World Handicap System
What it Means
One thing has not changed, when you purchase a handicap this supports the Indiana Golf Foundation and Junior golf, also, a handicap is an important measure of your golfing ability/progress.  So what's new?  Golf associations world wide (like USGA & RA of Scotland) now all use the same system to calculate handicaps across the globe.  Here are some of the major changes: 
  1. The NUMBER of scores required to establish a handicap has been lowered from 5 to 3.
  2. Handicap revisions will occur DAILY providing a more responsive handicap index
  3. The calculation has changed using the best 8 of the recent 20 instead of 10 of the last 20. 
  4. Includes adjustment for ABNORMAL PLAYING CONDITIONS
  5. Maximum handicap index has been raised to 54.0
  6. Equitable Stroke Control has been replaced by NET DOUBLE BOGEY
  7. 9/18 hole scores:  When 7-13 holes are played a 9 hole score should be posted, 14 or more an 18 hole score should be posted

Wanna Dive in More?

Like I said, these are the major changes you may notice very little actual change when posting scores etc.  Whenever we talk about rules or handicaps, things can get complicated.   Here's some additional info for those that want to be further confused/informed:

  1. Handicap index calculation no longer uses tournament scores, also the number is not multiplied by .96 (the bonus for excellence).  The calculation now uses a SOFT CAP and a HARD CAP that limits extreme upward movement of the index.  Soft Cap will suppress the upward movement of the handicap by 50% if a 3 stroke increase occurs in a 12 month period.  The Hard Cap will restrict upward movement if after the Soft Cap a 5 stroke increase occurs in 12 months.  This limits substantially the upward movement of the handicap index.
  2. Exceptional Score Reduction (ESR) When a player submits a score that produces a differential 7-9 strokes below their current handicap index a -1 reduction is applied to the most 20 recent scores.  10 or more below and a -2 reduction is applied to the 20 most recent scores.  Scores submitted after the ESR are not adjusted (unless they are exceptional) which allows the ESR to gradually work itself out.

Hopefully, you can see with these two forces at work there is a limit to how much a players handicap can rise but no limit as to how far it can fall.  I think this will do well to eliminate extremes and the potential for sandbagging.


IT IS IMPORTANT TO POST YOUR SCORES IN A TIMELY MANER, preferably by midnight as revisions may take place at 2am.  Handicap also takes in ABNORMAL PLAYING CONDITIONS using a PLAYING CONDITIONS CALCULATION (PCC).  What is this and how does it work?  How does it know if it rains etc.?  Well, it really has nothing to do with weather.  For instance what if the Superintendent tucks the pins and moves the tees back?  PCC is automatic through the system and simple usually -1, +1,  etc.  PCC is a statistical proceedure that compares scores submitted by players on the day against expected scoring patterns.  There needs to be a minimum of 8 players with a handicap index of 36 or less for PCC to be utilized.  PCC is conservative, automatic, and will kick in on rare occasions.


You may have noticed you handicp has changed although you have not played, this is due to the new system.  Members may also notice new handicap numbers.  Important things to remember:  1) Get a handicap it's good for you and supports Junior Golf.  2) Post your scores honestly and in a timely fashion.  3) Don't Worry about it too much and have fun!

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