WHS: 3. Handicap Index

Handicap Index

  • Handicap Index is a measure of a player's demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty

  • It represents a golfer's playing handicap on a course with a Neutral Slope Rating of 113

  • It is calculated as a rolling average of the lowest 8 from the last 20 Score Differentials  [ 2 ]

  • Each time a new score is submitted the average of the lowest 8 from the last 20 is re-calculated, which may or may not lead to a change of Handicap Index

  • There are additional safegaurds to ensure that a player's handicap does not rise too quickly when a player is going through a spell of poor form

Low Handicap Index (LHI)
  • A player's lowest Handicap Index during the last 12 months is used as an Anchor Point to limit increases in Handicap Index  [ 3 ]

  • Soft CAP: Potential increases of Handicap Index to a figure greater than (LHI + 3) are limited by half the amount over three, e.g. 5 is limited to 4,  6 is limited to 4.5, etc.  [ 4 ]

  • Hard CAP: The maximum that the Handicap Index can increase to is (LHI + 5).  [ 5 ]

Exceptional Scores
  • An adjustment to the Handicap Index after a very low score has been posted

  • A reduction of -1 for scores between 7 and 9 below Handicap Index 

  • A reduction of -2 for scores 10 or more below Handicap Index

  • The reduction is applied to the last 20 scores on the Scoring Record and drops off gradually over the next 20 rounds.

New Handicaps

A New Player's Handicap Index is initially allocated at 2 less than the best of the Adjusted Gross Scores from 3 x 18 hole cards submitted. Cards can be submitted as 6 x 9 hole or some other combination. Subsequent Handicap Index calculations change as more scores are entered:

  • 3 scores: lowest score -2
  • 4 scores: lowest score -1
  • 5 scores: lowest score
  • 6 scores: average of lowest 2 scores -1
  • 7 to 8 scores: average of lowest 2 scores
  • 9 to 11 scores: average of lowest 3 scores
  • 12 to 14 scores: average of lowest 4 scores
  • 15 to 16 scores: average of lowest 5 scores
  • 17 to 18 scores: average of lowest 6 scores
  • 19 scores: average of lowest 7 scores
  • 20 scores: average of lowest 8 scores


Transition Handicaps
Player's that already have a current CONGU Handicap will be allocated an initial Handicap Index when the new system comes into effect as described on the Transition Handicaps page.
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