UNDERSTANDING THE USGA HANDICAP SYSTEM

What is a USGA handicap?
20140825_145027-EFFECTS
I hear this question many times in a given week, especially with the golf season beginning. So, to answer the question let’s first define a USGA handicap index. The United States Golf Association (USGA) defines a Handicap Index as
“the service mark used to indicate a measurement of a player’s potential ability on a course of standard playing difficulty. It is expressed as a number taken to one decimal place (e.g., 10.4) and is used for conversion to a Course Handicap”.
The most important thing to understand is that the handicap index is a measurement of your potential playing ability. This is different than what most people think of when they see a handicap index. Most think of handicaps as a difference of ones average score and par. For example. If you average 80 and par is 72 then your handicap is 8. Unfortunately this method doesn’t take into account the difficultly of the course; some courses play harder than others!
A USGA Handicap index is measured through a calculation using the player’s best scores. These best scores are determined by calculating the Handicap Differential for each score. The Handicap Index is “calculated by taking 96 percent of the average of the best Handicap Differential(s)”.

So what is a handicap differential?

This is a calculation to determine just how good the score you shot was given the golf course. For instance 80 at Oakmont is going to be a whole lot better then 80 at your local municipal course. So the USGA uses the slope and rating of the golf course to determine the handicap differential. Once these differentials have been determined then the best differentials are chosen to calculate the handicap index.
Handicap differential = (adjusted gross score-USGA Course rating) x 113/slope rating.

#12 at Rocky Gap

80 at Oakmont vs 80 at the Local Muni

Oakmont Green Tees
Rating- 75.8
Slope- 140
Handicap differential= (80- 75.8) x 113/140 = 3.4
Muni Blue Tees
Rating- 70.7
Slope- 124
Handicap differential =(80- 70.7) x 113/124 = 8.5
As you can see 80 isn’t always the same. And based on this example the 80 shot at Oakmont would be used to determine your handicap index.

Isn’t my League Handicap the Same Thing as a USGA Handicap?

Usually the answer is No. Most league handicaps are a rolling average of each week’s score. For example the Wednesday Night Industrial League handicap is calculated by averaging the number of scores you have posted, subtracting it from a baseline score of 34, and taking 80% of that number.
For example if you posted 4 scores of 40, 42, 44, and 45 your league handicap would be vacillated as such: 40+42+44+45= 171. 171/4= 42.75. 42.75-34=8.75. 8.75*.8= 7. 7 is now your league handicap. This number can and probably will change week to week depending on how consistent you are on Wednesdays.

Do I need a USGA Handicap?

The answer depends on what you will use a USGA Handicap for. Are you playing in events that require a handicap index? Are you playing in a USGA event? Do you want to track your overall golfing performance not just what you do in a league? Then you need and want a USGA Handicap.

How to become a director of marketing for a golf facility

Back nine at Rocky GapWhen many individuals start in the golf business, they dive right into learning how to become a head professional or general manager, later looking for the opportunity to manage a facility and work in the business side of the industry. Others enjoy playing competitively, and like to teach others how to lower their scores. These individuals typically choose to become teaching professionals.

There is an alternative however to these career paths that’s a great option to someone that may not have a game that’s sharp enough to make a living teaching and playing, or the experience necessary to land a general manager position just yet.

The alternative is to become a director of marketing. Continue reading

How to Repair a Broken Shaft

It’s the middle of summer and the frustrations of the golf swing have set in.  This is the time when we see a great deal of broken shafts come into our golf lab for repair.

Below are the simple steps and equipment/material that you will need to repair the club you just snapped over your knee!

Equipment List (product can be found at www.golfworks.com)

  1. Vise
  2. Protective gloves
  3. Golf shaft epoxy (Part A and B)
  4. Golf shaft
  5. Tongue depressor
  6. Blow torch or heat gun
  7. Ferrule
  8. Sander
  9. Wire brush

The first step in repairing a broken shaft is to get rid of the old shaft.  When removing the old shaft first determine the composition of the shaft.

If the shaft is something other than steel, you will need a special tool remove it, and I would recommend taking the club to a local club fitter. If the shaft is steel you will not need any special equipment and can do it yourself.

1. Remove the ferrule from the shaft

The ferrule is the little plastic piece above the hosel of the clubhead.  The ferrule is more for looks than anything else but needs to be removed before we can apply heat to the clubhead.

To remove the ferrule, apply heat to the ferrule for 10-20 seconds, which should be just enough to soften the plastic.  Once the plastic has softened, cut the ferrule in half in a vertical fashion using a knife.

**Insert Picture**

2. Heat the clubhead to break epoxy, remove broken shaft

The second step in removing that broken shaft is to heat the hosel of the clubhead to break the epoxy. To do this, simply apply heat to the hosel using a heat gun or blow torch. Also, if using a heat gun you will need to apply heat longer than if you use a blow torch.  Apply heat to the hosel for 30 seconds to one minute, depending on your method.

IMG_0214

Heating the hosel.

Once time has lapsed, and wearing protective gloves, check to see if the epoxy has loosened by twisting the clubhead. If the clubhead moves from the shaft then the epoxy has broken its seal and you can remove the clubhead from the shaft. If the clubhead and shaft are still attached, apply heat to the hosel for 30 seconds and check after. Continue heating the hosel every 30 seconds until the epoxy breaks its seal.

IMG_0215

Clubhead removed from shaft.

3. Clean the hosel

Once the clubhead is removed from the shaft clean the excess epoxy from the hosel using a wire brush.  Be sure to remove all excess epoxy to ensure a strong bond when re-applying new epoxy to the new shaft.

4. Prep the new shaft

The next step involves prepping the tip of the new shaft.  To do this, simply sand the last two inches of the tip end of the shaft to remove the glossy chrome finish.  This is done to provide a rough enough surface for the new epoxy to form a strong bond with.

6. Mix the epoxy

Most epoxy varieties come in two parts and will need to be mixed together. That is, the epoxy will not become “activated” unless the contents of one bottle is mixed with the contents of the other.  Read the directions and mix the two parts together.  Most brands are mixed on a 1:1 ratio, and you will only need a small amount of each.  For one club, no more than a dime sized amount will be needed.

7. Apply a new ferrule

Once the epoxy has been mixed, place the tip end of the shaft into the epoxy.  You will only need a very small amount on the shaft.  Take your new ferrule and slide it onto the tip end of the golf shaft.  In order to make sure the ferrule is in place, use the hosel of the clubhead to push the ferrule into place.  Once in place remove the clubhead from the shaft.

8. Apply epoxy to the shaft and in the hosel

Finally apply a small amount of epoxy to the shaft and insert the shaft into the hosel.  Spin the shaft in the hosel to ensure that epoxy spreads evenly throughout the hosel.  Apply a second coat if needed.  Set the shaft in the hosel.  Align the shaft and allow the epoxy to set for the recommended amount of time.

Summary

Hopefully repairs will be limited to only those that are sustained through the normal course of play. But even if you do have to repair one due to someone’s angry outburst, these steps can get the club repaired and back into service almost as quickly as the break happened.


Want to stay in the know and receive future posts from the Allegany College of Maryland PGM program? Click the subscribe button and each will show up right in your inbox! How easy is that?!

Allegany College of Maryland Golf Team Finishes Season Strong

2015 Region XX PlaqueMaryland JUCO Conference Championship
The ACM Golf team competed in the Maryland JUCO Conference Championship on Thursday April 30th at South River Country Club in Edgewater, MD.  The team finished in second place behind Hagerstown Community College firing a team total of 322.  Kevin McDaniel finished the season first team all-conference, and freshmen Patrick Cook III and Tyler Brown finished the season as second team all-conference.

NJCAA Region XX Championship
The ACM team then traveled to the 2015 NJCAA Region XX Championship held at Down River Golf Club in Everett, PA.  This two-day event determined who would represent the region in the NJCAA Division II National Championship.

ACM fired a first day total of 322 led by freshman Patrick Cook III who shot 78.  Tyler Brown shot 80 and Kevin McDaniel fired an 81.  Jahmar Seltzer rounded the team score out by shooting 84 while Dominique Johnson shot 91.

Entering Day 2 of the championship ACM was 16 strokes behind leaders Hagerstown Community College and behind second place College of Southern Maryland by 7 strokes.  The team started off very good turning the front nine at a combined team total of 8 over par.  As both Hagerstown and College of Southern Maryland were struggling ACM was leading a come-back charge.

The back nine went well for the Trojans but the team fell short in the end.  Hagerstown’s Erik Williams fired a second day total, 1 under 71 to lead Hagerstown to its first Region Championship in 9 years.  Allegany did however shoot the lowest round on day 2 propelling them into 2nd place for the tournament.

Allegany’s Tyler Brown led the team firing a 74.  His two day total of 154 secured him an individual spot in the National Championship.

The NJCAA Division II National Championship will be held at Goose Pond Country Club in Scottsboro, AL May 19th through May 22nd.

Allegany College of Maryland Golf Team in Full Swing

ACM golf team on range

ACM players warming up on practice tee.

On Thursday, March 19, 2015 the Allegany College of Maryland (ACM) Golf Team started its golf season at the College of Southern Maryland Spring Invitational held at Swan Point Yacht & Country Club.

ACM freshman Jahmar Seltzer had the top finish for the Trojans by shooting an 82 and tying for third place individually.

“I just followed my coach’s advice in preparing for the tournament,” said Seltzer as he explained what led to his early season success. Continue reading

How to build a golf business while hanging out at the practice range

Building a career on the practice range People choose to work in the golf industry for many reasons. One of which is you don’t see too many cube farms at golf courses, and professionals spend a lot of their time outside on the practice range teaching or interacting with members and customers.

If you really like working on your game while also helping others break whatever score they’ve set as a goal, you may be interested in becoming a teaching professional and possibly even one day opening up your own golf instruction business. Continue reading