One part of the system that does stand out like a pair of John Daly’s pants is the 0.96 multiplication factor. It’s known as the “bonus for excellence” factor. I mentioned it briefly but thought I’d expand a little further. Bear with me here.
Why it’s 0.96 and not 0.95 or 0.94, I don’t know. Apparently in the US it used to be 0.86. It’s role is to balance out the small advantage a golfer with a high handicap has over a golfer with a low handicap.
A low handicapper has a smaller range of potential golf scores, agreed? Therefore the potential for a high handicapper to shoot much better than his/her handicap is greater. Multiplying a high number by 0.96 reduces the number by much more than if you would a low number. It effectively reduces a high number by more than a low number.
Let me give an example. Let’s say Bob’s plays off 3.4 and Fred plays off 19.1. Knowing that Fred has a distinct advantage in winning the competition they play in because his range of scores is greater – he’s not as consitent as Bob. By multiplying both of these numbers by 0.96, we end up with Bob decreasing to 3.2 and 18.3. Take a look at how much each golfer’s handicap has been reduced. Fred’s handicap has been reduced by much more than Bob’s.
It provides an incentive for all golfers to improve their handicap. The lower it is, the less it is effected by the “bonus for excellence” factor!
New handicapping set for Australian golf
Australian handicapping changes
Australia adopts US course rating system
Reasons for Australia’s new course ratings
Golf handicapping: What’s with the 0.96?
New handicap system: how does it work?