Golf Australia announce new 5-stroke anchor for Australian handicapping

Golf Australia apply another small tweak to Australian golf handicapping.

St.Michael's golf club

After a crazy few weeks with Adam Scott winning the Masters, we’re slowly coming back to earth here at Aussie Golfer and catching up on a few of the things we missed last week.

We brought you the new Life is Greener golf show earlier today but also announced a last week was the news from Golf Australia that the current Australian handicapping system is to be getting a little tweak with the anchor shifting  from four to five strokes, coming into effect on May 14, 2013.

The Australian handicapping system is a far cry from where it was four years ago. A golfers handicap would only change following a good round of golf, or slowly creep outwards after months and months or mediocre golf.

In early 2009 Golf Australia announced that Australia would be adopting the USGA handicapping system, it was officially introduced in April 2010 to some initial criticism but on the whole, Australian golfers have welcomed the more dynamic changes in their handicaps.

The new system was directly adopted from the USGA handicapping system but it has undergone some tweaks to reflect the different golf environment in Australia.

As it stands, the Australian handicapping system utilises a golfer’s best 8 of  his/her most recent 20 rounds of golf to calculate a handicap, but an anchor handicap was also introduced to stop a player’s handicap drifting out too far.

Initially the anchor was set as four strokes more than a golfer’s best handicap in the previous 12 month period, but the Chairman of Golf Australia John Hopkins has announced that a new 5-stroke Anchor Regulation will come into effect on May 14, 2013.

The anchor was introduced to tie in a golfers underlying playing ability to their handicap and reduce the rapid extreme outward movement of a golfers handicap. A GA study into its implementation found that a players handicap is seasonal – meaning that an Australian golfer’s handicap tends to increase during winter and decrease during summer. Hence, a golfer’s anchor value is also seasonal.

The new 5-stroke anchor essentially allows for more movement in a golfer’s handicap during winter.

Further components to the handicapping system will be introduced in late 2013 including a Daily Scratch Rating and course slope ratings. Stay tuned!