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More on Handicapping

The need for equity and uniformity is the guiding 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 courses increase, the elementary principle gets stretched further and further. Eventually, it becomes questionable 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. Some are even satisfied to compete with exaggerated and unfair advantages. The honor system doesn't work with them because they are playing a different game. It's not golf.

The PlayerLink Handicapping System was formulated in 1986 by a small group of players who were playing on different courses all over the world for high stakes. Handicaps were negotiated before each round. They wanted an equitable system that was open to electronic peer review and sought the opinions of golf counsels, handicap chairmen, and software developers. Ample time was given to consideration of the proposals, and the software developer that was chosen took plenty of time to examine representations made to them along with volumes of field data.

PlayerLink was content with the finished version, and it was used by the association for many years in individual and team formats. With the advent of the Internet, it became obvious that this medium would provide the association with 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 economies of scale if it went public with the system. The decision was made to create a Website and test the viability of the system, as well as the players desires to use it. The most surprising discovery was that in an expanded universe, and with so many divergent elements of consideration, and using the power of Internet technology, the system can be self-leveling as never before. PlayerLink goes beyond the traditional systems, which are after all just a computerized version of the old paper methods.

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