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Laurence Dougharty
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The Wall Street Journal and Golf Handicaps
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently ran an article that referred to Tony Romo as having a 0.3 Handicap.  Of course no one has a 0.3 "handicap," but it was a small error and not worthy of correction. The next day, however, the WSJ ran a correction that no...
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Links Magazine’s Take on Who Should Pay for USGA National Championships
An article in Links
Magazine (Schupak, Adam, “Pay to Play,” Summer 2017) asked who should pay
the costs incurred in hosting a USGA National Championship?   The
article argues the USGA should ease the burden on host clubs by increasing its
subsidy to tournam...
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The SCGA Bogeys Explanation of the Slope System
From time to time the USGA and regional golf associations publish
articles explaining the USGA Slope System. 
More often than not, the articles get it right.  On too many occasions, however, the articles
demonstrate a lack of understanding of the Slope Syst...
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Another Inequitable Tournament and So It Goes
This blog has documented many cases where a misunderstanding
of the USGA Handicap Manual has led to inequitable results. The latest
example comes from a tournament at a club in Southern California.  The tournament consisted of four different
stroke play com...
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Revising Rule 18-2: Ball at Rest Moved
No rule has
caused so much consternation to the USGA and R&A as Rule 18-2.   Rule 18-2 states if a player causes a ball to
move, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke.   In the end a rules official must determine
what caused the ball to move, and there’...
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Beating Your USGA Index or Beating Your USGA Handicap: Which is Easier?
There has always been some confusion about what the probabilities in Appendix E of the USGA Handicap System actually represent.  John Paul Newport of the  Wall Street Journal , for example, wrote a player with a handicap between 13 and 21 will only play 3 s...
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The USGA and R&A Bogey Distance Study
The USGA and the R&A recently released a study of driving
distances on various professional tours.  With the resources of both
organizations, one would expect original data and insightful analyses.   The reader will be disappointed on both
counts.  The data...
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The R&A Battles for Gender Equality: Or Does It?
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews(R&A)
recently announced Muirfield Golf Club would no longer be considered as a site
for The Open Championship.  The
announcement was pure political theater since Muirfield was not up in the
rotation for a consi...
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The Probability of Beating Your USGA Index
Appendix E of the 2016-2017
USGA Handicap System presents estimates of the probability of a player of achieving
various negative Net Differentials or zero or better. [1]   These estimates differ substantially from the
estimates the USGA has presented in the...
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Lies, Damned Lies, and the USGA
The only thing the USGA hates more than making a mistake is
admitting to one.  Examples of this
behavior are numerous.  The most famous (or
infamous) was the USGA’s defense of the Masters for not disqualifying Tiger
Woods in 2013. The USGA argued this was a...
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