2020 Golf Thread

Doug Beerabelli

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Walking. I very much need the exercise, and I know that no matter how I play, I'm getting something positive out of the round. I think I play better too. I'll limit cart to member-guests or a second day of a tournament with 36 plus holes over a weekend, or bad weather when forced to play in it.

As for the the good play/bad play--bad score/good score question, I'm probably on side of good play/bad score. I'm not asking a lot of my game - just more consistent contact on my full shots. I still manage to top a drive or a few shots every round, sometimes more than a few. If I can get through a round with no or maybe 1-2 of such shots, I'll shoot a decent score. If not, the doubles and triples find me. Still, even as I've had good days and bad days, the scores remain mostly within the 46-50 range no matter what I do.

I think it's a matter of concentration, or lack thereof. I've played a lot since March, more than ever by a factor of 3 during that same period, more than I play over the summer (thank you COVID). I've gotten a little better, but the inability to consistently put club clean to ball, even if it's an 75% successful result, has been frustrating. The good news is the side effect on my short game, which has required me to dial it in better 50yds and in. My index has been floating around between 20-21, but there's a round where I hit things clean and break 90, especially if the putting is on (probably best part of my game).

I've done a few more competitive type rounds this year, which I've enjoyed. I agree playing with better players and in competitions will help you step up the game. It's just something I've really limited for the last decade, mostly because weekend morning golf wasn't an option. I can't say I missed it at the time, but I see the wisdom in it.
 

TFP

Tweedydee
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Dec 10, 2007
18,597
Ranges opened in MA yesterday. I got to the Southborough range to hit off grass for like 45 mins, my word what a difference. I'd really missed the ability to practice, but it's amazing how much I need the practice to get my swing into reasonable form. By the end, I had made some small changes and was making excellent contact.

I have no illusions that it'll stay like this, but there was no chance I was going to get better only playing sporadically.
 
I played The Glen Golf Club in North Berwick this morning with a friend who is a member - my first round of golf in months with a playing partner, and my first round away from Dunbar I think since the middle of last year. The Glen is nothing like as good as the West Links in North Berwick, but it's incredibly scenic, with most of it perched high above the sea on virtual clifftops. It was particularly pretty today, because although it was overcast the surf was incredible, fierce and foamy and crashing into the wonderful rock formations not far beneath us. Of course, that's largely because we were playing the course in a 30-40 mph wind, which was ridiculous: on the first four holes I hit 3-wood on all of my approach shots, from distances between 140 and 175 yards. On the 12th hole, a downhill 430-yard par 4 into the wind, I hit driver-driver and still had about 90 yards into the green for my third shot...and hit my driver again, but almost like a very long putt, a bump-and-run shot without the bump. I managed to weasel my ball to within 15 feet of the hole and made the putt for par, which was the proverbial "that will bring you back again" shot in a round not full of many highlights. I lost our match 2&1, and in truth I was happy to be finished; golf, in that sort of wind, when you're basically guessing how your swing plane and even putting stroke will be buffeted between takeaway and impact, isn't much of a sport.
 

mostman

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Ranges opened in MA yesterday. I got to the Southborough range to hit off grass for like 45 mins, my word what a difference. I'd really missed the ability to practice, but it's amazing how much I need the practice to get my swing into reasonable form. By the end, I had made some small changes and was making excellent contact.

I have no illusions that it'll stay like this, but there was no chance I was going to get better only playing sporadically.
What are the guidelines for ranges? Does the ball purchasing and handoff have to be outdoors?
 

cshea

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Nov 15, 2006
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44 this morning after starting 8-7 (triple, triple) with 2 lost balls. Pretty happy with how it turned out. Could’ve been 2 shots better, had a sloppy 3-putt bogey from about 30 feet and missed a bunny for birdie after flagging one on a par 3.

Really need to work on my wedge play. The lost ball was a bladed 60-yard shot that went deep into the woods. Also missed the green badly from 50 yards after a fantastic drive.
 
A guy in my club once shot 66 on the front 9 in a medal tournament, and still broke 100. Yep, he went 66/33 on each 9.
I shot 38-57 in a club competition at Dunbar a few years ago. (You can probably guess which way the wind was blowing.) But even I can't imagine 66-33.

I played 18 disappointing holes yesterday, again in a mist/fog which hampered visibility for much of the round (although not to where I couldn't see at least roughly where my shots were landing). There was very little wind to speak of, so it should have been a great day for scoring, but my swing has largely gone AWOL, and it took me a while to adjust my putting stroke to where I was burning the edges instead of missing badly. I didn't post a number, because I pulled a drive on the 12th which I was sure I would find but - after a long time trudging up and down wet rough and getting soaked right through my shoes and socks - failed to do so. But it probably would have been a 79 or 80, which on a day like yesterday isn't really acceptable. (As I often like to point out, everything is relative in golf.)
 

jercra

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I shot 38-57 in a club competition at Dunbar a few years ago. (You can probably guess which way the wind was blowing.) But even I can't imagine 66-33.

I played 18 disappointing holes yesterday, again in a mist/fog which hampered visibility for much of the round (although not to where I couldn't see at least roughly where my shots were landing). There was very little wind to speak of, so it should have been a great day for scoring, but my swing has largely gone AWOL, and it took me a while to adjust my putting stroke to where I was burning the edges instead of missing badly. I didn't post a number, because I pulled a drive on the 12th which I was sure I would find but - after a long time trudging up and down wet rough and getting soaked right through my shoes and socks - failed to do so. But it probably would have been a 79 or 80, which on a day like yesterday isn't really acceptable. (As I often like to point out, everything is relative in golf.)
Does the R&A not do "most likely score" for holes where you don't hole out?
 
Our handicapping system is still (for the moment at least) completely different to the USGA system - mainly because you only count rounds shot in formal stroke play competition for your handicap. So it doesn't matter what my score or likely score, etc., was on the 12th hole yesterday. And so because I didn't complete the hole properly, I didn't post an 18-hole score as such.
 

4 6 3 DP

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On Saturday on the back nine I shot 42.

Triple/Par/Double/Double/Birdie/Bogey/Birdie/Birdie/Bogey

Golf is messed.
 

jercra

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Two Saturday's during a tourney I went: Par/Bogey/Eagle/Par/Bogey/Eagle/Bogey/Double/Par for a 37. It's hard to make 2 eagles and 3 pars and still shoot 37 but I managed. I also once managed to have 9 birdies in a round and shoot a 76. Consistency is hard for me.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Apr 12, 2005
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Two Saturday's during a tourney I went: Par/Bogey/Eagle/Par/Bogey/Eagle/Bogey/Double/Par for a 37. It's hard to make 2 eagles and 3 pars and still shoot 37 but I managed. I also once managed to have 9 birdies in a round and shoot a 76. Consistency is hard for me.
I had 3 birdies, 4 pars and shot 95 a couple weeks ago. Inconsistency is easy for me.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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I've been shooting mid-80s so far this year and today, I managed to lose ten (10!!!!!!!) golf balls in a single round on my way to a 103 on a Gary Player-designed course (to be fair, from the pro tees, but still...TEN!?!?). That's gotta be a SOSH record.

I hit two fairways all day.
 
I've been shooting mid-80s so far this year and today, I managed to lose ten (10!!!!!!!) golf balls in a single round on my way to a 103 on a Gary Player-designed course (to be fair, from the pro tees, but still...TEN!?!?). That's gotta be a SOSH record.

I hit two fairways all day.
Heh - as if. I played a tournament at Gullane No. 1 a few summers ago when the wind was howling, the rough was high and my swing wasn't where I wanted it to be...and no word of a lie, I lost 11 golf balls in my first 12 holes.
 

FL4WL3SS

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I've been shooting mid-80s so far this year and today, I managed to lose ten (10!!!!!!!) golf balls in a single round on my way to a 103 on a Gary Player-designed course (to be fair, from the pro tees, but still...TEN!?!?). That's gotta be a SOSH record.

I hit two fairways all day.
I lost an entire dozen once. I also had to quit on day two of my club championship once for running out of balls on the front 9.
 

BaseballJones

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Heh - as if. I played a tournament at Gullane No. 1 a few summers ago when the wind was howling, the rough was high and my swing wasn't where I wanted it to be...and no word of a lie, I lost 11 golf balls in my first 12 holes.
Ouch, man, I feel you. I brought 15 fresh balls for this round, never dreaming that I might be sweating it out at the end, hoping I had enough to get through all 18.

What bothered me today was that, aside from my total suckiness, I actually lost a few balls on good shots. First time playing the course, didn't really know what was around the corner, etc., and didn't really have a good map of the course. Struck some balls that felt really solid, went to where it should have been, only to find out that the marsh jutted out further than I had anticipated past the rise of the hill. I hate that.

But truth be told...I sucked so bad today it was just dismal out there.
 
I had a nice no-balls-lost round this morning at Dunbar - it was humid and again a bit misty/foggy to start out, but that eventually burned away, even though there was again almost no wind. This time I took advantage, with six pars and two birdies on my first eight holes. I had a wedge into the 9th, thinking I had a real shot to turn in -3, but instead I thinned it through the green and made bogey, and then I bogeyed three tough par 4s (11, 12 and 14) to fall to +2. But I birdied 15, burned the edges with birdie putts on 16 and 17 and then made a great up-and-down on 18 to finish at one-over 72. Best round of the year so far, so I can't complain!
 

Doug Beerabelli

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Ouch, man, I feel you. I brought 15 fresh balls for this round, never dreaming that I might be sweating it out at the end, hoping I had enough to get through all 18.

What bothered me today was that, aside from my total suckiness, I actually lost a few balls on good shots. First time playing the course, didn't really know what was around the corner, etc., and didn't really have a good map of the course. Struck some balls that felt really solid, went to where it should have been, only to find out that the marsh jutted out further than I had anticipated past the rise of the hill. I hate that.

But truth be told...I sucked so bad today it was just dismal out there.
Which course?
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Nov 29, 2005
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Getting off the lost balls challenge (I generally don't hit it long enough to lose them) - the 66/33 score resonates with me. I don't necessarily have those front/back splits,, but I've had rounds where holes 4-12 I've played at or around even... but that other 9 kills me . Makes for an average score card.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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Which course?
Lyman Orchards Player Course in Middlefield, CT.

Gold Tees (furthest back)
72.7 rating
133 slope
6,725 yards with huge elevation changes

For comparison...

CT National from the black tees (the furthest back)
72.9 rating
133 slope
6,935 yards

It's a real test, at least for a player of my caliber playing from those tees.
 

Doug Beerabelli

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Lyman Orchards Player Course in Middlefield, CT.

Gold Tees (furthest back)
72.7 rating
133 slope
6,725 yards with huge elevation changes

For comparison...

CT National from the black tees (the furthest back)
72.9 rating
133 slope
6,935 yards

It's a real test, at least for a player of my caliber playing from those tees.
Would you believe me if I told you that Lyman was the course that immediately popped into my mind when you described the round? Because that's what happened.

I. Hate. That. Course.

Too hilly, too many blind shots, too many stupid shots. You do better if you've played it a few times and know your way around, kind of like Yale. The Jones course at Lyman is a good, fair challenge. The new Par three is fun, and the practice center next to it is really good.
 

BaseballJones

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Would you believe me if I told you that Lyman was the course that immediately popped into my mind when you described the round? Because that's what happened.

I. Hate. That. Course.

Too hilly, too many blind shots, too many stupid shots. You do better if you've played it a few times and know your way around, kind of like Yale. The Jones course at Lyman is a good, fair challenge. The new Par three is fun, and the practice center next to it is really good.
Ha that's amazing. Yeah never having played it before, so many blind shots, really not much of a clue where I was going a fair amount of the time...not easy. Some amazing views, but yeah I like the Jones course better.

Have you played Fox Hopyard? That course is really hard.
 

jercra

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It's one of my favorite places in the world.

I love bandon, but I'm ready to leave after a week. I could spend eternity in Pinehurst.
Interesting. Ok, I'm going to book a trip for 2021. I hate bugs and humidity with a passion, so I'm guessing fall is the best time, but also the most expensive time?. Do you just stay on property?
 

FL4WL3SS

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Interesting. Ok, I'm going to book a trip for 2021. I hate bugs and humidity with a passion, so I'm guessing fall is the best time, but also the most expensive time?. Do you just stay on property?
This will be my 6th or 7th time going and I'll be staying with Nick. In the past I've gone with a good friend of mine and stayed at a friend's house on property. I've played all the courses except 8, which Nick is bangin out for me this trip!

Bandon is something special, but it's a whirlwind of golf and drinking that you need to recover from. Pinehurst is laid back and just has a really smooth feel to it.

Bandon is like a really expensive tequila, Pinehurst is your favorite scotch.
 

TFP

Tweedydee
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Dec 10, 2007
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I wholeheartedly agree with my long hitting friend here. Everyone should Bandon oncein their life. Everyone should go to Pinehurst once a year. It’s the only other place in the country I’d consider living other than here in MA. It’s glorious.

If you have any questions on anything just PM me @jercra. I’ll do my best to help.
 

patinorange

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Heh - as if. I played a tournament at Gullane No. 1 a few summers ago when the wind was howling, the rough was high and my swing wasn't where I wanted it to be...and no word of a lie, I lost 11 golf balls in my first 12 holes.
I lost 8 balls on one hole, all in the water. Then I gave up. Laquinta par three semi island green. Many years ago. It was August, no one behind us so I just kept trying. I birdied the next hole.
 
The holes at my course all have black inserts in them to keep the ball from falling too deep, with a silver rod affixed to the flagstick to keep the insert in place (and the flag from coming out of the hole). I've played quite a few rounds at my course since it reopened, and I've been carefully reaching down into the hole after making a putt and grabbing my ball with no more than two or three fingers to minimize contact with the flag or the side of the hole itself. So this morning I went out to play again, and another solo golfer on his own asked if he could join me to play as a twosome. Fine, no problem...there goes the NLU podcast I had lined up to listen to, but whatever. Anyway, we reached the first green, my partner made a nice birdie putt, and instead of reaching into the hole for his ball, he used the back of his putter to lift the silver rod, which in turn lifted the black hole insert above cup level, causing the ball to fall out onto the green. How did I not realize this for weeks on end?

Anyway, in a tricky crosswind I shot a 77 (+6) today - not a bad score in the conditions at all, but I had two doubles, including one at the 18th after I shoved my drive just out of bounds. So that hurts. The positive way to look at it is that I trusted my driver enough to aim down the middle of the 18th fairway, instead of chickening out and bailing way left of the OB wall on the right. Maybe it's good to learn to challenge the wall in casual rounds and save the chickening out for competitions?
 

ernieshore

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Aug 24, 2006
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Yesterday I made tee times for Bandon Dunes on this Friday late afternoon, Sheep Ranch on Saturday morning, and Old McDonald on Sunday. The trip was actually the wife's idea, as she had some vacation days she had to use. She just started playing last year, so she will walk with me on the Sheep Ranch round, and then use the practice facilities the rest of time.

I had a very good ball striking round on a pretty challenging course on Saturday (Heron Lakes Blue in Portland, for those of you familiar with that one), so that's given me a little confidence heading to Bandon. The weather is looking to be excellent.
 

TFP

Tweedydee
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Dec 10, 2007
18,597
Yesterday I made tee times for Bandon Dunes on this Friday late afternoon, Sheep Ranch on Saturday morning, and Old McDonald on Sunday. The trip was actually the wife's idea, as she had some vacation days she had to use. She just started playing last year, so she will walk with me on the Sheep Ranch round, and then use the practice facilities the rest of time.

I had a very good ball striking round on a pretty challenging course on Saturday (Heron Lakes Blue in Portland, for those of you familiar with that one), so that's given me a little confidence heading to Bandon. The weather is looking to be excellent.
Breathlessly awaiting the Sheep Ranch review.

You taking a caddie?
 

jercra

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Yesterday I made tee times for Bandon Dunes on this Friday late afternoon, Sheep Ranch on Saturday morning, and Old McDonald on Sunday. The trip was actually the wife's idea, as she had some vacation days she had to use. She just started playing last year, so she will walk with me on the Sheep Ranch round, and then use the practice facilities the rest of time.

I had a very good ball striking round on a pretty challenging course on Saturday (Heron Lakes Blue in Portland, for those of you familiar with that one), so that's given me a little confidence heading to Bandon. The weather is looking to be excellent.
I love Great Blue. Used to be a regular haunt for me. They used to host a no-handicap series of tourneys from the tips called Black on Blue that was one of the few scratch games you could find in Portland. I played it last time I was back and it's still a really great RTJ II layout. The history is really interesting too. The course is set on a location that used to be Oregon's 2nd largest city and was the largest city every built by the US Govt. (WW2 work camp). The whole city was wiped out in a big flood and just never rebuilt.

I've seen bunches of pics and my caddie friend there has looped SR dozens of times already. He says it's already the best course on property and probably the best course in the country that you can play.
 

TFP

Tweedydee
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
18,597
I've seen bunches of pics and my caddie friend there has looped SR dozens of times already. He says it's already the best course on property and probably the best course in the country that you can play.
I've heard the same. ;)
 

ernieshore

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Breathlessly awaiting the Sheep Ranch review.

You taking a caddie?
I will be taking a caddie - for all three rounds. I know how helpful it was the last time I was there. Plus, if am going to spend $260 on a round, an extra $100+tip for the caddie seems like a pretty good value add.

I love Great Blue. Used to be a regular haunt for me. They used to host a no-handicap series of tourneys from the tips called Black on Blue that was one of the few scratch games you could find in Portland. I played it last time I was back and it's still a really great RTJ II layout. The history is really interesting too. The course is set on a location that used to be Oregon's 2nd largest city and was the largest city every built by the US Govt. (WW2 work camp). The whole city was wiped out in a big flood and just never rebuilt.

I've seen bunches of pics and my caddie friend there has looped SR dozens of times already. He says it's already the best course on property and probably the best course in the country that you can play.
Yes - Vanport. I attended a bus tour on racism and segregation in Portland about a year ago. Vanport/Heron Lakes was one of the stops and we heard from a former resident about his experiences living there, and the day the flood happened. Especially for a relatively new Portland resident, seeing and hearing that history in person there, and across the city, was so impactful.

Great Blue is a fun course - though I won't be near a scratch game anytime soon!. It felt good to have control and confidence executing my shots. I just came up about 3 yards short from a perfect shot on #15 (par 3 over water) that led to a blow-up hole and cost me a good total score. Plus, I went out early in the morning, had super-nice people in the group, and played in 4 hours. Even though it rained, I wish I could guarantee golf days like that.

I'll report back next week - since my wife is walking with me, I should be able to get some good photos.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Jul 31, 2006
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I love Great Blue. Used to be a regular haunt for me. They used to host a no-handicap series of tourneys from the tips called Black on Blue that was one of the few scratch games you could find in Portland. I played it last time I was back and it's still a really great RTJ II layout. The history is really interesting too. The course is set on a location that used to be Oregon's 2nd largest city and was the largest city every built by the US Govt. (WW2 work camp). The whole city was wiped out in a big flood and just never rebuilt.

I've seen bunches of pics and my caddie friend there has looped SR dozens of times already. He says it's already the best course on property and probably the best course in the country that you can play.
I've heard the same. ;)
The assistant pro at my course played it when it opened and said it was fantastic, but the easiest course on the property. That's saying something because Bandon can play quite easy without the wind.

He said it's phenomenal though. Sounds like it needs the wind to have some teeth.
 

jercra

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The assistant pro at my course played it when it opened and said it was fantastic, but the easiest course on the property. That's saying something because Bandon can play quite easy without the wind.

He said it's phenomenal though. Sounds like it needs the wind to have some teeth.
I'd believe that. Only Trails and to some degree Old Mac have teeth without wind. The wind is everything there. I've shot lots of low 70s rounds out there with no wind and lots of, let's just say, much worse than that when the wind is up.
 

TFP

Tweedydee
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Dec 10, 2007
18,597
I'd believe that. Only Trails and to some degree Old Mac have teeth without wind. The wind is everything there. I've shot lots of low 70s rounds out there with no wind and lots of, let's just say, much worse than that when the wind is up.
One our trip this March, we played Pac Dunes in the morning with crazy wind and rain. There were 24 people playing, many of them low single digit/scratch, and not a single person broke 80. It was laughable.

I shot my lowest round of the weekend at Trails too.
 
One our trip this March, we played Pac Dunes in the morning with crazy wind and rain. There were 24 people playing, many of them low single digit/scratch, and not a single person broke 80. It was laughable.
One of the reasons I've always loved the British handicap system is that days like the one you've described are accounted for - the score you post is compared against all the other scores posted on the course that day before it gets applied to your handicap. (That's supposed to be a feature of the new worldwide handicapping system...I forget, has that come into effect yet in the US?) If you're going to keep score in conditions like that, I think you can have a lot of fun if you can fully accept that par is actually around 80-85 and evaluate your score accordingly, instead of just thinking how far over par you are.

By the by, the best tournament result I had in college golf was at the Greater Boston Championship, a one-day event which the year in question was played at Quashnet Valley on the Cape in similarly horrendous conditions. I shot an 83 and finished tied for second, two shots behind the winner; I'm pretty sure all of my teammates shot in the 90s except for the one guy who joined the Century Club, and none of them could believe that I'd shot an 83. "Quashnet" quickly became a swear word on our team, but I remember it very fondly; I didn't do anything well but played smartly, stayed out of trouble and avoided doubles and triples, and I think you can find real virtue and indeed enjoyment in accepting that on some days pars are birdies, bogeys are pars and doubles are bogeys.
 

jercra

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We converted to the global handicap system and there is, in theory, a weather adjustment capability but I've played a lot of rounds in crazy windy conditions and not seen any evidence of said adjustment.
 

jercra

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I think thats what the PCC is on our new handicap system right?
Huh, so it is. I've only been using the app and hadn't noticed it. Playing Conditions Calculator. I stand corrected. There are several rounds that have an adjustment.