The R&A - Working for Golf

The WHS in Great Britain & Ireland: Explaining Key Areas

Why Is There a 95% Handicap Allowance in Individual Stroke Play?

Understanding 95% Handicap Allowance and Equity

Why do we use a 95% Handicap Allowance in individual stroke play formats of the game?

  • In individual stroke play formats of the game it is important that when a player performs well, they will place well on the leader board – regardless of their Handicap Index
  • This is what we mean by Equity, and in individual stroke play competitions involving a large number of players with a wide range of abilities, it is the 95% Handicap Allowance which creates this equity
  • If the 95% Handicap Allowance is not used in these formats of the game, there is an increased probability that a higher handicap player will win the event
  • This is because there are generally more higher handicap players in the field and so it only takes one of them to have a good day