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Purpose and Authorization; Obtaining a Handicap Index
Interpretations
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1.4
1.4a
1.4a/1
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1.4b/3
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Interpretation 2

Rule 1 covers the fundamentals of handicapping, including:

  • The purpose of the World Handicap System
  • Authorisation
  • Responsibilities of key stakeholders, and
  • How to obtain a Handicap Index.
1.4
How to Obtain a Handicap Index
1.4a
Joining a Golf Club
1.4a/1
Whether a Professional Golfer Can Obtain a Handicap Index

A professional golfer may obtain a Handicap Index, provided they meet all of the player responsibilities within the Rules of Handicapping.

1.4b
Designating a Home Club
1.4b/1
Criteria to be Used When Designating a Home Club

Rule 1.4b requires a player who is a member of more than one golf club to designate one golf club as their home club.

A player should decide which golf club to designate as their home club based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • Proximity to primary residence,
  • Frequency of play, and/or
  • The golf club where they submit most of their acceptable scores.

Should a player’s primary residence change on a regular basis such that different golf clubs satisfy the above criteria at different times of the year, the player should consider changing their home club accordingly.

Players must not designate a home club for the purpose of obtaining a Handicap Index that could give them an unfair advantage.

1.4b/2
Player Changes Designation of Home Club

When a player changes the designation of their home club for any reason, they must inform all golf clubs of which they are a member and provide the new home club with their scoring record.

1.4b/3
Player Who Belongs to Multiple Golf Clubs within Different Jurisdictions Resulting in More Than One Handicap Index

Rule 1.1 states that the purpose of the World Handicap System is, among other things, to give as many golfers as possible the opportunity to obtain and maintain a Handicap Index.

Where a player is a member of a golf club located in a different jurisdiction from the location of their home club, the player may be required to hold a separate Handicap Index issued by the Authorized Association responsible for handicapping within the different jurisdiction. While such a requirement is discouraged, in order to ensure the same Handicap Index is issued by both Authorized Associations, it is the player’s responsibility to return all acceptable scores to both their home club and the golf club that is located in the different jurisdiction.

Should there ever be a discrepancy between a player’s Handicap Index as issued by different Authorized Associations, the Handicap Index within the jurisdiction where the round is being played should be used. When playing outside of either jurisdiction, the lowest Handicap Index should be used.
Handicap Index

The measure of a player’s demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty (that is, a course with a Slope Rating of 113) (see Rule 5.2).

Rules of Handicapping

The Rules of Handicapping as approved by the United States Golf Association (“USGA”) and R&A Rules Limited (“The R&A”) and administered by the Authorized Association within its jurisdiction.

Member

An individual who joins a golf club in a manner determined by club policy, which allows the player to obtain a Handicap Index.

Golf Club

An organization that is permitted, through affiliation to its Authorized Association, to administer and manage the Handicap Index of those players who have designated it as their home club, in accordance with the requirements of the Rules of Handicapping.

To qualify for affiliation, a golf club may be required to satisfy certain requirements as determined by its Authorized Association. 

Golf Club

An organization that is permitted, through affiliation to its Authorized Association, to administer and manage the Handicap Index of those players who have designated it as their home club, in accordance with the requirements of the Rules of Handicapping.

To qualify for affiliation, a golf club may be required to satisfy certain requirements as determined by its Authorized Association. 

Home Club

A player’s primary golf club designated by the player to ensure their Handicap Index is managed in accordance with the Rules of Handicapping.

Golf Club

An organization that is permitted, through affiliation to its Authorized Association, to administer and manage the Handicap Index of those players who have designated it as their home club, in accordance with the requirements of the Rules of Handicapping.

To qualify for affiliation, a golf club may be required to satisfy certain requirements as determined by its Authorized Association. 

Home Club

A player’s primary golf club designated by the player to ensure their Handicap Index is managed in accordance with the Rules of Handicapping.

Golf Club

An organization that is permitted, through affiliation to its Authorized Association, to administer and manage the Handicap Index of those players who have designated it as their home club, in accordance with the requirements of the Rules of Handicapping.

To qualify for affiliation, a golf club may be required to satisfy certain requirements as determined by its Authorized Association. 

Acceptable Score

A score from an authorized format of play which meets all the provisions set out within the Rules of Handicapping (see Rule 2).

Golf Club

An organization that is permitted, through affiliation to its Authorized Association, to administer and manage the Handicap Index of those players who have designated it as their home club, in accordance with the requirements of the Rules of Handicapping.

To qualify for affiliation, a golf club may be required to satisfy certain requirements as determined by its Authorized Association. 

Home Club

A player’s primary golf club designated by the player to ensure their Handicap Index is managed in accordance with the Rules of Handicapping.

Home Club

A player’s primary golf club designated by the player to ensure their Handicap Index is managed in accordance with the Rules of Handicapping.

Handicap Index

The measure of a player’s demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty (that is, a course with a Slope Rating of 113) (see Rule 5.2).

Home Club

A player’s primary golf club designated by the player to ensure their Handicap Index is managed in accordance with the Rules of Handicapping.

Golf Club

An organization that is permitted, through affiliation to its Authorized Association, to administer and manage the Handicap Index of those players who have designated it as their home club, in accordance with the requirements of the Rules of Handicapping.

To qualify for affiliation, a golf club may be required to satisfy certain requirements as determined by its Authorized Association. 

Member

An individual who joins a golf club in a manner determined by club policy, which allows the player to obtain a Handicap Index.

Home Club

A player’s primary golf club designated by the player to ensure their Handicap Index is managed in accordance with the Rules of Handicapping.

Scoring Record

A history of a player’s acceptable scores along with:

  • The player’s current Handicap Index,
  • The player’s Low Handicap Index,
  • Other details about each round (such as, the date the round was played), and
  • Any applicable adjustments (for example, an exceptional score).

(See Appendix B.)

Handicap Index

The measure of a player’s demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty (that is, a course with a Slope Rating of 113) (see Rule 5.2).

Member

An individual who joins a golf club in a manner determined by club policy, which allows the player to obtain a Handicap Index.

Golf Club

An organization that is permitted, through affiliation to its Authorized Association, to administer and manage the Handicap Index of those players who have designated it as their home club, in accordance with the requirements of the Rules of Handicapping.

To qualify for affiliation, a golf club may be required to satisfy certain requirements as determined by its Authorized Association. 

Jurisdiction
The geographic territory in which an Authorized Association administers the Rules of Handicapping.
Home Club

A player’s primary golf club designated by the player to ensure their Handicap Index is managed in accordance with the Rules of Handicapping.

Handicap Index

The measure of a player’s demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty (that is, a course with a Slope Rating of 113) (see Rule 5.2).

Authorized Association

An entity that is authorized, in accordance with the structure set out by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and R&A Rules Limited (The R&A).

To implement and administer the Rules of Handicapping within its jurisdiction and to carry out the responsibilities as delegated to it by the authority through which it is authorized.

Such an entity must be a Multi-National, National or Regional Association, Federation or Union.

Jurisdiction
The geographic territory in which an Authorized Association administers the Rules of Handicapping.
Handicap Index

The measure of a player’s demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty (that is, a course with a Slope Rating of 113) (see Rule 5.2).

Authorized Association

An entity that is authorized, in accordance with the structure set out by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and R&A Rules Limited (The R&A).

To implement and administer the Rules of Handicapping within its jurisdiction and to carry out the responsibilities as delegated to it by the authority through which it is authorized.

Such an entity must be a Multi-National, National or Regional Association, Federation or Union.

Acceptable Score

A score from an authorized format of play which meets all the provisions set out within the Rules of Handicapping (see Rule 2).

Home Club

A player’s primary golf club designated by the player to ensure their Handicap Index is managed in accordance with the Rules of Handicapping.

Golf Club

An organization that is permitted, through affiliation to its Authorized Association, to administer and manage the Handicap Index of those players who have designated it as their home club, in accordance with the requirements of the Rules of Handicapping.

To qualify for affiliation, a golf club may be required to satisfy certain requirements as determined by its Authorized Association. 

Jurisdiction
The geographic territory in which an Authorized Association administers the Rules of Handicapping.
Handicap Index

The measure of a player’s demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty (that is, a course with a Slope Rating of 113) (see Rule 5.2).

Authorized Association

An entity that is authorized, in accordance with the structure set out by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and R&A Rules Limited (The R&A).

To implement and administer the Rules of Handicapping within its jurisdiction and to carry out the responsibilities as delegated to it by the authority through which it is authorized.

Such an entity must be a Multi-National, National or Regional Association, Federation or Union.

Handicap Index

The measure of a player’s demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty (that is, a course with a Slope Rating of 113) (see Rule 5.2).

Jurisdiction
The geographic territory in which an Authorized Association administers the Rules of Handicapping.
Jurisdiction
The geographic territory in which an Authorized Association administers the Rules of Handicapping.
Handicap Index

The measure of a player’s demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty (that is, a course with a Slope Rating of 113) (see Rule 5.2).