More Q&A on the golf handicapping changes

Here are few more questions Aussie Golfer has been asked with regard to the new handicapping changes set to roll out across Australia on April 9, 2009.

How would this system work when playing stableford? We play on the same course weekly.

In fact in the future, all scores will be converted to a stableford score. In the meantime, the stableford score will be entered just as it is on Golf Link now and the difference between the course rating and the score (had it been a stroke round) calculated. A score of 36 points off a handicap of 15 will result in an equivalent round of 15 over par.

What happens if I don’t hand in my card?
The new system penalises anyone who didn’t hand in their card by assigning the worst score from the golfer’s most recent 19 scores. It then is considered part of the golfer’s previous 20 rounds.

What if I haven’t got 20 previous rounds to calculate the handicap from?
All previous rounds will be re-calculated for your new handicap on April 9. If you have 20 rounds previously played in the system then your 10 best rounds will contribute to your new handicap according to the new method described here.

If you do not have 20 rounds in the system, the new system calculates your new handicap in based on a lesser number of best scores.

# rounds # best scores used
3 to 6 1
7 or 8 2
9 or 10 3
11 or 12 4
13 or 14 5
15 or 16 6
17 7
18 8
19 9
20 10

I use the phrase “best scores” a little flippantly. “Best scores” refers to the difference between your gross score and the rating for the course you played. These are then averaged, multiplied by 0.96 and figures after the first decimal point removed to acquire you’re new handicap.

3 thoughts on “More Q&A on the golf handicapping changes

  • The idea that you are punished for not putting in your card, by matching your worst score(a non counter) seems a farce. Good for your chance of winning the next comp. herb


  • I have read all the Golf Australia stuff about the new handicapping system, but you have actually cleared up something I missed and wasn’t sure of, and that relates to people not putting in cards.

    Apart from all the honest golfers – and that includes all the lazy and forgetful ones – there are two types of people who wouldn’t put in cards.

    First, people trying to hide a good score because they don’t want there handicap to go down, and second, people who through vanity or embarrassment or whatever want to hide a bad score because they don’t want their handicap to go up.

    Both are “covered” under the new system.

    In the normal course of events if you have a bad score and don’t put your card in now you just go up 0.1. Under the new system, as your second Q & A says, the player will be assigned the worst score of their last 19.

    However, under the new system if it is believed a player is most likely to have had a “good” score and is trying to rort the system by hiding it, the Committee can assign them the “best” score of the last 19.

    What I wasn’t sure of before was how it stopped people protecting “vanity” handicaps. Of course it all depends on the Committee (and witnesses) being aware of cheats trying to hide good scores when it doesn’t suit them to come clean.

  • Absolutely spot on Brian. The new system is vulnerable to cheating by not putting in new cards but has catered for it in some respects by allowing committee’s to assign best scores if need be.

    In future, the handicaps will only be updated perhaps once a month meaning these cheats cannot throw in some bad scores the week or two before a major event.

    With this handicapping method being used in many parts of the world now, I wonder if any other countries have different penalties in place?


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