How to Use Your Handicap Index when Playing a Round of Golf
Remember! Remember! The Second of November!
The introduction of the World Handicap System (WHS) in GB&I is only a few days away.
You will have received your Handicap Index by now, and having got over the shock, booked to play a round of golf on, or after, Monday 2 November.
If you have not received your Handicap Index please CLICK HERE to find out how you can find your Handicap Index.
What do you do now?
BEFORE YOUR ROUND
Decide what type of round you will be playing and, for Handicapping purposes, understand what Acceptable Scores are.
- All 9-hole and 18-hole Singles Competition Rounds in Authorised Formats must be submitted for handicap purposes, subject to the competition being played to the Rules of Golf and over the measured length of the course
- General Play (Social Rounds) may be submitted but must be pre-registered according to your Club’s Pre-registration Procedure. This also includes such play as Roll-ups and Swindles etc. and can include away games if you so wish.
- Scores from team competitions and match play will not be acceptable in England initially, although this may change based on feedback from other jurisdictions that include those format
- Pre-register your round on the day you are playing
Because the WHS is an averaging system, the more scores you submit the more accurate your Handicap Index will be.
Follow the guidelines of England Golf Know your Score and use HCP.
This translates to:
Handicap Index: Know your Handicap Index. This is the replacement to your current Handicap and represents your ability to play a Neutral Course which has a Slope of 113.
It is calculated in the same way for every golfer worldwide and so is comparable between golfers.
It is NOT the handicap that you will play off, but it is the ‘Handicap’ that you enter a competition with.
Course Handicap: This is the handicap that your Handicap Index is converted to, in order to provide you with a handicap that is more suited to your playing your chosen course.
If the club competition software is not available consult the Course Handicap charts relevant to the tees being used. These should be prominently displayed in your Clubhouse or ProShop.
This Course Handicap will be the Handicap that you will play off for General Play Rounds (Social)
Playing Handicap: If you are playing in a Club Competition in a particular format, calculate your Playing Handicap by applying the Handicap Allowance (see the table below), for that format.
Your Course Handicap will need to be converted to a Playing Handicap, by applying a Handicap Allowance according to the Competition Format you will be playing.
The various Handicap Allowances can be seen in the table below.
File Name: WHS-Handicap-Allowances.pdf
If you would like to download a copy of the Handicap Allowance Table, please click on a Download Button below:
It is hoped that, if you are entering a Club Competition e.g. a Monthly Medal or Stableford, that you will be pre-registered for the competition and your Course Handicap and Playing Handicap will have been calculated and show on your Club’s Computer.
Finally, I would like to add an S to the HCP, which stands for Scoring and Submitting a Score.
Scoring and Submitting a Score:
- Ensure that your Course Handicap is entered on your card, and the chosen Tee designated to avoid Disqualification.
- Ensure Scorecard signed by a Marker (Not necessary during COVID-19 Restrictions)
- After the round, return the card as directed. Submit your score in accordance with Club procedures as soon as possible after you have completed your round.
- Enter your Gross Score on the Club Competition Computer for each hole, hole by hole
- If a hole is STARTED BUT NOT COMPLETED in Stableford, Par or Maximum Score formats. For handicap purposes net double bogey will be added to the score
- If a hole is NOT STARTED for a valid reason net par will be added
- Blanks/dashes no longer acceptable on Score Cards.
- All 9 holes must be played or started for a 9-hole score to be acceptable for handicap purposes
- A minimum of 10 holes must be played or started for an 18-hole score to be acceptable for handicap purposes
- If you did not play a hole for a valid reason, you should mark the hole as ‘not played’ (NP).
Valid reasons for not playing a hole include:
- Failing light or bad weather
- Player injury or illness
- A hole being declared out of play by the Committee for maintenance or reconstruction purposes
Invalid reasons for not playing a hole include:
- Not playing a hole for the purpose of gaining a scoring advantage (high or low)
If you fail to return a scorecard your Handicap Committee may impose a penalty or, if a score can be retrieved, enter a Penalty Score for your round. NRs are not acceptable.
The prompt submission of your score is important as it will enable:
- Your score to be included in the daily PLAYING CONDITIONS CALCULATION
- Your Handicap Index to be UPDATED READY FOR YOUR NEXT ROUND
Handicap decreases or increases will not be calculated along with the competition results
Scores will be uploaded to a new platform designated by each national golf federation, for adjustment after midnight.
Your Handicap Index will be recalculated using the Playing Condition Calculation (previously CSS) at the end of every day you play
Your new Handicap Index can be viewed early next day either on the Golf Ireland website or available app.
Your correct Handicap Index will appear on the competition software in your Home Club when you enter a competition.