FORE April 2011 : Page 43

HANDICAP HINTS 0HDVXULQJ D  8S HOW YOU COMPARE TO THE AVERAGE GOLFER re you the “average” golfer? Do you think your Handicap Index is better than the aver-age SCGA member? How many rounds a year do you play and post? Each day we use numbers to determine where we stand on things. How long until we get there? How many calories does that have? How much money do I have in my account? Things are no different in golf. Typically when golfers get to the first tee, the first question asked is, “What’s your handicap?” Or if you tell someone you played golf that day, the natural question is, “What did you shoot?” The only way to validate your Course Handicap on the first tee is to estab-lish a Handicap Index and post all of your accept-able scores. So how does your golf game measure up? Let’s take a look at the most recent numbers and see where you stack up. Average Joe The national average Handicap Index for men is 14.5, and the average for a male SCGA member is 15.2. The national average for women is 26.9 and for female SCGA members is 23.0. There are 28,379 SCGA members with a sin-gle-digit Handicap Index, and of those, 1,131 have a plus Handicap Index. The lowest Handicap Index in the association is +6.3, and the highest Handicap Index in the association is 40.4. According to the National Golf Foundation, on an 18-hole regulation golf course, approximately half of all golfers will shoot 100 or more, and only a quarter will break 90 consistently. The bulk of play-ers will shoot in the 90–109 range. SCGA.ORG The United States Golf Association Handicap Research Team goes on further to say that golfers will only play to their Course Handicap about 25 percent of the time — this is your target score. Typically a golfer will average 2–4 strokes higher than their Course Handicap. To determine your own target score, add your Course Handicap to the Course Rating of the set of tees being played — not to par for the course. So as an example, my Handicap Index is 29.0, and let’s say I’m going to play Rancho Park from the forward (white) tees, where the Course Rat-ing is 74.4 and the Slope Rating is 125 for women. To find my target score, I add 32 (my Course Handi-cap) to 74.4, yielding a target score of 106. In terms of play frequency, the average golfer in America completes approximately 18 rounds of golf per year. In 2010, the average number of rounds BY FRANCES NEE, SCGA SENIOR DIRECTOR OF HANDICAP AND MEMBERSHIP MARCH/APRIL 2011 | FORE Magazine | 43

Handicap Hints

Frances Nee

How do you measure up with other SCGA golfers? What about nationally?<br /> <br /> Measuring Up<br /> <br /> HOW YOU COMPARE TO THE AVERAGE GOLFER <br /> <br /> are you the “average” golfer? Do you think your Handicap Index is better than the average SCGA member? How many rounds a year do you play and post?<br /> <br /> Each day we use numbers to determine where we stand on things. How long until we get there? How many calories does that have? How much money do I have in my account?<br /> <br /> Things are no different in golf. Typically when golfers get to the first tee, the first question asked is, “What’s your handicap?” Or if you tell someone you played golf that day, the natural question is, “What did you shoot?” The only way to validate your Course Handicap on the first tee is to establish a Handicap Index and post all of your acceptable scores.<br /> <br /> So how does your golf game measure up? Let’s take a look at the most recent numbers and see where you stack up.<br /> <br /> Average Joe <br /> <br /> The national average Handicap Index for men is 14. 5, and the average for a male SCGA member is 15. 2. The national average for women is 26.9 and for female SCGA members is 23.0. <br /> <br /> There are 28,379 SCGA members with a single- digit Handicap Index, and of those, 1,131 have a plus Handicap Index. The lowest Handicap Index in the association is +6.3, and the highest Handicap Index in the association is 40.4. <br /> <br /> According to the National Golf Foundation, on an 18-hole regulation golf course, approximately half of all golfers will shoot 100 or more, and only a quarter will break 90 consistently. The bulk of players will shoot in the 90–109 range.<br /> <br /> The United States Golf Association Handicap Research Team goes on further to say that golfers will only play to their Course Handicap about 25 percent of the time — this is your target score. Typically a golfer will average 2–4 strokes higher than their Course Handicap. To determine your own target score, add your Course Handicap to the Course Rating of the set of tees being played — not to par for the course. So as an example, my Handicap Index is 29.0, and let’s say I’m going to play Rancho Park from the forward (white) tees, where the Course Rating is 74.4 and the Slope Rating is 125 for women. To find my target score, I add 32 (my Course Handicap) to 74.4, yielding a target score of 106.<br /> <br /> In terms of play frequency, the average golfer in America completes approximately 18 rounds of golf per year. In 2010, the average number of rounds Posted by SCGA members was 38. That’s quite a bit higher than the national average. Home scores accounted for 55 percent of posted scores, while 24 percent of scores were posted as away. And we received 14 percent of scores via the Internet. Perhaps surprising to some, only six percent of all scores posted were tournament scores.<br /> <br /> The numbers also reveal some interesting statistics on our club membership. As of Jan. 1, the SCGA had a total of 1,274 golf clubs representing 138,735 members. The average size of a golf course facility was 219 members, while the average size of an affiliate club was 52 members. Los Angeles County has the largest number of member clubs at 469, but Riverside County has the most member golf course facilities at 119. Santa Barbara County has the highest average number of members per club at 163.<br /> <br /> So you can see that the numbers show quite a diversity in the SCGA membership ranks, and true to life, each one of us is unique in how we approach the game. Some are strictly weekday, fair-weather golfers, while others are die-hard, all-weather, anytime golfers. But one thing SCGA members have in common is their commitment to post scores and maintain an accurate Handicap Index.<br /> <br /> So, now that you know where your fellow SCGA members stand, what’s your Handicap Index, and how do you measure up?

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