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JIM’S TAKE:


What is my reaction to a 7-handicapper setting a course record of 60? Wow! What is the USGA Handicap System’s reaction to


a 7-handicapper playing nearly 15 strokes below his handicap? Off the charts. . .literally! Not a month goes by where I do not receive some


sort of email asking, “What are the odds of this or that low score?” Well, why don’t we take a look? Here are the USGA-generated odds of teeing it up


Rob Mandell His partner, Schager, bought him a shot of Jameson in the bar and


they moved to the back nine. Mandell stayed hot, birdieing the par-5 10th hole to make it five


in a row. “It was terrifying, but fun,” Mandell recalled. “In the bar I had


peeked at the course record, which was 61. But I was just trying to play golf.”


Mandell kept his focus, birdieing two of the next seven holes, and


parring the rest. He came to the par-4 18th tee at 11 under. He then buried the 5-foot putt for birdie to set the course record. When he sank it, all four knew what he had accomplished. The final scorecard: 60, the best score ever shot on any of the six


golf courses in Humboldt County. Mandell made 10 birdies, one eagle and seven pars, hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation, and had 22 putts. “I’ve played in three U.S. Open qualifiers, but Rob’s round was the most phenomenal round I’ve ever seen,” Nolan said. “It was surreal to watch, and all three of us were pulling for him.” Henry, on the losing end of the $5 Nassau, said, “I sat back and


enjoyed it. All I can say is that to lose $20 was a $20 admission to watch it, and it was worth it.” “I have been a golf professional for 24 years, and to me this is


more rare than a PGA tour player shooting a 59,” said Greg Senestraro, the head pro at Redwood. “It is the single most amazing accomplish- ment by a weekend golfer that I have ever heard about.” Four years later, the feat is difficult for even Mandell to grasp. “Achieving something like this for a guy like me who was a


7 handicap, who works construction, whose back is always sore and hands beat up, is not supposed to happen,” Mandell said. “It’s a memory that is almost like a daydream.” The next posting period, Mandell’s index sunk to a 5.5. It dropped


as low as a 3.1 in November 2011. But by March of 2012, it was back to 7.1 Today, Mandell is a 6.7.


today and scoring “x” number of strokes below your handicap. The table is broken down by handicap range. It should come as a surprise to no one that the lower one’s handicap, the more difficult it is to generate a breakout score (which makes the round at Redwood Empire all the more epic). Technically the chart (below) is based on compar- ing the differential arrived at for the round versus the Handicap Index the golfer carried that day. And as you can plainly see, the table does not extend nearly deep enough to capture a round that can only be described as the “Big Kahuna of Fortuna.” I’ve tried to calculate my all-time best round in


relationship to my handicap and see what the table says. (You should too!) I seem to recall a time in high school where my game was rapidly improving, and I recorded my first under-par round ever (a 70) on a course that carried a rating of around 69. Seems to me I played about eight strokes below my handicap that day. Accord- ing to the table, a 1 in 4,467 occurrence. Or, to put it another way, a once-in-a-lifetime round. But that 60 in Fortuna. . .one for the ages!


Odds of Shooting An Exceptional Tournament Score HANDICAP RANGES


Differential 0


Net


-1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6 -7 -8 -9


-10 odds 0-5


5:1 10:1 23:1 57:1 151:1 379:1 790:1 2349:1 20111:1 48219:1 125000:1


6-12 odds


5:1 10:1 22:1 51:1 121:1 276:1 536:1 1200:1 4467:1 27877:1 84300:1


13-21 odds


6:1 10:1 21:1 43:1 87:1 174:1 323:1 552:1 1138:1 3577:1 37000:1


22-30 odds


5:1 8:1 13:1 23:1 40:1 72:1 130:1 229:1 382:1 695:1 1650:1


Greater Than 30 odds


5:1 7:1 10:1 15:1 22:1 35:1 60:1 101:1 185:1 359:1 874:1


Jim Cowan is the NCGA’s Director of Course Rating and Handicapping SUMMER 2015 / NCGA.ORG / 69


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