The USGA Handicap System is designed to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis. The System provides a fair Course Handicap for each player, regardless of ability, and adjusts a player's Handicap Index up or down as the player's game changes from one playing season or year to the next. Two basic premises underlie the USGA Handicap System, for which the player and the Handicap Committee share responsibility:
- each player will try to make the best score at every hole in every round
- the player will post every acceptable round for peer review
As you know, DVCC has a Handicap Committee who's mission is to ensure all members comply with the USGA Handicap System. The members of the 2019 committee are:
Harry Featherstone, Chairman
George Paris, Vice Chairman
All DVCC golf members are invited to consider joining the committee.
SENIOR LADIES YELLOW TEES NOW AVAILABLE FOR PLAY
The new senior ladies tees (yellow tees) are now recognized in the DVCC GHIN record. The tee length is 4,364 yards, with a course rating of 66.1 and slope of 120. Some tees are located on established tee boxes. Others may be found in fairway areas marked with two large in-ground yellow ovals indicating the teeing area. Ladies desiring to play these tees can post scores using these tees in their scoring record.
2019 NEW GOLF RULES IN EFFECT; HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Penalty eliminated if ball accidentally moves on the putting green or when searching for it.
- When the original location of your ball is not known, replace it on its estimated location.
- Your relief area for dropping a ball will be a fixed size of either one or two club-lengths using the longest club in your bag, other than your putter.
- You may drop a ball from knee height, falling through the air without touching your body or equipment.
- Balls must come to rest in the relief area where it was dropped or it must be redropped.
- A fixed distance of the longest club in your bag, other than your putter, will be used for measuring.
- Time for looking for a lost ball is reduced to 3 minutes.
- You may always substitute a ball when taking relief.
- Relief is allowed without penalty for an embedded ball anywhere(except in sand) in the “general area” (a new term for “through the green”).
- In taking lateral relief, you will drop within two club-lengths of where your ball entered the penalty area. See definition for fixed distance measuring.
- One of your options for relief from either a red or yellow penalty area will be called back-on-the-line relief.
- After a ball has been lifted and replaced, you would always replace your ball on its original spot, even if it was blown by the wind or moved for no clear reason.
- Players can repair spike marks or other damage on the green at any time, and they can touch the line of their putt as long as they don’t improve it.
- No penalty if your ball played from the putting green (or anywhere else) hits the unattended flagstick in the hole.
- Players can ground their clubs in penalty areas and remove loose impediments from penalty areas and bunkers.
- Committees are given the discretion to mark any penalty area as red so that lateral relief is always allowed. Relief from a red penalty area is no longer allowed on the opposite side from where the ball last entered the penalty area.
- Players can take a drop outside a bunker for an unplayable ball (in line with the hole) for a two stroke penalty.
- A club damaged during a round can continue to be used, even if you damaged it in anger. You cannot replace a damaged club during a round if you were responsible for the damage.
- Penalties for a double hit are eliminated, and your ball will be played as it lies.
- Distance measuring devices will be allowed unless a Local Rule prohibits their use.
- “Ready golf” is encouraged; a recommendation is provided for players to take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke.
- No penalty if your ball in motion is accidentally deflected by you, your equipment or your caddie.
- “Reasonable judgement” is allowed to mark balls or measure an area where taking a drop.
- A Local Rule permits an alternative to the stroke-and-distance penalty for balls lost or hit OB. Instead of hitting a provisional or returning to the tee, the Local Rule will let you drop in the fairway with a two stroke penalty.
- Note that these are only summaries. For more information, click on this link: www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/major-changes.html
YOUR POSTABLE SCORES
As a reminder, all acceptable scores, 9 or 18 hole rounds played, including tournament scores at home and away, must be posted within three days of completing play using any of the following methods:
- Use the posting computer in the golf shop.
- Use the GHIN or VSGA websites.
- Use the GHIN or VSGA Mobile applications on a computer or smart device.
If the Handicap Committee contacts you by email about a missing score posting, please don’t ignore the inquiry. Simply drop them a reply indicating “I forgot and will post now” or “the round wasn’t postable” or other appropriate explanation.
If you don’t respond, there is a good chance you will receive a penalty score, modified Handicap Index, or even a suspended GHIN account (e.g., Handicap) — all of which will impact your ability to compete in future events.
The Committee’s audit process attempts to match names on the Club’s tee sheet with scores that are posted to the GHIN system for that day. An inquiry is sent when a name appears but no score is posted. The Committee is simply looking for a reason why. So if you are contacted, a brief response would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your support.
YOUR NON-POSTABLE SCORES
There will be times when you do not have to post your scores. For example, some of the LGA's golf events include gimmicks such as magic putts, mulligans or sand tosses. In these instances, your golf score should not be posted as inclusion of gimmicks are in violation of the USGA's rules of golf. However, please make sure you comply with the procedures below by including comments on your online tee time stating in advance that your score is considered not postable with reason(s) provided. Doing so will provide the Handicap Committee with advance information on why your score was not posted.
PEER REVIEW SCHEDULE
The Handicap Committee plans to conduct randomly- selected peer reviews to audit score posting during 2019. The dates currently scheduled for review are cited below. Please note that the review schedule is subject to change without notification.
From time to time the Handicap Committee prepares educational papers for the DVCC golfing community. For the convenience of LGA members, here are the latest udpates:
For your information, here are copies of The Handicapper published each quarter:
- Handicapper - December 2017
- Handicapper - March 2018
- Handicapper - June 2018
- Handicapper - September 2018
- Handicapper - December 2018
- Handicapper - Special Edition on Rules of Golf - December 2018
- Handicapper - March 2019
- Handicapper - June 2019