New Blog Name: The Scratch Pad

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and feedback. While the finalists were all strong contenders, the consensus (among both you and us) formed around one name . The clear winner was The Scratch Pad, and we’re very excited to have that as the new name for our online golf handicap blog. We’ll be posting the name shortly.

As a thank you to Dayton House (who suggested the name), we’ll be sending him a free year of membership.


As far as I could tell, Walter was Birkdale Golf Club’s Boo Radley – mysterious, detached, reclusive. He seemed to live among the woods of North Carolina pines, or maybe in the pond beside the second green, rising up out of the stagnant water every morning dressed in rubber coveralls with attached boots. I’d spot him in the strangest places – rummaging through the dense underbrush beside the 3rd fairway, or crouching across the swampy, snake-infested muck to the right of the 13th hole. He would hold a KJ Choi SuperStroke putter grip-sized cigar in his teeth as he slunk through the shadows of the property. He never made eye contact, he never talked, but he was always there. Continue reading “Walter”

WANTED: Golf Criminal

SCENE OF THE CRIME: UNC Finley Golf Course driving range, Chapel Hill, NC.

Divots on the golf Range

EVIDENCE: Photo of the aftermath taken by MyScorecard blog writer. (See photo at right)

CHARGE: Desecrating golf grounds with inexplicably grotesque divot pattern.

WEAPON: Not yet discovered. Search is on for a very muddy 5-iron or a trench shovel.

NOTES: The location of the tee marker relative to the divot pattern, the rightward slanting direction of each individual divot, and the unnatural depth of each divot suggest that perpetrator is a left-handed golfer with a violent over-the-top move. Residents in homes on left side of driving range have been evacuated in case perp returns to hit more balls.

Divot pattern somewhat resembles middle finger being given to greenskeeper. Greenskeeper has been relocated for his own safety.

WARNING: This photo is for investigative purposes only. If you stare too long, you won’t be able to help imagine the golf swing that created this mess, and you will feel your handicap increasing as you do. Glance if you must, but avert your eyes quickly as if you were looking at the sun.

Help us Find a Name: Finalists

We’ve definitely appreciated your suggestions for our blog name – there were many good and creative ones, which made it difficult to narrow the list down to a few finalists. However, after deliberating among the the MyScorecard team, we select 4 finalists for the blog name. We’ve listed them below, and appreciate your feedback as to which name you like best.

The finalists, in alphabetical order:

  1. The “Hole” truth – suggested by Mark Thielen
  2. Beyond the Rough – suggested by Rick Cihak
  3. The Scratch Pad – suggested by Dayton House
  4. The Up & Down – suggested by Mike R and seconded by Fred N

How much does putting really matter?

It does, but maybe not quite as you thought.

Drawing on our database of millions of scores, we are able to pose and answer questions that bring you interesting insights.

So we asked ourselves – how important is putting for your handicap? Some people think it’s quite important (how many of you own or have read Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible?). Others believe it makes no difference and don’t even bother hitting the practice green.

So we took a look at our database and ran some numbers. Continue reading “How much does putting really matter?”

Three (strange) Minutes with Tiger

Tiger Golf CrowdIf you’ve been to a PGA Tour event, you know it’s next to impossible to get an up-close view of Tiger Woods. You might wriggle your way to within 40 feet of a tee box or green, but unless you’re taller than most you’ll have to look through the backs of people stacked ten deep just to get a glimpse of the side of his leg. As I rode the shuttle bus in to see Thursday’s round at the 2009 Quail Hollow Championship, I decided I would use a little strategery to increase my chances of seeing the world’s number one golf swing at point blank. Point blank is what I got, and a bit more.

PGA tour stats show that Tiger Woods misses 36% of his fairways, and if you watch golf on TV, you know that when he misses he misses right just about every time. So, as Tiger played the 8th, I staked out some real estate on the right side of the 9th fairway (Tiger’s 18th for the day), about 300 yards from the tee. I planted myself on the rope and Continue reading “Three (strange) Minutes with Tiger”

Help us Find a Name

It’s been decided. Online Handicap Blog is not doing it for us. It’s not strong. It’s not that exciting; it’s not really even that sexy.

We think we can do better, and we think you can help. We need a name, and potentially a slogan. Post your suggestions below (or send them to us) and share your thoughts about which suggestion you like most. The best one will become the new name for our blog.

Start Putting (and Making) the Short Ones

Taking gimmes impact your handicapI remember reading somewhere that the average golfer effectively lowers his or her handicap a full 3 strokes by taking unwarranted gimmes.

In other words, taking gimmes on a regular basis results in a handicap index that is lower than your true ability. This is bad if you’re giving strokes to your friends on Saturday mornings. I don’t know how accurate that 3-stroke statistic is, but it’s compelled me to take the time, even when I’m just playing by myself, to putt everything out. I always want to know that my handicap is an accurate measure of my game, and unfortunately my game includes a fairly severe incompetence from inside 5 feet.

The day I left a 24-inch putt 6 inches short was the day I knew I had to do something about my short putting. If you’re like me, the sight of your golf ball coming to rest anywhere between 2 and 5 feet from the hole causes immediate, involuntary twitching. In fact, I sometimes will my chips to roll 10 feet past just so I won’t have to face the shakes from 4 feet. Continue reading “Start Putting (and Making) the Short Ones”

Update: Out of Season Scores

After receiving feedback about the confusion involving out-of-season scores, we’ve made things easier and more intuitive.

If you live in a Northern region (e.g. NY), it is important that you do not post scores during the inactive season. This is because course slope & ratings (the measures of course difficulty) may not be accurate in winter conditions (and thus skew your handicap). Checking the box still let’s you post your score – however, a score that you designate as out-of-season is only recorded in your Score History, and does not get used in the handicap calculation.

Before, the out-of-season checkbox would appear throughout the winter. Now, it will only appear if you are actually in a region Continue reading “Update: Out of Season Scores”


Never leave a putt for septuple-bogey short. That’s not quite how the saying goes, but that’s exactly what I was thinking as I stood over a left-to-right 15-footer on the par five 5th. Four Sasquatch divots marked the scene of my undoing exactly 108 yards back up the fairway, one for each of the four shiny new Pro V1’s that were sitting at the bottom of the pond in front of the green. I’d managed to hit something other than mud on my fifth try, and all things considered, ended up relatively pleased with the bellied screamer that skipped once and spun to 15 feet. It was an excruciating 108-yard walk up to the green. By the time I arrived, though, I was done moping. If there was one thing I’d learned from all of my self-help reading, it was Continue reading “Albatross”