Appendix D - Handicap Review
The handicap review process gives a Handicap Committee the ability to ensure the Handicap Index of a player reflects their demonstrated ability.  To assist this process, the World Handicap System software specifications set out a range of recommended reports, analyses and notifications which can be developed within the handicapping software used by Handicap Committees to administer members’ handicaps. These tools will:
  • Identify players who are consistently scoring above, or below, their ‘expected’ scoring range or where other abnormalities within a player’s scoring record exist, and
  • Make a recommended adjustment to the Handicap Index of each player identified, up to a maximum of 2 strokes.
A recommended adjustment will be applied only at the discretion of the Handicap Committee, based on any other knowledge or evidence that they have about the player and their demonstrated ability. The handicap review reporting tools compare a player’s Handicap Index, individual scores and scoring patterns against expectations using the following:
  • The player’s expected score in their next round,
  • The expected standard deviation of the player’s Score Differentials,
  • The player’s expected scoring range.
The number of abnormal scores in the player’s scoring record as a percentage of the total number will also be taken into account. The larger the number of scores in a player’s scoring record, the more scores above or below their expected scoring range are required for the player to be flagged for a handicap review. Other information that may also be considered during the handicap review process include:
  • The player’s current Low Handicap Index.
  • Length of time since a player last played to their Handicap Index.
  • Number of scores since a player last played to their Handicap Index.
  • Number of times and the percentage of the Score Differentials posted during the review period when a player has played to their Handicap Index, or better.
  • The number of Exceptional Score adjustments applied during the review period.
  • The number of Handicap Index calculations in which the Soft Cap or Hard Cap were applied, during the review period.
  • The frequency of a player’s score submissions over the last 12-month cycle, or selected period of time, compared to the previous 12-month cycle, or comparative period(s).
  • The trend of a player’s Handicap Index, such as differences in the level of consistency of the player’s Handicap Index over the past 12–24 months.
  • Comparison of a player’s average Score Differentials across all chosen authorized formats of play, the score types of which should be clearly identifiable and appropriately annotated (see Appendix B). For example, competition versus general play, stroke play versus match play, individual versus team formats etc.
  • A player’s indicative potential indicated by the best 40% of the player’s Score Differentials during the review period.
  • Any consecutive sequences of Score Differentials significantly above or below the expected Score Differential distribution for the player’s Handicap Index.
  • Any scores from, or performances known in, non-authorized formats of play.
  • Any other knowledge that the Handicap Committee has relative to the player’s golfing ability. For example, improving play following golf lessons, declining scoring potential due to frequency of playing, ageing, incapacitating injuries or illness, etc.
  • Percentage of acceptable scores submitted at a player’s home club.
  • Percentage of acceptable scores submitted from general play formats.
  • Percentage of acceptable scores from 9-hole rounds.
  • Identifying relevant handicapping trends for Handicap Committee consideration.
  • Length of time since a player last played to their Handicap Index.
  • Number of scores since a player last played to their Handicap Index.
  • Information supplied by any other golf club where the player is a member.
  1. If a Handicap Committee considers that more than a 2-stroke adjustment to a player’s Handicap Index is required, this should only be made under exceptional circumstances. For example, for a player who has an illness, injury or temporary disability impacting their ability to play with or against all other players on a fair and equitable basis (see Rule 7.1a).
  2. The handicap review procedure may be used to determine an adjustment of greater than 2 strokes by continuing to run the iterative process.
  3. When applying any adjustment to a player’s Handicap Index, it is important that the Committee also considers resetting their Low Handicap Index, to allow for future upward movement of their Handicap Index.