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.
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.
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.