Memo to RCGA: hide our handicaps
The Stan O’Neal saga got me thinking. Are Canadian handicaps as easy to locate as the American kind (“Merrill shareholders must be spitting fire“, October 28-07)? Sure enough, the Royal Canadian Golf Association puts them out there for all to see. All the enterprising member of the DTM needs is a name and a province. The RCGA web site will spit out the course name and handicap.
If you guess correctly (Oakdale vs. Donalda vs. Toronto), you’ll soon be intimately familiar with the recent activities of a whole host of high profile folks.
I’m not sure it is anyone’s business that one bank CEO shoots 8.7, while another comes in at 26.9. Or that some of Canada’s greatest tech entrepreneurs shoot 10 and +1.3 respectively. Or that there’s an i-banking CEO with a 10.6, a telecom chieftan at 13.7, and a mutual fund boss at 15.8. Another i-banking head has so many memberships that his handicap ranges from 7.6 to 11.5, depending on where he entered the scores.
Voters would be pleased to hear that one of the finance ministers hasn’t had any time to play, and his/her handicap index sits at 23.4 as a result.
None of this should be public, however, and by writing about it hopefully the DTM won’t bother getting another idea from Seeking Alpha or here for their own story use.
I cannot recall ever consenting to the Golf Association of Ontario putting my scores on the internet. I would have though PIPEDIA covered that off. While I’m not embarrased at my hard fought 20.8 index (down from 25.5 last year), my LPs know that 17 rounds a year aren’t at their expense, particularly when half were played on holidays. 5 strokes in a season is proof that lessons can have an impact, even for the non-athletic among us!
Perhaps a bank press officer worth their salt will do their boss a favour and place a timely call to the GAO or RCGA. In light of Mr. O’Neal’s chain of events, having the board read about golf rounds during a difficult time is probably a PR flap to be avoided.
If the RCGA thinks there is a corporate elephant out there with $6 million at hand for the title sponsorship to next year’s Canadian Open, this is not the way to go about getting it.
Hello Mr. McQueen, first let me applaud your company’s efforts in assisting good, young Canadian golfers…with your help I’m sure Danny King, Richard Scott et al will reach their full potential.
I hope I can shed some light on your missive regarding the access to RCGA member scoring records online. I can certainly empathize with your concern (I played over 70 times this year and sometimes wonder whether my boss thinks I play too much!). However, the ability to access scoring records is a concept that is essential to handicapping.
As per Section 2 of the RCGA Handicap Manual, “Peer Review”…is the process of providing access to scoring records and a Handicap Factor list for inspection by others, inclusing, but not limited to, fellow members and the club’s Handicap Committee.
Decision 6-3/1 goes on to consider the issue of a player’s privacy. “A player who decides to obtain a Handicap Factor gives up privacy regarding scoring records. Because an essential part of the RCGA Handicap System is peer review, scoring records are to be made available for inspection by others, including, but not limited to, fellow members and the club’s Handicap Committee.”
Making scoring records ‘available’ does not necessarily mean putting them online. The GAO does allow a club to not partake in publishing their member’s scoring records online…to the best of my knowledge only a few clubs have gone that route, and in fact a few of those clubs have elected to change their mind and now make their member’s scoring records available online. For most, it’s a matter of convenience and co-operation with other clubs who appreciate the ability to easily check the scoring record of a golfer coming to play in their Member/Guest, for example.
Thanks for your time, and feel free to contact me if you have any follow-up questions or concerns.
Delighted to hear from you.
I found every one of the handicaps I referred to by looking at the GAO website. I didn’t use a password to get the information, and appeared to the server as a “guest”.
I agree that peer review makes sense, which is why each GAO member is given a membership card each year. If a GAO member wants to know what a CEO’s handicap is, they should log in to the server as a member.
Why the non golf-playing public needs to know is lost on me. And I am hopeful that this will be addressed shortly by the RCGA and the provincial associations.
If you can help, all of your stakeholders would appreciate it.