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Golf Australias update on two handicapping projects

POSTED ON July 3, 2015 @ 10:00 am

Scheduled statistical audit of new GA Handicap System

GA are in the process of performing some scheduled ‘health-checking’ on the handicap and competition results patterns being delivered by the new GA Handicap System now that it has been fully operational for 17 months.

Before introducing Slope, Stableford Handicapping, DSR, etc in January 2014 we conducted detailed statistical modelling, and we also trialled DSR for over a year in a diverse range of 20 regional and metropolitan clubs.  We were however mindful that the general experience across any field of operation is that pre-implementation modelling is not a genuine substitute for real lived, breathed experience.  As a result, an audit was scheduled for when we were in possession of full data across all four seasons.

Regular statistical audits are scheduled to occur into the future to ensure the handicap system continues to operate in accordance with industry preferences.

The current audit is extensive and is involving analysis of over 20 million scores.  We look forward to communicating the findings to clubs in the near future.

Worldwide Handicap System

The R&A and the USGA have for the past few years been leading a project to develop a Worldwide Handicap System.  The five other organisations involved in this project are Golf Australia, the European Golf Association (EGA), CONGU (which is the British & Irish handicapping authority), the South African Golf Association, and the Argentine Golf Association.  This project has now developed to a point where we believe a worldwide handicap system will be on offer to all countries around the world within the next few years.

Whilst there will be no obligation on a country to be involved in the new worldwide system, GA believes that significant benefits can be delivered to world golf by having a single parent body for handicapping.  The parent body will be able to provide comprehensive guidance to any national association on the handicapping regulations which will work best to promote and sustain the development of the game in that country’s jurisdiction.  This service should be particularly beneficial to national associations in the newer golf countries.  The choice of regulations will be made strictly from those available within the Worldwide Handicap System menu.  Given The R&A’s knowledge of the golf culture in the countries affiliated to it, GA believes The R&A has a unique role to play in the leadership of this initiative as it works together with the USGA.

The Worldwide Handicap System project has been significantly aided by a statistical research body comprising one member each from the USGA, Golf Australia, the EGA, and CONGU.

GA has invested heavily in the Worldwide Handicap System process and we have been very pleased to be able to lend our expertise as an international leader on handicapping.

The GA Board looks forward to receiving the final proposal on the make-up of the Worldwide System.  We are mindful of the amount of handicapping change that has occurred in Australia in recent times.  We also believe that the Worldwide System is likely to provide the flexibility to ensure there would be only minimal (if any) further adjustment required for Australian clubs and golfers.

Net competitions are more important to the culture of Australian clubs than they are to the club culture in any other country.  This is a proud feature of Australian golf.  The GA Board is committed to ensuring that the handicap system in use in Australia provides the best possible service for our clubs and golfers.

John Hopkins, Chairman, Golf Australia

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