Peter Vine to CHAIR OF GOLF

Your Suggestion / Comment

Good afternoon,

A few stats from this years competition winners (34 competitions beginning in April, ending st. Andrews meeting) :

Average winning score (medals adjusted to stableford) – 42.8 pts

Average winning playing handicap – 21

Winners per playing handicap band
0-9 : 1
10-18 : 12
19 and above : 21
Handicaps of 21 and above won over half of the competitions overall.

I am sure that the handicap committee is already aware of a growing disillusionment from lower handicap golfers that they have little to no chance of winning anything.

The above stats would seem to justify their disillusionment.

What can be done through WHS or the handicap committee to level the playing field?

This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Heswall GC

HGC Response


Dear Peter

Thank you for your analysis of winners during last year. I can assure you that the Handicap Committee (HC) and from their reports, the Golf Committee (GC) are fully aware of the results of all the Club competitions which have and are taking place at HGC.

Whilst your analysis is accurate, the view of the Handicap Committee is given the lengths they go to, to ensure members’ handicaps are as accurate as they can be at any point in time, there is little else they can do to change the outcome of a players performance on any given day.

Every player occasionally plays far better than their handicap suggests and this is something to be encouraged and aspired to in my opinion. However, any trend of continued and exceptional scoring is exactly what the HC look for and should that be seen, they have the tools and authority to take the appropriate action…. and they do.

As an example, these instances of exceptional play can trigger an immediate review by the HC and are subject to changes to a players handicap if required. The HC Chair can also speak to the player in question (if it is deemed appropriate) to assess any other information that might explain an exceptional score. These actions are all over and above the application of a change (+ or -) which the WHS system can also make…automatically.

As such whilst the percentage of winners does reflect the larger field of players with a Hcap of 19+, statistically this only reflects the normal distribution of handicaps in golf anywhere.

I fully appreciate the feeling from outstanding golfers like yourself that you do not compete on a level playing field, but that’s golf in my opinion and I would hope all those members with higher handicaps than you, do aspire to lower theirs as quickly as possible and if they do produce an outstanding score, would welcome the scrutiny the HC does apply to their scores as they occur.

This reply may not help you to change your opinion of higher handicappers and their win expectations compared to those members of your standing. I for one always admire and respect the talents of our most gifted golfers and even at my age, aim to be like them one day! However, in conclusion, I will continue to challenge but also defend the efforts of all on the HC & GC to ensure the competitive playing field at HGC is a level one… for everyone.


Harry Kennedy

Chair of Golf

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