How does the new handicapping system compare to the old one?

Click to enlarge. Some information comparing the old and new handicapping systems. Courtesy of Golf Australia.
Did your handicap go up or down after the introduction of the new handicapping system? Was it a big jump or did it stay the same? Recently, Golf Australia released some statistics relating to the new handicap system and they will give you some idea how your change compared to other golfers.
The stats provide a comparison of the distribution of handicaps between the old and new systems. some of the statistics can be seen above and here is a link to the full statistics. Some interesting points were noted by Golf Australia.
  • For both females and males, low single figure handicap players are likely to have had their handicap decrease slightly under the new system. Players with handicaps higher than this, are likely to have experienced an increase under the new system.
  • The average male handicap rose by about 1 stroke, whilst the average female handicap rose by about 2 strokes.
This was one of the most important points as it justifies one of the reasons for the introduction of the new system.
  • Upward increases of greater than 4 strokes are largely restricted to high handicap players. This goes to addressing GA’s concern that previously in Australia it would take 30 consecutive bad rounds for a player’s handicap to reflect an outward correction of 3 strokes. This was patently unfair on a player who had one (or a very small number) of uncharacteristically ‘good’ rounds or who experienced a demonstrable trend of changed form (an occurrence which is more prevalent in the higher handicap golfer).

Related handicapping information
New handicapping – how does it work?
More Q&A on handicapping changes
10 things to know about the new handicapping system
More changes on the way

One thought on “How does the new handicapping system compare to the old one?

  • How your handicap gets affected by a good or bad round really does make this system a lot more interesting. I find myself in the interesting position of occasionally watching my handicap go down if I play to it or slightly above it.

    In contrast, one of my regular playing partners who is currently on 24 received 42 stableford points in our last competition round. Under the old system that would have seen his handicap drop significantly. However, because he hasn’t been playing very well recently, it only dropped by 0.7.


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