As a golfer, creating a handicap index is the a fundamental process important to your game improvement. I realize much of the local golfing industry has moved away from supporting a handicap index by the format of their tournaments. Who needs a handicap if you never plan to compete in events that require one. That is a topic worth pursuing in the future. However, today is a simple knowledge question of how often do you think you shoot your handicap…..if you had one?
The handicap index is important if you want to level the playing field between players. There is a process to figuring out which player gives and gets strokes during competition and for the most part is a good system. Here is a question I asked earlier in the week. I will give my answer at the bottom:
The following is take the USGA on handicaps index:
Once you have 20 scores in your scoring record, your Handicap Index is calculated by first averaging the best 8 Score Differentials out of your most recent 20 scores. This value may be adjusted due to built-in safeguards that are applied when:
» You submit an exceptional score, which is 7.0 strokes or better than your Handicap Index at the time the round is played, or
» Your 8 of 20 calculation is 3.0 or more strokes above your Low Handicap Index from the previous 365 days.
If either one of those safeguards are applied, it will be clearly identified in your scoring record. (Rule 5, Rules of Handicapping)
The trick question, at least I thought it was, deals with the calculation of the index. If and average of 8 scores is used as the basis for the calculations, then it stands to reason that we only shoot our index 40% of the time. The reason I suggest this is because as your scores roller coaster through the season, your index will slide up and down as well. Thus, you can only shoot your index 40% of the time.
I am confident that smarter math people will proof me wrong and I am okay with that. Just show our work! 😉
At this moment, my handicap index is on the rise. After a 7 month layoff, I am rusty and I am shooting scores much higher than I expect. The upward movement of my index is nothing new; I will start to change this trend by mid June. By then I will have knocked of most of the rust and had a chance to practice outdoors. It is all part of my process.
My goal is to finish the season with a handicap index under 3. That would be a 0.5 increase from last year and is a reasonable goal that is attainable and sustainable. We shall see how it all turns out.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!