Man sues golf club for $13.2 million for lowering handicap

How much is your handicap worth to you? For one golfer in Ireland, it's apparently worth €10m (about $13.2 million USD). In a bizarre story that, honestly, belongs in The Onion, 75-year-old golfer Thomas Talbot is suing his former club, Hermitage Golf Club, after the handicap secretary reduced his handicap by 7.7 shots between 1999 and 2004.

As the Irish Independent reported, Talbot claimed the handicap reduction took a personal toll on him over the last six years, as friends at his former club refused to play with him and labeled him a cheat.

The golf club claimed  that based on GUI Rule 19, it had an obligation to lower his handicap if it felt it was too high relative to his ability on the course. But Talbot didn't see it that way, and so here we are ... talking about a guy suing his golf club for a lowered handicap. A LOWERED handicap.

"This case has been going on for the past six years. It has been hugely stressful. I didn't care so much about the handicap issue, it is more the principle of it.

"I'd turn up for a competition and there would be nobody to play with. I have learned the hard way that friends are a funny species -- they're never there when you want them.["]

On one hand, I feel bad for Talbot because playing golf with friends is one of the best things on earth. But on the other hand, I want to know how he went five years without questioning his handicap. If this was such a big deal back then, why didn't he just talk to someone at the club and get things cleared up? That's the real question that needs to be answered.

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