Golf association brings yet another change to the handicapping system

2012-10-12 00:00

IN February this year, the South African Golf Association introduced yet another variation to the handicapping system to be used in this country.

Golfers have lost count of the number of changes that there have been over the last few years.

One can understand that with a handicapping system, there could be minor changes and tweaks made from time to time for the purpose of improving the system.

The changes that we have seen haven’t improved anything, in fact, it’s worse.

The latest method of adjusting a golfer’s gross score has not gained acceptance from South Africa’s golfers.

We play more Stableford golf competitions than other countries and the most popular is betterball.

Having a betterball partner tends to produce a more aggressive approach to playing the game.

The pair will obviously be trying to score as many points as possible and in order to do this, there are often tactics, which means taking risks with certain shots.

Playing safe isn’t the way to the winning enclosure unless your partner is in trouble.

Therefore, betterball golf produces more double bogeys than playing individual golf and it is here where the scoring method has been modified so often.

Let’s take an example of a 10 handicap golfer in a Stableford competition.

In the past, it was accepted that if he had a bad hole, he could adjust his score (the figure that is written on the scorecard) to a maximum of two-over par, but only if the stroke index of the hole is one to 10. Holes with strokes of 11 to 18, he was permitted to adjust his score to only a one-over par (bogey).

This meant that a golfer could write on his scorecard a maximum of 10 double bogeys.

This would be unlikely on all stroke holes one to 10.

A change was made to permit 10 double bogeys on any of the 18 holes, so the stroke index was irrelevant.

Generally, double digit handicaps increased slightly under this system. The latest method allows golfers with handicaps of 18 and below to adjust a two-over par for as many that he actually has over the 18 holes.

The number is three-over par for handicap of 19 and above.

The result of this radical change is that handicaps have increased countywide by three, four and five strokes. It means that a score of 50 betterball points is becoming common. So dear readers, you can expect another modification to the handicapping system one of these days, because the current one isn’t working.

From the 19th hole:

An elderly man was stopped by the police around 2 am and was asked where he was going at that time of night.

The man replied, “I’m on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body, as well as smoking and staying out late.”

The officer then asked, “Really? Who’s giving that lecture at this time of night?”

The man replied, “That would be my wife.”

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