Competition Playing Handicap
To ensure that handicap competitions are fair to all those who participate, GolfRSA has decided to implement Rule 6.2a/Appendix C as the final phase of the implementation of the World Handicap System Rules of Handicapping.
As such, all club competitions will be played using the Competition Handicap Allowance and Competition Playing Handicap from 1 March 2021.
Reason for the change
With the change to the World Handicap System, there were two changes that affected your Handicap Index.
The first was the move to the best 8 out of the previous 20 scores when calculating your Handicap Index, from the previous best 10 of the last 20.
Secondly, the change from a maximum score per hole of 2 over par (unless you had two strokes on a hole, in which case you could enter a 3 over par) to Net Double Bogey (zero Stableford points).
The 2 over was incorrect because it failed to take into account handicap strokes on a hole, and it meant people could pick up despite still having a single Stableford point.
Net Double Bogey has been in use in the UK, Europe and Australia, and was agreed to by all the countries participating in the World Handicap System decisions.
The above changes have caused some handicaps to move more than others, so GolfRSA has decided to follow the World Handicap System recommendation of using Competition Allowances to ensure all players have an equal opportunity of winning.
Competition Handicap Allowances
We are sure that most of you are aware that many current provincial or regional handicap competitions are played off, say, 80% or 90% of Course Handicaps.
The World Handicap Technical Committee investigated millions of competition scores for different formats of play and came up with a statistically determined recommended adjustment to Course Handicaps, which is designed to make competitions fair to all participants. This gives everyone, no matter what their Course Handicap is, an equal chance of winning a club or other competition.
So, for example, in a betterball competition, it does not matter if two low handicappers play together or two high handicappers play together, or if a low and high handicapper play together – they will all have a fair chance to win if they play well or combine well.
So, how do we implement this Competition Handicap Allowance to give the players a Competition Playing Handicap for the specific competition?
The free HNA App has an option at the bottom of the Course Handicap section that says “Apply Allowance”. From here, simply select the percentage that the Club has advised you is applicable to the day’s competition.
The App will then provide you with a Course Handicap and a Competition Playing Handicap. The Competition Playing Handicap would be used to calculate your score for the club competition.
The Competition Playing Handicap can also be looked up in the same way on the club’s handicap terminal – and many clubs will also be able to print out your Competition Playing Handicap for the competition on your payment receipt. Additionally, Competition Playing Handicap Conversion Tables are available at the club as a quick look-up table.
When you enter your score for handicap purposes, you do it the same way as you have done for the past year by using your Course Handicap. The Competition Playing Handicap is only used for your competition score.
If you have any doubts about what score to enter on the HNA Handicap System, you can just enter your gross score per hole and press Enter Score – the system will automatically adjust your score for Net Double Bogey using your Course Handicap and calculate your Score Differential. This can be done on the App, the terminal or on the website.
Filling in your scorecard
If you are filling in a scorecard for the competition, you need to write down both your Course Handicap and your Competition Playing Handicap in the Handicap section. However, you will only use your Competition Playing Handicap to calculate your competition score.
In competition formats not covered by the table below, the Competition Committee can decide on their own percentage – or decide not to apply one.
In summary, there is no change to how you enter your handicap score, and the percentage adjustment for the Club Competition will be advised to you by the club. You can enter the Competition Handicap Allowance percentage on the HNA App or the club terminal to obtain your Competition Playing Handicap for that competition.