How the handicap works

Many of you will know that the handicap system is to be changed in 2020. The governing bodies of amateur golf in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales have announced that they have signed the licence for the new World Handicap System, which will come into operation on November 2nd 2020.


With one single, global system in place for the first time, golfers will be able to obtain and maintain a handicap index and use this on any course around the world. The Golf Club Great Britain handicapping scheme will be implementing this system next year, so your handicap with us will be in line with official club handicaps.


What will the new World Handicap System mean for you?


To calculate your initial handicap

When you have submitted your first three cards, we take the 'average' of these cards to establish your initial handicap. This is calculated by taking the difference of the Gross score and the SSS off the yellow tees for each card.



 

For example, three scores of 88, 90 and 95 on a course with a SSS of 72 will result in an initial handicap of (16+18+23) 57 divided by 3 = 19. Therefore giving you a playing handicap of 19. As stipulated by CONGU, GROSS scores are adjusted to a maximum of double bogey, e.g. on a par 4 hole, if you gross 7, we will manually adjust your score to 6.


We recommend you adjust GROSS scores only (stableford points need no adjustment) before submitting your cards, but don't worry, we will always check scores have been adjusted before entering them.


Please Note:
When calculating initial handicaps, we do NOT adjust scores down, this is only for ongoing handicapping (for silver or gold memberships only).


Buffer Zone

The maximum handicap limit is 54.0 regardless of gender. The buffer zone categories will remain the same with category 5 increasing to 54 handicap:

 

Handicap of player

Buffer Zone

Net differential below zero

Net differential above buffer zone

Category 1: up to 5

0 to +1

Handicaps reduced by 0.1 for each stroke net differential is below zero

Handicap increased by 0.1

Category 2: 6 to 12

0 to +2

Handicaps reduced by 0.2 for each stroke net differential is below zero

Handicap increased by 0.1

Category 3: 13 to 20

0 to +3

Handicaps reduced by 0.3 for each stroke net differential is below zero

Handicap increased by 0.1

Category 4: 21 to 28

0 to +4

Handicaps reduced by 0.4 for each stroke net differential is below zero

Handicap increased by 0.1

Category 5: 29 to 54

0 to +5

Handicaps reduced by 0.5 for each stroke net differential is below zero

Handicap increased by 0.1

 

A player's 'Buffer Zone' is a range of scores returned in competitions where the player's handicap will not be changed. The buffer zone is different depending upon the player's handicap category.A player returns a score within his Buffer Zone when his Nett Differential is within specified limits.


Where the net differential is within Buffer Zone, no adjustment to handicap is made. World Handicap Scheme changes


Once you have your initial handicap in place, your handicap will be the average based from the best eight of the last 20 scores.  Your initial handicap will be used to generate your first handicap index.


Once a player is allocated a Handicap Index (Handicap Index, A player's personal handicap on a course of neutral slope 113 calculated to the nearest 0.1) the system will start to build the record based on an adjusted average, relative to the number of scores that have been submitted.  All GCGB members will be deemed to have a home course neutral slope rating of 113.


If you are an amateur a golf handicap is a measure of a player’s ability to play golf. Therefore a golf handicap is calculated by the average number of strokes above par a player is likely to score, for any given round.

At the end of a round of golf, each player subtracts their individual golf handicap from their score, resulting in a net score. This means that this system allows golfers of different abilities to compete against each other. To join up please click here