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Scores Acceptable for Handicap Purposes
Principle of the Rule:  The scores a player submits for handicap purposes are at the core of the calculation of their Handicap Index. Rule 2 covers the conditions a score must satisfy for it to be acceptable for handicap purposes, providing confidence that it will produce reasonable evidence of the player’s ability and, ultimately, a Handicap Index that is reflective of demonstrated ability.
Scores Acceptable for Handicap Purposes

Acceptability of Scores

Scores Not Acceptable for Handicap Purposes
Some formats of play and scores played under certain restricted Terms of the Competition are not acceptable for handicap purposes and must not be posted to a player’s scoring record. The following illustrative list is not exhaustive and if a player is in doubt as to the acceptability of a score, it is recommended that they check with the golf club where they are playing or the Authorized Association.
Scores From Competitions Not Organized By An Affiliated Golf Club
Rule 1.3(i) states that a player is expected to “submit all acceptable scores to provide reasonable evidence of their demonstrated ability”. Subject to other provisions set out within the Rules of Handicapping, an acceptable score from an authorized format of play must be submitted for handicap purposes, even if it was from a competition organized by an entity that is not affiliated to the Authorized Association, for example a Society or League. When such scores are not submitted automatically by the entity organizing the competition, the player is required to submit the score using the procedures set out by the Authorized Association. Where a player fails to submit an acceptable score or fails to comply with the procedures set out by the Authorized Association, the Handicap Committee should act in accordance with Rule 7.1b.
Examples of When Player Has Been Disqualified From a Competition, But Gained No Significant Scoring Advantage
The Committee has the discretion to accept a score for handicap purposes if a player is disqualified from a competition, but no significant scoring advantage has been gained. Examples of situations where a Committee may consider that no significant scoring advantage has been gained include:
Examples of When Player Has Been Disqualified From a Competition for an Action That Would Have Provided a Significant Scoring Advantage
Examples of situations where a Committee may determine that a player has gained a significant scoring advantage include:
Hole Not Played By The Rules of Golf in General Play
Where a player has breached the Rules of Golf  in general play and knowingly failed to apply the correct penalty, the score should not generally be accepted for handicap purposes. However, depending on the circumstances, the committee has the discretion to produce an acceptable score by:
  • Recording the actual score for the hole, or
  • Adjusting the hole score using net double bogey, or
  • Applying a score of net par.
Score is Acceptable for Handicap Purposes Even If Holes Have Not Been Played in the Order Set by the Committee
Rule 5.1 of the Rules of Golf  requires holes in a round to be played in the order set by either the Committee in charge of the competition or the Committee in charge of the golf course. However, provided the player has not been disqualified, a score is acceptable for handicap purposes even if the holes in a round have not been played in the order set by the Committee. For example:
  • When the golf course is busy and starting at an alternative hole will allow a quicker pace of play.
  • When playing holes in a different order will allow more players to complete their rounds, particularly during periods when daylight is limited.
If the player has been disqualified, see Rule 2.1b.
Status of Scores Made When Match Play and Stroke Play Formats are Played Concurrently
When a player competes in a match while also playing a stroke play round and both are authorized formats of play, the stroke play score is the score that should be submitted for handicap purposes. The match play score should not be submitted.
Returning Scores for Handicap Purposes While Playing on Temporary Greens or Tees
The Authorized Association should determine whether scores made under temporary course conditions are acceptable for handicap purposes. The Authorized Association should also determine whether a temporary modification to the Course Rating and Slope Rating is required to reflect the temporary changes (see Appendix G).