speculate that an unscrupulous golfer might try to play a lot of golf in the winter months to increase his/her handicap without making it look apparent.   Then come spring and tournament time...he/she is flighted in a flight that isn't reflective of his/her skills. Then again...if someone went to that extreme...he/she would just enter higher scores and/or shoot really bad scores in the last few holes to increase a handicap.

#9 myspinonit

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:18 PM

View PostKDMullins, on 26 November 2012 - 05:12 PM, said:

View PostSocrates, on 26 November 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

I can see it back in the day, you know, before jet aeroplanes but maybe it's time to put this part of the Rule Book out to pasture.  Millions of golfers jet off to play in the offseason and many do it for months at a time playing dozens or 100's of rounds.  Do they just forget these scores ever happened when they get back to their home club?

No.  If you play in a location where they are still in season, the score should be posted.

A lot of guys in my men's club don't for winter scores ( no one enforces it) and both of those issues ticks me off. Often as they play in Palm Springs area and they post better scores there than Vancouver, Canada with temperatures, roll, maintained courses etc.  there.

I'm playing in Hawaii right now on vacation  and my scores are higher than average getting used to Bermuda greens and fairways, heavy wind  as well as unfamiliar layouts. And just playing plain awful!! I will post the scores.

The fact that I WILL post them actually isn't helping me relax on the courses here as I hate going up in HC when I'm working hard to improve.  And knowing I do need to post the scores.

I could easily have played 2 balls every hole today (my wife and I played Makena and realistically had the course to ourselves!) and hedged it as a "practice round".  Or hit a bunch of Mulligans and just had fun.
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#10 MtlJeff

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

In some northern places, posting offseason scores is a fantastic way to sandbag. A lot of people do it. Nothing worse then the guy who is really a 1 or a 2 posting 15 straight 85's in November and April and then playing handicapped tournaments as an 8 handicap in May. Drives me nuts. But it happens a lot

the offseason is necessary and should be respected. But not a lot of people know about it. I sometimes get grief for NOT posting scores in November, when you are not supposed to

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#11 Imp

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:37 AM

I love playing in Dec/Jan/Feb when the water of the retention/reclaimed water for watering pond has been frozen over.

One hole in particular is a par 5 with 50-75 feet of water right in front of the green. Always a layup hole when there's no ice on the pond. In the winter, I'll be on in 2 as I hit my 3w for my 2nd shot, and land short on the frozen ground, bounce a couple times across the ice and be on the green.

Should that eagle putt be counted? They are skill shots afterall!!!  :)

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#12 atlanta golfer

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:38 AM

Even in states that have year round score posting (such as Georgia where I live) the indexes typically go up several points over the winter, for those of us who play at least most weekends in the winter.  It is colder and windier and the fairways are dormant.  Plus, we are playing  and practicing less - maybe one time per week instead of 2-3 times per week.  I would guess that some amount of seasonal fluctuation in scores is pretty typical, though.

#13 TheWalker

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:42 PM

I'm no expert, but my guess is... in Winter, some parts of the course will be easier, some will be harder.  Which means that the course rating & slope are no longer accurate.

#14 DaveLeeNC

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:03 AM

View Postatlanta golfer, on 27 November 2012 - 08:38 AM, said:

Even in states that have year round score posting (such as Georgia where I live) the indexes typically go up several points over the winter, for those of us who play at least most weekends in the winter.  It is colder and windier and the fairways are dormant.  Plus, we are playing  and practicing less - maybe one time per week instead of 2-3 times per week.  I would guess that some amount of seasonal fluctuation in scores is pretty typical, though.

My index tends to drift up roughly two strokes in the winter (typically) from around 5.0 to the 7 range. I am in NC and my practice/play time doesn't change a whole bunch by season. I have years of pretty detailed stats including my own version of the PGA Tour 'Putts Gained' stat (which accounts for the length of putts). I have found that roughly half of my index upward creep is putting. I am guessing it is because in the heart of the winter there is little to no healing  on the greens, but we still get pretty heavy play. So they just don't roll as well as in the summer.

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Edited by DaveLeeNC, 28 November 2012 - 10:03 AM.


#15 jwrogers

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

View PostAwal, on 26 November 2012 - 01:05 PM, said:

why is there an offseason for score reporting?

There's no offseason in Georgia.


#16 Truman

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:15 PM

In the northern states, where the off season is on effect, the purpose is to limit the amount a handicap could change due to the adverse weather and course conditions.

#17 ennead

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:02 PM

View PostAwal, on 26 November 2012 - 01:05 PM, said:

Played yesterday in beautiful 60+ degree weather and shot a decent score. I'd like to be able to report it for handicap purposes, but it's offseason here in Colorado. What's the logic behind why there's an offseason in the north for score reporting? The course was in good shape; there was no lift, clean and place in effect. It doesn't seem like there's any reason that my score shouldn't count. If I would have played a couple hundred miles south in the same conditions, I believe it's a reportable score. Especially in these days when everything is just a score in a computer database that spits out an index, why is there an offseason for score reporting?

I live in Colorado and shot a good score yesterday as well.

A.  They haven't watered the fairways in weeks, so you get about 20 yards more role out
B.  The greens are much slower right now (no water, no mowing, no rolling = fuzzy).  That can be good and bad as far as score, but mostly good since you can generally just hammer the ball on line since there is less break, and less penalty for missing long.
C.  Most of the maintenance staff is off for the season, so they have no tee markers out and are using set pins.  From day to day I find it a bit easier to play this way, since I can pick a familiar tee shot and learn the 2 or 3 pins they have in play at each hole.  During the season most courses are able to provide quite a bit of variety.

This may not be the case at your particular spot, but for the most part, those are the big reasons.




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