Anti-Handicap and Embracing Variability

I had a pretty bad round last weekend. Scored a 10 on the par 5 8th (first drive hazard, second drive OB) and a 9 on the par 5 10th (first drive hazard never crossing land, second drive hazard, three putt). No birdies, but some decent pars and some decent shots. I’m trying to embrace the variability in golf and not get too upset when a bad round sneaks in. And sometimes I’m successful. But I always wonder how bad is bad enough that it’s OK to be pissed about it.

I heard about the anti-handicap for the first time ever. I’ve read it’s the worst 8 of your last 20 and I’ve read it’s the worst 12 of your last 20. I like the 8 of 20 math, so I used that.

HC 8.1, AHC 12.9

4.8 is a lot closer than I would have guessed. My worst differential is 15.6.

The answer is: Don’t shoot higher than my worst differential. By the time I get off the course and look it up, I’ll have put things in perspective and I’ll be mad for about 10 seconds. Or at least that’s the plan.

Anyone want to share their AHC?

P.S. Like @Bh18 I miss the activity on this board, so I decided to post something and be part of the solution.


That’s interesting, hadn’t heard of that before. Fur me, right now though, I don’t have or maintain a handicap but I do know where my typical range of scores are

The AHC idea dress seem to fit in well with Jon’s “Expectations Management” … which is always useful to help keep things in perspective!

My current HC index is 20.7, while my ACH index is 27.6, so about a 7-stroke difference. I have heard of the anti-handicap previously and agree that thinking about it is a really good tool for expectations management.

Prior to 2023 I was using a non-USGA platform to keep my handicap (which was a USGA conforming index) and had an anti-cap more in the 4-5 range, although my index was more in the 23-24 range so my anit-cap was about the same.

Our Men’s Association does this. Handicap is applied for every event, the handicap for their events are solely based upon your performance in them. There were too many guys coming in with reported 10-12 caps and low and behold in the events you would see 76, 75, 78. So honest guys are getting shortchanged, when people are scoring like 62, 63, 64 when their cap gets applied for LOW NET prizes. Doing this has definitely evened out the events. In our Match Play events, it sux having to give someone strokes on 3 or 4 holes when it isn’t warranted! I haven’t played in them for 2 years now because I gotta work on Sundays… hopefully that changes soon too.

That’s what an Association I belong to does as well. They only use handicaps from performance in the “league” so no GHINs or external handicaps. It has made competition very competitive with no “surprise 61 nets”. Top scores each week par for the course +/- 1-2. It has had a very levelling effect on the competitions.

That’s the only way to fly in my opinion. Mano y Mano in the leagues. Good to hear!