Handicap Comments During Matchplay Tie

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Handicap Comments During Matchplay Tie
Played in a singles matchplay tie last night (however bad light stopped play at 9:30 with me 1 down after 15 having been 4 up after 4). Played against a low handicap, me off 16.5 and after winning the first 4 holes the comments started coming about my handicap,...nothing nasty as the lad was a decent chap, but general comments - you dont hit the ball like a 17 handicap, not another shot, etc,. Naturally after these comments I noticed a change in my game and confidence thinking maybe I shouldn't be getting so many shots and proceeded to loose the next four holes.
Any thoughts on if comments like this are acceptable and what to do when encountering this in the future as I often hear remarks in medals for the same thing. I don't want to put a complaint in but I am beginning to become annoyed about handicap comments when I know myself I'm better than 17 and trying to reduce it. After all, players of my standard can regularly get pars, occasional birdies and the infrequent eagle. Just usually stick in a couple of 6's or worse to kill my round.
Going back tonight to play that last 3 holes so hopefully he doesn't read this forum. Any comments?

Par for the course I'm afraid - you know yourself how well you can play, but how well you do play is what determines your handicap.I've been in the same boat myself - off 17.1 for ages, ripped it up in general play, but somehow always contrived to get 35 or 36 points (equivalent) in a comp., so not cuts. All legitimate, but infuriating.As I was striving to get cut, I started putting in general play cards for handicapping, and after going 4 and 5 over gross, got cut to 12. Haven't been within 4 shots of that since:-(Best of it is, playing off 12, I still get comments like "you get tremendous action on the ball, you ought to be off single figures the way you strike it", and the like. I suppose (depending on who says it), it either admiration, or jealousy / gamesmanship.

Wouldn't worry about it Topslicehookpullsh**k, consider it a compliment. Just finish the guy off tonight and take pleasure from that.

When you win a hole just comment 'You don't play like a low handicapper' ;-)

Yes, wait until he duffs one (as he surely will sooner or later) and then say "you don't hit it like a five handicapper .."

Good one!

Or...."you can't get away with many of them off 5!"

Or wait til his first comment and go Cartman on him " I'm gonna kick you in the nuts"

Seem to get the bandit comments on a regular basis - usually just say wait til you see me with the flatstick. Or next time - because i hit it quite far, just to P them off. 'yep, and i'm taking it easy today for a bit more accuracy'

Did you win?

Alas, lost on the final hole. Birdied 16 making us all sq, halved 17 and hit my 'safe' 4 iron into the gorse on 18 - losing the hole to par with my provisional, me net 5. 18th is a very daunting blind tee shot over and between gorse to a green some 280 yds away. You can drive the green with the correct bounce forward with a 5 iron one day with wind behind, and be 100yds short with driver the next into the wind, so I never know what club to hit and have the confidence to hit it well!Thanks for the suggestions for the next time I play a match (this Thursday!)

If its friendly banter then take it as a compliment. If its meant in a nasty way then simply ask the guy the refrain from making any comments.There is a huge difference in someone spitefully saying something to someone who is encouraging.

Topslicehookpullsh**ksorry if this comes across badly, no offence intended.But it sounds to me you are being too sensitive.So what if he says you hit well for a 17 handicapper. I have endured such comments before and actually enjoy them. It means I am playing well or they are playing crap, either way it's their problem.Don't be so touchy mate, let them comment all they like. You play in the comps and enter your cards, you know your not a bandit so let them winge, or compliment you, or do what ever they are doing and you concentrate on what your doing.As far as I'm concerned a bit of gamemanship is to be expected in matchplay.Nothing to obvious or direct but the odd compliment about how well someone is driving the ball can have a strange effect on their game.Like I said no offence intended.

If the low handi-crapper plays a bad shot you should tell him how rubbish it was and how a low handi-cap like himself should be ashamed of himself. Also if he was playing a scratch player I bet he wouldnt complain about getting a few shots. !!!

Providing people are not being rude then I think some banter is fine. I dont engage in it personally (verbal gamesmanship) because it would put me off; I actually find some of the things that people say are funny! If someone is going over the top and being a complete d***head then it gives me even more satisfaction beating them ( by the same token a loss is that bit more disappointing) and it probably makes me concentrate harder because there is more of an edge (great feeling to sink a 8 footer to win on the 18th!). As for gamesmanship, that happens in all sorts of ways... whats more annoying for a quick player than to have to play someone who takes ages over preparation of shots, decision making and lining up of putts etc?

I had very similar in a singles match last year when I was playing off 16. I turned in 4 over par, and the fella I was playing was chuntering like a good 'un. The daft thing was, despite me playing well within my handicap we reached the turn all square - if my maths is correct, then he was also playing well under his 10 handicap, and had no right to complain. People like him seem to think that they have a divine right to beat those off a higher handicap, when quite clearly the whole system is designed to allow us a level playing field. I would go as far as to say that, on that day, the handicap system worked perfectly.I won at the 19th, and boy did it taste sweet!

Bronty,CONGU statistics show that the lower handicap golfer wins 56% of matches played off full handicap difference, so the playing field isn't that level.

GSThe figures are more skewed than that.Off full difference 65% of the time the lower h'cap player wins. Off 3/4 difference, it is 55%.http://www.congu.com/template1.asp?pid=174

Hmmm. If just over half of matches are won by the lower handicap golfer, then just under half are won by the player with the higher handicap.That's pretty much level in my book.

DH I think you got that back to front, wrong way round, what ever you want to call it.Full Hcap difference = lower Hcap player wins 55%3/4 Hcap difference = lower Hcap player wins 65%

No the figures are the correct way round.Think about it.Lo off 6 - Hi off 22 - full difference 16. 3/4 difference 12.It is easier for the Lo to win if he is only giving 12 strokes rather than 16 strokes. So he will win 65% when giving 12 and win 55% when giving 16

DHWhat you say dirsectly above is correct. What you originally posted is the wrong way round.

I'm with you DEC.

Oops. Apologies all round for my first post.

Matchplay - If you can't take it and dish it - don't play it...... it's in the game.

Any low handicapper with any sense of sportsmanship would know to save those friendly comments until after the match. If he makes them during the match its gamesmanship and he opens himself up to all the sh** you can through at him. Never forget the main pressure is on the low hadicapper to win as that is what is expected by his peers

Disagree with you Taz, I really enjoy matchplay but will have no part of gamesmanship. Distinguishing between the 2 is generally easy, no matter how subtle the 'gamey' person thinks they are being. For a sport where integrity is meant to be such a central part I'm always surprised by the tactics some think are acceptable. These are all things I've witnessed or been on the receiving end of:-pointedly mentioning OOB's or hazzards before you take a shotreminding you of a previous bad shot from a certain spot, again before you hitthe classic on the green, 'I've seen these missed'deliberately slowing down or speeding up to try and unsettle an opponentavoiding mention of a rules situation, such as if Winter rules have recently been lifted, in the hope of penalising a breachdeliberately making a noise or movement to disrupt a swing or preshot routinethe 'I think I'm really sneaky' brigade who engage in long conversations/monologues designed to sow seeds of doubt etcThe only plus side to gamesmanship is that it is a bit more pleasurabe to beat someone employing it.

I am with Taz to a point. There is nothing wrong with a bit sledging and use of tatitcs eg quick play or slow play, its all part of the match. Buts its a fine line that is easly crossed.But i enjoy a bit of banter and find it makes me a better player. I never really start it but if you want to give it, expect it back 10 fold. Maybe because up until recently i have always played competive sports eg Football, Cricket and Tennis, where sledging and tatitcs as mentioned above can have huge affects and i find the people who start it often carnt handle it when it comes back at them. Giving me two advantages.Some of the comments MacBludgeon has mentioned are plain cheatingeg: deliberately making a noise or movement to disrupt a swing or preshot routine.

you see Aces, that is where we differ, and probably always will. Some of the elements that yourself, Taz and many others consider ok I would class as cheating as well. If I win a match I want to be able to walk off the course knowing that it was only my golf that did it. Applying pressure and finding an opponents weakness is the essence of matchplay. But I believe this should only be via my game and not via my mouth.

Agree MacB, However on occasion you do get someone hell bent on trying it on, and whilst i will never condone gamesmanship, I find it funny when someone tries it on me. Makes me more determined to beat the bugger. Interesting point about speeding up / slowing down play. One guy at our club is known for starting to walk after his ball the second you make contact with yours (assuming he has the honour.) A lot of people have commented on this and feel intimidated by it. (He's be worrying that the group hole and a bit ahead would be holding him up soon type of thinking)Last year I got him, in 3rd round..... didn't deliberatly slow the pace down, but refused to match his pace - didn't dawdle but didnt jog - even to the extent where i would hit 3w or resue off the tee, to ensure I'd be playing first approach to the green. (Never held group behind up)Downside - if i missed the green - huge advantage to him. Upside - He played quicker and quicker in order to make time up. We shook hands on the 13th, and no he dind't stop for a commiserating beer.Was a strange game though as its nice to have a chat on the way round. Difficult to do when the other guy is 100 yds ahead.

you cannot do anything about the comments he made, but golf is a gental mans game and it should be enjoyed, dont let him get into your head i get it from the higher handicappers daft comments when i hit a bad one i jusst make a come back on the next hole and make birdie, get out there and show him how its done,

fengibbon(***8.9***)isn't what you did exactly gamesmanship. You deliberately played slower than your opponent to effect him.Don't get me wrong, I am not critisising.I have only played competitive Matchplay twice now and I love it. Very interesting how people can react to how their opponent behaves.I wouldn't be snidey, commenting on OOB or moving when on backswing or anything like that.But complimenting someones arrow straight driving, or asking them on the tee what score it is when you are winning can have a wonderful result. I didn't do this deliberatly, but I did notice how he grimised when he had to tell me I was 3 up.I don't think there is anything wrong with a bit of subtle mindgames. If you don't like it don't play it.

Pengwyn, the attitude of 'if you don't like it don't play it' would seem to intimate that the advocates of the gamey attitude somehow have the right of this matter. Obviously I'll stand totally corrected when you produce evidence, via the rules or etiquette of golf, that this is officially deemed the proper way to proceed. My readings have always indicated it is not. All you are doing is promoting one mindset and attitude over an other. Those that believe winning is all will probably side with you and those that believe in the spirit of the game will not. Asking the score, when you are leading in matchplay, is such an obvious windup. For such a blatant attempt I would always respond by lying. Remember that, just because someone doesn't do it, it doesn't mean they can't be gamey, and may well have a lot more experience of it than you.I go into a match to try and win but, in many cases, it is also an opportunity to meet another golfer and maybe even end up with a new friend. I can't remember ever ending up friends with someone that got gamey on me. Regardless of who ended up winning the match.

Asking the score, when you are leading in matchplay, is such an obvious windup. For such a blatant attempt I would always respond by lying. I thought you said you go to win. This must make it difficult as you just lost the hole.

Macaren't you getting nowty !.I didn't do this deliberatly, but I did notice how he grimised when he had to tell me I was 3 up.If you took the time to read my post you will notice that I state I wouldn't do anything snidey. What i was saying however is that some people will find and take offence at even the slightest comment, intentional or not.It sounds like you may be one of those people.By the way, do you honestly think lying about the score of a match is acceptable. A guy asks a simple question and you lie !It seems your high ground isn't so high after all.

Mac,Dont get me wrong, if its a friendly game and stays like that then there is no need for anything. As i said its unlikely i would start anything as prefer golf as a social game.Golf for the most part is an individual game especially club golf, where for the most part you are playing yourself.Can i ask you this then Mac which is probably a good example of how matchplay gamesmanship can help:The guy putts and lags it short say 2-3 feet, most times you would just let him finish in normal medal play and generally just knock it in. He asks, you say no, this results in him having to wait, you hole out thus meaning he now has the putt for a half thus adding pressure to the putt,maybe giving him the yips especially if its on the 18 to keep the match going?All this is within the rules but you have used them to your advantage to gain that little edge.what do you make of that? allowed or wrong?

Good example Aces.But as I understand it, and I am sure Mac will correct me if I'm wrong, if a competitor asks you to mark your ball you have the option of taking a stroke instead.

You may not play out of turn in match play.You are only allowed to play instead of marking in stroke play.

Didnt know that rule-Doc, thanks for that.Ok changing slightly changing the idea. 1-2 foot putts throughout the match have been given as gimmies getting towards the end of thematch its all level in the semi final, he leaves himself one, do you give him it or make him putt for a 1/2?Surly its etiquette to keep the putts as gimmies? I know i wouldnt give it.

RDAs its match play can't you agree to let competitor putt out. out of turn, as along as 1, he wants to and 2, it wasn't agreed in advance?

TGSYes. Rule 10-1c.

Ah Gimmes and gamesmanship...I think people have gimmes all wrong.You are under no compulsion to give anything, even a 6 inch putt. If you want to see it in, then ask your opponent to putt. If he looks surprised/makes a comment, then that is his problem and not yours. If he is cross about being asked to putt, then maybe he doesn't fancy the putt after all.My rule with receiving gimmes is to expect nothing. Never get cross about being asked to hole a short one. If you get cross, you become less effective. I have seen golfers get cross when they are asked to hole a short one, and then hit the putt casually, as if to demonstrate how easy it is. Sometimes they miss.As to giving putts, I only give them if it is an absolute certainty. If I think my opponent is a little shaky from 2 feet, then I make him hole them all. i think that giving putts early on and then making him putt later in the round is hokum. Make him putt them all.These are my rules for competitive play. In a friendly, give what you like.

Also best to remeber puts are given, never taken. I always assume I am going to have to putt out and walk straight to the ball confidently, ball marker in hand, and I never look to my opponenent and only stop when I hear him say something.Playing in the final of a mixed foresomes last year, male opponent walked out of bar on to tee, no practice at all. Fair enough I thought, he is a 7 hcp golfer so must lnow what he is doing. He got really cross when I made him putt a 3 footer on first green and made me putt everything, but gave putts to my partner. I didn't miss one and it got to him more than me.

Pengwyn, I did read your first post and had realised that you had unintentionally created an effect you only noticed afterwards. As usual my posts come across as deadly serious and a bit preachy, seems to be a habit I struggle to break. I was just trying to say that the tactic is a well known one, though you didn't mean it, and lying is the best response. It can really tie an opponent in knots, especially if you seem deadly serious. As I say I don't employ 'tactics' but I will employ countermeasures.On the putts side, I assume I will never be given a putt and always mark expecting to hole out. I also don't give many putts, as far as I'm concerned getting the ball in the hole is part of winning the match via your golf. It is a shot the same as a drive, iron or chip, and you don't give them.

"...getting the ball in the hole is part of winning the match via your golf..."Mac - IMO you are not playing match play, you are playing stroke play with an opponent.To me, competitive match play is 50% golf and 50% tactics, when to give a putt, and when not to is a great mind game. You don't have to care about the score as long as you win.

Slightly off thread, but this is a thought I've had for a few years, but never had it discussed."Gamesmanship" (of the witty, cutting variety), is abuse of sorts, albeit non-physical. Best practiced by those of a more intellectual bent i.e. the tools to carry it off.Why then is it frowned upon for the person with physical rather than mental attributes to crack the smug verbaliser in the mouth, but not-so-frowned upon when the other way around. To paraphrase Jack Nicklaus, "you dance with the girl what brung ya" (you do what you can with the tools at your disposal).That's where I have a great admiration for footballers like Roy Keane - not for them the theatrical rolling around after being upended by a puff of wind, or the sly pinch on an opponent's arm to provoke a response. If he and his ilk have a problem with a player, they sort it out (then walk to their early bath, without even waiting to actually see the ref brandish the red card).

Rules-Doc, I think it is at the basic perception of matchplay that we diverge. The only tactics I use are around golf, ie I won't take on a risky shot if an opponent is in trouble etc. I understand what you say re the timing of giving or not giving putts. However that has zero impact if you are playing anyone who genuinely believes they will have to hole out every time. In fact, once you get yourself in this mindset, the give/not give tactics are actually quite amusing.My countermeasure to this tactic is to hole out left handed. Obviously only advisable if you use a certain style of putter and if you are comfortable putting either handed.

Putting lefthanded is gamemenship in its own right!! So basically gone against you whole belief.Your basically saying. Ok you didnt give me that putt so i will show you how good i am, i'll do it left handed, so maybe next time he wont bother asking you to putt.

Mac,I am getting very confused here. I am not very bright so it's easily achieved.First you say all gamesmanship is eveil and should be punishable by social death.Then you go on to give examples of your own gamesmanship.Surely someone like yourself should be setting the standard for others to aspire to...........or maybe you really like the gamesmanship but are too proud to admit to it.......yes that's sounds right......come on admit your abit gamey given the right excuse, sorry I mean reason.....ps I suffer the same problem writing emails, always come across too direct......

Aces/Pengwyn, what I'm saying is that I only use 'tactics' in the form of a countermeasure if they are first employed against me.As for gamesmanship being evil - yep ok, you'll all rot in hell for eternity for it!!!!!!!!!

but your still doing it which you said you are dead against. In my first post i said i dont start it but you still felt free to critise me.

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