Golf Monthly’s Letter of the Month for December 2009 was from Michael Mounsey of Newark, Notts. Michael won a Scotty Cameron putter from the Titleist Studio Select Range for his efforts, and opened up the debate on handicaps.

Letter of the Month, December 2009 Issue:

When I joined my first club several years ago, new members were told by the handicap secretary that the handicap you claim should represent an ‘absolute’ of the very best golf you can play. Moreover, you should not be able to equal, or ‘beat’, that handicap more than two or three times a year – and if so you would submit your cards, almost as a matter of ‘honour’, for your handicap to be reduced. It was explained that this was the only way in which fair contests could be achieved between golfers of often widely different standards.

Does this principle still apply – 
or is one’s handicap now meant to represent one’s ‘average’ standard of golf? I ask because I see, week after week, golfers returning to the clubhouse who have, apparently, had ‘poor’ rounds because they failed to beat par, or get 36 Stableford points.  It almost seems as though they expect, as a matter of course, to equal or break par every time.

Editor’s reply
: The principle 
still applies, but I guess it’s
only natural to be disappointed when you fail to achieve what you know you’re capable of.  ‘Myth 3′ in the Handicap FAQs section on adds some further insight.

Why not have your say below, or join in the debate on the Golf Monthly Forum?