Monday, December 1, 2008

Handicap Theory

How about a post on the theory of handicaps?  Here is my question:  Does our current handicapping system primarily reward inconsistent play?  For example:  if a player was so good that they shot 17 under par every time they went out, they would have little if any chance of winning.  Is this a good thing?  If we agree it isn't, is there any kind of fix to the problem?

Ah, but weather plays into it too, doesn't it?  Presumably Mr. 17-under will have a better chance in more difficult conditions.  So weather could even the scales a bit.

Complex issue.  Opinions?


  1. Ok, here is what I think. When a player breaks a personal best score, they typically win. So I think it is a perfect system and it makes people strive to be better golfers. We are not here to make money. We are here to have fun and improve at a sport we love. So if everyone would play like having a lower handicap was important, there would be no problem. Maybe there is a way to make scores over your handi not count if they are in excess.
    I do not know how that would work, but maybe once you establish a lower handi it should not go back up. We know you can throw those great games, so do it. Good question Jim and I look forward to some answers everyone.

  2. Hey, is "The Brodys" Bryan or Jody? Or both at different times? Inquiring minds want to know! ;-)

  3. Both at different times and sometimes in stereo.
    We will be sure to let you know from now on.

  4. Hey Crew-
    Linz and I are enjoying ourselves up here in hood river, great hiking and disc golf. It just so happens we had a handicap discussion on our drive up. Handicaps are calculated by taking a players last seven scores dropping the high and low score, dividing by 5 to average, then multiplying by the multiplier which is .8. If we were to lower this multiplier it would make it easier for -handicaps to win and more difficult for +handicaps to win. The opposite is true if you were to increase this multiplier from .8.

    I think we should keep track of which handicap group wins more often (negative hc and positive hc) and adjust the multiplier so that each group wins with the same frequency. It might be better to let the + hc'ers have a slight advantage. Which is basically how it seems to be set up right now. Other than that I think I'm with Bryan that this system is for fun, and not to make money. As far as not including the scores over your handicap, I don't think this would work out, mainly because the course difficulty changes drastically with wind. It has not been windy for the last 5 or 6 tournaments and the handicaps reflect that. When the wind comes back the handi's are going to go back up.
    I hope some others can chime in on the topic.