Monday, October 19, 2009

Ask Linda #166-Most improved golfer

Hello Linda,

Choosing the Most Improved Player of the year…do we use Improved Factor or Improved Index?

Thank you for your help.

Regards, Lulu

Dear Lulu,

I would recommend that you use the USGA formula for finding the Improvement Factor that was developed by Dean Knuth. The formula allows you to fairly compare improvement at different levels.

A golfer who improves from 20.0 to 10.0 has not improved as much as a golfer whose handicap index drops from 10.0 to scratch (0.0). Even though both golfers have shaved 10 points off their Index, the drop becomes substantially more difficult for a player whose Index is lower. The drop from 20.0 to 10.0 is more comparable to a drop from 5.0 to scratch; these two drops would have about the same Improvement Factor using the formula.

Here is how to calculate a player’s Improvement Factor:

Add 12 to a player's Handicap Index® at the start of a season (A), then add 12 to the Index at the end of the season (B). Divide A by B, calculating to three decimal places to get the player's Improvement Factor.

Let’s do the math for Daisy, whose Index in April was 18.4. At the end of October, her Index was 14.4.

Step A: 18.4+12=30.4

Step B: 14.4+12=26.4

Step C: 30.4 divided by 26.4 = 1.151

Daisy’s Improvement Factor is 1.151.

Now let’s compare Daisy to Rose, whose Index dropped from 10.7 to 6.7.

Step A: 10.7+12=22.7

Step B: 6.7+12=18.7

Step C: 22.7 divided by 18.7 = 1.213

Rose has the higher Improvement Factor, and she will be your Most Improved Golfer. Even though both players improved their Index by the exact same number of points, it is more difficult to take four points off your Index when you are a single-digit handicapper than when your Index is in the 20’s.

You might want to establish some other criteria to winning the award, such as:

1. A player must have a minimum number of scores in his handicap record for the season.

2. A player is not eligible if her Index has been lowered by a reduction penalty.

3. A player may win the award only once.

Most Improved Golfer is a coveted award – let’s give it to the right person!


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