Ok, first of all I am pumped. Anything that can be changed to continue to put all golfers on an even playing field is a good thing in general, but for us and what we do it’s a great thing. in my 5 years here, our biggest issue has been Handicapping, not due to a lack of effort on anyone’s part or someone intentionally “sandbagging” to get a higher cap but there were just flaws in the old system that sometimes would not give a player the most accurate information. Anytime there was a comment about handicaps, jokingly or not it was something that truly Irked myself and in this past year Ryan as we both truly did everything we can to give everyone the same chance to win every tournament. If anyone ever thinks otherwise, there are plenty of other leagues you are more than welcome to go join.
Here are some of the biggest changes we have in store for 2020.
Daily updates: Your handicap will now be updated after every round posted as opposed to just the 1st and 15th of the month.
Fewer scores count on your index: So now your top 8 scores will count towards your index out of your last 20 rounds played, this should have a minimum change for many of us but will still help give us a more accurate look at your true potential.
New stroke limit: In years past players used the ESC (Equitable stroke control) Which basically took your handicap and gave you a max score you could take on any hole. Not a bad system, but not great. Now with the newly implemented Net double bogey max that should even more so control the potential of “Sandbagging” not that anyone ever would.
Playing conditions calculations: This is weirdly my favorite, basically if you play a round in tough conditions Rain, Wind, etc) the new system will be able to recognize that. It will be able to take all scores posted from that day and see if there is any trends to a higher than average scoring day and then be able to relate it back to how you shot.
The # of strokes your getting will change: So basically, when we run a tournament more often then not your handicap will add a stroke or 2 depending on the course rating/slope. Now to my understanding this should not be happening and your handicap should be what you will play as, unless you change tees in which case your “Course Handicap” could change.
All in all I am excited, this is a big step for the USGA and WGA to be able to have some uniformity throughout the world with handicap systems. Golf is an amazing game and anything that can be done to utilize a little more technology and make the game better i am always in favor of.
The Handicap system is currently undergoing the changes as you read this and should be available on Monday. If you have the APP you will need to update it as there will be changes to the APP and The current GHIN website.
Heres to a great 2020.