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Paul Bourgeois
ODGC Tuesday Night Coordinator

Joined: 21 Aug 2005
Posts: 1687
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:09 am    Post subject: Tuesday Ottawa Singles Series: Establishing Player Handicaps Reply with quote

Dear Members of the Ottawa Disc Golf Community,

Previously we introduced the Tuesday Ottawa Singles Series, and briefly looked at how a handicap is used to rate your round. While the calculation of a player handicap is something for the mathematically inclined, an explanation of the concept will help you fully understand what the numbers actually mean.

Course Ratings
The basis for calculating a handicap begins with a round of golf that is played on a defined course and played according to the rules of disc golf. Because not all courses are considered to be of equal difficulty, courses are assigned a rating. This course rating is the score that a scratch handicap player can be expected to score on any given day. Course ratings will be assigned for the yellow and blue teepad layouts at Jacques Cartier Park, and the long and short teepads at Camp Fortune.

Round Differential
It goes without saying that on completing a round of golf, a player will finish with a score for the round. The player's score is used to calculate a differential for that round of golf. The round differential is the player's score minus the course rating. Low handicap and scratch golfers will regularly record differentials that are lower than zero, and these are simply adjusted to equal zero (you can't have a handicap better than scratch after all). Most other golfers will record a differential that is above zero. Differentials are recorded and used to establish a player's handicap.

Calculating the Handicap
In the most general terms, a handicap is the average of the 10 best differentials recorded for a player's 20 most recent rounds of golf. The lowest 50% of your rounds don't count for anything. What this basically means is that your handicap is a good indication of your "threat factor", and it represents a score that you should be able to beat once every four rounds. Because a handicap is a "weighted moving average", improving players will see their handicap lower to match their scoring potential quite quickly, while more established players will tend to have handicaps that stabilize at the level at which they are currently playing.
Many players, however, will not have twenty rounds of golf on record with which to calculate their handicap. Because it would be ridiculous to expect a player to play twenty rounds of golf to establish a handicap, there is a basis upon which players with as few as three round on record can be used to calculate a handicap. After three rounds, the player's best differential will determine their handicap. After five rounds, their best two rounds will be used to calculate their handicap, and so on until they have twenty or more rounds. After twenty rounds, the oldest score simply falls off of the record and is replaced by the newest score. If you have never played in a tournament or on League Night, don’t stay away! We’ll record the first three rounds of golf that you play on Tuesdays, and use these to establish your handicap. You’ll be participating fully and you’ll be ready to compete for evening honors by the end of May!

This describes the method of calculating a handicap. Some other details worth mentioning are that a player's handicap is always rounded down to the next lowest whole number, that a course rating need not be a whole number, and that while a handicap cannot be lower than 0 or "scratch", it may not be greater than 40.

In an upcoming post, we'll explore how some of your tournament and League Night rounds can be used to establish your handicap, how winners will be recognized on Tuesday nights, and we'll post a schedule for Tuesdays for the entire season. We're looking forward to seeing you out on the course!

Warm regards,
Paul Bourgeois
Tuesday Ottawa Singles Series

<span class="gensmall">[Edited by burjwahzeh on 05 Apr 2006 13:09]</span>

Last edited by Paul Bourgeois on Mon May 08, 2006 10:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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