New Australian handicap system under review

THE controversial new Australian handicapping system is set for further refinement with a representative from the US Golf Association in Australia this week looking at ways adapt the system to better suit local conditions.

USGA Senior Director of Handicapping Kevin O’Connor has been taking part in seminars in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane that have looked at how the USGA system implementation has fared in Australia.

The seminars have involving club, district and state association representatives and are aimed at thrashing out issues relating to the new handicapping system and how they might be tweaked.

The results of the seminars and any action to be taken will be known in coming months.

In a memo previewing the visit in December, Golf Australia had this to say about the aim of the “collaborative study” between GA and the USGA:

“The purpose of this study from a GA perspective is to help Australia to not only get the best possible handicap system, but a system that is broadly viewed as a positive step forward by its golfers and golf clubs.

It is clear that the following are not consistent with this goal, and consequently will not be considered for use in Australia:

· The mandatory use of all social scores for handicap purposes.

· The use of the ‘most likely score’ concept to handicap four-ball and other team events.

· The use of match play scores for handicap purposes.

· The use of a score for handicap purposes returned by a person playing alone.”

Meanwhile, teams have been out busily rating courses as the necessary precursor before the introduction of the second tier of the changes, the new Course Rating System.

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Brian is a former Sydney journalist who didn’t have a skerrick of interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded Australian Senior Golfer in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association.


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