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Surprising Rule Changes to the Handicap System

USGA Rule Changes to Handicap System


This is a commentary on the current changes proposed to go into effect January 2016 by the USGA Rule Changes to the Handicap System.  This does not reflect the current position of this management or staff but is the author’s personal commentary on the rule changes proposed.  

Why?  Seriously why?

If you didn’t hear already.  It’s all over the place in internet golf-land, but there are proposed changes to the USGA Handicap System namely how we keep score and submit those scores for handicap calculation.  It was a slow news week thankfully rolling into the Thanksgiving Holiday here and we have the USGA with an update to the way we keep and maintain our handicap.

Sure the USGA owns the patent for all benchmarks including golf handicap, slope, and golf course rating.  Now they question our integrity as golfers.  Wasn’t the single most distinguishing factor our sport of golf versus other sports is the fact we golfers police ourselves?  We have referees and rules members at sanctioned USGA events, but now if we play our weekly round of golf and maintain a handicap we need to ensure one of our buddies also has a handicap and can sign off the card for submission for peer review.

As their press release reads:

Playing alone and necessary peer review: To further support the key System premise of peer review, scores made while playing alone will no longer be acceptable for handicap purposes. This change underscores the importance of providing full and accurate information regarding a player’s potential scoring ability, and the ability of other players to form a reasonable basis for supporting or disputing a posted score. (Section 5-1: Acceptability of Scores)

Come on now.  How many golfers do you know maintain a USGA Handicap?  I for one do not.  I’ve wanted to.  In fact I was just thinking the other day if I want to play competitively I may need to secure myself a handicap.  I love golf; been playing for better than 30+ years now.  And honestly this is one more reason why I won’t keep a USGA handicap.

Golf is the only sport I know where players regularly call penalties on themselves.  No other sport relies on the integrity of the individual player.  Why now of all times is our own integrity called into question? Do they question our ability to interpret the rules?  Well make them simple to bloody understand?  I don’t need a gaggle of lawyers to tell me how to play the game I love.

How silly is that?  Was the system broken to begin with?  Were golfers everywhere guilty of fraud?  I can understand the need for peer review but with the current system in place a player submits his signed scorecard isn’t that scrutinized by the handicap committee; especially during tournaments?

I guess it’s just one more reason why I maintain my GK Score Tracker index.  Just another fly in the ointment;  another nuisance rule to be ignored altogether.  Click HERE to set up your FREE Account and track your index.  Why submit yourself to the silliness.

Check out for yourself the new USGA revisions to the Handicap system.  Click HERE.