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Pope Of Slope


Golf Digest, August, 1999, page 34

Can a Golfer Use Booze to Keep His Handicap High?

Dear Golf Digest: I sometimes drink while playing golf, which can lead to higher scores. But entering these scores inflates my handicap. I'm no sandbagger, so what do I do? B.T., via E-mail.

Answer: We've always felt a cold brewski tasted better after a round than during it, but some players have told us that a dose or two of their favorite "swing oil" actually helps their game. In fact, we once came across a golfer whose bag was specially designed to hold a six-pack of beer--and keep it cold. He said he played better as the round went on because it kept him relaxed. (Of course, it's never smart to tipple excessively on-course: You could topple a cart, get dehydrated, generally make a fool of yourself or all of the above.)

But enough of the lecture, and on to the facts of the matter. And for that we turn to handicap guru Dean Knuth. "The U.S. Golf Association Handicap System technically covers drugs and alcohol by stating that the System assumes a golfer will be playing his best at all times," he says.

"If you do play better in tournaments than in a buzzed state, then Section 10-3 kicks in," Knuth reminds us. "Your Handicap Index is then based on your two best tournament scores over the last 12 months, rather than the best 10 of your last 20 scores."

Preserve your integrity by making sure your club has been properly applying "T"'s to its tournament scoring. Preserve your liver by pacing yourself during casual play.

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