This is a fairly easy system. The Handicap formula is
[(Your Average) – 54] x 90%= your handicap (rounded to whole number)
So for example if your average is 64, you subtract 54, and get 10, then multiply by 90% (.9) your handicap is 9.
So the next week you shoot a scratch score of 63. With a 9 handicap, your adjusted score is 54. Thus, if you shoot better then your average, it is likely you will get some cash back, but your handicap will also go down, making it slightly more difficult to place next week. If you shoot worse then your average, your handicap will go up slightly, making it easier to place the next week.
It works out well in that the same people are not winning every week, and everybody has a good chance at cashing.
There are some variables and rules we could choose to adopt or not.
1. Negative handicaps. If someone shoots a scratch 50 every week, they will have a handicap of -4. [50-54] x 90%= -3.6 (rounded to 4). Thus their adjusted score would be 54. I like this way, I think it makes things even more fair, but some people don't.
2. Cost. I suggest $7 mandatory ($5 towards payout, $1 year end final, $1 to club) The year end final then ends up with an establish pot already, and you only pay for the weeks you missed. So if there was 20 weeks, each player would have contributed $20. If they missed 3 weeks, it will cost that player $3 to play in the final. Or you could not play all summer, and pay $20 to play the final. The $1 to the club could be earmarked for either course repair, or to subsidize cost of the Jammer, or the Battle, etc.
In addition to the $7... optional $1 ace pool. optional $2 50/50 ctp ($1 to payout, $1 to club). That makes it a nice even $10 if you opt for everything.
3. how to establish handicap Rather then the honor system of 'yeah i usually shoot a 70' I propose 2 weeks to establish handicap. So for new players, the first two weeks they will play without a handicap. To be fair, they will not have to pay the $5 for payout the first time, only the $2, (plus options). On the second week, their score is immediately figured in with week one, and the handicap is applied. This could be 3 weeks, or your most recent casual round (with a witness), up for discussion.
4. Outlayers Some leagues use a ridiculous equation using standard deviations for this. I propose that any round which is 7 strokes (or another number) above your average, will be disregarded, and not figured into your average. This prevents anyone from purposely throwing a terrible round, ending up with a 20 handicap, then crushing everyone next week. aka sandbagging. On the other hand, if you shoot 7 strokes below your average, good for you, keep it up.
5. pdga rules apply, no arguing. (except for that pesky beer/fun stuff rule)
6. payouts. top third, at directors discretion.
The stats can be kept in a spreadsheet. That way if whoever runs the league can't be there one week, they can email it to someone to substitute. This is also a great time to play for bag tags, if we had them. Tags are based on scratch score of course.