|FAQs - Most Commenly Asked Questions|
1. Who is eligible to play in MVGA events?Any male who resides within our 14 county area and has a valid USGA-GHIN handicap from one of our Member Clubs. (Our 14 Counties Are:Auglaize, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Darke, Greene, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby, or Warren)
2. Who is eligible to play in DDWGA Events?Any female who resides within 50 miles of Dayton, Ohio and has a valid USGA-GHIN Handicap from one of our Member Clubs, or has a valid USGA Handicap.
3. Who is eligible to play in Miami Valley Masters Events?Any male age 50 or older who has a valid Membership with Miami Valley Golf (Active GHIN Handicap Index) and has paid the one time initiation fee of $25
Perhaps one of the best things about golf, is that players of differing abilities can play against each other. Golfers do this through using the USGA Handicap System. The USGA Handicap System is almost as old as the USGA itself and through time has been refined to what you will find today. The most recent change in the Handicap System came only a few years ago with the development of Slope. LINK TO PAGE
One of the reasons your local Golf Associations was formed was to help insure high standards of handicapping in our 14 county area. Everyone, should have a fair chance at winning their match. With that in mind the MVGA started offering the Golf Handicap Information Network to our member clubs in 1997 (GHIN). This network which was formed by the USGA allows for interaction between clubs, better handicap committee supervision, better tournament management and a closer community of golfers.
While GHIN had been popular throughout the United States since the early 1980's it had not been offered in our area until 1997. Who would have thought that from 8 member club in 1997 we would have grown to over 50 clubs in a few short years.
As this web site grows and adapts to everyone's needs we will add area's to ensure the USGA Handicapping System continues to allow everyone to have a fair chance.
1. How do I establish a USGA Handicap Index?
You must be a member of a golf club. The USGA defines a golf club as an organization of at least ten individual members that have a reasonable and regular opportunity to play with each other, that operate under by-laws, that provide for peer review and have a Handicap Committee. Therefore, a golf club can be anywhere either at a public course, a private course, a business, a neighborhood, etc. You do not need a specific course to be considered a golf club by the USGA; however, you do need to meet the above requirements. For more information on forming a golf club, please go to the "Establishing a Handicap Index."
2. What should a player do if he/she does not finish a hole or is conceded a stroke?
If a player does not finish a hole or is conceded a stroke then, he shall record his most likely score. Most likely score is the number of strokes already taken, plus in the player's best judgment, the number of strokes needed to complete the hole from that point more than half the time.
The most likely score should have an "X" preceding the number. For example, player A is just off the green in 2 strokes, and his partner just holed out for a 2; therefore, player A decides to pick up. What should player A record on the scorecard? Player A determines he will most likely chip up and two putt; therefore, player A will record an X-5 on the card. (2, already taken, + 3 to complete the hole). Player A does not automatically put down his ESC maximum. First, he determines his most likely score and then after the round checks to see if the most likely score is above his ESC limit. In this case, player A has a Course Handicap of 24 and his maximum is 8. X-5 is not above his limit and therefore, X-5 is the score he shall use for posting purposes. For further information on most likely score please refer to Section 4-1 of the Handicap System manual.
3. What is the current method for adjusting my hole scores under Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)?
ESC is an adjustment of individual hole scores (for handicap purposes) in order to make handicaps more representative of a player's potential. ESC is used after the round and is only used when the actual score or the most likely score exceeds his/her maximum number. ESC sets a limit to the number of strokes a player can take on a hole depending on his Course Handicap. ESC applies to all scores, including tournament scores. Below is the maximum number a player can take:
Please refer to Section 4-3 of the Handicap System manual.4. What should a player do if he/she does not play a hole or does not play it under the principles of the Rules of Golf?
For Handicap Purposes, the player shall record par plus any Handicap strokes for those holes not played. For example, player A is not able to play holes 16, 17, and 18 due to darkness. Player A has a Course Handicap of 12 and holes 16, 17, 18 are a par 5, 3, 4, and are allocated as the number 4, 16, 10 handicap holes respectively. Therefore, player A will record an x-6, x-3, x-5 on holes 16, 17, and 18 respectively. Please refer Section 4-2 of the Handicap System manual for more information.5. Should a player post a score during his/her home club's Inactive Season?
Allied golf associations set active and inactive seasons for clubs to follow in their area, in the Miami Valley the season is March 15th through November 30. If a round is played on a course that is observing an inactive season, that score is unacceptable for posting for handicap purposes. However, if a member of a golf club, which is observing an inactive season, plays at a course observing an active season, that score shall be posted to the scoring record. For example, if a member of a golf club in Michigan plays golf in Florida in January, the scores from Florida are acceptable, and shall be returned to the club in Michigan. The player has a few options when posting the score. First, the player might be able to post as a guest if the two clubs use the same computation service. Second, the player might be able to post the score using the IGN network, if the state associations are signed up on the IGN network, and the score will be routed back to his home golf club. Third, the player can keep a copy of the score and the ratings and post when he returns to his home course no later than the start of his active season. Please refer to Sections 6-2 and 8-3c and Handicap Decision 6-2/1 of the Handicap System manual for more details on Inactive Seasons.6. What scores are acceptable for posting purposes?
Almost all scores are acceptable because of the basic premise of the Handicap System which is every player will try his/her best at every hole, in every round regardless of where the round was played. Therefore all of the following are acceptable scores:
Please refer to Section 5-1 of the Handicap System manual for more information on acceptable scores.7. When players are competing from different tees, why do you make a second adjustment?
Many players question the application of Section 3-5, where players are competing from different sets of tees, or men and women are competing from the same set of tees. This is a difficult concept to understand and we are offering a few different ways to allow you to explain this to your club members.
We need to define what the Slope Rating does, as many players think the different Slope Ratings automatically take care of the difference in the two sets of tees. This is a myth. The Slope Rating is used to convert a Handicap Index to a Course Handicap, which allows the player to receive the number of strokes he needs to play to the level of a scratch golfer for that particular set of tees. In other words, it is the number of strokes he needs to play down to the Course Rating for that particular set of tees.
Player A: Handicap Index of 10.4
He needs 12 strokes to play down to the level of a scratch golfer on the white set of tees. The scratch golfer is what the Course Rating is based upon, so that is 71.1. For the Course Handicap of 12 to play down to the level of a scratch golfer, he would need to shoot 71.1 + 12, or 83.1, which we will round to 83. So, if player A plays to his Course Handicap by shooting 83, he would tie the scratch golfer shooting 71 on the white set of tees. Now, we have found a way for a golfer to compete against a player with a different skill level from a specific set of tees.
Player B: Handicap Index of 10.4
Player B needs 13 strokes to play down to the level of a scratch golfer for this particular blue set of tees. As we said earlier, the scratch golfer is what the Course Rating is based upon, and on the blue set of tees that is 73.2. For the Course Handicap of 13 to play down to the level of a scratch golfer, he would need to shoot 73.2 + 13 or 86.3, which we will round to 86. So, if player B plays to his Course Handicap by shooting 86, he would tie the scratch golfer shooting 73 on the blue set of tees. Great, again we have found a way for a golfer to compete against a player with a different skill level from a specific set of tees.
So now the two non-scratch players decide to compete against one another; Player A from the white tees and Player B from the blue tees. We have determined their Course Handicap when they were going to play someone else from the same set of tees, but that is no longer the case. However, we have already determined that player A needs 12 strokes to play down to a scratch for the white set of tees and player B needs 13 strokes to play down to the level of a scratch player for the blue set of tees. If both players play exactly to their Course Handicap, player A scores 83 for a net of 71 and player B scores 86 for a net of 73. Player A wins every time if they shoot to their Course Handicap, as 71 is better than 73. This is because the Course Handicaps were set up allowing each player to score down to the level of the scratch golfer for the specific set of tees they are playing. SLOPE allows one to compete with someone from the same set of tees, but in our example the players are not playing the same set of tees.
Now, we have to standardize/equalize the Course Ratings in order for the two players to compete equitably. The same thing would apply when two scratch players chose to play from these two different sets of tees. A scratch golfer would shoot a 71 from the white tees and another scratch golfer would shoot a 73 from the blue tees. Because the player playing the blue tees is playing a course with a higher Course Rating (more difficult set of tees), we must equalize the difference in Course Ratings in order to do any type of comparison or competition. This applies to every golfer, no matter what their level of skill, as all the Slope Rating has done is given a player enough strokes to play down to the level of a scratch for the specific set of tees.
Back to our net players A and B. Because player B is playing a set of tees with a higher Course Rating, we must add the difference between the two Course Ratings to his Course Handicap if he is going to compete with someone else from a different set of tees. 73.2 (blue) - 71.1 (white) = 2.2, which we round to 2. So player B will add two strokes to his 13, resulting in a Course Handicap of 15. Now let's look at the competition if both players score to their Course Handicap:
We have reached our desired goal. Both players have scored to their Course Handicap and their net score results in a tie.Common thoughts:
Nowhere in the above information did we mention the word par. Players often try to throw par into the mix when trying to figure if scores are equal. Par is of little relevance in the handicap system and is a terrible indicator of predicting score. For example, one course may be 5500 yards long and have a par of 72 and another may be 7200 yards long and have a par of 72. It is highly unlikely that scores on these two courses would be equal for any level of golfer.
In each of the examples, we have used both Course Rating and Slope Rating. The point is that Slope Rating by itself has little meaning within the Handicap System. There must be a Course Rating standard to connect/attach to the Slope Rating in order for there to be any meaning. If there is one thing to remember from all of this, it is that the Slope Rating is used to convert a Handicap Index to a Course Handicap, which allows the player to receive the number of strokes he needs to play to the level of a scratch golfer for that particular set of tees.8. Does the USGA have any recommendations for allocating Handicap Strokes?
The USGA recommends that the Handicap Committee should review the course hole-by-hole to determine the appropriate allocation of handicap strokes for men and women. This procedure is not mandatory and will have minimal effect on a player's handicap. Common sense should be used to ensure that the handicap strokes are used as an equalizer and should be available where it most likely will be needed by the higher-handicapped player in order to obtain a halve on the hole.
When starting out, the Handicap Committee should remember a few basic guidelines:
A method for allocating your handicap strokes is to collect 200 scorecards from two different groups and compared the average hole score for group A against the average hole score for group B. Group A is your lower handicapped players (0-8 for men or 0-14 for women). If there are no members within this range then take the low 25% of the members as your group A. Group B is your middle to higher-handicapped players, at least an average of 15-20 strokes higher than group A. (20-28 for men and 26-40 for women). The greater the difference between the groups the lower the handicap stroke hole will be. Some adjustments can be made once the results are in. Again the Handicap Committee should use good judgment when allocating handicap stroke holes. Please refer to Section 17 of the Handicap System manual for more detailed information.9. How do I combine/post nine-hole scores?
Section 5-2c of the Handicap System manual states that consecutive nine-hole scores must be combined to form an 18-hole score and posted to a player's scoring record for handicap purposes. In order to be consecutive, two nine-hole rounds must be played without an intervening 18-hole round. Consecutive nine-hole rounds can be played on the same or different days, the same nine twice, or on two different golf courses.
Appendix A of the Handicap System manual waives the requirement for nine-hole rounds to be consecutive for combining and allows for the combining of non-consecutive nine-hole rounds. However, not all areas are authorized to combine non-consecutive nine-hole rounds. Only golf clubs under the jurisdiction of state/regional golf associations who have been authorized to follow Appendix A may combine non-consecutive nine-hole scores.
Please check to see if your state is authorized to use Appendix A, combining non-consecutive 9-hole scores.
Below is an explanation of each method of combining 9-hole scores. Remember, non-consecutive nine-hole rounds can only be combined if the golf club is in an area under the jurisdiction of a golf association who has been authorized to combine non-consecutive 9-hole scores.