GOLF AUSTRALIA will next week (Thursday 15 July 2010) release statistics that will show the effect the new Australian golf handicapping system has had on club golfers.
If anecdotal and local experience is anything to go by, it should show handicaps have generally blown out by a couple of points.
At my own club, Jamberoo, the Match Committee has already had to act to introduce new playing divisions to even out the former A, B and C grades.
Since the introduction of the new system on 9 April 2010, playing numbers in the club’s A and B grade decreased and the C grade numbers inflated.
This would also seem to be the case at many other clubs and it will be interesting to see the official figures.
What the new handicapping system so obviously does is put a premium on consistency.
It is no longer good enough to hand in a big stableford score every four or five weeks or so to maintain your previous handicap.
The system is, as was stated by Golf Australia before its introduction, intended to be a fairer representation of a golfer’s current form.
Shortly after the introduction of the new system I also noted conversations over at AUSOOM among some of Australia’s top senior amateur golfers that their handicaps had generally decreased (No doubt helped by the 0.96 “bonus for excellence” multiplication factor).
These are players commonly playing off (and to)very low single digit handicaps.
So as is often the message in golf, the key is consistency.
Golf Australia also recently flagged some further pending handicap related announcements including:
Thursday 19 August 2010 – Announcement of contents of Second Package of Changes to the Australian Men’s & Women’s Handicap System.
Thursday 26 August 2010 – Announcement of enhanced processes for
addressing the issue of players who regularly fail to return score cards.