Updated: Jan 21, 2020
NATO Golfers, as you know, there has been a lot of discussion on improving our ability to measure member handicaps for events.
The biggest challenge we have faced is the complexity and layers of process to submit scores and ensure fluid updates within the Belgium System.
It is our intent to implement an Club System. There preference would be one that allows transparency and issuance of official handicap indexes. There are multiple options, as the World Golf Handicap System comes on line. These Options include one of the three below courses of action. Each of these options are separate of the individual approaches used by the clubs you may belong to. Affecting this decision will be the update on pricing from providers for an internal system, once the World System is implemented. We will not have this data until May.
In the short term we will implement Option 3, as an interim solution for at least the next six months. Please download and install the Handicap Tracker Application, mentioned in Option 3 below. Enter your results each time you play a round of golf. This will allow a starting baseline where we can generally see movement in the future. Do not worry if your handicap goes up and down. It is a fluid number. It is more difficult to go up than down. Do not worry about a bad round. Put in all rounds, regardless of time of year or weather.
When signing up for an NGC event, starting with the upcoming Celtic Quaich, I will email and ask for your updated Handicap Index, as part of putting groups together and measure event results. I understand the new application will not affect the Quaich this weekend, but I will still ask for your current handicap. It would be very unlikely that an NGC member would have the same handicap index for two or more events in a row. If you are playing golf between events, your number will change, up or down. If your handicap does not shift after two events, the Captain will be asking questions.......
1. Purchase and maintain an official system for NATO Golf Club, which allows the direct input of scores and daily update of handicap. This will result in each NATO Golfer having an official handicap card, issues by NATO Golf Club.
a. Pros -- This would allow for an internal system that provides transparency of member handicaps and peer review amongst members. Allows for input of scores at the end of each round and immediate update of handicap. Through this system we can require attestation or allow for the honour system on rounds played and entered. Our concern remains with handicaps being too high, rather than low.
b. Cons -- Such a system will come as significant cost and require the raising of membership dues to cover the cost. This system will be limited to handicap and card. It will not allow for additional individual statistical tracking of your game and use for game improvement purposes in this regard.
2. Require NGC Members to purchase an annual subscription to a Club Approved Handicap Smart Phone Application (i.e., The Grint https://thegrint.com/). We may also look at 18Birdies.com as an alternative, depending on how they bring on the system.
a. Pros -- The use of these applications allows for groups to sign up for individual events, and see live score updates during the event, like a scoreboard. They also allow for GPS shot tracking and capturing statistics during your round. These can be useful when you are looking at game improvement strategies with your practice. With The Grint, an official club would be formed, as NATO Golf Club, allowing the central review of scores. Real time handicap updates and official handicap card.
b. Cons -- Cost is approximately $40 USD per year for the application. Decentralizes administration and requires administrative follow up to ensure that each NGC Member signs up for and maintains the application. If any NGC member chooses not to, places the club in a difficult position to verify handicap for club events. Round requires attestation, though it is easily done in the application by another application member.
3. Require NGC Members to sign up for and use Handicap Tracker App, which operates on IOS operating systems or SwingU, which operate on both IOS and Android. Both applications are free. These applications are being used by at least two NGC Members and I am currently testing it.
a. Pros -- A free system does not require commitment. Easy to plug in scores and update handicap. This is the easiest approach. Allows for instant handicap update at the end of each round.
b. Cons -- Like the other application does not allow for central management and confirmation. Additionally, though the handicap measurement is legitimate, it does not issue an official handicap card. Results would be used for internal club purposes only. Completely relies on honour system, as it does not allow linking friends or groups. Does not allow for central review of validation. Can cause issues as it allows for doubt.
Email any feedback to me at firstname.lastname@example.org