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Equitable Stroke Control. What are your thoughts?

Fourputt

Littleton, Colorado
Sep 5, 2006
973
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I can be very important to choose your tees wisely. We have a course here outside of Denver Called Riverdale Dunes, a Perry Dye design. On one of the par 5 holes, it is 230 yards from the back tees to the forward tees (and another 20 yards to the start of the fairway), with 3 other sets in between. Now there are a lot of decent golfers who would have absolutely no business playing from those back tees, yet I know some such players who wouldn't play there if they enforced their recommendation of needing a single digit handicap to play the blacks. They can't seem to disconnect their egos from their better judgement, feeling that they are somehow getting cheated if they don't play from the tips. Then they whine about how unfair holes like that par 5 are, when they never should have been there in the first place.

I prefer playing from a tee set that allows me to have some fun along with a challenge. On my home course I can play from the tips just fine, but I would never even entertain the idea of playing the blacks at Riverdale. :faintthud
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,200
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I prefer playing from a tee set that allows me to have some fun along with a challenge. On my home course I can play from the tips just fine, but I would never even entertain the idea of playing the blacks at Riverdale. :faintthud
I usually try to play something with a slope under 135, and a distance under 6500 yards. 3 years ago, a distance up to 7000 yards was not a big issue, but I am no longer as long or consistent with my woods and driver. I also check out the par 3's, although alot of the par 3's on the courses in my area now can be around 210 off the whites so that has become less of a problem with familiarity. Any par 3 over 220-215, many par 4's over 430 yards, or par 5's in excess of 600 yards would likely lead me to the closer tees.

Ideally I think my ideal comfort level is probably around 6200-6300 yards and 128 for the slope. If I play with people that want to play the tips that extend above these levels, I usually gladly tell them I will catch up to them on the closer tees. Now when I see 7000 yard and a 140 slope it just resembles what would make for a miserable day for me.

I have been more humbled in the last 3 years and usually just look for the whites, or possibly second from the tips. Just makes for a more enjoyable day.
 

Loop

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
1,418
3
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.

Are you implying that golfers don't play their round as best as they want to be? That they honestly don't care how they shoot?
When people play for fun, I can understand. But then again, these people always tries to make a good shot, even if it's for fun.
Have you ever tried to play a round, trying to play your best and in a careful manner, and then finally flubbing half your shots? Was it intentional? No.
Or tried to play a round in a complete careless manner and shooting lights out?
All this to say that trying to play better than your average doesn't necesarily yield better results than your usual score.
 

limpalong

Mental Ward Escapee
Supporting Member
Oct 18, 2006
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Are you implying that golfers don't play their round as best as they want to be? That they honestly don't care how they shoot?
When people play for fun, I can understand. But then again, these people always tries to make a good shot, even if it's for fun.
Have you ever tried to play a round, trying to play your best and in a careful manner, and then finally flubbing half your shots? Was it intentional? No.
Or tried to play a round in a complete careless manner and shooting lights out?
All this to say that trying to play better than your average doesn't necesarily yield better results than your usual score.

You've hit the nail on the head!!! You see, the average amateur has a difficult time controlling which golfer in this ol' body shows up for each round.

Did my wife really not want me to play today? With that on my mind, I'll probably shoot worse!
Is something really intense going on at work that I just can't get off my mind? There goes the mental game!
Some folks say they shoot better after a few beers. What about the rounds they play sober????? Do those get recorded for handicap?
Some folks play better after a layoff... some better after extended practice. How did you prepare for this particular round? (A gentleman who played in our group for a couple of years was getting extremely frustrated. One day, really in jest, another in the group told him he need to take two weeks off and then quit!!!! He did!! Quit for an entire season. Just came back 3 weeks ago and has shot the best golf of his life.)

There are so many variables. Our discussion has harbored around minute statistics, course slopes, etc. When less than 20% of golfers break 100 (USGA statistics) we can hold this type discussion but in reality are just talking...

In the real world, I do believe most golfers make an attempt to hit each shot to the best of their ability. Golfers make an attempt to get better. The poster who you quote says you need to play better than you handicap to win. I disagree. You need at or above your potential to beat those who are playing at or below theirs... that's what handicapping is all about.
 

Fourputt

Littleton, Colorado
Sep 5, 2006
973
0
In the real world, I do believe most golfers make an attempt to hit each shot to the best of their ability. Golfers make an attempt to get better. The poster who you quote says you need to play better than you handicap to win. I disagree. You need at or above your potential to beat those who are playing at or below theirs... that's what handicapping is all about.

Other than the fact that your handicap (when figured using the USGA formula) does reflect your "potential" (which is what I thought I said), this statement sums it up quite succinctly. That is precisely the point I was trying to make. I said nothing whatsoever about players not trying to play their best, just that they won't win often except when they succeed at playing their best. And what handicapping does is to level out the field at the outset. At the finish, the winner should still be the player (or players) who achieve the best results as measured against their potential. :)

It think we are mostly arguing the same thing here, just for different methods of achieving that goal. If all players in a competition are using the same handicap procedure, then it's not as important how the adustment was arrived at, because it should still be a reasonably even match.

The USGA's handicap system (including ESC) is aimed at being able to transport one's handicap to any rated course in the US and still be able to play head's up with strangers who use the same system on a course that has been rated with that system.
 

Hybrid-Heaven

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2006
36
0
Cheating none-the-less!

Handicaps are a function of your ability to score low. Does not show your propensity to blow-up over time.

Equitable Stroke Control is the same as your handicap, except for a single round: It shows your ability to score low in the round, and not your ability to blow-up during a round.

Hey this isn't rocket science! Everyone knows that the lower your index the better you have to score when it matters most, during a tournament or a match. It makes me sick that you guys knowingly raise your handicap, and then when I end up playing you, either you get more strokes than you should be or I'm getting less than I should be. Then you try to act like it's because your righteous! Indeed!
 

Sandpiper3

Golf Course Designer
Aug 9, 2006
5,058
2
Handicaps are a function of your ability to score low. Does not show your propensity to blow-up over time.

Equitable Stroke Control is the same as your handicap, except for a single round: It shows your ability to score low in the round, and not your ability to blow-up during a round.

Hey this isn't rocket science! Everyone knows that the lower your index the better you have to score when it matters most, during a tournament or a match. It makes me sick that you guys knowingly raise your handicap, and then when I end up playing you, either you get more strokes than you should be or I'm getting less than I should be. Then you try to act like it's because your righteous! Indeed!


O man you should see some of the baggers out there. Just brutal. I played my share of baggers and they just sicken me, all though i still beat them:D Ive found that alot of baggers rely on those extra shots when making bets, then they got a little too laid back and sprayed a few, and they lose their tempo:). Sandbaggers just make me sick, but hdcp is the only way i can play competitively with my buddies (all double digit 'caps).

(fairly:rolleyes: )
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,200
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Equitable Stroke Control is the same as your handicap, except for a single round: It shows your ability to score low in the round, and not your ability to blow-up during a round

Hey this isn't rocket science! Everyone knows that the lower your index the better you have to score when it matters most, during a tournament or a match. It makes me sick that you guys knowingly raise your handicap, and then when I end up playing you, either you get more strokes than you should be or I'm getting less than I should be. Then you try to act like it's because your righteous! Indeed!
I disagree with this in a large part. Maybe for a Single Digit index, but not for the rest, for the reasons I stated prior. Not sure if this was in any way directed at me, but since I am obviously one of the biggest critics on the ESC I will address the comment. I think from reading my post you will find simply that just because I disagree with the ESC, I still use the system. With exception to the fact that I pick up on a par 3 at 6 as opposed to the 7 or 8 I am entitled to under the sandbagger criteria behind the ESC. I also have kept my handicap after Oct 15th as I do not feel right getting the extra 6 strokes.

Why is it that people always assume that if you do not follow the USGA guidlines to a tee, you are trying to cheat the people you play against. Most of what I have read or even stated on here is to the contrary.

Simply put if you don't like the extra 6 strokes I am giving you as I stated I am still keeping track of my index, don't take them. But I at least feel you are entitled to know. Had it been going the other direction I likely would have followed the faulty criteria of the USGA. Seems like you are getting high and mighty for anyone not agreeing with the USGA, this is not a thread about people saying I don't believe it so I don't follow it. It is more a thread about what people view as an issue on their criteria. But allowing some to take a 7 or 8 on a par three, is probably allowing them more strokes than they would likely take otherwise. I think people who want to cheat are going to cheat regardless of the guidelines of the ESC. I think people who are familiar with the ESC, know enought to know how it will affect their index. One problem is that 1/2 the people don't even know this exists, which would likely make one a sandbagger simply because they are unaware of this portion. So it would appear to me that them more familiar you are with the process (likely the better golfer), the more likely you are to suffer from the ESC. Why create a process that leave room for error, simply due to no familiarity. I didn't know about the ESC until I had played and tracked my handicap for about 2 years. I think there are far more downsides to this process, than there are benefits in policing people that will likely just find other ways to cheat. Just my opinion though.
 

Fourputt

Littleton, Colorado
Sep 5, 2006
973
0
One last comment on this (I hope). I think that worrying about taking 7 on a par 3 is mostly much ado about nothing. For one thing, most of the players I know who keep a handicap in that range would almost never reach the point of having to make an adjustment on a par 3. I can't think of the last time I saw someone take more than a 6 on any of the par 3 holes on my home course, or any place else I've played recently. It's even a rare occurance for me to have to adjust on a par 4. I'm far more likely to have to adjust for an 8 on a par 5, and that would likely be true of anyone. I can go for several rounds shooting at or above my handicap and still not have to make more than a couple of adjustments.... we're talking no more than a couple of strokes over several rounds, certainly not enough have a serious effect on my handicap.

This is one of those topics that needs to be explained by someone who truly understands the background and reasoning that went into the creation of the system, and I'm not sufficiently conversant on it to make such a clarification. I'm just the type of person who feels that the USGA knows a hell of a lot more about it than I do, and I also am quite certain that they have the best interests of the game at heart. That's enough for me.... :)
 

OmegaG5

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2006
106
0
The one poster (Loop) stated the handicap system should be representative of actual scores, not a golfer's potential. USGA says just the opposite! (And I agree with USGA on this one.) To be fair to the field... your fellow competitiors... the handicap system MUST indicate the score you have the potential to shoot.

I want to know the score they have the "potential" to shoot! They will competing against me and my potential score. Either one of us can have a good round or a bad round. But, to be on level ground, we MUST know what each has the potential to score.

Hmmm... coming in late on this discussion... and as a beginner off 28 and been playing since April this year...

My potential? Hey, I have a helluva high potential! My problem is with consistency. On my home course there are only two holes where I have never scored a par. I have also taken birdies on several holes. But overall, my potential (and actual scores) for 18 hover each side of 100. That's simply because those pars and birdies don't all come in the same holes, or on the same day! :)

But if I was to shoot my potential, then I would be on a handicap of 2 or maybe even scratch. I once got 36 on the back 9. Does that make it my potential? Sure it does, but I would hate to have to play off scratch based on that! I'm just not that consistent!

Sure, some of the guys that I play with (there are around 40 of us "Seniors" who play twice a week) look slyly at me when I get a par or a birdie, and make some comment such as "You won't be off 28 for long", but that's all part of the fun. It was great fun yesterday for me to take a birdie on a par 3, and have a stroke too, to bring it to a nett 1. Raised eyebrows in the club house afterwards, maybe, as they consider that they would have had to score an ace to have equalled it.

But... for the moment, you are (and everyone else is) gonna have to play against me on 28, despite my potential. :)

R.
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,200
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This is one of those topics that needs to be explained by someone who truly understands the background and reasoning that went into the creation of the system, and I'm not sufficiently conversant on it to make such a clarification. I'm just the type of person who feels that the USGA knows a hell of a lot more about it than I do, and I also am quite certain that they have the best interests of the game at heart. That's enough for me.... :)
Couldn't agree more. Although I am one of those people that always wants to know the reason. I think they have the best interests at heart, but for the life of me I can't figure out why they did it the way they did. Again, even though I disagree with what I currently know about this, I would still follow their rules and use an official index when playing in their sanctioned event. In all likelihood this would work out to my advantage, although it is probably more out of respect for the USGA than anything else. I may complain or speculate about their rules, but in the end I honestly believe they do everything they do to maintain the integrity of the game.
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,200
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United States United States
OK, I have had a few drinks. Now see Sling is back after a while. Why not have some fun with the past.

Sorry for digging up such an old thread. But I think limpalong will love that I did with this one for many reasons. ;)

Just thought it would be fun to do so, to see how far the ESC system has come around after so many years, if you read through this thread. lol
 

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