# 1 P a s s p o r t t o G o l f !
When we first put the PlayerLink site up,over two years ago, we had no idea that so many golfers, who wanted an alternative handicapping system, had access to the internet. The PlayerLink Handicap database is humming with players who have registered and are tracking their statistics.
The PlayerLink International Handicapping system was formulated in 1987 for a group of amateur and professional golfers who traveled to play matches all over the world for high stakes. Because of the diversity of the locations and the betting format, they needed a system with electronic speed and open to peer review. PlayerLink decided to put its database on the Internet in 1996 to let any player, with Internet access, post scores, establish a handicap and review the postings of fellow players.
This public benefit database is provided to players and viewers free. Costs for maintaining the system are being paid by fearless investors. In time, we expect our labor of love to attract a large number of players who want to compete for cash prizes and/or use their personal PlayerLink golf journals to post their numbers and stay in touch with the cerebral side of their games. Golf vendors would pay to advertise their merchandise on the PlayerLink Website. But instead, we will showcase their products in exchange for prize awards to pass on to the players in weekly contest. The grand plan envisions a complete assortment of free player services that are totally funded by entry fees to PlayerLink Golf Tournaments.
There have been many handicapping schemes in the official history of handicapping. All the major golf councils, unions and associations around the world have considered countless options and proposals over the last three decades and many revisions have been made.
The need for equity and uniformity is a principle in handicapping. Various formulas that adhere to that basic principle are quite easy to develop for groups that play over and over on the same course. In small groups, almost any simple system that the players agree on is good enough. As the size of the group and the number of golf courses increase, the elementary principle gets stretched further and further. Eventually, we wonder if the largest groups are really even playing the same game with respect to handicap allowances. We know that very few players can explain the intricacies of formulas claimed by their inventors to provide equity for golfers of all skill levels, albeit most regular contestants in handicap tournaments trust the methods.
Player Link's Handicap System has been used for many years in individual and team formats. With the advent of the internet, it became obvious that this medium would provide economies in time and cost and in 1993 an email posting system was developed. By 1994, the association realized that the power of the Internet could also provide an economy of scale if it went public with the system. The decision was made to create a web site and test the viability of the system and the players desire to use it. The most surprising discovery was that in an expanded universe, and using the power of the internet technology, the system can be self leveling as never before.
For example, most handicap systems require the sanctioning body to rate the courses and to keep the study in as small a cluster as possible. Sheer man/woman power and the vagaries of conditions, customs and even weather dictate this. But with the almighty computer, the players can rate the courses themselves by their score and opinion of playing conditions on the very day the round was played. The more play that is recorded, the better the system works. PlayerLink"s next site makeover will incorporate this feature.
How can I use my PlayerLink Handicap?
The PlayerLink Handicapping system is perfect for both competition and efficient practice. Non-club members can use the system for equity and uniformity in their matches. Club members can use it for up-to-the instant online calculation that can be adapted for any size group.Does the Contestant need a handicap to enter the PlayerLink Pro-Am Tournaments?
No. Any golfer, or wanna-be-golfer can try to qualify and win cash prizes. Players without handicaps who qualify for the Challenge events can play in a PlayerLink-Stableford format or, establish a USGA, PlayerLink, Golf Web or other sanctioned handicap, after they qualify. Another option, of course, is to play at scratch.Is Player Link's handicap system the same as the USGA system?
No. PlayerLink and USGA use similar mathematical formulae to calculate handicaps but PlayerLink recalculates scores instantly while the USGA accumulates scores for revision on a scheduled date each month. PlayerLink handicaps are not sanctioned for USGA tournaments but players in daily competition appreciate the up to the moment calculation for betting purposes and the convenience of posting online. The USGA does not permit individuals to post their scores to their golf clubs or computation services over the internet.