The R&A - Working for Golf
Submitting a Score
Handicapping
Jump To Section
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
Explore More

Rule 3
Rule 5

Principle of the Rule: 

Rule 4 covers the process for the submission of acceptable scores for handicap purposes, both to obtain an initial Handicap Index and to maintain an established Handicap Index.

Timely submission of scores by a player, or anyone else responsible or authorized to submit scores on their behalf, allows for responsive updates and provides a real-time measure of the player’s golfing ability.

This Rule also outlines the information that players are required to submit for acceptable scores and how these scores can be verified.

4
Submitting a Score

 

4.1
Information Required for Scoring Record
  1. A score posted into the player’s scoring record must be:
    • An acceptable score (see Rule 2.1), and
    • Recorded in the correct chronological order, even if the score is submitted on a day later than the date the round was played.
  2. A score should be posted to the player’s scoring record in the form prescribed by the Authorized Association. This may be in the form of hole-by-hole scores (strongly recommended), an adjusted gross score or Stableford points.
  3. Upon submission of a score, a player must ensure that the following information is provided for inclusion in their scoring record:
    • Date of the round played,
    • Course Rating and Slope Rating for the set of tees played, and
    • Where applicable, thepar and stroke indexof each hole.

      This information is generally contained on the scorecard.

  4. The Handicap Committee should ensure a submitted score is posted to a player’s scoring record as soon as possible.
  5. A score submitted on a day after the round was played should also include the playing conditions calculation (See Rule 5.6), in addition to the information required under (iii) above.

Scores submitted by a player to obtain an initial Handicap Index must be submitted as either hole-by-hole scores, 9-hole or 18-hole adjusted gross score or both – depending on the choices made by the National Association. 

4.2
Eligibility to Submit a Score

An acceptable score must be submitted by the player, the Handicap Committee, the Committee in charge of the Competition or by anyone else authorized by the player.

4.3
Time Frame for Submitting a Score

A player should submit their score as soon as possible on the day of play, after competition of their round, and before midnight (local time).

If a player does not submit their score on the day of play:

  • Their Handicap Index will not be updated in time for the next day (see Rule 5.4), and
  • Their score will not be included in the daily playing conditions calculation (PCC) (see Rule 5.6).

When a score is posted to the player’s scoring record after the day of play and the PCC for the day the round was played has already been performed, the PCC adjustment should still be applied to the player’s Score Differential calculation even though the player’s score was not included in the PCC.

If a score is submitted out of sequence:

  • The score should be added to the player’s scoring record in the correct chronological order.
  • The published PCC adjustment for the golf course played, on the day the round was played, should be applied to theScore Differential calculation.
  • The player’s Handicap Index should be recalculated.

Note: The Handicap Committee should investigate any repeated occurrence of a player failing to submit a score in a timely manner (see Rule 7.1b).

If there is no evidence that the player has acted for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage, all scores submitted in the intervening period should stand for handicap purposes.

4.4
Certification of a Score

A score submitted for handicap purposes must be certified in accordance with the procedures set down by the National Association.

4.5
Number of Scores Required for Initial Handicap Index

To obtain an initial Handicap Index, a player must submit acceptable score from a minimum number of holes, as determined by their National Association – not exceeding 54 holes.

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.)

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).

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.)

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.

Adjusted Gross Score

A player’s gross score, including any penalty strokes, adjusted for when:

  • The player exceeds their maximum hole score,
  • A hole is not played, or
  • A hole is started but the player does not hole out.

(See Rule 3.)

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.)

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).

Par

The score that a scratch player would generally be expected to achieve on a hole under normal course and weather conditions, allowing for two strokes on the putting green (see Appendix F). The Authorized Association or, at the discretion of the National Association the golf club, is responsible for adjudicating par (see Appendix A).

Stroke Index

The value assigned to each hole on a golf course to indicate where handicap strokes are given or received (see Appendix E).

Handicap Committee

The entity established by a golf club or an Authorized Association which is responsible for ensuring compliance with the obligations of the golf club or Authorized Association under the Rules of Handicapping (see Rule 1.3 and Appendix A).

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.)

Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC)

The statistical calculation that determines if conditions on a day of play differed from normal playing conditions to the extent that they significantly impacted players’ performance.  Examples of conditions that could impact players’ performance include:

  • Course conditions,
  • Weather conditions, and
  • Course set-up.

(See Rule 5.6.)

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).

Adjusted Gross Score

A player’s gross score, including any penalty strokes, adjusted for when:

  • The player exceeds their maximum hole score,
  • A hole is not played, or
  • A hole is started but the player does not hole out.

(See Rule 3.)

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).

Handicap Committee

The entity established by a golf club or an Authorized Association which is responsible for ensuring compliance with the obligations of the golf club or Authorized Association under the Rules of Handicapping (see Rule 1.3 and Appendix A).

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).

Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC)

The statistical calculation that determines if conditions on a day of play differed from normal playing conditions to the extent that they significantly impacted players’ performance.  Examples of conditions that could impact players’ performance include:

  • Course conditions,
  • Weather conditions, and
  • Course set-up.

(See Rule 5.6.)

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.)

Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC)

The statistical calculation that determines if conditions on a day of play differed from normal playing conditions to the extent that they significantly impacted players’ performance.  Examples of conditions that could impact players’ performance include:

  • Course conditions,
  • Weather conditions, and
  • Course set-up.

(See Rule 5.6.)

Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC)

The statistical calculation that determines if conditions on a day of play differed from normal playing conditions to the extent that they significantly impacted players’ performance.  Examples of conditions that could impact players’ performance include:

  • Course conditions,
  • Weather conditions, and
  • Course set-up.

(See Rule 5.6.)

Score Differential

The difference between a player’s adjusted gross score and the Course Rating, reflecting the Slope Rating and the playing conditions calculation.

It is the numerical value attributed to a score achieved on a golf course on a specific day that is posted into the player’s scoring record.  A Score Differential must be an 18-hole value or its calculated equivalent.

(See Rule 5.1.)

Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC)

The statistical calculation that determines if conditions on a day of play differed from normal playing conditions to the extent that they significantly impacted players’ performance.  Examples of conditions that could impact players’ performance include:

  • Course conditions,
  • Weather conditions, and
  • Course set-up.

(See Rule 5.6.)

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.)

Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC)

The statistical calculation that determines if conditions on a day of play differed from normal playing conditions to the extent that they significantly impacted players’ performance.  Examples of conditions that could impact players’ performance include:

  • Course conditions,
  • Weather conditions, and
  • Course set-up.

(See Rule 5.6.)

Golf Course

An area of land where golf is played, made up of the following five areas as defined in the Rules of Golf:

  1. The general area,
  2. The teeing area a player must play from in starting the hole being played,  
  3. All penalty areas,
  4. All bunkers, and
  5. The putting green of the hole being played.  

Each hole may have multiple teeing areas and, for handicap purposes, a golf course is made up of a designated set of tees on each hole. As such, each set of tees (or golf course) should have a separate Course Rating and Slope Rating, including one for each gender where appropriate.

Score Differential

The difference between a player’s adjusted gross score and the Course Rating, reflecting the Slope Rating and the playing conditions calculation.

It is the numerical value attributed to a score achieved on a golf course on a specific day that is posted into the player’s scoring record.  A Score Differential must be an 18-hole value or its calculated equivalent.

(See Rule 5.1.)

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).

Handicap Committee

The entity established by a golf club or an Authorized Association which is responsible for ensuring compliance with the obligations of the golf club or Authorized Association under the Rules of Handicapping (see Rule 1.3 and Appendix A).

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).

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).