On May 24th the Administrators (5Points and Graham) announced that SMAF would be transitioning to the Birdie Handicap system or if you wished you could use something similar.   At no time before the decision to change did they consult with the members and give us an explanation as to why nor did they give us a chance to object.   The next time I saw them I asked when they had an ABAGM on this topic.   They said that they decided to change and an ABAGM wasn’t necessary.   I asked why were we changing now and not when most of the members are in town.  Graham replied “WE CAN’T TELL YOU THAT”!   I then asked what they were covering up – the answer was so bad I dare not repeat it.  Did you read about any of this conversation on their blog?   Of course not.

About two weeks later I mentioned that both the Administrators had entered incorrect information into the Birdie database.    They never changed it.   Again there was no mention of this on their blog.

Last week they said “In general, the response to this change has been positive.” Yes, very positive.  In the one month since the announcement I count 5 out of 16 members have entered their last 20 scores. Of the 5, four have more than 2 errors in their input.   They keep telling us about the peer review.   Where is it?  Only after it was very apparent to me that the Administrators were not reviewing the data input I advised Egbert to make corrections which he did.

Most of us have scored 27 Stableford points on one day and 43 Stableford points on the next round – a range of 16 points!  When the range of likely scores is that wide, it becomes ridiculous to worry about whether a particular golfer’s handicap is 25.4, 24.8, or 23.4.    There is no way to know on any given day the “exactly right” handicap for any golfer with the skill level of the average SMAF participant.  If I read that right, it says handicaps for inconsistent golfers are meaningless.  In fact your handicap is supposed to indicate your expected score on your average good day.   Most days you will be below it, on a good day you will score above it.  To say it doesn’t matter that I have to give a fellow golfer an extra 2 strokes more than he deserves because we don’t know how he will play that day is absurd.

There are over 2,000 subscribers to BIRDIE in Thailand.  That is a major vote of confidence in the BIRDIE system.  We are told we are switching to Birdie because it is transparent.   Where did they get the ratings for Happy City and Waterford?  For that matter the ratings I have just found that the ratings for Santiburi are wrong.  We have always used the ratings from the Santiburi website.  As I write this Bruce’s handicap using exactly the same scores on Birdie is 6.5 yet by my calculations it is 5.7 – a difference of 14%.   Graham’s handicap on birdie is 19.3 yet by my calculations it is 18.4.    Unless someone can show me proof that the ratings that Birdie uses are correct I will assume they are wrong and therefore all handicaps they generate are wrong.

Let’s review what I have just said.   The members weren’t asked if they want Birdie.  Most of the members haven’t bothered with it.  Four of the five that did enter data didn’t get it close to 100% correct and the Birdie system is producing incorrect handicaps.   I’ve got to ask why in the world is this being pushed on us?   Oh yes, you’ve already answered that with “WE CAN’T TELL YOU THAT”!

He (Leo) has demonstrated a stunning disregard for ethics and a persistent inability to put aside personal animosities for the good of the group It appears to me that it is the Administrators that have a disregard for ethics by deciding what the members want without discussing it with them first.   Are we too stupid to be part of the decision?  It also appears that it is the Administrators that have an inability to put aside personal animosities for the good of the group.  After all, what is it that they can’t tell us?   Maybe they just don’t want me taking care of the handicaps.

I will be publishing the handicaps for all the members every 2 weeks.  All handicaps are peer reviewable.  All scores are recorded on this blog.  If anyone wants a listing of theirs or anyone else’s last 20 scores I will send it to them.  It won’t be as instant as Birdie but it will be accurate.   With me you get fair handicaps which will ensure SMAF competitions are FUN and FRIENDLY as they always were in the past..   Why accept Birdsh*t?


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