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Adjustment of Hole Scores
Principle of the Rule:  A score for handicap purposes should not be overly influenced by one or two bad hole scores that are not reflective of a player’s demonstrated ability. In addition, incomplete scores and/or scores where a player did not hole out on every hole can provide reasonable evidence of the player’s ability and can be used for handicap purposes. Rule 3 covers the circumstances where scores may be acceptable and how these hole scores should be adjusted.
Adjustment of Hole Scores

Adjustment of Hole Scores


Before a Handicap Index has been Established

For a player submitting their first scores to obtain an initial Handicap Index, the maximum score for each hole played is limited to par + 5 strokes.

After a Handicap Index Has Been Established

For a player with an established Handicap Index, the maximum score for each hole is limited to net double bogey, calculated as follows: Par of the hole + 2 strokes + Any handicap stroke(s) that the player receives on that hole* (*or minus any handicap stroke(s) that a plus handicap player gives back on that hole)
  • net double bogey is equal to the lowest score on a hole for which the player would achieve zero Stableford points.
  • There is no limit to the number of holes in a round where a net double bogey adjustment may be applied.
  • If, in the Terms of the Competition (see Rule 7.2a) or the handicap allowance, there are any restrictions on the number of strokes received, this restricted Playing Handicap should only be used for the purpose of the competition, for example to determine the:
  • Finishing positions and prize winners, and
  • Number of strokes given or received for different formats of play. The player’s full, unrestricted Course Handicap should be used for all applications of net double bogey adjustments. For this procedure the Course Handicap is rounded to the nearest whole number (see Rule 6.1a/b).
  • Where a Course Handicap is calculated at more than 54 and a player receives 4 or more strokes on a hole, the maximum hole score is par+ 5 for handicap purposes.
  • Adjusting a hole score to a net double bogey can be done either:
    • Automatically, when hole-by-hole score entry is used, or
    • By the player, when submitting an adjusted gross score for the round.

When a Hole is Not Played


Reason for Not Playing One or More Holes

There are various reasons why a round is not completed or one of more holes are not played during the round. Valid reasons might include:
  • Fading light or weather preventing the continuation of play,
  • Player injury or illness,
  • A match finishing before the final hole, or
  • The course being played has fewer than 9 or 18-holes because:
    • A hole (or holes) has been declared out of play by the Committee for maintenance or reconstruction purposes, Or
    • The Committee has organized a competition over a non-standard number of holes, for example during the winter months.
  • Any other situations considered reasonable by the Committee.
If it is determined that the player does not complete a round or does not play one or more holes for an invalid reason, the score is not acceptable for handicap purposes. Invalid reasons might include:
  • Weather that does not prevent the continuation of play.
  • Not playing a particular hole on a golf course because the player knows it usually causes them difficulty and they are likely to return a high hole score.
  • Not playing the final holes on a golf course in order to avoid submitting a high score (if playing badly) or a low score (if playing well).
  • Any other situations considered unreasonable by the Committee.
If the Handicap Committee determines that the player’s actions were for the purpose of gaining an unfair scoring advantage, it may consider posting a penalty score to the player’s scoring record.

Score to Record When One or More Holes Not Played

A score from an incomplete round or when one or more holes have not been played  may only be used for handicap purposes if, among other things;
  • The round has been played over at least the minimum number of holes required for either a 9-hole or an 18-hole score to be acceptable, and
  • The reason for not completing the round was valid.
Where the Handicap Committee determines that one or more holes has not been played for a valid reason, a 9-hole or 18-hole Score Differential will be created using their expected score for the hole or holes not played. Notes:    If the player’s reason for not playing one hole or more holes is considered invalid, the score is not acceptable for handicap purposes, but the Handicap Committee may consider posting a penalty score to the player’s scoring record.    If the outcome of a competition has been decided before all holes have been completed and the player decides to play any of the remaining holes, the actual scores for those remaining holes should be recorded. A hole is considered to have been played if it has been started.

When a Hole is Started But Player Does Not Hole Out

When a player starts a hole but does not hole out for a valid reason, subject to other provisions set out in the Rules of Handicapping, the player must record their score as appropriate for the situation and depending on the format of play.
Regel 1Purpose and Authorization; Obtaining a Handicap Index
Rule 1 covers the fundamentals of handicapping, including: The purpose of the World Handicap System Authorisation Responsibilities of key stake...
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