I have been asked what is a ‘System 36’ Handicap in golf and how is it applied. This is one day or one event golf handicapping system similar to a Callaway System or a Peoria System. It allows golfers who do not have an official handicap to play and compete in golf tournaments.
The method is popular in the Asia Pacific Region and finds use in corporate outings and charity tournaments when many players do not have an official handicap. It has some limitations but helps resolve the problem of players or organisers ‘guessing’ what a handicap might be and provides an ‘even playing field’. No one can be accused of being a ‘bandit’!
Basically System 36 rewards players who make birdies and penalises players who make triple-bogeys or worse. Everyone’s ‘handicap’ is determined after the round according to System 36 requirements. Players who have an official handicap do not use it that for the day’s competition.
Here’s how System 36 works:
Throughout the round, the golfer accrues points based on the following formula:
o Double bogey or worse 0 points
o Bogey 1 point
o Par or better 2 points
At the end of the round, points earned are tallied. The total is subtracted from 36, and that number is the golfer’s handicap. The Net score or Stableford score can then be calculated using this handicap. A maximum handicap of 36 is allotted using this system
For example, let’s say you play 90 strokes during an 18 hole round. Along the way you have one birdie, seven pars, eight bogeys, and two double-bogeys or worse. First, calculate your accrued points:
8 (pars and birdie) x 2 (points per par or better) = 16
8 (bogeys) x 1 (point per bogey) = 8
2 (doubles or worse) x 0 (points per double) = 0
So your points total is 24. Now subtract this total from 36 = 12. For the day’s competition 12 is your allotted handicap. Now apply this to your gross score: 90 – 12 = 78. In this example 78 is your net score. Alternatively calculate the Stableford points as you normally would for a 12 handicap player.
Can System 36 be manipulated or ‘sandbagged’?
In order to ‘work’ this system you must score birdies consistently and avoid anything more than a double bogey. If you are already at that level, then you probably aren’t going to be playing in a tournament where ‘real’ handicaps aren’t being used.
Playing safe when you cannot score a birdie is one way to maximise a net result. For instance when a birdie may only be achieved by risking a huge water carry, laying up and taking anything less than triple keeps the score neutral.
As you can see in this table, holes with a score of par, bogey or double bogey do not change the net score.
Only holes over double bogey increase a net score; only holes under par reduce a net score.
The person with a combination of the most birdies and the least number of triple bogeys (or worse) will win. These are the most consistent and safe golfers. Better golfers have a small advantage over normally high handicappers as they are more likely to score birdies (or better) than to have ‘blow-out’ holes which ruin the net result.
Of course you could maximise this strategy by really taking advantage of par fives and going for eagles. However someone who can execute this is probably already a scratch golfer or pro who playing in a scratch events. The point is that, yes the system can be manipulated; that is if you’re Dustin Johnson or Jordan Spieth. The system allows the person who is really playing well on the day to win and that’s the way it should be!
Golfers need only count and record their score for each hole, signing the card together with the player’s partner; the rest is up to the match committee. If you are considering using this system for an event consider the time needed to calculate the results but also make sure you are clear about how the system works. It’s never a good idea to keep players waiting too long after completion.
By: David Watson
The 2020 AGM Notice kan be downloaded here:
And here is the map of Katang restaurant, Chao Lai Road in Cha-Am (next to the backside of Cattarya condotel)
Posted by Paul Graff
Starting 1 January 2020, the World Handicap System™ is introduced, but implementing will take place during the year 2020, depending on the country or region.
The World Handicap System (WHS) unifies the six existing handicap systems and provides every player in the world with a consistent measure of ability. The WHS enables players of different abilities, from anywhere in the world, to play with or compete against others on a fair basis.
It is still unclear however, if or when the new world handicapping system will be implemented in Thailand, because the new world handicapping system will bring about several issues for Thailand.
Firstly, most Thai golfers and expat golfers in Thailand do not belong to a golf club. This creates the issue of how will Thai nationals and foreign expats that do not belong to a club go about obtaining and maintaining their handicaps, will they need to become members of golf clubs to have the opportunity to have a worldwide officially recognised handicap? This could have a huge negative effect on the state of golf within the country and ramifications for the many golfers and clubs.
Secondly and perhaps the most worrying thing about the proposal is the need to have a designated organisation within each country to implement the system and ensure the integrity and application of the system within the country.
The only organisation in Thailand that can issue any kind of official handicap at present is the Thai Golf Association (TGA) so an obvious choice for this responsibility would be this organisation, but the question is wether the TGA is capable of coping with this task.
Therefore the universal handicapping system, although a wonderful idea and a long time coming, would be difficult to integrate into the Thai golfing culture as certain requirements simple cannot be met here in Thailand.
The golfing culture in Thailand would simply not change or keep pace with the rest of the world in handicapping terms and it is not likely that the universal handicapping system will have any kind of impact on golf handicapping here in Thailand.
For the Cha-Am Golf Club, there is nothing else to do than wait and see what initiatives the TGA will take. Until that time, our club will apply the 36 handicapping system for larger tournaments and we encourage our members to maintain their handicap in their home country, as far as that is not Thailand.
Posted by Paul Graff
Sources: https://www.usga.org https://birdie.in.th/en/blog/news/world-golf-handicapping-system---impact-on-thailand--163
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