Handicapping changes set for September, 2011

More golf handicapping changes for Australia are on the way.

We’re now almost three weeks away from the latest instalment of handicapping changes for Australian golf. A number of changes will be made to the current handicapping method on September 21, 2011 including a change to the way your handicap is calculated.

After a thorough analysis of the effect of the USGA handicapping system, Golf Australia have announced some amendments to be made to the system to suit the Australian golf environment, which is markedly different to the club golf environment in the US. (Although incredibly similar to the New Zealand golf environment, I might add).

It was found that higher handicappers have a much better chance of securing a winning score in club competition rounds than low handicappers due to the extra variability in the current system. Effectively, the changes will see the handicaps of more erratic golfers decrease more than consistent ones.

Golf Australia announced the following changes will be made effective from Wednesday September 21, 2011.

Best 8 of 20 method
Currently, a golfer’s handicap is calculated by selecting the average of the best 10 of 20 previous rounds. Under the amendments, the calculation will now only select the best 8 of 20 golf rounds and calculate an average (i.e. select the best 8 rounds, and divide by 8 instead of 10).

Bonus for excellence multiplier
Under the old method, the average was then multiplied by 0.96. From now on, the average calculated above (best 8 of 20 rounds) will be multiplied by 0.93.

For more on this, and the effect of the bonus for excellence multiplier, see the “What’s with the 0.96?” post I wrote previously. The principle is the same.

The Anchor<
We will also see the introduction of an anchor to each golfer’s handicap. This will prevent a golfer’s handicap from increasing more than 4 strokes beyond their best handicap in the previous 12-month rolling period. This has the effect of seeing good golfers blowing out their handicaps, which often leads to strangely low scores to win club competitions.

Score capping
The final amendment will also see that high scores over the course rating will be capped. It will be capped at 40 for men and 50 for women

The changes will be made retrospectively and GolfLink handicapping will be down from 1pm on Monday 19 September to Wednesday 21 September.

10 thoughts on “Handicapping changes set for September, 2011

  • These changes will have the effect of reducing handicaps, right, and reducing high handicaps more than low handicaps, thus helping low handicap players?

  • The Anchor should be implemented in Canada to… heck should be implemented everywhere. I think Golf Australia is on the right track and other national bodies should take a closer look at what their doing. Good work.

  • With the old system, you could expect to play to your handicap or better less than one time in four. With the new system, you can expect to play to your handicap less than one time in five. Your handicap will be lower, but you’ll play to it less often. Sounds better, but yeilds more disappointment. Oh well.

  • you know where i can find a good macro spreadsheet that’s easy to track my handicap?

  • Good question Eric. I don’t off hand as I usually track mine via GolfLink and in the Mates section they have a handicap predictor.
    You can calculate it easy enough if you have access to your last 20 games in GolfLink.
    Let us know if you find one though.

  • Is there somewhere I can post the Excel spreadsheet we use or let me know your email.

    Basically the formula you need is:
    Select 8 best scores from 20 most recent is =SUM(SMALL(F3:F22,{1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8}))/8*0.93
    Rounding is: =ROUND(H1,0)

  • My handicap has gone from 9.6 to 5.7 because of the new anchor rule , in march I was playing a lot and well and was of 1.7 now I’m anchored to that 1.7 for I don’t know how long? Does anyone know how long I’ll be forced to play off this anchor . It goes without saying that I wasn’t even playing to 10 most of the time ,so 6 just means that there is no use playing in comps till I can get a handicap that reflects my current playing.

  • Wow, that’s some drop but also you must have a huge range of numbers there. The anchor goes for 12 months I believe.
    But I’m also guessing, but given you were playing off 1.7 in March, a handicap of 10 is probably not what your handicap should be?!


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