Golf Points Index a Worthy Option to the New World Handicap System
The USGA and R&A, along with four other handicap governing bodies, announced the new World Handicap System last week. In addition to the challenging task of developing a unifying system that could be used by golfers all around the globe, the committee spent six years trying to come up with a handicap system which would entice more golfers to keep a handicap.
Ron Zevy, President and Founder of Golf Points Index (GPI), did it in one afternoon.
Golf Points Index is a scoring and handicap system which uses points earned on each hole in relation to par in order to keep score and track progress. With GPI, a double bogey is ½ point, a bogey is 1 point, a par is 3 points, a birdie is 5 points, and an eagle is 8. All other results are scored as a 0. Your GPI handicap is the average 9 hole point total over the last 180 holes played. The system allows golfers of all abilities to compete on a level playing field.
Players can enter their scores in the free www.golfpointsindex.com website and the system calculates their GPI. One of the advantages of the GPI system is that it allows golfers to play as many or as few holes as they want and still enter a score towards their handicap. GPI also gives the millions of recreational golfers not on GHIN a way to establish a handicap, benchmark and track their progress.
While the system can be used by golfers of all levels, it is geared especially for juniors, who are hard wired to earn and accumulate points, and mid to high handicaps. The First Tee has embraced the system and 21 chapters across the United States are using GPI in 2018. The system is beginning to catch on. In addition to the First Tee chapters and golf courses in North America, GPI has received requests from golfers as far away as Scotland and New Zealand to add their courses to the system so they can start entering GPI scores
Zevy admits that the genesis for developing GPI was his frustration with the current strokes based scoring and handicap system. “How can a birdie, which is much more difficult to get than a par, only be worth one point less?” he argues. “The current system renders virtually meaningless what is arguably the most compelling and interesting part of the game. That is, the challenge to make par or better on each hole.”
Zevy acknowledges that the USGA and R&A had a Herculean task but he was surprised with the recommendations. “It feels a little like they are shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic,” Zevy wryly states. “I am not sure that raising the maximum index limit to 54 is going to move the bar. Golfers want a way to track their progress which is encouraging, fun and engaging. I am obviously biased but I think GPI, by equitably rewarding golfers for good holes and not unfairly punishing them for bad, does a much better job of doing that.“ For more information about GPI, visit www.golfpointsindex.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.