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Competitions Committee Weekly Newsletter - October 2nd

Saturday Competition – 4th October:

Final Medal - White tees.

Last Year’s Winner: Andrew Edmunds 69-5-64.

Other Competitions:

City Glass Alliance Foursomes Final - Sale v Blackburn: The final takes place at Northenden Golf Club on Sunday 5th October at 8:30am. The team needs your support so please come and cheer them on.


The Millennium Bowl
Congratulations to Chris Wallace on winning the Millennium Bowl with a score of 5 UP.

Kevin J Moore, Ian Bullough and Steve Price also finished 5 UP but Chris wins the Bowl after a card play-off having won 5 of the last 6 holes, including a 5 nett 3 to win the 18th hole.

Archie Preston Mixed Foursomes Final
Sale v Houldsworth at Blackburn Golf Club: Sale lost 5 ½ - 1 ½.

Club Finals Day Results
The Club Championship Final - Mark Marshall beat John Russell.

5/6 Day Members Singles Final: Mike George v Anthony Rains - date yet to be agreed.

Other Information:

The Midweek competitions have now finished for the year. Many thanks to Jim Butlin for running these competitions again this season.

The first in the popular series of ‘Any Day but Saturday’ winter fun competitions will start on Sunday 19th and finish on Friday 24th October. For more information, please see the notices posted around the clubhouse and in the locker room.

The September prize presentation will now take place on Friday 3rd October at 7:30pm.


This is the fourth of a number Q&A articles with our Handicap Committee - Chris Leonard and Dave Parsons.

Q: In the last article we discussed how the CONGU Unified Handicapping System (UHS) adjusts handicaps when a golfer scores a nett differential below the Competition Standard Scratch (CSS). You also mentioned an exceptional score adjustment process introduced by CONGU. Why have CONGU introduced this process?

A: It is accepted within the handicapping system that a golfer may on occasion return a low nett Qualifying Score. Such a score will automatically attract a handicap reduction within the UHS, relative to the player’s Handicap Category, as we explained last week.

However, because CONGU is strongly against discretionary cuts in handicaps following a low score, they have introduced, on a trial basis, an exceptional score adjustment process. CONGU refer to this process as Exceptional Scoring Reduction or ESR for short.

Q: So CONGU are trying to prevent Handicap Committees taking a knee jerk, subjective approach to a one-off low score?

A: Yes, but if a golfer returns more frequent low scores than would be expected for their Handicap Category, this probably indicates a significant change of golfing ability, which the Handicap Committee may wish to consider. This scenario has been addressed with the introduction of ESR.

Q: So how does the ESR work?

A: This is a little difficult to explain but we’ll have a go. We don’t want to bore you with every possible scenario but we hope this overview will at least be enlightening.

The first part of the process occurs when a golfer returns a nett Qualifying Score (after nett double bogey adjustments) with a nett differential of -4 or below, in a calendar year. This score triggers the ESR algorithm, setting an initial marker. No additional handicap adjustment is recommended at this stage.

The second part of the process occurs the next time a nett differential of -4 or below is returned by the golfer. This triggers an ESR calculation.

The ESR calculation works out the average nett differential of these two exceptional scores and how many Qualifying Score rounds have been played between the exceptional scores, i.e. the sequence of rounds. There are three sequence ranges the computer looks for: 4 rounds or less, 5-9 rounds and 10+ rounds.

Then, in accordance with what is called the “Exceptional Scoring Handicap Reduction Table”, the computer recommends a handicap reduction to the Handicap Committee.

Whether the reduction is applied or not is at the discretion of the Handicap Committee and would be applied over and above any handicap decrease already automatically applied by the computer.

Q: Do you always accept the recommendation?

A: Yes. To date, all recommendations have been accepted but we are advised to always consider the golfer’s previous scoring history before applying any reduction recommended by the ESR process.

This second Qualifying Score of -4 or below will also set a new initial marker. If a third low score is returned then, depending on the score and how many rounds in the sequence, a further reduction would be recommended.

Q: Do you think you could explain this with a real life example?

A: Of course. To explain how the ESR process works in practice, we are going to use the performance of our Captain, Howard Johnston.

Mr Captain started the year with an exact handicap of 17.1.

He missed the Buffer Zone in his first two Handicap Qualifying competitions, so drifted to 17.3.

His nett differential for his next Qualifying Score of the year was -1 so his exact handicap was reduced using the normal handicap reduction process to 17.0. This is because he has a Category Three handicap and each stroke under CSS reduces his handicap by 0.3.

Then Mr Captain shoots a nett qualifying score of 66 when CSS was 70, so his nett differential of -4 reduced his handicap to 15.8 (-4x0.3). More significantly, it set the initial marker for the ESR process.

The computer was then waiting to see if Mr Captain has another exceptional round within the calendar year.

Following two indifferent rounds in the Scratch & Peace, he goes back up to 16.0.

However, he shoots another nett 66 with a nett differential of -4 in the Vets & Subsidiary medal, the 4th Qualifying Score in the sequence. His handicap is reduced in the normal way to 14.8 (-4x0.3). More significantly though, this score triggered the ESR calculation.

The Computer checked with the “Exceptional Scoring Handicap Reduction Table” and compared his average nett differential for the two exceptional scores i.e. -4 (-4 + -4 divided by 2) and the number of Qualifying Scores in the sequence since the initial marker, i.e. 4. The ESR calculation recommended that Mr Captain’s handicap was reduced by another 1.0 to 13.8.

Q: What if Mr Captain had played an extra round increasing the number of rounds in the sequence, from the initial marker and the calculation trigger, to 5?

A: Then the recommendation, based on the “Exceptional Scoring Handicap Reduction Table”, would have been a reduction of 0.5 not 1.0.

But the Captain hadn’t finished his run of exceptional performance. His very next round was the Life Members and yet again he scored nett 66 with a nett differential of -4. His handicap of 13.8 was reduced to 12.6 in the normal way (-4x0.3) and the computer made an ESR recommendation of 1.0, taking his exact handicap down to 11.6.

Q: I played with the Captain in the Life Members, he missed a tiddler on the 15th and double bogeyed the 18th. What would have happened if he had shot 63 instead of 66?

A: His average nett differential would have been -5.5 (-4 + -7 divided by 2) and the ESR recommendation would have been a reduction of 2.0 not 1.0.

Q: Does the ESR process apply to everyone?

A: This process does NOT apply to Handicap Category One golfers i.e. those with handicaps of 5.4 or less.

Q: When does the trial end?

A: CONGU stated their intention was to analyse the results of the trial in 2013 and as the current CONGU manual ends in 2015, we could probably expect any changes to come into effect in 2016.

Next week we shall discuss the Annual Review.


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