New handicap system: how does it work?

Update: New changes to the Australian handicapping system take place from September 21, 2011. Read about changes here. 

numbersAussie Golfer has reported a few times about the new course rating and handicapping changes that will soon be implemented to Australian golf. The change to the way your handicap is calculated is scheduled to take effect from February 1, 2010.

I’ll outline how it will work for you here so you can let other golfers know. You will sound smart, interesting and people will like you even more.The changes are based on the USGA Handicap System which features a “rolling sample” measure of your handicap. Let me explain.From your last 20 scores from your golfing record, the best 10 Handicap Differentials are averaged to calculate your handicap (Handicap Differential = Gross Score – Course Rating).

Let’s say a golfer’s best 10 Handicap Differentials out of his past 20 rounds are +9, +11, +13, +15, +15, +15, +17, +13, +12, +12. The average of these differentials is 13.2. Now multiply this number by 0.96* and you get 12.672. Deleting all the numbers after the first decimal place we are left with 12.6. DO NOT round up!

Now, we DO round off this number to the nearest whole number to obtain the golfer’s playing handicap, in this case it’s 13.

There are provisions in place to determine handicaps for golfers who do not have 20 scores in their record. A lower number of Handicap Differentials are used to provide an average value for calculation.

Is that fairly clear? I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible and to be honest,I think it’s a lot simpler than the current method. Look out for it. Coming to a golf course near you in February, 2010.

*What’s with the 0.96?

26 thoughts on “New handicap system: how does it work?

  • August 10, 2009 at 02:07
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    Why do you multiply by .96 (is this number the course rating?)
    Paul Arnfield

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  • August 10, 2009 at 05:15
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    Keep reading Paul. Keep reading. I asterisk-ed it and the explanation is below the article in italics. Perhaps I should expand a little on it soon…

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  • August 11, 2009 at 00:48
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    If your system is like ours, you will no longer carry a handicap. You will have an index number (no rounding up). For example, you mentioned 12.672, so your index would be 12.6. When you go to a course, your handicap would vary pending on the slope rating of the tees you are playing from. That particular day, you could very easily be a 13 from the middle tees and a 14 from the back tees. Just as the old system, a 12.6 index could be a 13 and a 12.7 could be a 14.

    Next, take a peek at posting tournament scores and how that formula could mess you up for a full year.

    Has the “Tiger getting show-up money” thing quieted down yet? I think he signed that deal when he zero wins and now he five and counting. A few more Aussie may wish to see him. He is really not too bad a player…

    We also take the differential you mentioned above and divide it by 113 (a set number) and multiply that figure by the slope value of the course you played. Some very sick people devised this system.

    Could you imagine if we had to manually calculate these figures?

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  • August 12, 2009 at 08:41
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    Hey Vince,

    Thanks for the info.
    I think I might address that idea of carrying a handicap in another post. Trying to stretch it out a bit so all the Aussie golfers don’t get info overload!

    Tiger/money situation has died down. The whole event is almost a sell out and television networks have come on board too. Seems it may have been worth it after all!

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  • December 20, 2009 at 05:44
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    How is the handicap calculated at change over on 1 Feb? Last 20 rounds before 1 Feb, or start afresh and wait for 20 rounds?

    Ian

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  • December 20, 2009 at 23:26
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    Yes Ian. It will be calculated from the previous 20 rounds. However the implementation of the new system has been delayed and will more likely start in April.

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  • January 7, 2010 at 09:45
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    how often does your handicap update? every 20 rounds?

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  • January 8, 2010 at 00:33
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    Every time a new score is entered the handicap is immediately recalculated based on the last 20 rounds.

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  • January 9, 2010 at 07:20
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    What happens with an “Official adjustment” when no score is entered but Handicap can change? Glenn

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  • January 10, 2010 at 10:05
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    Hey Glenn, I think I know what you mean…if a player doesn’t enter his card, how does that change the last 20 rounds in terms of how the handicap is calculated?

    If so, I’m not sure! I’ll find out!

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  • January 10, 2010 at 10:16
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    I’m still not 100% sure Glenn but in this instance all holes are assumed to have been played to the maximum score for that players handicap. It varies depending on the handicap but it’s a little like the maximum score needed on each hole to get any points if we were playing stableford, for example.

    This would end up being a bad score which would be entered high by the system but probably won’t be used as if one is calculating a handicap using the last 20 rounds, only the 10 best scores count.

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  • January 20, 2010 at 09:48
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    I am interested in your thoughts if you think peoples handicap’s will go up with this new system, go down or do you will stay about the same.

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  • January 23, 2010 at 02:20
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    Has that April date (first or thirtieth) been confirmed as yet or are we still in the dark?

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  • January 26, 2010 at 09:06
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    We use this system in NZ and it works a treat. Very fair and your handicap index changes depending on the rating of the course. So if you are a 4.7 it might be a 4 handicap on an easy rated course and could be a 5 or even 6 on a difficult rated course. Its a great system taking the best 10 of your last 20, that way your horror cards are not counted.

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  • January 28, 2010 at 10:46
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    Is the handicap and sloping system starting at the same time.

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  • January 28, 2010 at 13:05
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    No. Only the handicap system will be implemented in the coming months. The slope system will be fully implemented in late 2011.

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  • February 3, 2010 at 03:02
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    So if one of my best 10 scores was a 81 on a par 71 course with a CCR of 70 the new system would say I play to a 10 handicap not 9 as Golflink currently shows? So its the 10 best scores to the courses par not the CCR? Is this right? This may make about .4 difference aye?

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  • February 3, 2010 at 03:24
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    All scores will be in reference to the ACR (Australian Course Rating) for each course which may or may not be the same as par for the course.

    So what you’ve described is correct IF the ACR (Australian Course Rating) for your course is the same as pare.

    Make sense?

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  • February 14, 2010 at 02:04
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    How would this system work when playing stableford? We play on the same course weekly.

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  • February 15, 2010 at 06:00
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    Just the same as it does now. Golf Link converts all stableford scores to a stroke score in order to calculate a number “played to”.

    So if you play off 15 and you scored 36 points your “played to” number for that day is 15.

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  • March 17, 2010 at 23:13
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    Hello AG

    We published a Q&A page on the upcoming handicap pages on the 9th of April. I think it is well thought out, but as you know, keen golfers will always have additional and good question to ask (which they can submit on the site)

    Please see this section at http://www.golflink.com.au/handicapchangesqanda.aspx

    Hope your readers find this useful

    Shannon – Customer Service – GolfLink

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  • March 18, 2010 at 01:13
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    Shannon, excellent. Thanks for the info. That’s very good. I’ll endeavour to add a link to this from my front page.

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  • April 7, 2010 at 03:10
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    I have found the golf link program very un-user friendly and generally have to ring for almost everything. e.g on the new information it gives examples of how to arrive at the gross score for stableford scores. on ths blog it says that you input the stableford score and golf link does the rest. surely the new information could have said this to save confusion. i could see myself manually converting all stableford scores. a bit more simplicity please.

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  • April 7, 2010 at 03:12
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    Does the new system mean the adjusting ccr will no longer apply. e.g. where players dont play to the ccr will it still shift out to enable a ccr for the day to be created or has this gone.

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  • April 7, 2010 at 06:44
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    Firstly the CCR is disappearing altogether. The only point of reference for handicapping will now be the ACR (Australian Course Rating).

    Secondly, all calculations determining you score for handicapping will be done by GolfLink no matter what golf format you are playing.

    Just continue playing and handing in your cards as you have been. the rest is done automatically.

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  • April 12, 2010 at 01:34
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    ouch, HCP went from 9.1 to 7.6. Our competition CCR is always 1 or 2 below the ACR, thought this might explain it but my mates haven’t changed. Weird. Wont be betting for a while.

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