Home Forums The World Am Bulletin Board My rant about the max 9 rule

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    John Kufrovich

    Our Thursday round, I was in last group on Thursday. Our first hole was a par 5. Our flight leader had a 7 stroke lead over 2nd place. On the first tee, I watched the 1st place leader, hit his first shot near OB, then played a provisional. That provisional went almost in the same area as the first ball. He then hit a 2nd provisional, about a 100 yards in front of the tee box. I told him he could the 2nd provisional up to his first ball. Instead he picked up the 2nd provisional and then proceeded to look for the other two balls and did not find any of them. He elected to take a 9.

    I understand we all played by the same rules. If there was no max, our 1st place leader could have given back his 7 stroke lead. Instead, I believe he won by 3.

    I feel the max 9 needs to be dropped entirely from play. The rule did not speed up play.

    Ken Delaney

    While I completely agree that the “9 stroke max” was intended to speed up play, and pace of play is important in this event, this is the “rare” case where it shouldn’t happen. This guy could have easily squandered his lead after 1 hole…

    IMHO, I think instead of the “9 stroke max”, just give us “drop areas” on all those “forced carry” holes that people dump 8-10 balls in. I have witnessed this first hand numerous times. This is where you get most of the double digits scores…

    If you take a 14, etc and you didn’t lose a ball on a hole, you should go back home and practice a little more before you play in a competitive flight of the WA.

    Glenn Foster

    Agree! I do not establish my handicap with the max 9 “rule” therefore, I do not feel this is a fair way to do it. The blow up hole(s), we all have, keep us with higher handicaps. I have played in this 20+ yrs. and do not care what has been tried to speed up play it is basically ineffective. Local rules for O.B. & drop areas would do more for consistent speed of play for an amateur tournament. When a player takes 2-3 of these and tries the putt for a 9, you still have wasted time to “make my 9” instead of “taking a 9.”
    Oh well, they will keep it as a tournament rule for next year,I’m sure. It’s just odd that if I take a 12 on 1 hole, but shoot well the other 17, I feel like I’m cheating my handicap when that isn’t my local rule(s) where I play, but am expected to do that at The World Am.

    Jason Moore

    9 Max has good intentions and it’s a good idea. However with Equitable scoring you would adjust that score down regardless based on the max score you can take based on hcp. So while you’re correct a handicap isn’t based off 9 max it’s more then likely a 6 or 7 max

    Ken Delaney

    ESC (equitable stroke control) is implemented to avoid your handicap having the peaks and valleys. It is totally separate from scoring a “14” on a hole. In competition, if you’re a 12hcp and you shoot 95 with 3 holes being a “10”, then you shot “95”. But when you enter your score for your hcp keeping, you would enter 86.. ESC says that if your home course hcp is between 10-19, your allowable max when REPORTING is 7.

    I have played with guys who pick up after 7 and say “that’s the max I can take”. Well yes, but you should always hole out in competition. If you’re playing for shits and giggles, then do you what you want, you’re only fooling yourself.

    So back to the John’s point here, the leader shouldn’t have had the luxury of picking up for 9. This allowed him to avoid potentially a BIG MESS. The staff did it for good reasons but this is the rare occurrence where it’s not fair.

    Jason Moore

    I agree with the example that was provided with the leader in trouble. I’m all in favor of having drop zones that would help avoid a huge number. This was the second time I played that we actually had a drop zone and both times it was at Longbay. My first year in this tournament the head pro made his announcement and I quote “You all are flights 1&2 so no drop zones, no lateral hazards will be in effect”. Nobody is turning pro and we don’t need to our teeth kicked in for 4 days. Already playing at 6,800-7,000 it’s hard enough.


    John – I understand your competitive aspect behind the scenario listed.

    I’ll play devils advocate. The player could have made a 9 by making ‘par’ from his 3rd tee ball. But more importantly, by picking up, he saved the group 40 seconds per shot equaling 200 seconds or 3.3 minutes. Compound this over 986 occurrences (amount of times a 10+ was recorded in 2018) in the tournament and that adds up to 48 HOURS of time saved. Two days worth of golf!! To say it didn’t help pace I would disagree.

    From a competitive standpoint, sure, he could have made a 10, 11 or 12 and saved a stroke or two on the field. No arguing that. However, that’s not what we see the typical scenario at the tournament.

    Stats wise – the most important fact I can put out there. Max 9 resulted 5.10% LESS people finishing in the top 10 who took one. How? No clue.

    In 2018, ~0.4% of holes recorded a 10+ — 986 holes played — that’s what is affected by max 9.

    On a totally separate note. Players who forgot to write a hole score in, accidentally broke a rule, or write their 9-hole total in hole 18. All of these are automatic DQ’s prior to the max 9 rule. This happens to ~30 golfers YEARLY and it ruins the experience for that player. Many of them, won’t come back out of principle. We cannot stand to see that happen simply because the rules of golf are fickle. However, with the new rules, we have the opportunity to step in and help.

    We’re going to survey participants just to be sure of what you, the players, want. But max 9 is more beneficial than harmful from our current standpoint. (**Update 9/5/19 per survey 85% want it to stay)

    Also – to those who say their handicap was established without a max 9 rule, I encourage you to look at the Handicap Manual and read through the Equitable Stroke Control section. Max 9 has nothing to do with this, just thought I’d mention!

    William Zeoli

    I happen to believe the Max 9 rule helped. I don’t think it was coincidental that my foursome in the 70 yr/18 hcp flight finished in less than 5 hours each day, with 4:52 being the longest. I remain strongly in favor of the inclusion of this rule.

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