A topic that has come up on Twitter today that I think would be great for a longer form discussion here. I posted that I’ve achieved a new personal best handicap of 1.0!!! Right away someone pointed out that I’m doing that on a shorter course (just under 5500 yards), and par is 68. This person stated that I’d probably be a 4 or 5 on a real golf course.
Now, I’ve been on a heater at my home course lately. The last 3 rounds have been 63-65-64. I’ve never, in my life, had a stretch like this. I will be honest, I don’t feel like I’m good enough to be a 1 handicap, but that’s what the data, based on USGA rating and slope, says I am.
I do believe the home course bump is real. I know where to hit it and where to miss, I know the greens better, and I’m just comfortable. I don’t shoot under par very often when I travel to other courses, but I do feel like my game travels fairly well. I looked at my last 20 rounds away from my home course and computed my “away” handicap. It’s a 2.1, so for me the home course bump is real, but not as real as the Twitter troll was speculating.
I don’t really have a point with this post, just musing on the handicap system and how much having a true home course helps, or hurts.