Good evening trendsetters.
I'm currently seeking opinions in regard to how club championship grades are set. Let me paint the picture.
I assume handicap cutoffs that are set for grades at most clubs roughly reflect the spilt between the playing group. At my club, A cuts off at 10, B at 18, C at 19+.
This isn’t arbitrary. It is done, one presumes, to even the grades out based on the mix of players that we typically get.
We are currently having discussion around this year's club champs...the entries would indicate that based on the above handicap limits, the split between grades will be something like A: 53%, B: 30%, C: 17%
I would suggest that re-aligning the handicap cutoffs for a one-off comp…albeit our most important one…should be considered for the exact same reason. Because it gives each competitor, not so much an equal chance, but at least a relatively equal number of competitors against whom they will compete. If we move the cutoffs to 7, 15 and 16+, each group becomes roughly even in number.
I think it is a product of the fact that the A grade players value the competition more highly than the others…and to be honest, I don’t blame them. To me, there is one club champion - the one that shoots the lowest 4 rounds off the stick. That winner will almost certainly come from the A grade ranks. It is clear that the higher the handicap range moves, the less interest the groups in those higher ranges have. Again…I totally understand that.
However, as a result of our defined grade ranges, we have a very uneven split in the grades. Probably to the detriment of A grade, where the winner will need to beat half the entire field, and to the advantage of the C grade winner, who will only need to beat a handful. The guys at the high end of A grade are probably unlikely to win the Gross score, but are still disadvantaged in trying to win the Net score purely on numbers. The C grade winner, by contrast, can potentially kick a few shins in the car park and walk to the title!
So we're having this discussion at the moment...consider that ANYONE can win the gross...if a (dirty cheating) C grader shoots 70 off the stick for 4 rounds...he'll be the club champion...and the C grade champion. So no one is disadvantaged in that regard.
So try to put aside your disdain for the concept of graded champions, and let me know your thoughts please.
Thanks if you managed to read this far.