Revised USGA Handicapping System

After much previous debate it was decided to try and implement the successful handicap system that Mike Smith ran by calculating a USGA handicap then basing the Loose Cannons playing handicap capped on 3 above this USGA handicap.

I looked at Mike Smith’s existing software as well as the spreadsheets containing all the data. I also started to test a new online web based handicap system which my be a better option going forward. The  results and review so far are as below.

After a few weeks of testing this system we can decide if we wish to proceed with this annual paid system – so far the results are very good with realistic handicaps now for everyone and from the results of the first game using this system at Tropicana on 30th July 2013 the spread of scores look better with no 50 point wins …. this should make it a fairer opportunity for all players at all levels to compete and stand a chance of winning.

Loose Cannons Scoring Spreadsheet
I spent quite a number of days reviewing the Loose Cannons scores in the various spreadsheets from Mike Smith as of 15/11/2012 and the sheets that Ray Funnell has used since that time. I have taken all the score from 2013 for everyone plus the scores from 2012 from August to December and created a new and hopefully clearer spreadsheet. The older spreadsheets appear to have missing score data prior to August 2012 and also have extra columns, added rows for formatting – I have simplified this in the new spreadsheet allowing ease of use and ease of sorting by names or any other column.
The new spreadsheet has all scores input from August 2012 to date. The column titled USGA Handicap is a new calculated handicap based on a new online system I am currently testing (see below). These calculated handicaps are based on all scores from 2013 and if needed some scores from 2012. For those players who have not enough scores I have used the previous USGA handicap as calculated by Mike Smith in 15/11/2102 or they are blank as they have not played sufficient games.
Ray – I would suggest you use these handicaps for the next game at Tropicana. I will update this sheet on a weekly basis as well as generating weekly revised USGA handicaps. Please note they the Loose Cannons Handicap is capped at 3 above the calculated USGA Handicap. In the spreadsheet the capped scores are in bold/red under the KLLC Handicap column.
Handicapping Software
I have tried to get Mike Smith’s handicap application to work – this is essentially an Excel spreadsheet system with Macros to run the various calculations. I have loaded this but unfortunately the various calculations and input routines do not work due to runtime errors which I feel is due to the incompatibility between Excel versions and perhaps the older version of the software that Mike Smith has. I feel this may be a good time to review what we use and perhaps go for a new online system which will not have these problems.
I have looked at many systems that can be used for handicap calculations – we of course need one that can calculate handicaps for a large group – we have around 80 names on the Loose Cannons database list although only about 20-30 are really active. One system I am testing right now and seems to be excellent is from which has both a desktop and a web based system. The desktop version is a Windows only application and would need one Administrator to enter all scores and generate all reports as well as printing handicap cards, etc. I am testing the web based system where all data is input online and all USGA calculations can be done based on the past scores input. There are comprehensive reports that can be generated and you can easily customise your own reports. Handicap cards can be printed by the Admin as well as any individual golfer. All golfers will have access to this online system so they can loo up their scores, print reports and print their own handicap card. We can assign a few key people as admins to input scores and manage the system. I will be sending out details by e-mail to everyone later with how to access this system. I will be passing out handicap cards for everyone next week based on scores from August 2012 to date.
I have this system on a 60 day free trial after which time we can decide to purchase. I would recommend we go for the online versions as this gives us greater flexibility, ease of updated versions and access by al golfers from any computer at anytime. The online web system is pieced based on the no of golfers:
1-25 golfers $96 per year
26-50 golfers $144 per year
51-100 golfers $240 per year
We currently have 80 golfers on our list although there are less than 50 golfers really active.
I would propose we discuss over the coming weeks after you see the system working and decide if we want to commit to this system
I have already input all scores for everyone from Aug 2012 to present and have generated handicaps for everyone (except those without sufficient scores.) 
Below is a sample handicap calculation for myself for reference on the calculations used:
Stuart Taylor – How USGA Index is calculated.
1. Handicap Setup is as follows …
The table below is used to determine the number of handicap differentials to use :
Number of Acceptable Scores Differential(s) to be Used
5 or 6 Lowest 1
7 or 8 Lowest 2
9 or 10 Lowest 3
11 or 12 Lowest 4
13 or 14 Lowest 5
15 or 16 Lowest 6
17 Lowest 7
18 Lowest 8
19 Lowest 9
20 Lowest 10
Stuart has 20 scores so the highlighted parameters are used to determine which scores to use for handicapping
2. The Differentials for these scores are calculated…
Date Adjusted Grs Score Score Type Course Played Tee Course Rating Course Slope Differential Used
7/23/2013 93 KGSAAS White 69.0 128 21.2
7/16/2013 90 Kota Permai Golf & Country Club White 72.0 113 18.0 Used
7/9/2013 89 Bukit Unggul Country Club White 70.5 115 18.2 Used
7/2/2013 95 Rahman Putra White 71.9 129 20.2 Used
5/28/2013 96 Staffield Resort – N&S Course White 70.5 115 25.1
5/21/2013 87 Bukit Kemuning White 70.5 115 16.2 Used
5/14/2013 92 Saujana Impian G. & C.C. White 70.5 115 21.1
4/29/2013 92 IOI Golf Resort White 67.7 112 24.5
4/16/2013 94 KGSAAS White 69.0 128 22.1
4/11/2013 97 Orna – East/West Course White 70.5 115 26.0
4/2/2013 94 Bukit Unggul Country Club White 70.5 115 23.1
3/12/2013 86 KRTU White 71.0 130 13.0 Used
3/5/2013 95 Saujana Impian G. & C.C. White 70.5 115 24.1
2/26/2013 86 Bukit Unggul Country Club White 70.5 115 15.2 Used
2/19/2013 99 Templer Park Country Club White 70.5 115 28.0
2/5/2013 86 Nilai Springs – P&M Course White 70.5 115 15.2 Used
1/29/2013 92 The Club @Bukit Utama White 72.0 120 18.8 Used
1/22/2013 89 Perangsang Templer White 69.6 130 16.9 Used
1/15/2013 95 Tropicana White 72.0 120 21.7
1/8/2013 90 KGSAAS White 69.0 128 18.5 Used
The equation for calculating a differential is …
Diff = (Adjusted Gross Score – Rating) X (113 / Slope)
3. Use the differentials to calculate a USGA Index
Differentials ‘used’ are added together…
170.2 = 18.0 + 18.2 + 20.2 + 16.2 + 13.0 + 15.2 + 15.2 + 18.8 + 16.9 + 18.5
Then divide the total number used
Average differentials = 170.2 / 10  = 17.020
Multiply average by 96%.
USGA Index = 17.020 x 0.96         USGA Index = 16.3 (Digits after tenths place are deleted)
Final USGA Index = 16.3

Rules of Golf – Ball Lost or Out of Bounds

BALL LOST OR OUT OF BOUNDS Provisional Ball Rule 27 ( From R&A quick guide to the rules)
If your ball is lost (outside a water hazard) or is out of bounds you must play another ball from the spot where the last shot was played, under penalty of one stroke, i.e. stroke and distance.
You are allowed 5 minutes to search for a ball. If it is not found within 5 minutes, it is lost.

If, after playing a shot, you think your ball may be lost (outside a water hazard) or out of bounds you should play a provisional ball. You must state that it is a provisional ball and play it before you go forward to search for the original ball.
If the original ball is lost (other than in a water hazard) or is out of bounds, you must continue with the provisional ball, under penalty of one stroke. If the original ball is found in bounds, you must continue play of the hole with it, and must stop playing the provisional ball. 


A player does not have to search for their ball if it is not visible and they choose not to play it. However, if someone finds a ball that is believed to be the player’s original ball before they have played their provisional ball from a point nearer to the hole than where it is thought that the original ball may be, then the player must identify it and if it is their original ball must continue play with it. In stroke play, it is considered good etiquette for a fellow competitor NOT to search for a ball that the player wishes to abandon, but in match play an opponent may choose to search for it if they consider that it is to their advantage to find it.”

Results – Tropicana – 30th July 2013


The Trophy game for July was played at TROPICANA, with a good turnout of 16 players. The weather was good and the course was in excellent condition. The challenging greens were very true and fast, especially on the front 9 , West 3, although a little slower on the back 9, East 1. A great time was had by all in these excellent surroundings. We will try and play again later in the year, costs permitting. 

The winner on the day, after talking his handicap down by 4.., was Paul Geddes with an excellent 84 for 40 points. His first win at LCs. Well done. Cut only 4. In second place, with the lowest gross was Geoff Mclaws with 80 for 37 points. Cut only 1. 

Many thanks to Ted for helping to organise this game, and for Tony for organising the lunch. Appreciated.

The new Handicap system was used for the first time. Thanks Stuart for all the hard work.


1 STUART TAYLOR 19 91 36 3
  GLEN WOMBWELL 31 103 35 4
  TED PARSLOW 9 91 27 14
  ANDREW CHEZ 11 87 34 6
2 RAY FUNNELL 28 104 30 11
  ANDREW ROBINSON 22 98 32 9
  PAUL GEDDES 15 84 40 1
  ALLAN MC NICHOLL 24 99 35 4
3 IAIN WISE 23 100 31 10
  TONY MORRIS 17 96 28 13
  GEOFF MCLAWS 9 80 37 2
  JOHN PRESTON 16 95 29 12
4 KEVIN WIGGINS 16 91 33 7
  KEVIN GOODWIN 18 93 33 7
  BERNARD ROHMAN 18 103 23 15
  IAN DICKSON 31 120 20 16


Rules of Golf – Hazards & The Difference Between Yellow Stakes and Red Stakes

This new section, prepared by our unofficial “Rules Secretary” Mr Allan McNicoll, highlights some specific rules of golf with some simple explanations to those new to the game or to those that have perhaps forgotten.

This week we will focus on hazards and the difference between red and yellow stakes ….

Hazards Marked with Yellow Stakes

If you do choose to take relief, the first option that you have is to play your next shot from as close as possible to the point from which you hit your original shot. So, if you were in the middle of the fairway at 150 yards and you hit it in the drink, you can go back to that spot and try to hit the shot again, plus a one-stroke penalty. Thus, if you hit your second shot in the water, you would be hitting your fourth shot from that same spot. This is the less commonly selected choice of the two because it is essentially a stroke and distance penalty The second option for relief from a yellow hazard is usually your best option, but is also the most misunderstood choice as well. The other way to take relief from a yellow hazard is to mark the point that the ball crossed the hazard and then draw a line between that point and the flag. You may drop your ball at any point on that line. Essentially, you can go back, keeping the point where your ball crossed the hazard in line with the pin, as far as you choose to go. Please note that you cannot go back on the line of flight that your ball took as it flew into the hazard! That is the most common mistake in this type of relief situation. How your ball got there doesn’t matter. What matters is the point where it crossed the hazard. Those are the two different forms of relief that you may take for a water hazard or any other hazard marked by a yellow stake. 
Hazards Marked with Red Stakes
 Red stakes are used to mark lateral hazards. Because these hazards run parallel to the hole, it is often times impractical to take relief by going behind the hazard as described in the second option of the yellow stakes. So, the rules of golf allow for an additional option for relief if your ball is in a red hazard. That third option is to take relief within two club lengths of where the ball crossed the hazard, no nearer to the pin. This may be down from either side of the red hazard. Just because your ball crossed the hazard on the right side doesn’t mean that you can’t take relief, within two club lengths and equidistant from the hole, on the left side of the same hazard. That third option is the only difference between a hazard marked by red stakes and a hazard marked by yellow stakes.

Results – KGSAAS – 23rd July 2013


Only 14 players turned out in excellent weather. Course was in good condition, and the greens were true and quite fast. 2 tee boxes were used and everyone back at the clubhouse in good time. The first time winner, to everyone’s delight was Allan McNicoll with his best so far of 96 for 43 points. Cut 7.  Well done. Second place was Iain Wise with a 91 for 41 points, cut 1. 


Results – Kota Permai – 16th July 2013

On a beautiful morning 19 players teed off, nearly on the earlier time, and the course was in excellent condition. General feeling was that the greens were the best we have played on so far this year. Although some pin positions were a little tricky….
The winner was the “Birthday Boy”, Vincent Vijayan with his best round so far in his illustrious career, with a gross 90, for an outlandish 49 points. Cut only 13….!!!  Questions were asked whether he would win again , before his next birthday…. Second was Ray Funnell with a gross 99 for 40 points. Cut 1.
A great morning’s golf was had by all, followed by an excellent lunch, paid for by Vincent to celebrate his birthday. Many thanks Vincent for lunch from all the attendees.


Next Game – Kota Permai – 16th July 2013

Next week on Tuesday 16th July we will play at Kota Permai. 5 flights have been booked and we are expecting a good turnout, for this excellent course. 

Please be at the club by 0720 latest with tee off at 0745 hrs. Costs 185 RM ,incl comp caddy. I believe certain cost benefits may be available for CIMB card holders. Please let me know if card being used and the costs, so can be allowed for in pre registration.  2 tee boxes have been requested, with flights 1 and 2 off tee box 1, 3, 4 off 10.

Thanks to Barry for his help in arranging the bookings.

We will be eating at the club, and a room has been booked by Vincent, as he is celebrating his birthday and wants to treat everybody….