Final changes to Australia’s golf handicapping system to be implemented next week

All you need to know about the changes to Australia’s golf handicapping system.

The computer system that controls all Australian golf handicaps will go down on Monday to carry out the latest – and last – update to the handicapping system which will include slope, daily scratch rating and conforming social scores.

The GolfLink system will be out of action from Monday, January 20 at 1pm (AEST) and will be back on-line for all golf clubs on the afternoon on Thursday, January 23, 2014 in order for the software to be updated. But never fear, you can still play golf during this time using the handicap you had before the shut-down. All competition results will be processed after GolfLink is back up and running on Thursday.

The overhaul to Australia’s golf handicapping began a few years ago with the introduction of the USGA system, but it has most recently been tailored to suit Australia’s unique club environment and is being keenly watched by many other international golfing bodies.

So what is changing?
From Thursday January 23, there will be several changes made which will be the last in a long overhaul of the handicapping system used in Australia.. In summary, here is what they will be.

  • Slope
    Every golf course in Australia now has a Slope rating which will be incorporated into the new handicapping system. See previous post and videos from Golf Australia for more about Slope. More: What is slope?
  • You’ll get a new GA handicap, determined by the best 8 of your last 20 rounds of golf (the average x 0.93), but each of these rounds will be assessed against a neutral slope rating – 113 (155 is most difficult, 55 is least difficult). This new handicap will be the one you are officially assigned, and you will use it to determine your daily handicap depending on which course and set of tees you will be playing from.
  • SHA (Stableford Handicapping Adjustment)
    For handicapping purposes only, all stroke and par rounds will be processed with both stroke AND stableford scores.
  • DSR (Daily Scratch Rating)
    A little like CCR but much more complex. It will now include average net score and average handicap for the field, field size, competition type, and gender. From GolfLink:

    GOLF Link will compare the average net score it has calculated from the scores on the day, with the average net score it EXPECTS for this precise field composition. (The EXPECTED average is determined by GOLF Link from millions of prior rounds.) GOLF Link will then determine the DSR.

  • Handicapping of conforming social scores
    Clubs can choose to opt out of this but – if your club allows it, AND you nominate prior to your round AND your card is signed by a marker AND the round if played in accordance with the Rules of Golf – you can now hand your card in for any round outside of a competition. About time!
  • Handicapping 9-hole (and four-ball) scores
    This is great news for golfers who don’t always have time to play 18 holes. You’re 9-hole score will be locked away at GolfLink until you submit another 9-hole score – just like the way they do it in many other parts of the world.

For more details, check out GolfLink, specifically this handy chart of the changes being implemented or chat to the pro shop staff at your golf club.

One thought on “Final changes to Australia’s golf handicapping system to be implemented next week

  • You omitted to mention that “course ratings” are now considered, in addition to “slope ratings”, to allow fairer competition between players whose GA handicaps are computed from rounds on courses of different difficulties.


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