This month we look at Exceptional Scores: what they are, how you achieve them and how they affect your handicap.
If you’re playing golf regularly, the handicap system is designed to accurately reflect your current golfing potential and form.
Your handicap, contrary to popular belief, is not supposed to represent your average score or differential, but rather your capability for scoring. In other words, it seeks to represent your potential best scoring – which is why it takes into account your 10 best scores out of your latest 20 rounds.
If you’ve had a very good round, where your differential (Adjusted Gross Score – the Standard Rating of the tee) is three or more strokes better than your handicap at the time, it will be flagged as an Exceptional Score. It will be represented either by a blue square around the score or the word ‘exceptional’ on your handicap record sheet.
How does an exceptional score affect your handicap?
Having a single exceptional score in your last 20 rounds will not have any impact on your handicap. However, should you score a second exceptional score within your 20 most recent scores, then the system will automatically adjust to use your best eight scores to compute your handicap (instead of the best 10).
In simple terms, you are allowed to have one really good round in your last 20 and no action is taken. Should you have two or more very good rounds, the number of differentials used in the handicap calculation will be reduced from 10 to eight, which is likely to directly lead to a handicap cut.
How long will this affect your handicap?
Your handicap will be calculated using the best eight differentials until there is only one exceptional score among your last 20 scores.
iPhone users: are you still using the old SAGA Golf App?
If you’re still using the old SAGA app to record your scores, you may be encountering some technical issues. That’s because when we the launched the much-improved 'HNA Handicaps' App a few years back, support for the SAGA Golf App was discontinued and it is now incompatible with the latest iOS software on iPhones.
What should you do?
We strongly recommend that you remove the old SAGA app from your phone and install the free HNA Handicaps App in its place.
The HNA Handicaps App offers all of the features found on the obsolete SAGA Golf App, as well as additional stats, the ability to enter foreign round scores and access to accurate 3D hole maps of the biggest courses in South Africa.
You can upgrade to the newer, improved and free HNA Handicaps App, via your app store or click on the button below.
We have received a number of queries from golfers looking to get a better understanding of their new Registered Rounds score. The Registered Rounds score represents the number of rounds that were opened by the club before playing, expressed as a percentage of the last 20 rounds. Importantly, your registered rounds score does not affect your handicap calculation in any way.
Golf clubs are supposed to register all rounds played by players with a South African handicap, by opening a round on the system before they play. This is to ensure that, in line with the SAGA Handicap system, all rounds are entered on the system. There have, unfortunately, been many instances reported of players 'conveniently' forgetting to enter their good scores.
We encourage all players to confirm that their round has been opened when they check-in or pay for their round.
Find out all you need to know about Registered Rounds here.
If you have any other handicap-related questions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Quote of the Month
'This is a game of misses. The guy who misses the best is going to win.' ~ Ben Hogan