• Welcome To ShotTalk.com!

    We are one of the oldest and largest Golf forums on the internet with golfers from around the world sharing tips, photos and planning golf outings.

    Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon!

Equitable Stroke Control. What are your thoughts?

limpalong

Mental Ward Escapee
Supporting Member
Oct 18, 2006
13,827
13,655
I forgot!
Country
United States United States
I would only add that I may be second to none in playing my 7i out of the trees and still be able to find the green in 3 or 4 with a chance at par. It comes from much experience. If the trees give me a 3 to 4 foot gap, I would likely consider it a good lie.:)

You, evidently, have discovered the "secret" to getting out of the trees. I simply pick out a tree between myself and the fairway. I take dead aim for that tree. Since I never hit ANYTHING I aim at, the ball misses the tree and escapes to the short grass!! LOL
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,200
64
Country
United States United States
"...lived in Lawrence up until 1991..." You have my condolences!!!! LOL As much as I would like to bring up the ORU game, that would be tough after this past Saturday. You see, I live in Manhattan and the Hawks put a thumpin' on the Cats! Wait until next year!!!!!
I saw about all I could see of the area in that time, then after we moved they went and expanded the place dramatically.

KSU is rebuilding, kind of hard to recover from a loss like Snyder. I was surprised to see what they did to Texas, I really thought it would be a couple years before they did anything in football. It Seems like KU's basketball is still rebuilding even though they had all their starters return and were 3rd in the nation. I think they have worked through all the low rated B's (Bucknell, Bradley) in the tournment, hopefully they don't work their way through the C's prior to winning another tournament game. Then they drop one to ORU at home. I'm guessing Bill Self is probably really nervous about right now.

My wife is from a small town about 45 minutes SW from Manhattan. So everyone from her family, and most of the people that went to college in her town went to KSU including her brother, she was the black sheep of the family. We still make it out to the area once or twice a year. She has a retired uncle that I believe used to be a professor at KSU, or did something there. He still lives in Manhattan, so the next time we are in the area we thought we would swing by and take a look at Colbert Hills, and I believe the other I hear about alot is Stagg Hill? We didn't Golf until 6 years ago, so haven't played the courses out there, with exception to the 9 hole course in my wifes town with borrowed clubs. Will probably have to go by Alvamar on the way as well.
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,200
64
Country
United States United States
You, evidently, have discovered the "secret" to getting out of the trees. I simply pick out a tree between myself and the fairway. I take dead aim for that tree. Since I never hit ANYTHING I aim at, the ball misses the tree and escapes to the short grass!! LOL
In this area it was baptism by fire, couldn't help from getting good at it as any shot that strays left or right by more than 10-20 yards is in a forest. Finding the ball and not taking a penalty is the big bonus. I got really good at it really fast. That and learning to keep my driver in the bag, up here I tee off alot with a 4i/Hybrid or 2i/Hybrid if I feel lucky, my driver see's daylight about twice on the front and 3-4 times on the back, and I don't hit real poorly. Probably the main reason my index jumped so considerably. Down where I used to live if I lined one over the trees I had a good chance at finding fairway. Here, unless it just goes in it is not even worth looking.
 

Fourputt

Littleton, Colorado
Sep 5, 2006
973
0
It is necessary to keep in mind that the handicap is calculated by using only the lowest 10 of your last 20 posted scores. Thus one great round (i.e. 5 or 6 strokes below your average) won’t totally destroy your competitiveness, but erratic scoring can be hard to overcome. If your average is 90, but you arrive at that by shooting half your scores in the mid to low 80’s, and the other half in the mid to high 90’s, most of the scores in the 90’s will rarely be figured into your handicap, thus skewing your handicap well below your scoring average. There is no really equitable way to make the system work perfectly for every type of player, so it has to be weighted toward the most likely scenario. Most club players are fairly steady with an occasional aberration one way or the other, and those are the norm that the handicap system is designed around. It works best for the player for whom most scores fall into a 4 or 5 stroke range.

Another consideration is that the hole handicaps are NOT determined by simple difficulty. This is a very common misconception. Holes are handicap rated according to the likelihood that a bogey golfer would need an additional stroke to match the score of a scratch golfer. On many par 4 holes, the difficulty is such that the par golfer is almost as likely to make bogey as the bogey golfer, thus such a hole would rank somewhere in the middle of the handicap ratings. On the other hand, the tee shot on a par 5 hole with a long carry over water to set up a second shot to the green might be possible for a scratch golfer, whereas the bogey golfer would have to lay up on both his tee shot and his 2nd. Thus such a hole might be the #1 handicap because that bogey golfer would need the extra stroke to match the par golfer’s birdie chance.

The USGA has had many years of statistics to use to develop what is, in my opinion, the most equitable handicap system possible. It can never be everything for everybody…. there are simply too many possible variables. But if everyone lives by the same rules, the system works as well as it possibly can. Those who choose not to live by the system cannot expect equity with those who do use the process as it was designed.
 

limpalong

Mental Ward Escapee
Supporting Member
Oct 18, 2006
13,827
13,655
I forgot!
Country
United States United States
...so the next time we are in the area we thought we would swing by and take a look at Colbert Hills, and I believe the other I hear about alot is Stagg Hill? Will probably have to go by Alvamar on the way as well.

Check out www.colberthills.com Look at yardages from the "Black & Blue" tees. Highest slope rating in Kansas. If playing from the back tees, you need to hit a 300 yard drive on #7 to even get to the forward (ladies) tees. Course in excellent shape and one you should try to play at least once in your life!!!! Simply stunning views for those who think Kansas is flat!!!!!

Stagg Hill is another great course. Tight, tree lined fairways. Zosia (sp) fairways and well manicured greens. Much shorter than Colbert, but lots of trouble awaits the errant shot.

Lawrence has Eagle Bend, a nice municipal course. Fairly flat with some challenging holes. The private side of Alvamar is fantastic, but you probably need to "know" someone to get on. I, personally, enjoy Eagle Bend over the public side of Alvamar.
 

Rockford35

Shark skin shoes
Staff member
Admin
Aug 30, 2004
21,801
1,083
Canada
Country
Canada Canada
I'm totally with Loop, here.

I would take my "actual" handicap over someone's "potential" handicap any day of the week. That way, I have a true sense of my game in stroke play versus a "handicapped" value.

My uncle plays this way. We went out to play and he asked what strokes he was getting. I said, well I play to about a 5. He says, well, I play to about an 8, so give me 3 strokes.

I beat him by 6, and he shot his handicap, with his self leveling scoring system.

R35
 

Fourputt

Littleton, Colorado
Sep 5, 2006
973
0
I'm totally with Loop, here.

I would take my "actual" handicap over someone's "potential" handicap any day of the week. That way, I have a true sense of my game in stroke play versus a "handicapped" value.

My uncle plays this way. We went out to play and he asked what strokes he was getting. I said, well I play to about a 5. He says, well, I play to about an 8, so give me 3 strokes.

I beat him by 6, and he shot his handicap, with his self leveling scoring system.

R35

The only problem with this is that if everyone uses his own system, then you have no system. If you establish your “handicap” on a course with a 135 slope, and Joe Average uses your method only he plays a course with 115 slope, then you play a match against each other on the same course, your handicaps will be horribly mismatched, and Joe is probably going to lose badly because your handicap is inflated by added difficulty of the course you used to establish it.

The whole point of everyone using the same system is that then everyone at least has the same base to start from. If it wasn’t done that way it would just be chaos. It was done that way back in the 50’s and the problem was that handicaps were not portable. They were only good for one’s home course and if you went to your friend’s club, one or the other of you was likely to have an unfair advantage because of the differences in the courses where you obtained your handicaps. That was when the USA started developing its rating and handicap system. The system has undergone numerous refinements over the years and gets little better each time. But as I said earlier, it can never reach perfection because golf courses and golfers are not static. No formula can take into consideration all of the possible variables, but the ESC does a fairly good job of evening out most of them. It’s better to have a system that works the majority of the time than no system at all. :)
 

Rockford35

Shark skin shoes
Staff member
Admin
Aug 30, 2004
21,801
1,083
Canada
Country
Canada Canada
Rick,

I'm with you, of course.

However, wouldn't a potential handicap based on course ratings be somewhat misleading?

A common guideline for alot of tournaments (mostly fun) around here is a question asked on the sign up form. It is asked bluntly: What is your average score on 18 holes of golf?

This value will normally give you a better guage to the players ability over using their potential handicap. This way, they must estimate their scores based on actual performance, not capped individual rankings.

If I shoot 73, I shoot 73, not 69.

Just my thoughts. I realize that the system is put in place to put an equality on the courses people play all over the globe, but it is a bit of a farce IMO.

R35
 

Fourputt

Littleton, Colorado
Sep 5, 2006
973
0
The handicap system is designed so that most of the time you won’t win unless you are playing in top form. Isn’t that how it should be? In the days before the current ESC system, the formula was based loosely on taking 96% of your average score, taking into consideration the course rating as well. But you were still not getting full credit for your scoring average. The USGA system tries to force one to play at least slightly better than his average in order to have a chance to win, and I think that is how it should be. And it still only works if everyone is playing under the same rules.

I can see your point, but I rarely play in such an informal tournament setting. Here, most of tournaments I play in are sanctioned by my club, or another USGA member club, and all participants MUST have established USGA handicaps in order to compete. If I want to play in a tournament at a course across town with a field of players unknown to me (and me to them), my handicap follows me seamlessly, without any questions. IMO, that is the biggest advantage of playing within the system.
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,200
64
Country
United States United States
Check out www.colberthills.com Look at yardages from the "Black & Blue" tees. Highest slope rating in Kansas.
I should fit right in. My home course is 5500 off the whites with a slope of 135, and 5900 off the blues with a slope of 142 so the difficulty probably wouldn't phase me to much, although not from the tips, 152 is beyond my imagination. :)
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,200
64
Country
United States United States
The only problem with this is that if everyone uses his own system, then you have no system. If you establish your “handicap” on a course with a 135 slope, and Joe Average uses your method only he plays a course with 115 slope, then you play a match against each other on the same course, your handicaps will be horribly mismatched, and Joe is probably going to lose badly because your handicap is inflated by added difficulty of the course you used to establish it.
At least with the USGA, and I believe all others, slope is taken into consideration. The USGA uses 113 as the standard, anything higher would reflect a lower index than what you shoot and you would be expected to score higher. You then have course handicaps to consider, which the ESC is based on your course handicap and not your index. So my home course has a slope of 135 off the whites. My handicap after today is 16.2 (based on their 135 scale), my course handicap is 19 (which they round), so 19 over is my potential for my home course.

So if my index were in the high teens, and the course handicap were in the 20's, on the ESC I would log an 8 as opposed to a 7 for my high score per hole.

So in the end the playing field would be even, outside of the one guy being more familiar with tougher conditions

edit 1 - actually after looking back on this, it appears that is what you were trying to say, so this is probably in support of your comment. Sorry if this added to the confusion, now I'm confused:)
 

Fourputt

Littleton, Colorado
Sep 5, 2006
973
0
Sorry if this added to the confusion, now I'm confused:)

Anybody who isn't at least somewhat confused by either the handicap system or the Rules of Golf in general has to be at least slightly mad. More you study it, the crazier you become... :biglol: I've been insane for years now..... :hunter:
 

limpalong

Mental Ward Escapee
Supporting Member
Oct 18, 2006
13,827
13,655
I forgot!
Country
United States United States
Anybody who isn't at least somewhat confused by either the handicap system or the Rules of Golf in general has to be at least slightly mad. More you study it, the crazier you become... :biglol: I've been insane for years now..... :hunter:

It's a simple game for simple minded people! That's why I enjoy it!! LOL As you can see from the discussion we've tossed back and forth in this thread alone, you are completely correct about the confusion. But, if we were on a discussion board featuring, say, Chinese Checkers... we wouldn't be able to have the enjoyment of becoming more and more and more confused!
 

limpalong

Mental Ward Escapee
Supporting Member
Oct 18, 2006
13,827
13,655
I forgot!
Country
United States United States
I should fit right in. My home course is 5500 off the whites with a slope of 135, and 5900 off the blues with a slope of 142 so the difficulty probably wouldn't phase me to much, although not from the tips, 152 is beyond my imagination. :)

Okay, let's toss in this little "quacker" re the USGS handicap system. When I was playing Colbert every week, our group usually played from the silver tees. (5 sets of tees. Black & Blue, Silver, Purple, White, Gold, from longest to shortest.) The silver tees left a driver in your hands on every par 4 and par 5. Step up, put a driver in the fairway, and play the ball to the hole. Shot consistently between 79 and 83 week after week from the silvers. Now and then, we would move up to the middle tees... the purples. From the purples, my driver is long enough to get into trouble on some holes. Hence, the purples required me to hit a fairway wood or long iron from some tees. I don't ever remember breaking 80 from the purples. Did it often from the silvers. The silvers slope is 150, the purples slope is 132. Do you see where I am going??

When playing there week after week from the silvers, my cap went down. Yet, it became a sham... an ego cap. Moving to shorter, tighter courses... or moving up to the shorter set of tees at Colbert... I could not score close to where my USGA index indicated I should. Now... Should I only play from the purples or the black & blues to score higher and get the cap back up? Or, should I continue to play from the silvers where I score better but see the cap go down?
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,200
64
Country
United States United States
Now... Should I only play from the purples or the black & blues to score higher and get the cap back up? Or, should I continue to play from the silvers where I score better but see the cap go down?
I agree with you on this. I have had multiple encounters on this as well. Although it was usually in regards to which tees to play from based on your handicap. I have always felt it is a matter to know and play within your means and not within your handicap. When I lived further South of here, I played between 15 and 18. Most are of the opinion that in order to play from the Tips you must be a single digit handicap. At the time, it was more a matter of what I felt comfortable hitting. At the time my driver and fairway woods were much more predictable than my irons, which I had a tendancy to hook more than I cared. I did in fact Score better hitting a fairway wood into the green than say a 6 iron. I also played better hitting a fairway wood into a par 3 than a 6 iron. I scored better, it did in turn lower my handicap, but it was really more a sense of looking at the scorecard and knowing which tees were more condusive to my game and not my handicap. In the same sense, people get tied up on distance, yet ignore the entire idea of slope.

For me it was a matter of playing off the tees which allowed me the most enjoyment. Usually scoring better was the key, and in that case it was usually off the back tees for which I would score better. Even though people were of the opinion that I was not entitled to play off the tips unless I was a Single digit handicap. Case in point, I usually played the same as many of the Single digit handicaps off the back tees. Again, for me it is a matter of understanding my game and playing within my means as opposed to within the handicap structure.

As of recent my irons and short game are what pay dividends, so I play off closer tees that allow me to play within that range. Personally handicap is little more than a gauge to me for me to track the progress of my game. I think to many people treat it as a status symbol, and probably the reason the whole ESC bites me the wrong way. Playing with someone who lies 4-5 on a par 4 due to a penalty, picks up their ball from 50 yards out and says "I am only allowed to card a Double Bogie" I think it makes you lose site of the fact that you are supposed to finish the hole and change it at a later time. For me, picking up my ball is more a matter of doing so out of respect to the people I play with because they don't need to wait for me to card the 7 on a par 3. I think the ESC makes you lose site of the consequences behind bad shots. Actually, I would probably go so far as to say the the USGA as a whole make you lose site of the goal behind golf and they create little processes like the ESC that allow you to better maintain the "Status Symbol" atmosphere. Or the better you play, the lower the score you are permitted to take. Then again, if that is what brings them enjoyment, who am I to say that is a bad thing. Just don't tell me it is O.K. because the USGA says so, and use them as an excuse. Kind of like some of the guys I have played against that card a 8 on a hole, are giving me a stroke, I won the hole with a 7, yet they put a 6 on the card and a 7 for me. It seems vain to me, but as long as they are digging in their wallet I guess they can have their day in the sun.

Actually my old home course only played I believe around 5200 yards off the Blues and some rediculous slope of like 115. Yet people would act like you need to earn the right to play off the blues. Where as any other course I played was much more difficult from the whites. People lose site of entire process and get caught up in the entire handicap process. Then they would complain at the people playing off the whites that would wait for the green to clear on a reachable par 4, where if they played from the blues there would be no issue.

To me Golf is a game of consequences, and this part seems to make it easy to overlook that part.

I respect the fact that the USGA tries to maintain a rule structure and the integrity of the game. Although I think pieces like this are not really part of the ideas behind the rules and integrity of the game. Carding a 10 on a par 5 though will certainly give you a whole new perspective on character and tell you that you did not play that hole the way it was intended to be played, for me, a 7 is not that terribly bad, or certainly not enough to ruin my round.
 

Members online

No members online now.
Top