'Winning' comps with 'wrong' h/cap!

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'Winning' comps with 'wrong' h/cap!


I'm quite new to this forum and relatively knew to the finer points of golf and all the rules and regs.

I read a lot about players not putting in good cards and playing to 'protect' their current h/cap just so they have a better chance of winning competitions.

Personally I would take no satisfaction at all of winning something when I know I have effectively cheated!

If you take 100 members at a club, on average, how many players do you think would be this type of golfer???  I'd be interested to see if it is a common thing or just something that one or two golfers would do.


I think the theory behind this is the sugestion that a player who is on for a good score, that would result in their handicap being cut, but the score not being good enough to win the competition, might play badly on purpose for the last few holes so that they do not get cut.This also works the other way round and a player might purposely No Return and thereby prevent posting a bad score which would lead to a handicap increase of 0.1.Since golf is a game that relies on honesty, I would like to think that such people are few and far between.

If club handicaps are properly maintained then if you are on for a good score that is likely to result in a h/cap cut, then you are likely to be in with a chance of winning the comp!!!!!Therefore answering the original question based on what i see at my own club I would say that it is rare for someone to deliberately blow up over the closing holes to protect a h/cap.What you do hear of more commonly is of players regularly playing well in general play who "resist" efforts to reduce their handicaps.Not sure what DEC means by his second paragraph becasue whether you shoot a crap score or NR you still get a 0.1 increase.

What you do hear of more commonly is of players regularly playing well in general play who "resist" efforts to reduce their handicaps.That's what I mean, general play.  Doing what they can to keep their handicap falsely high so they can win comps.  This is common then?

problem is that many comps are medals and often players fail to submit a card if they have a 'no return'we have our weekly match or stableford running alongside the medal. if the medal card goes by the wayside, our matchplay will continue to the finish.more club comps should be stableford format then a lot more cards would be submitted, blobs counting as double bogey equivalent to a medal.

Sorry Fugitive I got this slightly muddled.I was thinking of  http://www.congu.com/decisionPage.asp?id=100&parent=33&pid=51  sections 4c and 4f.

Yes I think it is common....I would guess ~ 10-15% of players in a club and a much higher % of golf nomads or rare comp entrants knowingly play with a HC that does not reflect their true golfing ability, esp when they TRY to play seriously, eg in a 'friendly' match, for money or a decent prize. Its not just the numerical benefit of getting ~4/5 extra shots, its a MASSIVE psycological confidence booster knowing you have a cheating edge over the competition...ie you are somehow a bit smarter, more canny than the rest and have shots in reserve in case of a few bad holes....you are still a cheat and you know it. The converse is that there is massive pressure on a player with a lower HC and (not many shots) to play to their standard in comps on a hard course due to peer pressure etc.... its tough to come back after an early bad hole/s esp on a testing course.There are a few people who seem to crack under the pressure of playing in a comp/match and suffer bad stage fright and thus rarely perform to their ability, despite being able to play to a better standard in their relaxed practice rounds and I exclude these people from my assumptions. Just my 2p worth

I have to say that most people who I have ever met on the golf course, long to get better and decrease their handicap! Whilst I can understand the 'theory' behind it I don't think you'd find many at a club that would deliberately ruin the round of their life to avoid a cut, indeed most would be simply trying to hold on over the finish line (I myself have had wobbly knee syndrome more than once!).The place I can see it more likely, is in the 'company golf day' where infrequent players, with no official handicap, have to guess what it would be... in which case, they may tend to guess high rather than low.Overall though I think most people are drawn to golf to improve, to hit those great shots more often and the handicap is almost like the judges rating of how well you do that. As such, most long for that to be a low number, not a falsely high one.

You only cheat yourself. Down my club comps usually win on a 66 (4 under). obviously the odd 62/63. The main problem with comps is that medal is difficult for the majority of golfers. An 18 handicapper can have 56/ pars in a round but quite easily put a few 8s, a 9 or even a ten on the card. Stableford on a friendly you would be 18 points just because of your pars! Off the yellows - the odd gimme! i wouldnt like to think people cheat the system. i expect most who play society and weekend knocks, play with a lower handicap than sunday comps?

I played in a company golf day a while back, we had 2 18 hole rounds in the day each for a different trophy. This lad turned up whose home course is the one we were playing that day - a links course which can be horribly tough when the wind blows. Ok the weather was good that day, but  Playing off a 15 handicap, he proceeded to go round in gross 1 over, for 50 stableford points.  second place was a low handicapper on 35.  His excuse was that he can't seem to put a good medal round together and so never gets cut.  The barman was not sympathetic as apparently this guy has a bit of a reputation, and the he surreptitiously asked the organiser for the blokes card and said he was going to have a word with the handicap secretary!  That apart though, I play in every medal and qualifying comp i can, always trying to do better and reduce my handicap.  The odd high handicapper comes in with a very good score sometimes, but in general most comps are won by the better players off single figures or low teens, and I've never come across or heard of anyone in my club being accused of playing off a higher handicap than they should.  There is a regular Saturday and Sunday roll up with a swindle, and this is normally won with 35-39 pts.  I'm glad I apparently play with a bunch of blokes for whom cheating would ruin the whole point of playing the game.

ok Paul L 16 if that was the guys course who won with 50 points he may be a bandit but surely he has been cut subsequently on his own course by at least 14  times 0.3 down to 12 then 0.2 down to about 9 so you did put his card in to his club secretary I assume.  You cant call him a cheat if he plays regular competitions.  We all have the round of our life now and again as long as you get cut accordingly.

GRI don't want to go on about it because it was a friendly golf day and there was no money at stake.  But apparently the previous year playing off a similar handicap he came in with well over 40 pts, and this year, now playing off 14, in the two events I've played with him he's scored over 40 once and high 30s a second time, when the next best scores were around the 36 mark.  anyway you look at it, whether playing for money or glory, his handicap is not a true reflection of his ability, everyone else knows it, he knows it... clearly a bandit by any definition.

We all play 'rounds of our life' at some time which do not truly reflect our day to day ability.

Mine came when I was 15 handicap (which I had been for quite some time)I shot a gross 76 which included 8 birdies. This stood as my best round for about 8 years.

To have my hancicap based upon this score (as was the old handicapping system) would probably have meant that I would never have won anything for a very long time and would probablry have meant a lot of dissatisfaction with the game thereafter.

As to people who deliberately maintain an artificially high handicap I am sure any long term member of a golf course will know of a few such people.

I'll draw a line under the discussion of my work colleague - suffice it to say he's not a bad bloke and only unpopular once or twice a year when his banditry is evidenced in the company golf days.  I accept what other posters here have said about having "the round of your life"... but as I mentioned earlier this guy seems to have these exceptional rounds more frequently than most of us could dream of. 

Español ,<<problem is that many comps are medals and often players fail to submit a card if they have a 'no return'>> There is no excuse for not submitting a card. At my last club we issued 1 warning and if they didn't comply they were banned from comps for a month or 2.<<we have our weekly match or stableford running alongside the medal. if the medal card goes by the wayside, our matchplay will continue to the finish.>>I can't lay my hands on it but I am sure there is a RoG that forbids the playing of 2 competitions in the same round. Furthermore, I would question any competition that always allows the same players to go out together so they can play a friendly patch play in a medal round.<<more club comps should be stableford format then a lot more cards would be submitted, blobs counting as double bogey equivalent to a medal.>> I don't know about Spain but under the UK handicapping system managed by CONGU in a medal round high scores or N/R on a hole is rounded to a nett double bogey. This means that if you have a good round with one bad hole you can still get cut in a medal.

We, handicap secreatries, need to be very careful about the way we treat general play rounds. It is often the case that people get a reputation for playing well on a general play round but not in comps. There are a number of possible reasons for this:

  • They play their social rounds off forward tees
  • Pin positions when there aren't any comps can be quite generous, or put the other way round, tough pin positions in comps
  • They are more relaxed playing with their mates
  • They are generous with the RoG - taking generous nearest point of relief with a free drop for example
  • Gimme putts in a social round, especially over the first few holes, can be quite generous
  • Only the "good" rounds get talked about, we never hear of the other rounds where they don't play so well, so you get an information bias

As Jim points out, it could destroy someone if you cut them to a handicap well below there abilty, which is easy to do on general play and I have seen this done.Furthermore, I would also say that the number of people who deliberately play badly to get a higher handicap than they deserve is minimal. Just about everyone I know is more interested in getting their handicap down to show that they are real golfers.

Earlier this year I went out on a society day to Toot Hill, playing off 22 at the time I came in with 47points, winning the day easily. 2nd place came in with 38points. I was called a few derogatory words, but I'd just had one of those days. I duly went into the office the following day and cut myself 4 shots to 18.Since then, I have struggled all summer to put in a good card and found myself back at 20 until 4 weeks ago when I changed driver and started to play half decent again, getting myself back to 18.Its been a strange year, following that 47 pointer at Toot Hill, I've not been able to score decently around my home course all year (up until 4 weeks ago) but we've had 3 away days this year, 2 of which I won and the 3rd one I came 3rd in (and that was only due to having to play with a 2 shot society cut for winning the last one, if i hadnt have been cut those 2 shots I would've won a 3rd on the trot).I'm by no means a bandit, I've played virtually every comp there has been in my club this year and not even come close to winning any, but on the away days I came up trumps. Strange game this. 

Porky, You have just given a very good example to show why CONGU discourages General Play reductions based on 1 round.