By Stuart McLean, Editor
t wasn’t quite shock news, but Handicaps Network Africa caught golfers by surprise at the end of March when they announced there was to be an immediate daily revision of our handicaps, e ective April 1 (they could have chosen a more plausible date). For those of us who belong to the BBC generation (Born Before Computers), this is nothing new though. In days gone by, winning a club competition with a hot round would nearly always result in your handicap being revised downwards as you went up to collect the prize. The club captain personally did it for you; he didn’t consult a computer.
It was the price you paid, and most accepted the handicap cut in good grace. There was also a certain pride about now being a lower handicap; you knew you weren’t going to get your old handicap back anytime soon. Today, though, club captains rely on computers to monitor the handicaps of members, and at prizegivings they wouldn’t dare make an arbitrary decision to cut someone “on the oor,” no matter how extraordinary their score.
Now, however, one exceptional round – rather than the two which has automatic repercussions in respect of our handicaps – is likely to see golfers being cut overnight, and that is possibly a good thing for the game. Yes, there will be continued manipulation, but that concept was already in play among golfers who like to work the handicap system to their advantage.
The obvious area of manipulation will be golfers taking advantage of the 72-hour period of grace in which to enter a score before being hit with a penalty score. This could “unlevel” the playing eld, and I’m surprised that an immediate change hasn’t been considered here too. Two golfers could play in