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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

When a Hole is Not Played

Procedure for Calculating a Score Differential using an Expected Score
The calculation of an expected score is automated and is used to attribute a statistical value against any hole or holes not played within an acceptable 9-hole or 18-hole round so that a 9-hole or 18-hole Score Differential can be calculated, subject to other provisions set out within the Rules of Handicapping. The procedure for calculating a Score Differential using an expected score can be summarized as follows:
  1. An expected Score Differential for the hole or holes not played is calculated, based on a given Handicap Index and a course of standard difficulty.
  2. A Score Differential for the holes played is calculated using the player’s actual scores and the rating value of the holes played.
  3. The Score Differential from the holes played is combined with the expected Score Differential to produce either a 9-hole or 18-hole Score Differential.
Use of Net Par for a Hole Not Played
In certain circumstances, and only when approved by the Authorized Association, a score of net par can be used for a hole or holes not played, in place of the expected score. Examples of situations where a score of net par would be acceptable include:
  • When the player is required to submit an adjusted gross score, including scores for any holes not played, or
  • When one or more holes are out of play due to construction or maintenance, which affects all players over a period of time.
Designation of Holes Not Played
Where one or more holes have not been played during the round and the player is not required to submit an adjusted gross score, the player must submit hole-by-hole scores and designate which holes were not played as prescribed by the Authorized Association. This is to ensure that all of the procedures set out within the Rules of Handicapping can be carried out accurately, including the calculation of the expected score for the hole or holes not played.

When a Hole is Started But Player Does Not Hole Out

Clarification of the Meaning of Most Likely Score for Handicap Posting and When It Should Be Used
A most likely score is used to record a player’s probable score on a hole, when the hole has been started but the player did not hole out their ball. It should be a reasonable assessment of the number of strokes needed to complete the hole. For example, in a Four-Ball match-play competition, a player’s partner holes their ball from off the putting green for three. The player’s ball lies 15 yards(14 meters) away from the hole in four strokes and the score for the side cannot be improved. To save time, the player may pick up and record a most likely score for handicap purposes. Based on the most likely score guidelines, the player would record a score of six or seven for handicap purposes (four strokes taken plus two or three additional strokes).