Groundhog Day was a thing of the past last week as all the men played from the forward red tees, now officially rated by Golf Australia. The feedback was positive with most comments centred on the different aspect offered from the tee and everyone enjoyed the shorter par 3’s.

From Wednesday 9th to Sunday 14th over 600 competition rounds were recorded from the forward tees which provides a large enough sample size to look at alternate indexes for the men’s red tees and any emerging patterns.

After consulting many of the players after last Saturdays round it was clear that there is a lack of understanding mixed in with some scepticism on how the new World Handicapping System works in delivering an equitable competition or “side bet” result when using multiple tees  in the same competition.    Please see below excerpt from the Golf Australia website.

 

World Handicap System

The World Handicap System calculation for a Daily Handicap includes an adjustment for the difference between the Scratch Rating and the Par of the set of tees being played. • This makes playing to par the universal measure of whether a player has played to their handicap, regardless of the course or set of tees.

 As a result, in a handicap competition played from two or more sets of tees (such as in mixed-gender or mixed ability events), the appropriate comparison of two players who have played from different sets of tees is their net scores in relation to par. • It is not appropriate to use any other comparison (such as just their net scores).

(i) Match Play formats. The result of each hole should be determined by each side’s score in relation to par. ▪ As a player’s net (or gross) status versus par for the round is compared directly against that of every other player involved in the match, no additional strokes are added to the standard calculation of the Daily Handicap when the par is different between tees. ▪ For example, in a handicap match, the 13th hole is a par 5 for women and a par 4 for men. Michelle has a net 6 and David has a net 5. Michelle and David both have 1-over par for the hole, so the hole is tied. ▪ For gross competitions, it is a player’s gross score in relation to par that should be used. After taking this into consideration, the Committee should set the tee markers in positions that it believes are most likely to achieve equitable outcomes. (ii) Medal Play formats. Under the WHS in Australia, all results should be determined by using a player’s score

(ii) Medal Play formats. Under the WHS in Australia, all results should be determined by using a player’s score relative to par. ▪ Each player’s net (or gross) status versus par for the round is compared directly against that of every other player – no adjustment applies when par is different between tees. ▪ For example, in a handicap medal competition, a course is par 74 for women and par 72 for men. Michelle has net 76 which is 2 over par, and David has net 75 which is 3 over par. 2 over is better than 3 over so Michelle finishes ahead of David. ▪ Within your competition management software, a column is included in the WHS display of Stroke competition results which lists each player’s net score versus par. It is this column that your software now uses to determine the finishing positions in a competition. ▪ For gross competitions, it is a player’s gross score in relation to par that should be used. After taking this into consideration, the Committee should set the tee markers in positions that it believes are most likely to achieve equitable outcomes. Alternatively, the Committee may choose to adjust scores by the difference in Scratch Ratings if it feels this would be more practicable and equitable.

 (iii) Stableford formats. Each player’s total number of Stableford points for the round is compared directly against that of every other player – no adjustment applies when the par is different between tees.

 (iv) Par formats. Each player’s Par result for the round is compared directly against that of every other player – no adjustment applies when the par is different between tees.

Note: The R&A and the United States Golf Association have confirmed that the Rules of Golf permit a Committee to specify that a certain group of players in a competition may start a hole from a different teeing ground to other players in the same competition. This includes for all forms stroke play and match play.