The R&A - Working for Golf
Course Handicap and Playing Handicap Calculation
Interpretations
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6.1b/1

Principle of the Rule:

The Course Handicap calculation converts a Handicap Index to the number of strokes a player requires to play any golf course with a Course Rating and Slope Rating. This allows portability of a player’s Handicap Index wherever they play. The Playing Handicap calculation enables equity amongst players of all handicap levels within different formats of the game. A Playing Handicap is calculated by applying the appropriate handicap allowance to a player’s Course Handicap. For formats of play where a handicap allowance of 100% is adopted, the Playing Handicap will be the same as the Course Handicap.

Course Handicap - For handicap purposes, a Course Handicap is used to determine the number of strokes that a player receives (or gives) on any golf course and for the correct application of net par and net double bogey adjustments.

Playing Handicap - For equity purposes, the Playing Handicap calculation determines the number of strokes each player gives or receives, to ensure that all players can enjoy a fair and equal game when playing with or competing against one another.  

6.1b/1
Use of 9-Hole Course and Slope Ratings in the Calculation of a 9-hole Course Handicap

When an Authorized Association issues Course Ratings and Slope Ratings to golf clubs, the 18-hole ratings should also be presented with front nine and back nine Course Ratings and Slope Ratings. For example

 

 

White Tees (Men)

White Tees (Women)

 

Course Rating

Slope Rating

Course

Rating

Slope

Rating

18-Holes

73.1

132

75.5

138

Holes 1-9

36.1

132

37.3

135

Holes 10-18

37.0

131

38.2

141

 

The calculation of a 9-hole Course Handicap must use the correct Course Rating and Slope Rating for the 9-hole golf course being played.

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.

Course Rating

An indication of the difficulty of a golf course for the scratch player under normal course and weather conditions (see Appendix G).

Slope Rating

An indication of the relative difficulty of a golf course for players who are not scratch players compared to players who are scratch players (see Appendix G).

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. 

Course Rating

An indication of the difficulty of a golf course for the scratch player under normal course and weather conditions (see Appendix G).

Slope Rating

An indication of the relative difficulty of a golf course for players who are not scratch players compared to players who are scratch players (see Appendix G).

Course Handicap

The number of handicap strokes a player receives, before handicap allowances, from a specific set of tees.

 (See Rule 6.1.)

Course Rating

An indication of the difficulty of a golf course for the scratch player under normal course and weather conditions (see Appendix G).

Slope Rating

An indication of the relative difficulty of a golf course for players who are not scratch players compared to players who are scratch players (see Appendix G).