It is important for all Fig Garden Men’s Club Members to understand the USGA handicap system.
There are some important assumptions made when establishing a handicap. First and foremost, it is assumed that maximum effort is applied to every shot in a round of golf. Believe it or not, your handicap can be incorrect if you “give up” on a hole and take the maximum ESC score for the hole.
Please understand that your handicap is provided to you from the Fig Garden Men’s Club. The USGA nor the NCGA nor the Royal and Ancient Golf Society nor the Rotary Club nor any other organization provides you with a handicap. The Fig Garden Men’s Club is where you get a handicap. You can join other golf clubs that subscribe to the same computation service that will compute the index but it does have to be a club that is authorized by the USGA to provide this service. Fig Garden Men’s Club is authorized to use the calculation services of GHIN to calculate your handicap.
So many times I hear “they froze my handicap”. The only way your handicap can be “frozen” is if the Men’s Club Board votes to freeze your index. Frequently, we get golfers with an “R” behind the index. This is not a “frozen” index. When you have an “R” behind the number, it means that you have “exceptional tournament scores” which kick in another calculation in determining your handicap index (HI). Most every golfer has a handicap based on the best ten of the last twenty posted scores. (You must have five scores to get an HI) If you shoot two tournaments scores that average more than 3 strokes under your computed handicap, another calculation is used. It is no longer just the low ten out of the last twenty. A further adjustment is made to the average of the two low tournament scores and this gets an “R” behind the index meaning your handicap has been “REDUCED”. It is simply a computer generated number. The FGMC Handicap Committee reviews these “R” scores every month and determines if further adjustments are necessary.
If the Handicap Committee determines that an HI is not a true number that defines a players potential, they can “MODIFY” the HI. That would get an “M” behind the number and is set for a specific period. Maybe 30 days, maybe 90 days, whatever the Committee decides is necessary. This is rarely done.
If a member has grossly violated the intent of the handicap system, the Committee can decide (with unanimous vote) to apply a “WD” for that players handicap. That player would have continued NCGA membership and benefits but would not have a handicap for competing in events that require a current HI. This is also for a set specific period determined by the Handicap Committee.
Notice that all of these situations involve the local men’s club. THEY is WE. You are the peers that watch over what has been posted and keep the handicap system operating as intended. This is a gentlemen’s game and we need to respect each other and make the system as fairly applied as possible.
The USGA has determined that approximately 3% of all club members cheat on their handicap. For any given month, there are approximately 1000 golfers in the NCGA that have an “R” index. This means there are about 3000 golfers in the NCGA that are most likely cheating on their handicap in some manner. (There are currently 170,000 members in the NCGA) We all know the ways this is done. A purposely missed putt when your ball is not required on that particular hole. Writing the incorrect score on any given hole. Purposely posting an incorrect score. Purposely NOT posting a score. The ONLY way this can be brought into line is for the local Fig Garden golfer watch what is done and call them on whatever is being done wrong. Remember, maximum effort is applied to each stroke and the correct score is entered on the scorecard. It is very simple and a lot of fun when everyone participates fairly.