Picton Golf & Country Club

Established 1907

2020 PGCC Handicap News - WHS Info - May 7

May 7, 2020
Picton Golf and Country Club


Picton Golf & Country Club
News from your
Handicap Committee

World Handicap System
Golf Ontario Education Series 

All of the information we have provided so far deals with how a “Handicap Index” is calculated. We now know the number of scores needed to get a handicap index and the number of games used to keep its calculation current. We’ve learned about playing conditions, and caps on the upward limit of a handicap index and even how exceptional scores can be applied.

Now what? How is a "Handicap Index"  translated into a value that is unique to our course?

This week’s lesson outlines the calculation used to convert a “Handicap Index” to a “Course Handicap.” The lesson also introduces the new “Playing Handicap”  which is used in conjunction with a "Course Handicap” and is used in some competitions to allow for further equitable play.

Let’s see what Golf Ontario says about “Course Handicaps” and “Playing Handicaps.”


Course Handicap Calculation and Application

Prior to 2020, a Course Handicap represented the number of strokes a player received in relation to the Course Rating of the tees being played. The formula was:

Course Handicap = Handicap Index x (Slope Rating / 113)

With the new World Handicap System, a Course Handicap will represent the number of strokes a player receives in relation to the Par” of the tees being played. The formula will include a Course Rating minus Par adjustment:

Course Handicap = Handicap Index × (Slope Rating/113) + (Course Rating – Par)

  • Starting 2020, Course Handicap values will change more from tee to tee, as they will represent the number of strokes to play to Par.
  • Par is a term that resonates with golfers, so setting Par as the benchmark for a Course Handicap adds simplicity to handicapping.
  • Players will be able to determine their Target Scores (the score they’ll shoot if they play to their handicap) by simply adding their Course Handicap + Par.
  • A score of Net Par will be used for holes not played, and the maximum hole score for handicap purposes will be a Net Double Bogey. Having a Course Handicap that is relative to Par will ensure that the correct number of strokes are received and applied for both procedures.



Playing Handicap Calculation and Application

Prior to 2020, when a player’s Course Handicap was adjusted based on the application of a Handicap Allowance or other term(s) of a competition, the resulting value was not defined and was still referred to as a Course Handicap.

With the World Handicap System, the term “Playing Handicap” will be used within the Rules of Handicapping and will represent the number of strokes a player receives in a competition. The following formula will be used to determine a Playing Handicap:

Playing Handicap = Course Handicap x Handicap Allowance

In addition, if players are competing from tees with different Pars, then the player(s) competing from the tees with the higher Par will receive an additional stroke(s) based on the difference.

By introducing the term Playing Handicap, there will be a clear distinction between two key Rules of Handicapping definitions, where both serve specific purposes:

    • A Course Handicap will be used to adjust individual hole scores (Net Double Bogey and Net Par procedures).
    • Playing Handicaps will be used for net competition purposes – including determining the results and winner(s).
  • Under the previous system, confusion existed because there was only one defined term that often represented two different values.
    • For example – A player with a Course Handicap of 21 participating in a four-ball stroke play competition using the recommended Handicap Allowance of 85% will receive 18 strokes during the round. In 2020, the 18 strokes received will be their Playing Handicap.
  • The defined term Playing Handicap will be intuitive and ensure that both terms are applied properly.




Stay tuned for next week’s lesson that will include greater details about the new Net Double Bogey maximum adjusted score calculation. 

As always, if you have any questions, please drop us a note at handicapcommittee@pictongolf.ca or click here to send us a message now.

We are almost there......golf awaits!


Your Handicap Committee


Picton Golf and Country Club. 734 County Road #49, Box 6170, Picton, ON, K0K2T0
Pro Shop: 613 476 2222 / The View: 613-476-8383