Friday, October 7, 2011

Ask Linda #358-Handicap reduction incorrectly calculated

Linda, cannot find this in the rulebook at all:

Match Play.

In a 4-ball, my partner declared his handicap correctly on the 1st tee at 17. The opponent was doing the adjustment (3/4) and all agreed to my partner receiving 14 shots.

Playing the number 14 handicap hole, my partner was playing for a 5 (net 4) and strategically played 3 shots onto the green.

On the green, the opposition approached my partner, saying that they had made an error. He did not have 14 shots but 13. (Correct, he did have 13.) All 4 players had made the error and accepted his strokes given as 14 up to that point.

My partner had, by now, strategically played 3 shots. He putted out for a 5 net 4.

Before playing the next hole, our team lodged a complaint; that as the 3 shots had been strategically played, the opposition could not now re-adjust the shot hole, giving our team little chance to win the hole. The opposition noted this, and we agreed to refer to the rulebook. We cannot find this in the rulebook.


Dear Lou,

In a match play competition, players must provide their correct handicap at the start of the match. It is the player’s responsibility to know at which holes he will give or receive a handicap stroke. The fact that your opponent miscalculated the 75% handicap reduction, and that no one caught the error at the beginning of the match, does not relieve the player of his responsibility to insure that his handicap is correct [Rule 6-2a and the Note to Rule 6-2].

The ruling should be that the player was not entitled to receive a 14th handicap stroke. A claim may not be considered when the facts were previously known to the player [Rule 2-5, penultimate paragraph]. Your partner knew that his handicap was 17. It was his responsibility to figure out that 75% of 17 is 12.75, which rounds to 13, not 14.

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