Q: What have golf handicaps and pensions got in common?
A: Both have been constantly tinkered with by governing bodies.
The last major tinkering regarding golf handicaps took effect on January 1 this year when 4BBB allowance was changed from three quarters to 90%. This meant that 18 handicap players had their allowance increased from 14 to 16, an extra two shots. Unsurprisingly, winning scores in this type of play seem to have increased accordingly from 43-45 Stableford points to 45-47.
On my travels around the country I hear that some 4BBB competitions are not attracting as many low handicap entries as before as they feel they have little chance of competing. If this is true it is a shame.
Perhaps it is thought that an 18 handicap player drops a shot on every hole. My experience is that an 18 handicap player has 4-6 pars in a round. Put two of these together in a 4BBB and you could be looking at 50 points!
So I have been thinking what can be done in 4BBB competitions to deter handicap builders and deal with those players we all know who are brilliant in better ball competitions and win loads of prizes yet appear utterly useless in medal play of the white tees which forms the basis of the whole system.
If my sums are correct when looking at high stableford points scored by high handicap players, one if not both players will have scored on nine holes or more in that competition – and now that we have nine hole scores counting toward handicap adjustments – why don’t we simply extract the player’s score for any nine holes recorded, perhaps allowing one or two shots for the possibility of a ‘free putt’ or two and adjust their handicap accordingly.
Please let us have your thoughts – after all it is the club managers who deal with this on a daily basis yet, surprisingly, have little or no input regarding changes to the system.