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USGA Changes To Handicapping? Canada Relevant?
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November 23, 2015
3:41 pm
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Just in from friend Janeen Driscoll at the USGA...changes for them.  Wondering how these will translate for Canada?  Rulies?

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USGA RELEASES CHANGES TO HANDICAP SYSTEM

FAR HILLS, N.J. (Nov. 23, 2015) – In tandem with the 2016 updates to the Rules of Golf, the United States Golf Association has announced revisions to the USGA Handicap System™, effective Jan. 1, 2016. 

“The USGA Handicap System is constantly evolving to ensure that the System works for the game today and tomorrow,” said Steven Edmondson, the USGA’s managing director of Handicapping & Course Rating. “As we examine the game domestically and globally, these revisions support the integrity and reliability that millions of players around the world expect of this System. We continue to explore substantive changes as we work toward a World Handicap System in the years ahead.” 

Six significant changes are among those noted in the upcoming edition, which will impact approximately 10 million golfers who hold a Handicap Index® issued throughout the U.S. and 32 licensed associations, federations and unions around the world. Those highlighted changes include:

  • Definition of a tournament score: Additional guidance is provided to Committees conducting competitions regarding the definition of a tournament score, placing greater emphasis on “significant events.” The definition excludes fundraising events and regular league play, in favor of designated competitions such as a member/guest or club championship, local amateur tournament or national qualifying and competition. (Section 2: Definitions)
  • Adjusting hole scores: A revised decision provides clarity for acceptable scores in limited situations where the player has not played a hole(s) under the Rules of Golf, but his or her score would be sufficiently accurate for handicap posting purposes. Three areas covered under the examples include: 1) where the Local Rule is not in effect, but a player chooses to use a Distance Measuring Device or preferred lies; 2) where a player does not wish to cause undue delay; or 3) where the situation is outside of the player’s control, such as an incorrectly marked golf course.  (Section 4: Adjusting Hole Scores)
  • Posting scores when a player is disqualified: To improve alignment with the Rules of Golf, the revised Handicap System is clearer about what scores are acceptable when a player is disqualified. In general, a score is acceptable for handicap purposes even when a player fails to hole out, or apply a Rule that affects the rights of another player. If the disqualification breach is determined to provide an advantage for the player, the score is deemed unacceptable for handicap purposes. (Section 5-1: Acceptability of Scores)
  • Anchoring and posting: A new reference concerns a player who anchors the club while making a stroke during a round and fails to apply the appropriate penalty or an adjusted hole score (Section 4-2). Since the score would not be reflected as playing under the Rules of Golf, it would be unacceptable for handicap purposes. (Section 5-1: Acceptability of Scores)
  • Playing alone and necessary peer review: To further support the key System premise of peer review, scores made while playing alone will no longer be acceptable for handicap purposes. This change underscores the importance of providing full and accurate information regarding a player’s potential scoring ability, and the ability of other players to form a reasonable basis for supporting or disputing a posted score. (Section 5-1: Acceptability of Scores)
  • Committee responsibilities: In an effort to assist the Handicap Committee with its responsibilities, this revision addresses a player with a temporary disability or permanent disability who has a Handicap Index that is no longer reflective of his/her current potential ability. In the particular instance cited, the Committee will no longer assign a local handicap (denoted with the letter “L” for local use only), but instead will issue a (temporary) modified Handicap Index (denoted by the letter “M”). This change supports the portability of a disabled player’s handicap, so that it can be used outside the player’s home club. (Section 8-4c: Handicap Index Adjustment by Handicap Committee)

An overview of these changes with more detailed information will be provided at usga.org before the end of 2015. The complete USGA Handicap System Manual will be posted to the same site, and it will be available for purchase at USGAshop.com, on Jan. 1, 2016.

About the USGA Handicap System™
The purpose of the USGA Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis. A Handicap Index, represented as a number taken to one decimal place (such as 10.4), indicates a player's potential, and can be adjusted as the player's game changes. It is useful for all forms of play. 

A Handicap Index reflects the player's potential because it is based upon the best Handicap Differentials posted for a given number of rounds, ideally the best 10 of the last 20 rounds. The Handicap Index is portable from course to course, as well as from one set of tees to another set of tees on the same course, as a player can convert a Handicap Index to a Course Handicap™ based on the Slope Rating® of the tees played.

The USGA Handicap System is a trademark of the USGA and is currently licensed throughout the U.S. and to 32 international associations, federations and unions.  

For more information: http://www.usga.org/handicapping.html

Golf Geek, Golf Industry Lifer (30 seasons and counting), PGA of Canada Candidate For Membership, Titleist Certified Fitting Professional  

November 23, 2015
4:15 pm
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I play fairly often by myself, or with people I'm randomly paired up with, so the handicapping change will affect me for sure. I'm surprised it won't allow entry of scores by a single, but then isn't requiring attestation either.  What is the difference between playing as a single and playing with people you don't know and keeping your own score? If you want to cheat on your score entry, this won't stop you.

The other interesting one is the hole adjustment, where it says "2) where a player does not wish to cause undue delay". I wonder if this is in reference to not finding your tee (or any other) shot, and not wanting to go back to re-tee or rehit on a crowded course if you hadn't played a provisional. I currently enter an X and take my max number (7) for any hole that I do this on. Not sure what the rules say about my method, probably dq, but for an uncompleted round you're supposed to enter what you would have scored for the missed holes, according to your handicap.

November 23, 2015
4:20 pm
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On your first point Spackler this the issue setting Twitter on fire right now. Lots of honest golfers play by themselves a fair bit.

I understand wanting to have legitimate handicaps but not sure this move in helping golfers bond any better with their official governing bodies.

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November 23, 2015
4:40 pm
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Further to your point, I'm not sure that having fewer scores in the system will make handicaps more legitimate.

 

Maybe this is their attempt to grow the game? You can't play as a single, you must bring others to the course! LaughLaughLaugh

November 24, 2015
3:48 pm
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I'm in agreement with spackler about the "peer review" part. I play most of my rounds at the crack of dawn when most guys either can't, or won't play, and I'm usually by myself.

One of the cornerstones of the game is honour. The first point in Section I is "Spirit of the Game: Golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules."

By demanding peer review of scores, they're either saying that everyone's a cheater, or that the current handicap system is too flawed to fix.

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday. - Craig Ferguson

November 24, 2015
3:58 pm
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Rule 1 or GBower..do we know yet whether this will be adopted by GolfCanada?

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November 24, 2015
4:04 pm
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Flagstick Staff - S. MacLeod said
Rule 1 or GBower..do we know yet whether this will be adopted by GolfCanada?

Haven't heard anything yet. I'll see what I can find out.

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday. - Craig Ferguson

November 24, 2015
4:19 pm
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Nothing yet. It's still being reviewed. We should expect some kind of update in the next few weeks.

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday. - Craig Ferguson

November 24, 2015
4:57 pm
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Rule 1 said
Nothing yet. It's still being reviewed. We should expect some kind of update in the next few weeks.

Well, that was quick. Golf Canada just tweeted that they will not implement the mandatory peer review changes adopted by the USGA.

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday. - Craig Ferguson

November 24, 2015
7:02 pm
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Rule 1 said

Rule 1 said
Nothing yet. It's still being reviewed. We should expect some kind of update in the next few weeks.

Well, that was quick. Golf Canada just tweeted that they will not implement the mandatory peer review changes adopted by the USGA.

To much joy from what I have read.  A few American golf friends now looking to come north...  Laugh

Golf Geek, Golf Industry Lifer (30 seasons and counting), PGA of Canada Candidate For Membership, Titleist Certified Fitting Professional  

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