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What about Handicaps?

Guest Author - Letta Meinen

We had quite a discussion this last month when I wanted to have our Member/Member Tournament strictly net scoring, which is handicap only. You would have thought I was changing the Declaration of Independence or Bill of Rights. The President of our LGA threw a hissy fit that this was not going to happen. She insisted we have a meeting of our LGA board and discuss the Net only event saying that a Gross prize should also be included.

We had our meeting and it was brought up that a Gross prize had always been included in the past and that one should be included this year. Since this was my idea I needed to respond and asked if she thought her handicap was true at fourteen. She said it was but that there was no way the low handicapper could compete against a high handicapper. I asked if she thought another gal (who is our Treasure) if her handicap was true at thirty three. I then remarked that if both were true than they both should be playing to Par or even.

There was no response to this but insisted that the Gross was always part of this event in past years. This caused a remark that there was no way the low handicappers would play in this tournament if a Gross prize was not included. I tried to explain that our Championship Tournament that was coming up in October would be Gross only so why not have this event Net only on this one event. Nothing I said would change her mind and she brought it up to a vote and it resulted in a one prize for a Gross score of the team in the Member/Member.

That is why I brought this up as Handicaps seem to be something we use all the time and we post our scores on our computer and it is all tabulated to our handicap. I know that it is determined by the 10 lowest scores you have posted that month. So it brings up the idea that some of our players know how to beat the system to keep their handicap just where they want it. Our course does not monitor how the scores are entered. I know some private clubs will post your score every time you play so no way it can be manipulated.

Handicaps are supposed to even the players when playing in certain events to make it fair for all. We use the handicap system all the time during our regular play day events so I thought it would only be fair for our Member/Member event to be handicap only. I brought up the reason that with gross only those low handicappers would be the only ones able to win that prize. It means the entry fee of 95% of the players could never have a chance at this prize.

This is one reason I question the way our handicap system is run. Everybody has to be honest and post their scores each time they play. It just does not happen as many will forget those high scores thinking it will never take it anyway, as only low scores are counted. It is not a great system but it is the best we have. I guess I am getting to the point that I see too much maneuvering and manipulating the system. I cannot figure out the reason for the feelings of the low handicappers playing against someone with lots of strokes. Maybe they know how to keep their handicap low so donít feel they can win against a high handicapper. Maybe it is a prestige thing to keep that handicap low, whatever the reason it sure gave me a new insight to the competitive nature of winning at all costs. This is not a good thing in my book.
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Content copyright © 2015 by Letta Meinen. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Letta Meinen. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Sandy Eggers for details.


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