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How to Determine Handicap Strokes In Golf?

There is a popular question that you would be often asked in the golf community.

The question, “What are your handicap stokes?” is an inquiry that often incites boasting, showing off and at times, embarrassed answers. So when you finally find a new guy to play a match with you at the local golf course, don’t be so surprised when he or she wants to gauge their handicap. And on occasions where you forget how to calculate handicap stokes, we have you covered in this article.

Learning how to determine your handicap stokes could seem more complicated than knowing the rules to calculate your handicap golf. Let us talk about handicap score first, to make things easier.

Handicap Score

The handicap differential is calculated as (Score – Course Rating) x 113 / Slope Rating

The first step towards finding your handicap is generally collecting a range of 5-20 rounds of data from some of your most recent performances. Then, find the golf course rating and the slope of the course you are playing on. The reason to involve slope and course rating is to gauge the difficulty factor while you play. For example, Leslie played 195 strokes over 15 holes, but he played a more difficult course than Zack.

There has to be a way to make the handicap score accurate after taking into consideration the difficulty of the game. A handicap score gives you an accurate idea of how skilled the player is because they all are differently trained and conditioned. What may put one player to an advantage could be the downfall for another. The only way to know your game well is to read about it. For example, if you are a high handed player, read about the best wedges for high handicap golfers available out there.

Stroke Play

Stroke play is a round of golf where the stokes made over several rounds of golf at the golf course are added together to get a cumulative score. At the end of the round, the player’s handicap is subtracted from the cumulative stroke play score to result in a nett score.

For example:

Strokes Taken 95
Handicap 15
Nett Score 95-16 = 80

Stroke play is most commonly used in tournaments and professional games, where all players are given a default handicap of 0 to be regarded as equals. For tournament players, the lowest score takes the prize, which is determined over usually the cumulative score of more than four rounds. In case there is a tie, there is a play-off with a predetermined number of holes, or till one player beats the others score on any particular hole.

Inside golf clubs, stroke play is used for medal competitions. The only difference is that the players get to include their handicap to calculate their nett score.


What are the Benefits of Stroke Play?

Stroke play is the most popular method used to score golfers. Almost all the players calculate their total scores during each round. It also helps that the handicap score is taken into consideration. This helps even out the game for players with different abilities to play against each other without worrying about the fairness of the scoring system. This trait is a very unique advantage found only in golf.

But it has a drawback too. If you play one bad hole, your scores could be ruined. If there is a play off with an 18 handicap, which would give you a stroke per hole, and you take 10 strokes on a par four (six over par), then you will have to play the rest of the 17 holes with just 12 strokes in your handicap.

Handicaps stokes are not only a way of equalizing the field, they also help when international players play on new terrain. We hope that you can now understand the concept of handicap stokes and stroke play scoring easier with the help of this article.


Common Offensive Formations In Football

offensive formations football

The football acumen recognizes some significant formations that are crucial to running plays and passing plays. Teams adopt sundry formations and strategies to advance the ball in the most efficient way. On offense, at least seven players are required on the line of scrimmage including the center who begins the play with a snap on the line. However, teams employ a variety of strategies in their play. For instance, the shotgun formation was credited for the success of Tom Landry led Dallas Cowboys team of the 1970s and the 1990s Buffalo Bills team under Mark Levy in the NFL. Despite this, it does not stand unrivaled; there are several variations that are experimented and practiced by different teams. Considering the same, it is prudent to be well versed with some of the most popular and common offensive formations in football.

Popular Offensive Formations in Football

  • Shotgun:

This formation finds the quarterback positioned about five yards behind the center. This is used primarily for passing, however the quarterback might use another running back or run himself. The placement of the players is such that the quarterback can see the defense and the field properly. However, this place has a disadvantage of fewer running options as the defense can easily suspect that the play is going to be a pass.

  • Singleback:

Single back requires the running back to be placed behind the quarterback.  In such a case, the players who are not on the line of scrimmage could be four wide receivers or three wide receivers with one tight end.  This formation enables pass play but could be effectively used for running as well.

  • Pistol:

The formation is a shotgun variation where the quarterback is sited closer than in standard shotgun (three to four yards behind the center). Besides this, the running back is lined up behind, instead of being next to the quarterback. Pistol provides the player a better look past the offensive line and at the defense. For the same reason, this formation is an integral part of NCAA football.

  • I-formation:

One of the most widely used formation at all levels of football, this involves two running backs and the quarterback to be behind the center.  The fullback is right behind the quarterback and the tailback is positioned behind a fullback. The two backs could either be in a line (because of which the formation looks like a letter I) or with the fullback on either side.

  • Wildcat:

This formation uses more tight ends and less wide receiver along the line of scrimmage with no quarterback. Thus, a running back takes over the quarterback position and runs the ball. Even though this formation is limited to running plays, an extra back for the runner can be employed in the absence of a quarterback.

It is imperative to educate kids and players about the range of formations that exist and the number of variations possible. This will enable a team to construct their own unique strategy and not follow the commonplace formations.