This month we take a look at the recommended Competition Handicap Allowances from the World Handicap System (WHS) and explain how implementing these allowances will give golfers of all abilities and handicap levels a fair chance of winning.
Competition Handicap Allowance
Competition Allowances are recommended by the WHS to ensure that, in handicap competitions, all handicap groups have an equal opportunity of winning.
With the recent change to the maximum score allowed on a hole, golfers can now enter a maximum score of net 2 over par, meaning that golfers with a handicap stroke on a hole can enter a maximum score of 3 over par, while those with two handicap strokes on a hole can enter a 4 over par score.
While this change has brought us into the line with the rest of the world, it has also resulted in some issues with higher scores being produced and less equity among handicap groups when it comes to competitions.
Statisticians from the major golf-playing countries in the world have modelled millions of competition scores and have, as a result, recommended that competition organisers implement Handicap Allowances for Betterball and Alliance competitions. This will give everyone a fair chance of winning.
Further explanation comes from the USGA website:
“Since higher-handicap players typically have more variance in their scores and an increased potential to shoot lower net scores, when full Course Handicaps are used in certain formats, players with lower Course Handicaps are generally at a disadvantage.
“By taking a percentage of Course Handicap, the higher-handicap players are impacted more, which brings the expected scores for all players or teams to a more consistent level. Handicap Allowances are mainly applied in team formats, where the combination of players can produce lower scores compared to other teams.
“Millions of scores and/or simulations were used to determine and validate the Handicap Allowances used under the WHS.”
The table below provides the recommended Handicap Allowances for our most common competitions. The full schedule is available in the WHS manual here.
Implementing Handicap Allowances in competitions
To implement Handicap Allowances in your competitions, the club or competition organiser must advise the players accordingly. The Course Handicap Calculator in the HNA App has the option for players to enter the Competition Allowance, and it automatically calculates your Competition Playing Handicap, as shown below.
Please note that this competition Playing Handicap is then used to calculate your competition score, but your score for handicap entry purposes must be submitted using your Course Handicap as usual.
Quote of the Month
“Golf is a game of ego, but it is also a game of integrity. The most important thing is you do what is right when no one is looking.” – Tom Watson.