Playing to Handicap

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NearHull

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I have searched for this topic on the forums but didn’t locate anything that matches. I thought the subject would have been well discussed, apologies if it is repetition.

A common topic of conversation during our rounds is how often should we expect to play to handicap. I suppose that as the most form of golf played at my course is Stableford, then the question is, should I be overly concerned that my regular return is around 30 pts? Since we came back to golf, I‘ve played a dozen or so times returning one 38 and one 35 card. Most of my playing partners agree that we should expect to return 36-39 points only three times a season, yet I observe some players regularly returning cards in this range far more often.
Should it matter, I am playing off 11.4 and have been down to 10 (actually 9.9 for two weeks - so I could, with tongue firmly held in cheek, claim to be a single figure golfer once 😀) and I am in receipt of the State Pension.

What are your expectations, and are those expectations linked to the handicap level?
 

Diamond

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I was given a 28 handicap and go round in +36 with my best score ever being +32. I scored less than 20 points in my first competition on Saturday but you have to start somewhere.
 
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I think depends how often you play. I also think if you're a lower handicapper, there is a huge difference between shooting your handicap (36) and shooting 3 under it (39).

Since golf has returned, I've played about 4 times a week and when I've kept a proper score (I've most been doing matchplay with friends), I've been hitting my handicap or not been far off it. I hit 37 on Saturday for my best score this season, and put it in a supplementary score. With our SSS being one lower than par though, my handicap stayed the same.

Sooner or later, I'll be getting cut and I can't wait.

Unrelated but yesterday I had 22 points on the front 9, and then 11 on the back, with 4 of those coming from a birdie on the 10th! Major choke from absolutely nowhere!

Gotta love golf o_O
 

saving_par

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I think depends how often you play. I also think if you're a lower handicapper, there is a huge difference between shooting your handicap (36) and shooting 3 under it (39).

Since golf has returned, I've played about 4 times a week and when I've kept a proper score (I've most been doing matchplay with friends), I've been hitting my handicap or not been far off it. I hit 37 on Saturday for my best score this season, and put it in a supplementary score. With our SSS being one lower than par though, my handicap stayed the same.

Sooner or later, I'll be getting cut and I can't wait.

Unrelated but yesterday I had 22 points on the front 9, and then 11 on the back, with 4 of those coming from a birdie on the 10th! Major choke from absolutely nowhere!

Gotta love golf o_O
At your course playing to your handicap is 37 points, so you need to better that to get a cut due to your SSS.

Forget about 36 points equating to playing to handicap, its not.
 
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At your course playing to your handicap is 37 points, so you need to better that to get a cut due to your SSS.

Forget about 36 points equating to playing to handicap, its not.
I get what you're saying - I explained it myself in my post. But hitting 37, is hitting 1 lower than my handicap. That is the same for everyone at any course. For stableford format, 35 is 1 over, 36 is level, 37 is 1 under.
 

pauldj42

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I believe GM ran an article some years back were it showed on average you only played to your handicap in competitions less than 5 times a season.
Hopefully someone has the link.
 
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Beware of the improving golfer... I think it all depends what your potential is, I have felt like I have single figures in me before but never been able to do it in a comp or regularly enough. Now I am playing close to everyday I think its a real possibility.

If I do achieve that personal dream of single figures though I guess I will find out where my true potential is... I guess I will know when I am managing to play to handicap only a few times a year as you have said 👍🏻

I have always felt that more than 30 pts has to be my aim in stableford and if I am getting 30-36 with blobs on the card then I am better than my handicap (once I can sort out the silly issues)
 
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If you think about it, the way the system works, you could play to your handicap once every 5 or 10 times (assuming your misses were mostly buffer) and you would / could maintain the same handicap (or vary only 1 stroke), especially for higher handicaps who are coming down 0.3 or 0.4 if they shoot 1 under but might have to shoot 3 or 4 over to go up 0.1.

I played at a club where the culture was very much that people would pick up when they had bust their handicap. Not ideal and the club didn't do much to stop it. But I'd imagine the new system will change that a bit and people won't want a notional 20 over their handicap to end up as one of their 'counting' rounds at some point down the road.
 

Slime

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I hope this helps whilst not actually answering your query. (y)


According to and written by the EGU;
A Category 1 player
(handicaps scratch to 5.4) is expected to play, on average, 2 shots
worse than handicap.

A Category 2 player (handicaps 5.5 to 12.4) - 3 to 4 shots worse

A Category 3 player (handicaps 12.5 to 20.4) - 5 to 6 shots worse

A Category 4 player (handicaps 20.5 to 28) should expect to play, on an
average day, 6 to 7 shots over handicap e.g. a 21 handicap player will usually play
to 27 over.
 
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I get what you're saying - I explained it myself in my post. But hitting 37, is hitting 1 lower than my handicap. That is the same for everyone at any course. For stableford format, 35 is 1 over, 36 is level, 37 is 1 under.
I don't think this is really correct. If SSS is different from par then handicap adjustments will take that into account for stableford format.

E.g. SSS 71 on a Par 70.
36 points would mean a cut and 35 points would effectively mean level par.

E.g. SSS 69 on a Par 70.
You'd need to shoot 38 points for a cut.
 

drive4show

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To answer the OP, I would say that 3 out of 10 rounds would be about right? Add in a couple of buffers and the odd cut and I would guess you won't be too far off the mark.

I think the lower you get the more often you are likely to hit buffer........just my observation. You have to really with just a 1 shot buffer and only 0.1 cut per shot.
 
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