Chris just to add to what you said a handicap index is based on the 10 lowest of your 20 most recent scores AND your two lowest tournament scores from the past 12 months.
Most players are used to a static handicap for 14 – 16 days every month. They receive an email and believe they are an X handicap. What the World Am does is use a “fluid” index, meaning they adjust you immediately for your tournament scores. As Jeffrey did not know, one single tournament score can and will affect your handicap index potentially greatly and immediately.
Let’s say I have a 6.0 HI, I shoot a 70 and a 72 score in a tournament. The differential from those two scores lets say are 0 and 1.4. This makes my 12 month low tournament index .7. This means my handicap will be reduced and will not climb above a 5 for the next 12 months from the date those tournament scores happened. Even if I don’t break 90 for the rest of the year those two single handicap scores take precedent over any and all scores I have entered, and will keep my handicap as a 5.
One of the reasons why the WA inquires about tourney scores is because they take precedent over any other scores you post. They also are the truest and most relevant number when it comes to evaluating a players potential.
To Raymond’s example if his son-in-law did not have any tournament scores and shoots 102, his handicap immediately drops to within 3 shots of his (now) handicap index that includes the lowest tournament score.
Regarding sandbaggers, anyone who pays deserves the right to finish, I agree with a more substantial penalty (reduction) retroactive to his first round to bring him (or her) back into the field.