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Unlucky Breaks in Golf: It’s Just Part of the Game

All golfers know this game is unfair but we understand bad bounces, plugged lies, divots, balls that seemingly vanish into thin air, we all experience those moments that leave us scratching our heads. Trees conspiring against your ball? Lost balls that shouldn’t be lost? It’s like a collection of unfairness that golfers affectionately refer to as “bad breaks.”

Navigating Golf’s Rules: The R&A Rules of Golf

We have a rule book – “The R&A Rules of Golf.” And yes, even thinking about it can make your brain hurt a bit. This hefty tome is our guiding light on the course, covering everything from the first tee shot to the final putt on the 18th hole. It’s there for all golfers – whether you’re a seasoned pro or a club player working on your handicap. That’s what we call fairness in the golfing world.

Fairness in Handicaps: A Closer Look

But let’s face it, handicaps and fairness goes out the window when we dive into club competition handicaps. For example “Hey, Angus is a cheat! and should not be winning this competition because his handicap is 27 and he was allowed 30 strokes on this course but just to make sure he doe’s not win we will cut it further to 22 strokes”. Wait a minute! Angus is no cheat he’s following the R&A’s rules. His handicap truly mirrors his game, and according to the WHS handicapping system, those 30 strokes are a true reflection of his standard of play and he is, according to the WHS handicap rules, abiding by the rules. However he’s being unfairly criticised for having a good day.

Whatever your opinion of the WHS handicap it is there for everyone and is supposed to be fair and equitable for everyone, just like those R&A rules we all know. It seems to Angus the only players allowed to win the competition fairly are those with a low handicap. The stars of the show are often the skilled players, the ones who consistently impress. But let’s pause – where’s the rule that says high handicappers need to play by different rules?

High Handicappers: Misunderstood, Not Menaces

Arguments rage on up and down the land in clubhouses, yet there’s no need. All the rules are right there in black and white, a code we golfers understand like the back of our gloves. So, what’s with slashing handicaps for competitions? Angus, excited to play, finds his 30-stroke allowance whittled down to 22. Eight strokes vanished – where’s the fairness in that?

I am trying to understand why this is the case, is it any of the following?,

1. Angus might be cheating so we need to fix him

2. Does Angus’s cash hold less sway than the low handicapper’s? Are we reserving prizes for the “better” players?

3. Is it “fair” to chop the high handicappers’ allowances?

4. Are the high handicappers just plain rubbish and lousy at the game?

5. Is it truly “fairer” to slash Angus’s handicap for the sake of low handicap golfers to make it fair for them

Equality for All Handicaps: The Ultimate Goal

Let’s talk high handicaps – that’s me. I’ve heard all the arguments and then some. I don’t aspire to be a high handicapper, but here I am. My golf gear doesn’t come at a discount, and my wallet pays just like the next player’s. The same club subscriptions? Yep, I’m on board. But seriously, someone explain why I’m treated like the golfing equivalent of Bigfoot for competition golf.

I would like to hear a compelling argument – why should high handicappers be seen as golfing outcasts? These actions feel like a slap in the face to the very essence of the game. The club competition secretaries should in the spirit of fairness ditch this obsession with leaving us high handicappers out in the cold. This game is about fairness and equality for all. Imagine the uproar if a 5-handicap golfer suddenly heard, “Hey, guess what? You’re losing 8 strokes for this competition.” Let’s keep the game true, diverse, and open to everyone.

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