Cheshire President Andrew Henshall, Jim Fisher, CCLGA Captain Frances Gell (Bramhall)
There were full houses of members from Cheshire clubs at Vicars Cross and The Mere backed by officials from the CUGC and Cheshire Ladies GA for the two County Handicap Seminars provided by England Golf.
Cheshire President Andrew Henshall (Wilmslow) said: “Jim Fisher from Lancashire GU and England Golf was excellent in his presentation and explained the new World Handicapping System really well, and answered the questions with understandable replies.
“He was on his feet for nearly three hours and managed to take a lot of questions from more than 140 delegates here at The Mere who had come to listen.
“Hopefully most others besides myself went away with the feeling that whilst there may be parts of the new system that are hard to comprehend (the fact that two people could have the same score in a competition, but one may see their handicap go up and one could see their handicap go down, depending on whether their new score replaces a good or bad one, when calculating the best eight from the most recent 20 rounds played), it will lead to an improvement in the way handicaps reflect how well or badly someone is playing.
“I think it may take time for all club officials to understand and explain to club members what is going to happen, but once the system is in place it could lead to a lot more people having a lot fairer handicaps.
“The vital thing is for every club to have a slope rating and a course rating and for them to be able to show this to anyone playing their course. Cheshire are working towards having all the 94 courses rated by the end of 2020 but I think this may not be completed until early 2021 as we have so many to do.
“Lots and lots of issues were covered and the reliance on the technology and the complicated mathematics behind it was simplified very well, and it could be in time that you will be able to work out in advance how a score will affect your handicap as soon as you finish a competition, but equally it may not.
“Examples were given of rounds that can count towards your handicap, and those that can’t, and how to adjust a card that might otherwise be classified an NR by filling in the blanks.
“There was also concern that until the computer decides you won’t know what your new handicap is going to be and this will only be done overnight, so this will be the end of CSS, as well as reduction only competitions.
“A considerable amount of time was spent on how to award new handicaps to new players and to how to adjust their handicap as they completed their first 20 rounds.
“Finally we were also shown ways that will cap any increase in your handicap, but there will be no maximum reduction. Also, there are ways being built in to the system to prevent one exceptionally good or bad round ruining a handicap record if it was a totally out of character round.
“All in all two very informative days giving all the competitions committee members from across the clubs in Cheshire a chance to get an understanding of what will be happening in a few months’ time.”
Photo & copy courtesy Geoff Garnett