The group I was playing with on Tuesday did not do so well on MV hole #3 and #9. On both holes only one person made it over the water on the first try. On each hole, two players decided to use the drop area. Since they each put 2 balls in the water, they wanted to use their maximum score for the hole when posting into GHIN. This is wrong and here's why.
The Drop area on these holes is an "illegal" drop area according to the Rules of Golf. In fact the local rule for both "Woods" courses state "Drop Areas on Mountain View holes #3 and #9 and Stony Lick hole #9 are for beginners and should not be used in stipulated rounds. Players who use these Drop Areas should adjust their scores to “par plus handicap” strokes (as if they skipped the hole ) for entering scores into the USGA Handicapping System."
So even though they each put 2 balls in the water, once they went to the drop area, they had effectively abandoned playing the hole under the rules of golf and cannot post their "actual" score into GHIN.
Can't I just post my actual score playing from the drop area and let GHIN adjust it downward to my maximum score (net double bogey)?
No....GHIN only adjusts to the maximum (net double bogey) and doesn't know you did not follow the rules of golf and that you should have 2 strokes less.
Is there ever a time can I use the maximum score in GHIN for these holes?
Yes, on Tuesday League play or during casual play, you may post your maximum if you reach your maximum score before moving to the drop area. This means for players getting 2 strokes on MV holes #3 or #9, they would need a 7 (or hit 4 tee shots) before moving to the drop area. On SL hole #9 if you get 2 strokes on that hole, you would need to have a score of 8 before moving to the drop area.
But our Tuesday League Rules allow us to go to the drop area after hitting 2 balls in the water.
So true, the WWGA can allow you to disregard the Rules of Golf for their League game but have no authority to let you disregard the rules for posting onto GHIN. So, you still need to follow the rule shown above for posting into the USGA handicap system.
How does this affect the Tuesday League games?
Depending on the game, here are your options.
If the game is low putts, your gross score has no impact on the game. If you use the drop area, record for your score as "par plus your handicap strokes" and your actual putts. In fact, you could even skip hitting over the water and just put your ball on the green at the farthest point from the flag. You would putt from there and record those putt(s) for the game and use par plus your handicap strokes for your score.
If the game is low net or field shots, record your actual score (and putts if you need to calculate field shots) for the game on your scorecard, but when posting into GHIN adjust that score to "par plus handicap strokes" for that hole.
If you have been entering your Maximum score into GHIN in error, please stop, follow the rules and use only Par plus your Handicap Stroke(s) for these holes as indicated above when using these drop areas.
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