The R&A - Working for Golf
Course Handicap and Playing Handicap Calculation
Handicapping
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6
Course Handicap and Playing Handicap Calculation

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.