Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Gallery -

Hand­i­caps Net­work Africa (HNA) is los­ing cred­i­bil­ity among mem­bers of So­cial Golf Clubs (SGC) due to many golfers not con­sis­tently log­ging their scores, and golf clubs not com­ing to the party by en­forc­ing the swip­ing of hand­i­cap cards by play­ers.

SGC are in­tro­duc­ing their own in­ter­nal sys­tems to counter un­likely scores. My SGC has ex­per­i­mented with a num­ber of sys­tems in­clud­ing cut­ting the hand­i­caps of play­ers who shoot scores of -3 and be­low.

We are im­ple­ment­ing a sys­tem which takes the av­er­age of the best two games played (from a player’s six most re­cent games – for newer play­ers it could be less than six), sub­tract­ing 72 and mul­ti­ply­ing by 0.96, which then trans­lates to the player’s club (or in­ter­nal) hand­i­cap. For ex­am­ple: 86 + 90 = 176/2 = 88 – 72 = 16 x 0.96 = 15.36 (hand­i­cap is 15).

The sys­tem treats all cour­ses as equally dif­fi­cult/easy (a weak­ness), which has its own down­side. How­ever, it is less open to ma­nip­u­la­tion than the HNA sys­tem as it con­sid­ers only com­pet­i­tive rounds.A player who de­lib­er­ately plays badly will not win that spe­cific game, whereas on HNA some play­ers load bad scores to in­flu­ence their hand­i­caps.

The point is that the HNA sys­tem al­lows sand­bag­gers/ringers to have an up­per hand in SGC com­pe­ti­tions as well as char­ity days.The only way the HNA sys­tem will gain cred­i­bil­ity is if it is en­forced by clubs.There­fore, some­thing needs to be done in this area. Siphelelo Hlela, Rand­burg HNA con­tinue to look at ways to im­prove the in­tegrity of hand­i­caps, other than re­ly­ing on peer re­view and golf club hand­i­cap com­mit­tees. HNA have asked all clubs to reg­is­ter rounds on the sys­tem, as they have the abil­ity to do this. HNA will also be in­tro­duc­ing the “Regis­tered Round Per­cent­age,” to as­sist with es­tab­lish­ing the in­tegrity of a golfer’s hand­i­cap. Ev­ery­one will be able to see what per­cent­age of a player’s scores were regis­tered at a club be­fore or while play­ing. This will the­o­ret­i­cally en­able golfers to put pres­sure on clubs to open rounds for them.

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