MOVING TO THE FORWARD TEES HAS COST ME 9 SHOTS
My golf club, Wellington, recently introduced forward tees for seniors with a rating of 66. The rating for the club tees is 70. After 8 games off the forward tees – I’m an octogenarian – my handicap was reduced by 5 from 36 to 31. This was to be expected since the new tees make the course shorter and easier.
However, when playing in a club competition, I have to reduce my handicap by a further 4 strokes because it is necessary to compensate for the difference in rating. I cannot understand this because my handicap is now calculated on the easier course.
If I am expected to adjust my handicap because of the rating differential, why are members of another golf club with a rating of 72 not expected to make the same adjustment when they visit and play in a competition at my club with a rating of 70? Surely the same set of rules should apply. Seniors who play off an easier course, apart from being handicapped off the easier tees, are faced with a 4-stroke penalty whereas players who are handicapped on a 72 rating course and enter a competition at an easier 70 rated course need make no adjustment?
Lee Theunissen, Paarl
You might not understand the logic yet, but it’s all to do with balancing the use of different tees in the same competition. You have effectively been cut 9 shots, a quarter of your original handicap, by moving to the forward tees. It will hurt at first, but you should start getting some of those shots back because your differential in competitions will be lower playing off a 27 with a rating of 66. Your handicap will gradually go out again. On your other point, until the SA Golf Association adopts the Slope rating system, there will always be inconsistencies between golfers handicapped at different clubs.