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Improving Golf League Play

The most common gripe involving weekly league golfers is that certain players do not perform to their total ability level at all times. The name for this is "sandbagging," and it's also used in other sports (such as bowling).

Sandbagging occurs when the golfer knows that he has won his match, and might purposely play poorly on the final two holes. Other sandbagging techniques include golfers handing in only cards that have poor scores on them, and not their good rounds.

Golf has always been a game of honesty and integrity, and we shouldn't let the few cheaters amongst us to ruin our great game. Having said that, there are strategies and rules we can implement to reduce the amount of sandbagging that occurs in league play.

Grouping Golfers

One way is to group golfers in certain ranges:

  • An 18, 19, or 20 handicapper should be considered equal and play as D Golfers on different teams, with NO strokes being assigned to anyone.
  • C Golfers could be the 14-17 handicap golfers.
  • B Golfers would be 10 - 13.
  • A Golfers would be single digit.

Assigning Strokes Only on Par 4s

Another way to make the game fairer is to assign strokes on only par 4s. In this way, par 3s would be eliminated from stroke giving and the playing field would be more leveled.

I've always been an avid opponent of 100% handicap systems. It isn't fair for better golfers to have to be penalized for their efforts and ability. It's much easier for a high handicapper to shoot a lower score than it is for low handicapper to shoot professional scores. Let's make it more fair for everyone.

Keep playing golf,

Robert R. LaPorte

"the Golf Nut"

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