ROUNDS NEED TO BE OPENED AT EVERY GOLF CLUB
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.