I Might Have Become a Menace
So, what is an "Exceptional Score Adjustment"?
Your Hack might have officially become a “menace” this week. I woke up this morning and opened my GHIN app to see what happened to my handicap after posting yesterday’s round and this is what I saw:
Yesterday, my index was 5.4 and now 3.5! What the hell happened? Upon further investigation I found that my latest round subjected me to what is called an “exceptional score reduction”. I went to the USGA website to find out what that meant:
Handicap Index Safeguards
Q. What is an "exceptional score" and what happens when I post one?
A. Any score that produces a Score Differential™ that is at least 7.0 strokes better than your Handicap Index® at the time the round was played is considered exceptional and is subject to the exceptional score reduction.
If the Score Differential is between 7.0 and 9.9 strokes better, a -1 adjustment is applied to each of the most recent 20 Score Differentials in your scoring record. This has a net impact of reducing the Handicap Index by 1 stroke.
If the Score Differential is 10.0 strokes or better, a -2 adjustment is applied to each of the most recent 20 Score Differentials. This has a net impact of reducing the Handicap Index by 2 strokes.
Scores made following the exceptional score will not contain the -1 or -2 adjustment (unless they are also exceptional) which will slowly diminish the impact of the reduction as you continue to post scores. Also, reductions for multiple exceptional scores are applied cumulatively. (Rule 5.9, Rules of Handicapping)
Oh boy. Your Hack is now the official “bank” for the Senator and the Voice . . . I’ll be their personal ATM machine for a while if this keeps up.
How did this happen you ask. Well, yesterday I was “in the zone”. After routine pars on #10 and #11 (we started on the back nine), I drove the bunker front left of the par 4, 12th and got up and down for birdie. A chip from just left of the green on #13 left a 5 footer which I rolled over the edge - back to even. A gap wedge left me 15 feet for birdie on #14 and a sand wedge left me 7 feet for birdie on #16. Both putts again rolled over the edge. Another routine par on #16 and I still stood even.
#17 is our toughest hole by rating, but I placed a drive in the right middle of the fairway leaving me 235 yards to the green over water. A 3-wood and chip later and I watched my birdie putt drop. Another fairway, green, 2-putt par on #18 and your Hack finished the first nine 1 under after hitting 8 of 9 greens and 5 of 7 fairways.
Surely, I was about to come back to earth. No 3-putts yet. No ugly doubles from 100 yards out. It turns out I was officially in the zone. On #1, I pitched a lob wedge to about 4 feet, but the putt broke hard to the right and I missed the cup - nice pin! On #2, I hit a pitching wedge from the middle of the fairway to 15 feet back, left of the pin which was on the top of a ridge. Another putt rolled over the edge and another par.
A birdie on the par 3, third and I was now 2 under. I missed the fairway left on #4, but recovered and made a “4” to the temporary flag about 100 yards short of the green. I posted a 5 (net par) for handicap purposes.
Still 2 under heading into #7, I left my approach short of the green and made a bad bogey after missing a 5 footer for par. Surprisingly, the bad thoughts didn’t creep into my head. I was 1 under with 2 holes to go and I told my partner, the Sheriff that I just needed to birdie #8 and par #9 to break 70 (Cripple Creek is a par 71).
Playing from the”Mumford” tee on the right of #8, I choked down on the driver to the bottom of the grip and “slapped” a nice fade back into the fairway and left myself about 115 yards into the wind to a pin on the upper slope. My 3/4 pitching wedge dropped 4 or 5 feet in front of the hole and came to a rest 6 inches behind the flag. Mission accomplished. Your Hack was back to 2 under and just needed a par on the last to break 70.
Somehow, I didn’t let the moment get to me and blistered a tight draw into the right side of the fairway, leaving 135 to a back right pin. Using the slope on the green, I hoisted a pitching wedge as high as I could and it landed on the ridge to the left of the pin and rolled down to about 4 feet - a final birdie and a score of 68. Your Hack had hit 15 of 18 greens and 10 of 14 fairways, made 5 birdies to 2 bogeys and got around in 30 putts. No 3-putts and no doubles. I could always look back and find one more putt that could have gone in to have shot my age (67), but what good is that. It was the best round of the year by far.
We are now just over 2 months into the official golf season in Delaware and here’s how your Hack is doing:
Handicap has dropped from 6.3 to 3.5
Numbers of rounds played: 22
Number of birdies: 35 (goal is 100 for the season)
Average 3 putts per round: 1.1 per round (0.5 is the goal)
Double bogeys or worse: 1.5 per round (0.5 is the goal)
Cripple Creek Update
The renovations to the golf course are complete and we expect to have the full 18 holes opened in 2-3 weeks, probably in time for our Member-Member Tournament on June 18th. Here are some pictures of the renovated holes:
That’s all for today. As always, thanks for following along with your retired Golf Hack and keep it in the short grass.