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Pebble Beach Settles the Score
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About the Pope Of Slope

Pope Of Slope


Golf Digest, May, 1999, page 42

Sandbaggers Beware: A new scoring system helps

Dear Golf Digest: I'm sick and tired of the same guys winning our club tournaments. These sandbaggers fatten their handicaps just in time to clean up. How can they be stopped? D.T. Miami

This sounds like a job for "the Pope of Slope." We're talking about Dean Knuth, former handicap guru for the U.S. Golf Association. He's the stats whiz who came up with the USGA Slope Rating System and most recently a new Golf Digest world ranking for tour pros. Though now at the Inter-National Research Institute in San Diego, where he develops high-tech command-and-control software for the U.S. Military, Knuth is still waging war on golf cheats.

His chief weapon: a simple formula called the Knuth Tournament Point System that awards points for top-five finishes in net events (five for first, down to one for fifth). Based on the points won in a two-year period, competitor's USGA Handicap Indexes are reduced for tournament play if they finish high more than their fair share. Knuth's procedure for weeding out handicap cheats has been instituted at a number of clubs and golf organizations, including the Pacific Northwest Golf Association. Entries in net events there have gone up dramatically since the point system reduced the handicaps of perennial winners.

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