Mission Statement: To make points others are afraid to make. To educate people so they will reject false narratives. The reward? To see the truth enter the public discourse. There is nothing more rewarding than to see people use our information — sometimes acknowledged, sometimes not, it matters not to us — to spread the truth. Sometimes they link to us, sometimes they quote us. Other times, they absorb our points then say it in their own ways.
Fonseca, Regular Guy Golfer: In Fonseca’s Stephanie Wei podcast and his latest TWIGB, he discussed the USGA rule change regarding the reporting of scores for the purpose of establishing a handicap. As you probably know, it is no longer allowable to report a score for a round in which you played alone.
My view is that it is a bad change. The funny thing is, for me, if I were going to cheat on my handicap, I’d do it to make my score lower, not higher. It’d be far cooler to say, “I’m a 3-handicap,” than to say, “I am a 17-handicap and just won my local Crapville Country Club handicap tournament.” Of course, if you won the Crapville Country Club Net by sandbagging, the trophy would serve only to remind you what a piece of shit you are.
To the people who say they use their handicaps for “big money” games, I say you are a fool. If you are betting more than you can afford to lose, you already lost. And if you don’t like the terms of a bet, don’t bet. Additionally, if some guy is playing on his home course, but his handicap is based on scores from a golf tour of new courses, his handicap is inaccurate anyway. Likewise if yours is based on your home course and you are playing a new course. Negotiate before you tee off, and if you don’t want to bet, don’t.
I always liked turning in scores from solo rounds to keep my handicap active. If I only played fifteen or twenty times in a year, I wanted all my rounds to count. However, in reality, I like the idea of solo rounds more than actually playing them. I have only played about ten solo rounds in my entire life. I once bought a tiny bag, pulled all the clubs I seldom used, and walked a couple of nines after work, finishing just before sunset. Those were two of my most enjoyable days on the course. But I never got into the habit. Why? Because I much preferred the driving range.
I played the vast majority of my rounds of golf with friends. (While waiting for the idiots on the green ahead to plumb-bob their three-putts, I had company to help me mock.) When alone, I practiced on the range and practice greens, where I could hit more balls in a much more condensed time frame. I’ve always found the range more fun.
However, I always liked the concept of solo rounds. Maybe if I’d been a better player, I would have felt rounds were superior. As it was, I always felt the range was the best place to be, and I always enjoyed it more. But I did want my solo rounds — played when scouting out a tournament course, in most cases — to count if I played them. I pay $50 to play, and the USGA tells me I can’t report my score?
Anyway, enough about me. Fonseca said he played quite a bit of solo golf and wanted to report those scores. But that wasn’t what really jumped out at me. First this from the TWIGB:
When I maintained a handicap at a park district course near my home, I loved nothing more than to run out of the office and onto the tee box for a quick nine holes (or 18 in the summer). Like many golfers, I became obsessed with lowering my handicap; however, since I never play in tournaments or money games, my GHIN was nothing more than a vanity. I just wanted to say I was a “single-digit handicap.”
Exactly! A vanity! That’s my mindset, too. Padding your handicap would be counterproductive.
And this from the podcast:
“I play on some municipal courses that are barely golf courses.”
Those courses are the heart-and-soul of golf. The golf media ignores people playing such courses. Their coverage, and therefore the vibe surrounding golf in general, tends toward the country club sect. Or even the pros on the PGA Tour. NFL players make a fortune, and NFL owners are insanely wealthy. However, football also strives on the level of small town high schools that play on football fields that are… barely football fields.
Anyway, I always like to hear from people who are Regular Guy Golfers. No offense, Stephanie, but most of us are not ever going to ever be able to say things like, “I generally only play alone when I am playing European courses.” And then Matt Ginella talks about exotic golf trips, some of which cost more than most of us will ever spend in a lifetime of playing.
We need more focus on regular guys.
[Note: I just noticed Fonseca has posted a podcast interview of Shaun Micheel. That could be interesting, if Micheel doesn’t toe the “everything is awesome” company line.]