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Handicapping

Golf Canada is the Authorized National body that is responsible for implementing and administering the Rules of Handicapping in Canada in co-operation with the provincial golf associations.

The purpose of the World Handicap System (WHS) is to make the game of golf more enjoyable for golfers by providing a consistent means of measuring one’s performance and progress and to enable golfers of differing abilities to compete, or play a casual round, with anyone else on a fair and equal basis.

Through the WHS, each golfer establishes a “Handicap Index” which is the measure of a player’s demonstrated ability on a course of standard playing difficulty.

The Handicap Index is calculated using the lowest 8 of the player’s most recent 20 Score Differentials and updated with each new round played. The Handicap Index travels worldwide with the golfer from course to course (and tee to tee) and is used to calculate a “Course Handicap”. The Course Handicap is the number of strokes a golfer receives from the specific set of tees at the course. The more difficult the golf course, the more strokes the golfer receives and vice versa.

The relative difficulty of a golf course is determined jointly by Golf Canada and the provincial golf association using the WHS Course Rating System as administered by Golf Canada. Specially trained Course Rating Teams evaluate the difficulty of a golf course based on such variables as length and a number of obstacle factors (e.g. topography, bunkers, lateral & crossing obstacles, severity of rough, etc).

Only Golf Canada member golf clubs are permitted to use the World Handicap System and Course Rating System (as administered by Golf Canada) including related trademarks and service marks.  Member golf clubs must do so in a manner that preserves the integrity and reliability of these systems. All rights to use these systems and related trademarks and service marks terminate should the golf club cease to be a member in good standing with Golf Canada.

World Handicap System (WHS)

The idea for a new, unified system was conceived by the USGA and The R&A and developed following an extensive review of systems administered by six existing handicapping authorities – Golf Australia, the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) in Great Britain and Ireland, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA), the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) and the United States Golf Association (USGA).

  • The World Handicap System launches in Canada January 8th, 2020 and will feature the following:
    • Flexibility in formats of play, allowing both competitive and recreational rounds to count for handicap purposes and ensuring a golfer’s handicap is more reflective of potential ability.
    • A minimal number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap. The number of scores needed to establish a Handicap Index is 54 holes from any combination of 18-hole and 9-hole rounds.
    • A consistent handicap that is portable from tee to tee, course to course and country to country through worldwide use of the World Handicap System.
    • An average-based calculation of a handicap, taken from the best eight out of the last 20 Score Differentials and factoring in memory of previous demonstrated ability for better responsiveness and control.
    • A calculation that considers the impact that playing conditions (including course set up and weather conditions) might have on a player’s performance each day.
    • Daily handicap revisions, taking account of the course and weather conditions calculation.
    • A limit of Net Double Bogey on the maximum hole score (for handicapping purposes only). Net Double Bogey will replace the existing Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) procedure for determining the maximum hole score.
    • A maximum Handicap Index of 54.0, regardless of gender, to encourage more golfers to measure and track their performance to increase their enjoyment of the game.

This feedback has helped shape the WHS, which has been developed by the USGA and The R&A with support from each handicapping authority as well as the Japan Golf Association and Golf Canada.

Highlights of the World Handicap System

General presentation webinar

Handicap FAQs

The following is a list of frequently asked questions regarding handicapping and course rating. Please read carefully to see if any questions you may have are answered in this section. If you do not receive the answer you are looking for in the FAQ’s, feel free to submit a question using the email address at the end of this page.

Q. Can a person obtain a handicap without being a member of a golf club?

A. One of the main principles within the Golf Canada Score Centre is that you must be a member of a golf club in order to obtain a Handicap Index. However, Golf Canada has a “Public Player” program that gives golfers the opportunity to play golf at different courses and still have the opportunity to obtain an official Handicap Index and be a member of Golf Canada and provincial golf association. To find out more click here.

Q. What scores are acceptable for posting purposes?

A. With the goal of making Handicapping inclusive and accessible, scores from a variety of playing formats are acceptable, providing golfers with an accurate record of their demonstrated ability. A score is acceptable for handicap purposes if the round has been played:

  • Over at least the minimum number of holes required. To post an 18-hole score, 14 or more holes must be played.  To post a 9-hole score, 7-13 holes must be played.
  • On a golf course with a valid Course and Slope Rating, whether at home course, away course, or out of country
  • On a golf course during its active season.
  • In the company of at least one other person
  • Scores in all authorized formats of play
  • By the Rules of Golf

Q. What score do I post if I am conceded a stroke in match play?

A. If a player starts but does not complete a hole or is conceded a stroke, that player shall record for handicap purposes their most likely score. The most likely score consists of the number of strokes already taken (including any penalty strokes incurred during play of the hole) plus the number of strokes the player would most likely require to complete the hole from that position

Most Likely Scores should be determined on any hole in accordance with the following guidelines.

Number of holes played Scaling up What score(s) to record for holes not played
At least X holes* Scale up to 9-hole score Add net par (or equivalent Stableford points).
At least Y holes** Scale up to 18-hole score Add net par plus one additional stroke for the first hole not played (or equivalent Stableford points).
At least Z holes*** Scale up to 18-hole score Add net par (or equivalent Stableford points).

Q. What score do I post for a hole not played?

A. If a player does not play a hole or plays it other than under the Rules of Golf (except for preferred lies), their score for that hole for handicap purposes shall be “Net Par”. Net Par is calculated as the Par of the hole plus any strokes that the golfer gives/receives.

Example: A player with a Course Handicap of 10 receives a handicap stroke on the first 10 allocated handicap-stroke holes. If the player does not play the sixth allocated stroke hole (a par 4) because of construction on the green, the player shall record a Net Par of  5 for handicap purposes.

Q. We’ve made changes to our course and/or don’t think our Course Ratings are correct. What do we do?

A. All Course Ratings are determined and issued by your provincial golf association. A club may never rate its own course or make adjustments to the course rating you have been issued. If you have made temporary (e.g. temporary tees/greens) or permanent changes to your golf course your club should notify the provincial golf association.

In the case of temporary changes, the association will decide whether scores made under those conditions will be accepted for handicap purposes and whether the Course or Slope rating should be modified temporarily. If you have made permanent changes to your course, the course will be re-rated by the provincial association.

Q. Does Golf Canada provide handicap calculation software?

A. Yes, all member clubs are entitled to utilize the internet-based Golf Canada Score Centre as a member service.

Q. We have a number of questions regarding Handicap & Course Rating systems. What do we do?

A. Your handicap committee will receive a copy of the Rules of Handicapping in January 2020.

If you have any other questions, please call our toll-free Handicap Help Desk 1-800-263-0009 ext. 399.

Q. Should I post the scores from my winter vacation?

A. If the round(s) played were in an area observing an Active Handicap Season then you must post the score(s). Most of the southern United States observe a year-round Active Season, but you can confirm the Active Season for where you are playing by calling the State golf association for that area.

Q. What are the Active Handicap Seasons for posting rounds played in Canada?

A.
BC = Mar.1 – Nov.15
AB = Mar.1 – Oct.31
SK = Apr.15 – Oct.31
MB = Apr.15 – Oct.31
ON = Apr.15 – Oct.31
QC = Apr.15 – Oct.31
NS = Apr.15 – Oct.31
NB = May.1 – Oct.31
PE = Apr.16 – Nov.14
NL = Apr.1 – Nov. 30

Q. How soon after playing do I have to post my score for handicap purposes?

A. A player should submit their score as soon as possible on the day of play and before midnight local time. This ensures that your score is included in the analysis for the Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC).

Q. How do I posted a Tournament Score?

A. Under the World Handicap System, Tournament Scores will not be weighted the same way as they previously were. Now, any exceptional score (regardless of if it was made in a competitive or recreational round) could impact your Handicap Index to ensure that your Index is accurate based on your demonstrated playing ability.

Q. Should only a percentage of a player’s Course Handicap be used in competition?

A. Handicap Allowances are designed to provide equity for players of all levels of ability in each format of play (over both 9 Holes and 18 Holes). Handicap Allowances are applied to the Course Handicap, with the resulting number reflecting your “Playing Handicap”. The full list of recommended Handicap Allowances is available in Appendix C of the Rules of Handicapping.

Q. Does my club have to have a Handicap Committee?

A. Yes. As per the Golf Canada Member Club Handicap License Agreement, in order to issue Handicap Indexes to its members, a club must have a Handicap Committee.

Q. How is a Course Handicap calculated?

A. The way that a Course Handicap is calculated has changed with the WHS. A player’s Course Handicap is calculated as

(Handicap Index) x (Slope Rating of the tee played / 113) + (Course Rating – Par)

The resulting figure is rounded off to the nearest whole number (.5 or more is rounded upward). 

Q. In a match between a man and a woman, if a hole is par-5 for women and a par-4 for men and both players score a 4 on the hole, who wins the hole?

A. In match play, par is irrelevant. The player who scores the lowest on the hole wins the hole.

Q. What is the maximum handicap a person can have?

A. The maximum Handicap Index has changed. Where previously there were different values for men and women, now there is one maximum Handicap Index regardless of gender. The maximum Handicap Index is 54.0.

Note: A maximum Handicap Factor will convert to a Course Handicap that exceeds the max. on golf courses with a Slope Rating greater than 113.

Q. I’ve just played golf abroad. Can I post the scores for handicap purposes?

A. Only scores from courses with a Course and Slope Rating are eligible for handicap purposes. With the alignment of national golf associations/federations, we will see more and more courses with valid Course and Slope ratings. Please note that depending on the WHS launch date in each country, some courses may be delayed in being issued a Course and Slope Rating.

Q. How are 9-hole score combined to create an 18-hole score?

A. 9-hole scores are combined regardless of where they were played, i.e. a front nine score from one course will be combined with a front nine score from another course. The 18-hole combined score is the sum of the nine-hole Course Ratings and the average of the nine-hole Slope Ratings (.5 rounded up).

Q. How do I post a score for hole with a temporary green?

A. If the hole’s character and playing length have not been altered and you can play the hole under the Rules of Golf, then you can post your actual score on the hole. Otherwise, you must post a Net Par for the hole.

Q. Can I post a score if I play alone?

A. No, a golfer cannot post a score for Handicap purposes if you are unaccompanied during a round. 

Q. Can I post a score if I have played two balls?

A. No. A score made with either ball must not be posted as such scores are not made in accordance with the Rules of golf.

Q. How can I become Handicap Certified?

A. Each provincial golf association conducts a series of handicap seminars throughout the year. The seminars are generally 3 hours long, including a brief quiz. Upon passing the quiz an attendee is then considered handicap certified (every Golf Canada member club must have a representative attend a handicap seminar) and prepared to be part of the Handicap Committee at their club (every Golf Canada club must have a Handicap Committee). Golf Canada will also continue to offer an online certification program which members are able to register to take. The online Handicap Seminar will be available Spring 2020.
If you have any additional questions, please contact 
members@golfcanada.ca or call 1-800-263-0009 x 399.

Rules of Handicapping

Golf Canada is pleased to offer the new Rules of Handicapping! This is the complete book of information and instruction about the World Handicap System. It has been redesigned to follow a similar template to the Rules of Golf; using simple, plain language to outline the principles and procedures of Handicapping.

Download the Official Rules of Handicapping

The Rules of Handicapping consists of revised definitions, seven (7) rules – each of which are prefaced with a Principle Statement (setting out the philosophy behind the Rule), and Appendices which contain further, more detailed information.  Interpretations, examples and illustrations have also been included to highlight and explain key principles.  The Rules of Handicapping are divided into five sections:

1) Fundamentals of Handicapping (Rule 1)

2) Scores for Handicap Purposes (Rules 2-4)

3) Handicap Calculation and Updating a Handicap Index (Rules 5-6)

4) Administration of a Handicap Index (Rule 7)

5) Appendices (A-G)

Use the Rules of Handicapping whenever a question arises about the World Handicap System. Knowing the proper procedure will help provide a framework for equitable and enjoyable games.

As the owner of the term Golf Canada and a Licensee of USGA and The R&A trademarks and service marks included in the Rules of Handicapping, Golf Canada has the sole right to authorize the use of those marks by others.

Purchase the Official Rules of Handicapping book

Ask a Handicap Expert

To ask a Handicap question, please email Shaun Hall at shall@golfcanada.ca.

 

Course Rating

The purpose of the Course Rating System is to measure and rate the relative difficulty of golf courses across Canada so that a player’s Handicap Factor is accurate and transportable from golf course to golf course. The Course Rating System takes into account factors that affect the playing difficulty of a golf course including yardage, effective playing length and number of obstacle factors such as topography, elevation, doglegs, prevailing wind, bunkering, etc. After a thorough study of the Course and Slope Rating System developed by the United States Golf Association (USGA), Golf Canada approved and adopted the system for Canada in January 1995.

The Course Rating System consists of two basic elements:

Course Rating – the evaluation of the playing difficulty of a course for scratch golfers under normal course and weather conditions expressed as number of strokes (e.g. 72.5).

Slope Rating – the evaluation of the relative difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers compared to the difficulty of the course for scratch golfers. The lowest Slope Rating is 55 and the highest 155. A course of standard playing difficulty will have a Slope Rating of 113.

Every member golf course should have a Course Rating and Slope rating for each set of tees at the course.

Accuracy and consistency are the keys to effective course rating. Golf Canada and the provincial golf associations work together to rate golf courses and ensure that Course Ratings are accurate and uniform from coast to coast. Only Golf Canada authorized provincial golf associations may rate golf courses. If a club disagrees with its ratings, it may request that the provincial golf association review the ratings.

Handicap Training Seminars & Workshops

As the governing body of golf in Canada, Golf Canada requires that all member clubs have at least one certified Handicap Official, as well as have a Handicap Committee in place.

In order to help each club achieve this requirement, Golf Canada is working with the Provincial Associations to present a number of seminars & workshops throughout the season. These sessions are an opportunity for club representatives, volunteers and any member interested to improve their knowledge in Handicapping. These sessions offer the chance to share ideas, ask questions and ensure that each club operates under the same standard across the country.

For more information regarding additional dates, venues and registration please follow the below links for each Province:

Alberta Golf Association
British Columbia Golf Association
Golf Ontario
Golf Manitoba
Golf New Brunswick
Golf Newfoundland Labrador
Nova Scotia Golf Association
Golf Quebec
Prince Edward Island Golf Association
Golf Saskatchewan

Handicap Certification

As the governing body of golf in Canada, Golf Canada requires that all member clubs have at least one certified Handicap Official, as well as have a Handicap Committee in place.

In order to help each club achieve this requirement, Golf Canada is working with the Provincial Associations to present a number of seminars & workshops throughout the season. These sessions are an opportunity for club representatives, volunteers and any member interested to improve their knowledge in Handicapping. These sessions offer the chance to share ideas, ask questions and ensure that each club operates under the same standard across the country.

Golf Canada Partner Facilities under License as of April 11, 2018

Game Formats from the Golf Canada Handicap Manual

Below are examples of game formats which can be found in the Golf Canada Handicap Manual and describe how to use Handicap Factors in play. Further examples and explanations can be found in section 9-4 Handicap Allowances.

Match Play

In match play, the game is played by holes, which is won by the side that holes its ball in fewer strokes.

(i) Singles Match Play

In singles match play, the match is won by the player who is leading by a number of holes greater than the number of holes remaining to be played. After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: The higher-handicapped player receives the full difference in Course Handicap between the two players; the lower-handicapped player plays from scratch.

Example: A player with a Course Handicap of 17 receives four strokes from a player with a Course Handicap of 13. The player receives them on the first four allocated handicap-stroke holes.

(ii) Singles Match Play vs. Par or Bogey

Bogey or par play are forms of play in which play is against a fixed score at each hole. The reckoning is made as in match play. Any hole for which a competitor returns no score must be regarded as a loss. The winner is the competitor who is most successful in the aggregate of holes (“The Rules of Golf”, Rule 32-1). After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: Each player receives full Course Handicap.

Example: Player A with a Course Handicap of 17 receives one stroke on the first 17 handicap-stroke holes.

(iii) Four-Ball Match Play

In four-ball match play, two play their better ball against the better ball of two other players (“The Rules of Golf”, Rule 30 and Definitions). After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: The Course Handicap of all four players is reduced by the Course Handicap of the player with the lowest handicap, who then plays from scratch. Each of the three other players is allowed 100 percent of the difference. (See Decisions 9-4a/2, 9-4a/3).

Example: Players A, B, C, and D have a Course Handicap of 5, 10, 15 and 20, respectively. Player A plays at scratch, B receives 5 strokes, C receives 10 strokes, and D receives 15 strokes. In mixed four-ball match play, strokes are taken as assigned on the players’ respective Stroke Allocation Table. The committee in charge of the competition designates the tees to be played (see Section 9-3a).

(iv) Four-Ball Match Play vs. Par or Bogey

In four-ball match play vs. par or bogey, two play their better ball against par or bogey at each hole. The winner is the team who is most successful in the aggregate of holes. After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: Men receive 90 percent of Course Handicap; Women receive 95 percent of Course Handicap.

Example: On men’s side A-B, Player A with a Course Handicap of 10 would receive 9 strokes (10 x 90% = 9) and Player B with a Course Handicap of 16 would receive 14 strokes (16 x 90% = 14.4, rounded to 14). Strokes are taken as assigned on the players’ respective Stroke Allocation Table.

(v) Total Score of Partners Match Play

Two players form a side, but play their own ball. The combined total of their scores for each hole is the score recorded for the side. After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: The Course Handicap of all four players is reduced by the Course Handicap of the player with the lowest handicap, who must then play from scratch. Each of the three other players is allowed 100 percent of the difference. 60 Section 9

Example: Side A-B is comprised of Player A with a Course Handicap of 5 and Player B with a Course Handicap of 10. Side C-D is comprised of Player C with a Course Handicap of 15 and Player D with a Course Handicap of 20. Player A plays at scratch, B receives 5 strokes, C receives 10 strokes, and D receives 15 strokes.

(vi) Best-Ball-of-Four Match Play vs. Par or Bogey

In best-ball-of-four match play vs. par or bogey, four play their best ball against par or bogey at each hole. The winner is the team that is most successful in the aggregate of holes. After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: Men receive 80 percent of Course Handicap; Women receive 90 percent of Course Handicap.

Example: Men’s side A-B-C-D with a respective Course Handicap of 5, 10, 15, and 20 would each receive 80 percent of their Course Handicap (4, 8, 12, and 16 respectively). Their best net ball of the four would then be used to score vs. par or bogey. Strokes are taken as assigned on the players’ respective Stroke Allocation Table.

(vii) Foursome Match Play

In a foursome match, two play against two and each side plays one ball. In a foursome during any stipulated round the partners play alternately from the teeing grounds and alternately during the play of each hole (“The Rules of Golf”, Rule 29-1, and Definitions). After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c(iii) must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: The allowance for the higher-handicapped side is 50 percent of the difference between the combined Course Handicap of the members of each side. (When selected drives are permitted, the allowance is 40 percent.) The lower handicapped side competes at scratch.

Example: Side A-B with a combined Course Handicap of 15 competes against side C-D with a combined Course Handicap of 36. The higher handicapped side, C-D, receives 11 strokes (36 – 15 = 21 x 50% = 10.5 rounded to 11). Strokes are taken as assigned on the players’ respective Stroke Allocation Table.

(viii) Foursome Match Play vs. Par or Bogey

In foursome match play vs. par or bogey, a match is played against par or bogey. The winner is the side that is most successful in the aggregate of holes. After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c(iii) must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: The allowance is 50 percent of the partners’ combined Course Handicap. (When selected drives are permitted, the allowance is 40 percent.)

Example: On side A-B, Player A has a Course Handicap of 5 and Player B has a Course Handicap of 10. Side A-B receives 8 strokes (15 x 50% = 7.5, rounded to 8). Strokes are taken as assigned on the players’ respective Stroke Allocation Table.

(ix) Chapman or Pinehurst Match Play

In a Chapman or Pinehurst match, two play against two. Each partner plays from the teeing ground, but plays the partner’s ball for the second shot. After the second shot, partners select the ball with which they wish to score, and play that ball alternately to complete the hole. After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c(iii) must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: The partner with the lower Course Handicap receives 60 percent of Course Handicap. The partner with the higher Course Handicap receives 40 percent of Course Handicap. The side with the higher Course Handicap receives the difference between the Course Handicap of each side. The lower-handicapped side plays from scratch.

Example: Side A-B is comprised of Player A with a Course Handicap of 5 and Player B with a Course Handicap of 10. Player A (5 x 60% = 3) + Player B (10 x 40% = 4) = 7 strokes for side A-B (3 + 4 = 7). Side C-D is comprised of Player C with a Course Handicap of 14 and Player D with a Course Handicap of 17. Player C (14 x 60% = 8.4 rounded to 8) + Player D (17 x 40% = 6.8 rounded to 7) = 15. Side A-B plays at scratch and Side C-D receives one stroke per hole on the first 8 allocated handicap-stroke holes.

Stroke Play Formats

The golfer who plays the stipulated round or rounds in the fewest net strokes is the winner (“The Rules of Golf”, Rule 3-1). After Handicap Allowances are determined, Section 9-3c must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

(i) Individual Stroke Play

Allowance:

Each golfer receives full Course Handicap (A plus Course Handicap must be added to the gross score to determine the net score.)

Example: Player A has a Course Handicap of 10 and scores 82. A’s net score is 72. Player B has a Course Handicap of +2 and scores 70. Player B’s net score is 72.

(ii) Four-Ball Stroke Play

In four-ball stroke play, two golfers play as partners, each playing their own ball. The lower of the partners’ scores is the score for the hole (The Rules of Golf, Rule 31 and Definitions). After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: Men receive 90 percent of Course Handicap; Women receive 95 percent of Course Handicap.

Example: On men’s side A-B, Player A has a Course Handicap of 8 and Player B has a Course Handicap of 20. At 90 percent of Course Handicap, Player A receives 7 strokes (8 x 90% = 7.2, rounded to 7) and Player B receives 18 strokes (20 x 90% = 18). In mixed four-ball stroke play, strokes are taken as assigned on the players’ respective Stroke Allocation Tables, and players must play from the sets of tees designated by the committee in charge of the competition.

(iii) Total Score of Partners Stroke Play

In this format, two players form a side, each plays their own ball, and the combined total of their scores for the round is the score for the side. After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: Partners receive full combined Course Handicap.

Example: Player A has a Course Handicap of 12 and scores 87. Player B, A’s partner, has a Course Handicap of 26 and scores 101. The team score is: (87 – 12) + (101 – 26) = 75 + 75 = 150.

(iv) Best-Ball-of-Four Stroke Play

In best-ball-of-four stroke play, four players score with their best ball at each hole. After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: Men receive 80 percent of Course Handicap; Women receive 90 percent of Course Handicap.

Example: On a mixed side A-B-C-D (A,B men, C,D women), Player A with a Course Handicap of 8 receives 6 strokes (8 x 80% = 6.4, rounded to 6). Player B with a Course Handicap of 10 receives 8 strokes (10 x 80% =8). Player C with a Course Handicap of 12 receives 11 strokes (12 x 90% = 10.8, rounded to 11). Player D with a Course Handicap of 14 receives 13 strokes (14 x 90% = 12.6, rounded to 13). The lowest net score for each hole is then counted towards the overall score for the stipulated round. Strokes are taken as assigned on the players’ respective Stroke Allocation Table.

(v) Two-Best-Balls-of-Four

In two-best-balls-of-four, four players score with their two best balls on each hole. After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c 64 Section 9 must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: Men receive 90 percent of Course Handicap; Women receive 95 percent of Course Handicap.

Example: On women’s side A-B-C-D, Player A with a Course Handicap of 11 receives 10 strokes (11 x 95% = 10.4, rounded to 10). Player B with a Course Handicap of 16 receives 15 strokes (16 x 95% = 15.2, rounded to 15). Player C with a Course Handicap of 22 receives 21 strokes (22 x 95%= 20.9, rounded to 21). Player D with a Course Handicap of 35 receives 33 strokes (35 x 95% = 33.25, rounded to 33). Strokes are taken as assigned on the players’ respective Stroke Allocation Table.

(vi) Foursome Stroke Play

In foursome stroke play, partners play one ball. The partners play alternately from the teeing grounds and alternately during the play of each hole (“The Rules of Golf”, Rule 29-1). After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c(iii) must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: The allowance is 50 percent of the partners’ combined Course Handicap. When selected drives are permitted, the allowance is 40 percent. A plus combined Course Handicap side must be added to the gross score to determine the net score.

Example: On side A-B, Player A has a Course Handicap of 5 and Player B has a Course Handicap of 12. Side A-B’s combined Course Handicap is 17. Side A-B will receive 9 strokes (17 x 50% = 8.5, rounded to 9).

(vii) Chapman or Pinehurst Stroke Play

In Chapman or Pinehurst stroke play, two players play as partners, each playing from the teeing ground and each playing the partner’s ball for the second shot. After the second shot, partners select the ball with which they wish to score, and play that ball alternately to complete the hole. After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c(iii) must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: The player with the lower Course Handicap is allowed 60 percent of Course Handicap. The player with the higher Course Handicap is allowed 40 percent of Course Handicap.

Example: On side A-B, Player A has a Course Handicap of 10 and Player B has a Course Handicap of 18. 60% of Player A’s Course Handicap is 6 (10 x 60% = 6); 40% of Player B’s Course Handicap is 7 (18 x 40% = 7.2, rounded to 7) so the total is 13. Side A-B will receive 13 strokes.

(viii) Stableford Competition The calculation in Stableford competitions is made by points awarded in relation to a fixed score (usually par or net par) at each hole as shown below: The winner is the golfer who scores the highest number of points (“The Rules of Golf”, Rule 32-1b). After handicap allowances are determined, Section 9-3c must be applied in competitions from different tees, or in competitions between men and women from the same tees.

Allowance: Players use full Course Handicap, and strokes are taken as they are allocated on the Stroke Allocation Table.

Example: Player A has a Course Handicap of 16 in a Stableford competition based on net scores with par as the fixed score. Player A’s gross score of 5 on a par 4 allocated as the 15th handicap-stroke hole results in a net score of 4 (par). Player A receives two points for the hole.

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