Another Interesting Result from the Laboratory of Golf

Winter Classic (228 of 237)Friday’s Kildare group had another fun and challenging match where they stepped outside the lines a little bit. Teams were created by putting A, B, C and D handicap players together and competing in a progressive best ball match. The twist came from the fact that the A players had to compete from the gold tees, B and C players from the green tees and D players had to use the white tees. Handicaps were adjusted as appropriate. For the first time in history, Anthony Arvidson actually received a stroke. Don Coolidge had to go down to a 16. It was not only another enjoyable day on the course, it was also another test of the validity of the USGA Handicap System itself.

In theory – IF a handicap is valid and IF a course is rated properly and IF a handicap is correctly adjusted for the tee being played – THEN it shouldn’t make a great deal of difference which tees someone selects for his game. Friday’s results tended to support the theory. The first three finishers played (in order) the white, green and green tees. The bottom three finishers (in reverse order) played the green, white and gold tees. Handicap adjustments ranged from a minus four for Coolidge and plus three for Arvidson, a swing of seven strokes from what they would have been if both played the green tees. Yet, the results showed no strong correlations between tee sets and net finishing position.

Hey! You don’t suppose the USGA is on to something? Maybe if we play by the rules, the field is level.

Low Net

  1. Don Coolidge – 65
  2. George Stelmach – 67
  3. Howard Jones, Tom Hansen, Rob Dobkin, Rick Brown, Joel Temple and Rick May – 69

Low Gross

  1. Anthony Arvidson – 72
  2. Joel Temple and Rick May – 77

Author: h. Alton Jones


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