Handicapping changes set to cause confusion

On Monday, Aussie Golfer reported on the latest changes to the Australian handicapping system as released by Golf Australia. Some are more complicated (and more interesting) than others and as such will come into effect at your club over the course of the next five months (by January 1, 2011). 
Malcolm Schustad at Gold Coast Golfer made the point that some of the new changes can appear to be confusing to the average golfer.

“In the true spirit of golf rules, the devil’s in the detail. Some things, such as the handicapping committee, are relatively straight forward. Other things, like having to submit individual cards during four ball rounds and using “Likely Scores” where you don’t hole out have the potential to be fairly confusing to the average golfer.”

“The first round of handicap changes didn’t require any education to the golfers of the nation and so were fairly straight forward, if not somewhat controversial. This next round of changes does fundamentally impact how we need to score some rounds. It looks like it’s going to be up to the clubs to get the messages out to their members. However, in this tight financial environment which is probably seeing most golf clubs run as lean as possible with minimum staff on board, it will be interesting to see how well the message gets out to everyone.”

He’s got a point. All players must now complete a score for each hole when playing four-ball format in order for all players to complete a card for handicapping. In the event of a hole where you don’t hole out, you will need to record your ‘most-likely score’. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in a few pro-shop’s when this is explained.
Despite my pleasure at seeing non-competition rounds included for handicapping purposes, I do also concede it will bring about a fair bit of confusion concerning ‘pre-nominating’ your round. Fun times ahead.

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