Why are handicap rounds restricted to competitions?

Aussie Golfer has previously discussed the new handicap system rolling out across Australia on April 9, 2010 (see new handicapping changes). But one aspect of the new system is still puzzling.

Why will all rounds of golf entered for handicapping purposes be restricted to competition rounds?

The new handicapping system abolishes the daily course rating (i.e. CCR) and is compared to the official course rating only. No longer is your golf round evaluated with respect to other scores but to the course difficulty, which will not change from one day to the next.

A minimum number of golfers playing the course on a given day is no longer needed to calculate a course rating and therefore the idea of playing competition golf in order to contribute a score to your handicap is made redundant.

I have always resented the idea that I cannot play a round of golf when I choose (say late afternoon) and hand the card in to contribute to my handicap.

A simple sign-in system to register the round and a partner with an official Australian handicap to sign your card should be suffice to hand in your card without being in the midst of a club competition.

Aussie Golfer posed the question to Golf Australia recently. The response indicated it will not be implemented until 2012.

Initially there will be no change to the existing regulations re this however by the time the full USGA Handicap System is implemented in 2012, we will be using social rounds for handicapping in addition to competition rounds. GA is yet to make a determination re the precise schedule for the implementation of this change.

Why do we have to wait two years? Is there a fear of a backlash from club professionals who make money from competition rounds? I don’t believe competition rounds will be greatly affected by the change.

Any thoughts on this? Or answers?!

8 thoughts on “Why are handicap rounds restricted to competitions?

  • I’m with you Aussie, social rounds should be able to count. It also lends itself to cheating, with some people playing many social rounds in advance of a comp. At my club there are only three comps per week so what about all those good rounds in between..

    It’s not so simple to allow social rounds to count. You’ll then get some cards handed back in and some thrown in the bin, whatever suits the individual player. I believe a system in New Zealand mandates social golfers to log in before the round and if a card is not received their handicap is dropped(as punishment). This begs the question, can I have a practice round… herb

  • Surely a pen and paper as a “sign-in for handicap” sheet with your membership number is enough?

    If the card doesn’t come back, the round is given the maximum score (as determined by the new handicap system).


  • A question on no card handed in given the maximum score. Is that not like saying I have played a great round but I don’t want to be handicapped.
    What is the new system for a player not entering
    His/Her card and posting no score. Is this player to be penalised or this player to be let out, which is the stupid system at the moment

  • This is a very important point to be noted…there should be a chance given to everyone….all the deserving competitors.

  • I agree, as a Handicapper for a social golf club I would expect no change to number playing in competitions as they are a social gathering which provides for that “Competitive Component” that all sports persons crave.

    Not recording a GOOD ROUND when not in a comp only penalizes other golfers when they next meet. This reason probably explains why on occasions competition results display such large scores for winners.


  • Michael said…

    “Not recording a GOOD ROUND when not in a comp only penalizes other golfers when they next meet. This reason probably explains why on occasions competition results display such large scores for winners.”

    The way that the USGA system takes care of not recording a good “social round” or purposely playing poorly in social rounds, but coming up with a great round during tournaments, is to invoke the “Reduction of a USGA Handicap Index based on exceptional tournament scores.” Please see http://golfsoftware.com/blog/?p=82.

  • As an avid sports person and being an Aussie I love playing in competition – be it official or not. Unfortunately many folks I know in Singapore (where I am living) do not have a handicap and do not play in real competitions. Its more a social outing or a walk in the park amongst friends. I am totally cool with that but unfortunately too many of them then enter social competitions and fudge their handicap. This has led to events where the prizes become lucky draws instead of to the best golfer on the day (using handicap) OR using a format called system 36 which is essentially to prevent cheating. I wonder what others think of this – perhaps most people dont play golf for the competition ?


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