Letters to the Editor…


Dear Allan,

I happened to pick up the above issue today and under “Keeping up with the Joneses” you asked if readers had experienced problems with players playing off forward tees. This has been a much misunderstood area but most golfers understand how things work now.

First of all there is no such thing as being handicapped off a specific tee. The statement that one is handicapped off the forward tees is incorrect. He may play off the forward tees but there will be a lower course rating for those tees as he is playing a shorter course.

Let us assume I am a 10 handicap. If I am playing exactly to my handicap at Durban C.C. and play the Championship tees (rating 72)  I will  score 82. Playing the club tees (rating 70) I will score 80. Playing the forward tees (rating 68) I will score 78. In each case the differential for handicapping purposes is 10. It doesn’t matter which tee you use, your handicap will (in theory) be a true reflection of your ability.

But if a club competition is being played off the Championship tees – say a monthly medal strokeplay- two players of equal ability (14 handicaps say) have entered but one of the two has permission to play off the forward tees. If they both play to their handicaps, the player off the forward tees will have an 82 gross (because he plays a shorter course) nett 68 whereas the player off the Championship tees will score 86, nett 72. Because the player off the forward tees is playing a shorter course his handicap has to be reduced by the difference between the course ratings of the  two tees ie. 72-68=4. The adjusted result of the two players is now: Champ tees 86-14 = 72 nett. Fwd tees 82 – (14-4) = 72 nett.

By now I am sure you have had numerous responses which describe the situation better than I have! Your player who wanted his score of 39 points not to be adjusted is completely wrong.

Thanks for a great monthly publication.

Brian Stokoe