For any golfer who has an official handicap index, they watch the sliding number as they navigate the ups and downs of their golf season. The challenge with players in northern climes, like myself, the roller coaster ride of index changes is a yearly evet that is unavoidable and somewhat frustrating. The real question for the players who have a shortened season is when do we take note of our rising handicap and take steps to address potential issues that might have long term adverse affects.
In my particular case, my handicap index just rose to 5.2 from 3.4 at the beginning of the year. This is a significant jump as I have not replaced the great scores from last fall with new ones this year. My game is not as sharp as it should be for this time of year because our season never really started until a month ago. COVID caused an additional six week lockdown on top of the 6 months we endured under a blanket of white (that would be snow for your southerners 😉 ) Additionally, all the practice areas were closed and my DIY areas were okay, but does not really provide the facilities where I can sharpen my game.
Additionally, yesterday I replaced my under par round of 70 with a 78 thus causing my handicap index to jump up significantly. At first glance, many players would immediately wonder what the heck is going on with their golf game. In my particular case, take a calming breath because this snakes and ladder movement of my handicap index is a yearly thing and right now is not the time to panic.
Unlike my friends Brian, Kevin and Mike, their season is not what I would consider short. They can golf all year around, however Brian will have to dress very warm for a few months during December and January. They are fortunate to have a full season and as such do not see the dramatic changes in their index that I experience. If they do, then they definitely would be performing a more intense analysis of their game.
To answer my original question, there are times when our changing handicap index act as an indicator for potential swing issues. In my case, however, I have to extend that time to allow me to hone my game to a point where I should see my handicap start to drop. Usually, this time is the end of June, however this year I will need to extend this time until the second or third week in July. At that time, I should start populating my index with mid to low 70 scores. As always, I have a goal to finish my season with a handicap under 3. Unfortunately, the past couple of years has made that very difficult because of the extremely shortened golf season. Regardless, I will continue my journey to better golf scores by staying focused on the positive aspects of my game, honing my skills, and being grateful that I am playing golf.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!