Using the R&A Course Handicap Calculator and Handicap Allowances

I recently received the following comment:

‘Why do we now have two different calculation systems dependant upon whether we are in GB&I or elsewhere? The RandA handicap calculator has a bizarre statement “with course rating minus par” …or “without……….” [for GB&I].

I thought the WORLD handicapping System was meant to bring us all together??

If you go to the USGA handicap tables, they are markedly different from the RandA calculations. That won’t confuse anybody will it?

And as for the 95% issue for Strokeplay and stableford….give me strength!

So an American and a Brit playing on a course in Turkey (covid-permitting), may have the same handicap index but different playing handicaps. To misquote Churchill : “Two countries separated by a common handicapping system!”’

With reference to:

‘Why do we now have two different calculation systems dependant upon whether we are in GB&I or elsewhere? The RandA handicap calculator has a bizarre statement “with course rating minus par” …or “without……….” [for GB&I]., and

 ‘So an American and a Brit playing on a course in Turkey (covid-permitting), may have the same handicap index but different playing handicaps. To misquote Churchill : “Two countries separated by a common handicapping system!”’

Your Handicap Index is calculated in exactly the same way as for all players worldwide, all Handicap Indexes are therefore comparable. It is not dependent upon the jurisdiction in which the Handicap Index was allocated. A 14.7 Handicap Index in the US is the same as a 14.7 Handicap Index in England, Spain or Turkey.

Differences, however, do arise in the Calculation of Course Handicaps depending on the location of the course being played, because some jurisdictions have not adopted the WHS in toto.

The R&A Course Handicap Calculator offers you an opportunity to see what a Course Handicap might be at different courses that you may like to play.

Depending on where you are playing your round and/or who you are playing with – you may or may not be required to include Course Rating and Par in this calculation. Check with the golf club, the Committee, or the Authorised Association.

When you use the R&A Course Handicap Calculator, determine the location of the course you wish to play.

From the location, determine whether Course Rating minus Par is used:

  1. Without Course Rating minus Par – (GB&I)
  2. With Course Rating minus Par – (Rest of the World bar Australia)
  3. Australia uses the Course Rating minus Par but then applies a 0.93 Multiplier so the R&A Calculator will not work for Australian Courses.

So, using the example above, the R&A Course Handicap Calculator:

  1. Choose between a 9-Hole Round and an 18-Hole Round
  2. Choose with Course Rating minus Par for your Course in Turkey
  3. Enter, Handicap Index, Course Rating, Par and Slope for your Course, if you do not know them Select the ‘Look Up’ Option
  4. Select ‘Calculate’ once you have entered all the information.
  5. Hey Presto! You will find that both players will play off the same Course Handicap for the same course.

RE: ‘And as for the 95% issue for Strokeplay and stableford….give me strength!’

The whole idea of Handicap Allowances is to provide a fair and equitable way of determining winners in competitions, they do not affect scores submitted for Handicap Purposes

Under the WHS, equity is now based on a top 10% finish, previously it was a top 25% finish. In singles match play, the previous Handicap System slightly favoured the lower handicap player, however it is closer to 50/50 equity with the WHS.

For four-ball and other team formats, the handicap allowances have been slightly reduced to offset the increase in standard equity for individual formats. Essentially, a slight increase in equity for singles match play, as mentioned above, results in a higher handicap player having an advantage in team events. As a result, a reduction in most team formats is appropriate.

Today, a larger number of scores and/or simulations, than previously used, have been used to determine and validate the handicap allowances used in the WHS because of the access to much more data, worldwide, the USGA and R&A were able to generate handicap allowances that met the desired equity.

Previous handicap allowances were validated in the early 2000’s, however no significant changes were warranted at the time. With the opportunity to run completely new tests for handicap allowances with updated scoring data, the R&A and USGA have been able to determine the best handicap allowances to use in the current playing environment.

The WHS is a sound and fair handicapping system, based largely on the USGA system that has proved popular and stood the test of time, having been in operation for over 40 years.

My advice is to work with the system and don’t try to overthink it.

Go out, experience your golf on different courses and most  of all enjoy playing it.

Tony

World Handicap System 2020 – Course Handicap Calculator

World Handicap System 2020 – Course Handicap Calculator

The R&A have devised a simple calculator that converts your Handicap Index into a Course Handicap, which provides you with the number of strokes you will need to play your chosen golf course.

Once you have been issued with your Handicap Index you can access this Calculator by clicking on the link below and use it to calculate your Course Handicap for any course you plan on playing:

R&A Course Handicap Calculator

Best wishes

Tony