The USGA handicapping system introduced to Australian golf will be fine-tuned after Golf Australia consulted with Australian golf officials and the USGA.
Over the past year there has been one topic of conversation at every golf club in Australia that has created a huge amount of talk, the new handicapping system. Generally the new system has been well received but as Peter Senior once said, “opinions are like arseholes, everyone’s got one”.
Golf Australia has been aware of the controversy and will make an announcement in May outlining a new plan for the Australian Handicap system.
Key points to be updated are as follows:
- An adjustment to the best 10 of 20 scores method of calculating handicaps will be addressed. (Note: A best 20 of 40 scores system has been proposed although this has not been favoured at this point in time).
- The Slope Indexing System will be introduced.
- All stroke rounds will be converted to stableford scores for handicapping purposes.
A survey has been sent to clubs and golf associations today which will provide feedback on two more points which will be addressed if needed.
- The current course rating method does not allow changes due to daily conditions. This will be investigated and potentially adjusted.
- A proposal to include SOME non-competition rounds for handicapping has been put forward. This may mean each club can implement the system at its own disgression but no changes will be made until feedback has been obtained from clubs via a survey released today.
Why the changes?
Australian club administered club competitions are unusual compared with the rest of the world. Not only do we have many more club competitions that anywhere else in the world, frequently field sizes are in excess of 100.
A comprehensive statistical analysis was undertaken by Golf Australia looking at over 27,000 competition rounds of 400,000 golfers and they found that under new system low handicappers are disadvantaged in club competitions.
Further, the old handicap system involved a daily course rating (CCR) which was calculated on the scores for the day and varied depending on course conditions. A daily change to the course rating is not included in the current system which has caused some concern.