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Handicapping by Jim Cowan


Here are a couple of such sorts. Score Filter Score Filter


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eldom does a week go by where I do not receive a phone call or impassioned email regarding a sandbagger on the loose creating mayhem in Northern California.


“We have these two guys that win everything and it’s ruin- ing our tournaments.” Sound familiar? You are not powerless in your struggle to curb sandbag-


ging. Comprehensive tools exist to identify those in your club playing better than they should, and can help you arrive at the proper handicap level for the guilty parties. These tools are simple to operate, and just a click or two away. “GHP Online Club” is the password-protected, GHIN-


developed website that allows clubs to perform routine roster transactions (adds/deletes, changes of address, etc.) and score edits. But few take advantage of its advanced diagnostic capabilities. There are four aspects of GHP Online Club that make it


an effective judge and jury: A treasure trove of scores often dating back to mid-2008. The ability to sort or filter these scores in a manner of


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your own choosing. The ability to perform calculations on the sorted scores. The “Eligible T-score” feature. Think about it—scores dating back to mid-2008. For some


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golfers, this could mean hundreds of rounds and dozens of T- scores, more than enough to draw reliable conclusions. The sorting or filtering of scores is completed using the


score filter screen. You can sort by Course Name, or Date Range, or Score


Type. You can even pinpoint your search by day of the week. So if you only want to see T-scores recorded at XYZ Golf Course on Wednesdays (when your club plays), select those filter elements and that’s all that will appear. Once sorted, an average differential for those scores is


computed and displayed, as well as something called a Playing Indicator (P.I.). This P.I. is a calculation of your own choosing that you perform on the sorted scores. The calculation defaults to best 10 of 20 selected, but you can change this ratio to what- ever you desire. So let me show you how this all comes together. A club contacts me with their suspicions about a particular member who seems to win more often than he or she should. I visit this page and first perform a sort that excludes the golfer’s T-scores (I select Home, Away and Combined rounds only). Once sorted, I make note of the average differential and P.I. Next, I sort only the golfer’s


By Jim Cowan Director of Course Rating and Handicapping Email: jcowan@ncga.org


70 / NCGA.ORG / FALL 2014


T-scores, and then compare the resulting average differential and P.I. If the T-score values are both several strokes lower, suspicions are confirmed.


Scores Scores


Scores


Scores


Do you see a big difference in this golfer’s demonstrated


ability in tournaments? I do. How about this golfer?


Score Filter Score Filter


On average, the best 10 of 20 most recent T-scores are a


whopping 4.9 strokes lower than the non-T-scores. Just sickening! Lastly, there is the eligible T-scores feature that just looks


at T-scores recorded within the past 12 months (or 20 most recent rounds if the golfer plays fewer than 20 rounds per year). The striking aspect of this feature is that it compares the differential arrived at for each T-score versus both the Handi- cap Index the golfer carries today, and, more importantly, the Handicap Index the golfer carried on the day of the tourna- ment. If the golfer scored better than his or her current Index or the Index carried that T-round, the margin by which the golfer outperformed his or her handicap is highlighted in red. According to one of the first laws of handicapping, we


should only see one red net differential per every five T-scores. And the margins a golfer outplayed his or her handicap should be minimal. What did the above two golfer’s eligible T-score records look like? Score Filter


Scores Scores


A veritable sea of red which would look even worse were it not for the fact that both golfers had a reduced handicap in place for several of the rounds. So what are you waiting for? These tools are in your hands.


Become your own C.S.I. unit. Perform your own reviews. Bring the guilty to justice!


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