GHIN? Didn’t he win the amateur medal at the Masters this year? :smirk:


It amounts to cheating. You don’t get to pick and choose when you think you should post your scores.


Not posting 9 hole scores doesn’t bother me as much as the guys who shoot way below what they normally shoot and claim ah I took a couple mulligans so Im not gonna post it.


This is one of the things that confuses me about the system. You would think guys would want to post low scores, but actually some incentives exist to NOT post better scores because you want to keep the handicap up for one reason or another. Additionally, I would think that in order to post a round, you should obviously play your ball correctly, so a couple mulligans would mean you shouldn’t post… but it sounds like proper “handicap etiquette” would be to post every time you play no matter what??


In theory, you shouldn’t be taking mulligans when you play. If you’re playing a “practice round” you don’t post your score, so I guess it could technically fall under that umbrella.

It’s a double edged sword when it comes to posting false scores to your handicap.

  1. You have people who are posting lower than actual scores to appear like a better golfer. While this helps their self image, it hurts them in competitive games since they’re giving strokes they really shouldn’t be.
  2. The sandbaggers, who are artificially inflating their scores to receive an advantage in competitive games, and receiving strokes or not giving as many as they should be.

IMO, the latter are them more dangerous than the egomaniacs.


Here in the UK only rounds posted in club competitions are used to calculate handicaps, and the club must designate the competition as “qualifying” for handicap purposes - this means the monthly medal/stableford will count, but the novelty 3 legged 9 hole mixed shambles wont.

Upsides are that the system is far more objective, the major downside being that only golf club members can carry an official handicap.


Those who post lower scores to make themselves feel better are fine by me. They’ll get what’s coming to them when they have to play to that handicap whether that be in a money game or a member guest type event. The sandbaggers are the ones who chap my ass. And as far as posting every time you play, I think you know in your heart whether you played a round correctly and if you did so then it should be posted.


Posting 9 hole scores is definitely a great way to lower your handicap - and that can be good and bad.
Good because the ego in you wants a lower handicap
Bad: because its not truly indicative of your ability and you will later be giving up strokes you actually need.

As mentioned its way easier to play well for 9 holes than 18. Also, alot of 9 hole rounds are on lazy Tuesday nights at the twighlight hour with 1 other person and little on the line. Maybe the most relaxing, easiest time to play well.

So if you are looking to lower you cap and give up more strokes… this aint a bad way to do it even if its kinda dumb.


In addition to those reasons, there are plenty of guys who lower their index so they can enter into certain tournaments. Go to any U.S. Open Local Qualifier and you’ll see guys who have no business being there so they slap it around and shoot in the 90’s. These people are the worst.


I play at a local club and play with a lot of the same (very large) group over and over. Also we have an online book system in which I can see who is playing at all times and their handicap is listed next to their names at all times (which is my point, their handicap is very visible to the masses at all times).

I know WAY MORE reverse-sandbaggers (or those who carry “vanity-handicaps”) than I do actual sandbaggers who carry fraudulently high scores/fail to log low scores.
IMO, the ego is more powerful (those who want to carry a low cap for image reasons) than the desire to cheat strokes off people for competitive purposes.


Absolutely! I manage the weekend games at our club and the nice part is that we are self policing. Our group just keeps expanding and everyone kind of falls in line so there isn’t a lot of questionable handicaps. The current exception is one dude that plays mostly with his wife, carries a 10 HI, but comes out firing rounds in the 70’s in every event. Not sure what can be done, people can and do play great for stretches.

My HI has spanned 3.1 to 9.1 since last August so you don’t know which version of me is going to show up. Currently 7.1 but my last 3 rounds are 74, 78, 77. If I do that in a member guest at someone else’s club, I’m instantly labeled a sandbagging cheater.


Another factor is rules adherence. I know the rules and play by the rules so that when if I play in a tournament, I’ve got a number that truly reflects my ability (which is not good 17.6 GHIN). I can’t tell you how many “bogey” golfers I’ve smoked by 15 strokes. It really adds up if you improve your lie, play OB balls as laterals, pick up 3 foot putts, take mulligans and play lost balls as “free” drops. I don’t really care about the vanity handicap guys, I get it, but I’m always amused by the guys who think because they make some pars and bogeys that are pretty much a “bogey” golfer.


another big factor you see is dudes who only takes double bogies and nothing higher.
Yes, if you are a single digit (course) handi, thats the rules… but you will see a lot of double digit handicappers who only take doubles (and nothing higher) and that can lower there score 3-5 shots per round.


Big, big fan of the ESC double. Huge. Need it.


A couple things.

One, you have to remember that handicap is an indication of POTENTIAL, not what you should shoot each time out on the course. If you follow the rules of golf you SHOULD be shooting above your handicap…otherwise the index will drop. So, the idea of a “vanity cap” is sort of inherent to the rules unless you have something to compare it to. (Yes, I know there are MANY people that have an index that’s a little lower than it should be because they don’t play by the rules of golf…)

Two, I cannot understand the negativity towards posting 9 hole scores. It’s allowed by the Rules of Golf. End of story. If you play by the Rules of Golf and post by the Rules of Golf…that’s it. It’s easier to play 9 holes? Maybe if you play the easier 9 on a course every time out. Otherwise, play 9 and post away.


Yeah why is it the rule for single digit handicappers? Was recently on a golf trip, and a guy who plays at a 5 had 2 triples and only gave himself a double.




What is your actual differential for those courses based on the score? You can always compare the USGA probability table to see. That’s a more accurate way to compare than simply score…just for reference.
I’d be willing to bet your differential isn’t that far off.

For example,
You’re a 7.1, shooting 78 from tees Course Rating 72 and Slope Rating 125.
Differential is (78-72) = 6 X 113/125 = 5.4 differential
5.4 - 7.1 = -1.7
Probability is 1 in 10…definitely feasible.

My sandbagger radar goes off when I see the probabilities in the range of 1 in 700 or worse. ESPECIALLY in a tournament setting.



Equitable stroke control - its basically a check on sandbagging. All handicap ranges have a max score that you are supposed to take.


right - but if you’re shaving off 3 triples a round…couldn’t those 3 strokes if it continuously happens bump you out of a single handicap? Or does this relate back to how handicap gauges a golfers potential?