Two Stroke a Side

"The number of different ways to calculate handicaps is almost as great as the number of golfers."

Michael Avery Avery Computer Services 315 Logan Roland, IA 50236

People of all ages and ability levels can enjoy golf. It offers an excellent opportunity to get a moderate amount of exercise and plenty of fresh air. Golf offers a measure of competition not available in most other sports. Although golfers' abilities vary widely, good golfers can compete on an equal basis with golfers of lesser ability by using handicaps.

A handicap is a number reflecting the average score a golfer shoots. When two golfers of unequal handicap wish to compete against each other, the poorer player is awarded a number of strokes equal to the difference in handicaps. This allows the two players to compete on an even basis.

Golf leagues often use handicaps to make weekly matches competitive. To be fair and effective, scores should be up dated and handicaps recalculated weekly. The considerable amount of record-keeping and calculation necessary to keep the handicaps current and accurate is usually dumped on the league secretary. I will describe a program that allows the golf league secretary to keep track of the scores of league members and easily update their handicaps.

Handicap Calculation

The number of different ways to calculate handicaps is almost as great as the number of golfers. Some methods are very simple, while others would tax the ability of large business computers. The United States Golf Association (USGA) developed the standard method of computing handicaps. I used the method here in a modified form.

The basis of the USGA method is the golf course rating. This is a numerical rating of the course difficulty. For most cases, this number is very simi lar to the course par; in this program I used the course par for the rating.

Once you determine the course rating, you compute a number called a differential for the golfer's scores by subtracting the course rating from each raw score. The USGA method uses the golfer's 20 most recent scores.

Next add the 10 smallest differentials to produce a number that reflects the golfer's average score. Then compare this number to a table to determine the handicap. The look-up table includes factors such as the increased difficulty in lowering one's handicap as the handicap approaches 0.

How to Use the Program

I wrote the program for a 16K Level IITRS-80. After loading the program, typing Run clears the screen and produces program information for the user. Pressing Enter produces the two necessary data entries. You must enter the par for the course here.

If the course is only nine holes, enter the same par for front and back nine. The program is set up for one golf course only. If you are using scores from more than one course, you must use the same par. After you enter the course par, enter the league name. The league name is a header for the handicap display, so no harm will come to the program if you do not give a name (hit Enter).

The rest of the program is menu driven (see Fig. 1). You select program options by entering the appropriate number. See Fig. 2 for examples of typical data entry procedures. All data entries are tested for errors. The menu options should provide the user with all needed manipulations.

When you run the program for the first time you will enter the names of all league golfers. Keep the length of each name to 12 characters or less. Once this is done, you can display or modify scores for each golfer.

Figure 2 also shows the format the program uses to display

(1) Cassette Data Input

(2) Cassette Data Output

(4) Delete Names

(5) Display One Entry

(6) Update All Scores

(7) Calculate and Display Handicaps

(8) Change Data for One Golfer

Figure 1

The Key Box

Basic Level II Model I or III 16K RAM Tape or Disk

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