World Handicap System

World Handicap System

What is the handicap system?

Purpose of the World Handicap System

The World Handicap System includes the Rules of Handicapping and the Course Rating System. Its purpose is to enable as many golfers as possible the opportunity to: Obtain and maintain a Handicap Index. Use their Handicap Index on any golf course around the world. Compete, or play recreationally, with anyone else on a fair and equal basis. The whole purpose of a golf handicap system is to provide equality for all players. To level the "playing field" - enabling players of all abilities to have a fair and enjoyable game, with or against any other players. For more information please click on this link

Course Rating & Slope Rating

A golf clubs course rating is the evaluation of the playing difficulty of a course for scratch golfers under normal course and weather conditions.
The rating is based on yardage and other obstacles to the extent that they affect the scoring difficulty for the scratch golfer.
The Course Rating is expressed as the number of strokes expected taken to one decimal place. 
Bawburgh Golf Club’s Course Ratings are as follow.

White Tees - 72.1 Yellow Tees - 70.6 Green Tees - 69.1


Green Tees - 75.4 Red Tees - 73.9

A golf clubs Slope Rating is the number which indicates the relative playing difficulty of a course for bogey golfer compared to scratch golfers.
It is the combination of the Course Rating and the Bogey Rating that allows us to calculate the Slope Rating of a set of tees.
The Slope Rating is the difference between the Bogey and Course Ratings multiplied by a constant factor. It’s expressed as a whole number between 55 and 155. A golf course of standard relative playing difficulty has a Slope Rating of 113.
Bawburgh 18 Hole Slope Ratings are:

Whites - 128 Yellows - 125 Greens - 119


Greens - 132 Reds - 129

 For more information, please click on this link –

Handicap Index

Handicap Index is a measure of a player’s demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty.
It represents a golfer’s playing handicap on a course with a Neutral Slope Rating of 113.
It is calculated as a rolling average of the lowest 8 from the last 20 Score Differentials. How is my HI calculated – Example of 8 of 20 calculation
Each time a new score is submitted, the average of the lowest 8 from the last 20 is re-calculated, which may or may not lead to a change of Handicap Index.
There are additional safeguards to ensure that a player’s handicap does not rise too quickly when a player is going through a spell of poor form.
A player’s lowest Handicap Index during the last 12 months is used as a point to limit increases in Handicap Index.
Soft CAP:  Potential increases of Handicap Index to a figure greater than (LHI + 3) are limited by half the amount over three, e.g. 5 is limited to 4, 6 is limited to 4.5, etc.
Hard CAP:  The maximum that the Handicap Index can increase to is (LHI + 5). 
An adjustment to the Handicap Index after a very low score has been posted. Exceptional Scores
A reduction of -1 for scores between 7 and 9 below Handicap Index.
A reduction of -2 for scores 10 or more below Handicap Index.
The reduction is applied to the last 20 scores on the scoring record and drops off gradually over the next 20 rounds.
A new player’s Handicap Index is initially allocated at 2 less than the best of the Adjusted Gross Scores from 3 x 18 hole cards submitted.
Cards can be submitted as 6 x 9 hole or some other combination.
Subsequent Handicap Index calculations change as more scores are entered:
3 scores: lowest score -2
4 scores: lowest score -1
5 scores: lowest score
6 scores: average of lowest 2 scores -1
7 to 8 scores: average of lowest 2 scores
9 to 11 scores: average of lowest 3 scores
12 to 14 scores: average of lowest 4 scores
15 to 16 scores: average of lowest 5 scores
17 to 18 scores: average of lowest 6 scores
19 scores: average of lowest 7 scores
20 scores: average of lowest 8 scores

Course Handicap & Playing Handicap

Course Handicap is the number of handicap strokes a player receives before Handicap allowances, on a specific course and from a specific set of tees, as determined by the Slope Rating. There will be tables on display where you can look up your Course Handicap. 
It is the Course Handicap that is used to determine Net Par and Net Double Bogey adjustments in calculating Adjusted Gross Scores and in assessing scores for un-played holes.
A player’s Course Handicap is determined by multiplying their Handicap Index by the the Slope Rating and dividing by the neutral Slope Rating of 113. Playing Handicap is the Course Handicap adjusted for any Handicap Allowance. It represents the actual number of strokes the player gives or receives for the round being played. 
It is Playing Handicap that is used to determine competition results.
Handicap Allowance is the percentage of Course Handicap specified for a particular format of play and/or specified in the Terms of the Competition. Handicap Allowances
For more information please click on this link –

Acceptable Scores for Handicap Purposes

It is anticipated that it will be mandatory for all singles competition rounds in authorised formats be submitted for handicap purposes, subject to clarification about rounds played with winter rules in operation.
Scores from team competitions and match play will not be acceptable in England initially, although this may change based on feedback from other jurisdictions that include those formats. The recommendation from England Golf is that scores from regular organised social events (swindles and roll-ups) in authorised formats are submitted.

Players are required to register their intention in the Pro Shop to submit a score from general (non-competition) play before commencing the round. Scores submitted from general play are called Social Scores and are similar to the current Supplementary Scores.

Minimum Number of Holes

Scores may be submitted over 9 holes or 18 holes. All 9 holes must be played to submit a 9 hole score. Two 9 holes scores will be combined to produce one 18 hole score on the Scoring Record. An 18 hole score will count as long as 10 or more holes have been completed. Holes not played are recorded as Net Par or (Net Par + 1), depending on the number not played.

Adjusted Gross Score

For handicap purposes, a high score on any hole is reduced to Net Double Bogey, using the player's Course Handicap. Holes started, but not completed, are also recorded as Net Double Bogey.

Score Differential

The Adjusted Gross Scores is compared with the Course Rating and is "de-sloped" to give the Score Differential for the round, which is added to the player's Scoring Record.

Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC)


For more information please click on this link –
Determines if course and weather conditions on the day differed from normal to the extent that they significantly impacted players’ performance. Calculated using all scores submitted on the course that day, as long as 8 or more golfers with a Handicap Index of less than 36 and a fully developed Scoring Record played.
It is conservative in nature and can increase the Adjusted Gross Score by 1 in easy conditions or decrease it by 1, 2 or 3 in difficult conditions.
For more information please click on this link –
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