We all enjoy playing a round of 18 with our spouse. But if you’re like most couples in America, the match seems one sided most every time you hit the links. It’s possible we have a solution for you!
Please answer the following questions:
Do you lose more than 50% of the time?
Do you play different tees than each other?
Do you get your course handicap based on the table posted in the clubhouse?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re likely suffering from what is known as lack of course rating adjustment.
What is a course rating adjustment? To understand further we first need to define a course rating. A course rating is essentially the difficulty of the course for a scratch golfer. A course handicap is the number of strokes you need in order to play to the course rating. Therefore if I am given 8 strokes for my tee box and play TO my handicap, I’ll shoot the course rating!
So what about the adjustment? What is that for? When a USGA Course Rating difference exists among competitors, they are playing to different benchmarks, and an adjustment needs to be made for the competition to be equitable. If my benchmark is 71 and my competitor’s is 68.. they’re going to strive to shoot THREE strokes better than me every single time!
Starting to see how you keep losing? You’ve been playing at a disadvantage if you play a more difficult tee box than your spouse!
So how do we combat this for future reference? Simple. Find your course handicap for each of you like normal. Then compare the difference in each of your course ratings and either add that number to the player on the more difficult tee or subtract it from the player playing the easier tee. Now you’re even. If you still keep losing.. well, that sounds like what we in the office call ‘user error’.
If you’ve been on the winning side for the longest time maybe you keep this article to yourself. If you’ve been on the losing side the entire time and your partner isn’t too happy about the change, remember, course rating adjustments are a RULE of the USGA handicap system, not a suggestion!
For more details please visit the USGA handicap manual!