This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Course Rating & Handicapping by Jim Cowan


MATCHES MADE HEAVEN


IN


When it comes to ranking a golf course’s stroke holes, it’s all about match play.


M


ore and more clubs have been contacting me in recent months regarding the ranking of their stroke holes. Boy, are they in for


a surprise! One, the NGCA does NOT issue


hole rankings. . .that is a function of the club, and rightly so. After all, who under- stands the play of the holes better? Two, contrary to popular belief, the


intent is NOT to rank the holes in order of diffi culty versus par. Rather, the rank- ings are, and always have been, intended for match play! The intent is actually to identify the


holes where a stroke is most needed by a high-handicapper to secure a “half ” against a low-handicapper in a match. Coincidentally, this might occur on the most diffi cult holes, but not always. Consider, for example, a 230-yard par-3


with greenside trouble. Is it a tough hole? Yes, for low and high-handicappers alike. Is it a hole where a high most needs a stroke from a low in order to secure a half? No, the stroke probably results in a win, not a half, as both players score a bogey. The stroke is needed more on long par-5s/4s where more distance has to be negotiated. The fi ngerprints of match play are


evident if you look hard enough, begin- ning with the odd/even nature of the rankings awarded to the front-nine/back- nine respectively. Why is this important? Because if I have to give you six strokes in a match, it’s important that those strokes are evenly divided between the two nines. Odd/even ensures this. Generally speaking, the front-nine is


assigned the odd, the back the even. The rankings can be fl ip-fl opped if the back


64 / NCGA.ORG / SPRING 2016


nine is much more diffi cult (as measured by the Course Ratings). If a club has performed their job prop-


erly, you will also notice that the 18th hole is not awarded a real high ranking (i.e., awarded the #2 ranking). Why? Think about it, how many matches even make it to the 18th hole? In short, this pivotal stroke would never have a chance to come into play if a high ranking is awarded. Same thing with the 1st hole. A high


ranking should be avoided because if a match were forced into sudden death, the stroke would be awarded too soon. Despite all these match play lean-


ings, many argue that the genesis of the rankings should be altered for the simple reason that their club plays very little match play. That may be true for formal club com- petitions, but what do you think a Nassau


Poppy Hills No. 18


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76