Maximum Adjusted Scores for Handicap Purposes
& The Use of Stroke Index Allocation
The Quick Tip
Maximum Adjusted Score
Golf Canada states: 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.
For each hole, there is a maximum adjusted score that a player can post for handicap purposes. The maximum values are determined as follows:
Before your Handicap Index is issued:
The maximum adjusted score you can post for any hole is your Gross score (all the stokes you take from tee to cup.) or Par + 5. Whichever is lowest.
After your Handicap Index is issued:
The maximum adjusted score you can post for any hole is your Gross score (all the strokes you take from tee to cup) or Net Double Bogey. Whichever is lowest.
What is NET DOUBLE BOGEY?
Net Double Bogey is calculated as follows:
PAR + 2 + STROKES RECEIVED = MAX
What are “Strokes Received”?
How do you know if you get them and on which holes?
On the Club scorecard you will see two rows entitled “HDCP, Men” and “HDCP, Women." These rows are known the Stroke Index Allocation, or informally as “stroke holes” or “handicap holes”.
Each hole has its own stroke allocation value, 1 through 18. (There is a complex formula used to determine which hole gets which value, but for now it is simpler to state that the allocations are based somewhat on the difficulty of the hole: value 1 for the hardest hole, value 18 for the easiest hole.) See the chart below which indicates the current Stroke Index Allocation for holes on the front nine.
Let’s look at two examples: using the PGCC scorecard where hole #1 is a par 4 and has a Stroke Index Allocation of 9 for men and 13 for women.
A man with a course handicap of 10 would get a stroke on the 10 most difficult holes for men, that is, with a Stroke Index Allocation of 1 through 10. If he scores 9 on Hole #1, his maximum adjusted score using the Net Double Bogey method is Par (4) + Double Bogey (2) + Stroke Allocation (1) = 7.
A woman with a course handicap of 10 would similarly get a stroke on the 10 most difficult holes for women, that is, with a Stroke Index Allocation of 1 through 10. If she scores 9 on Hole #1 she would not get a Stroke Allocation because it is the13th most difficult for women. Her maximum adjusted score is Par (4) + Double Bogey (2) + Stroke Allocation (0) = 6.
In both examples, the players' gross scores are still 9. The adjusted scores are only used for the purpose of updating their handicaps.
Let’s look at another example where the player has a course handicap above 18:
A woman with a course handicap of 32 gets a stroke on all 18 holes, plus an additional stroke on the 14 most difficult holes for women, that is, with a Stroke Index Allocation of 1 through 14 (18 + 14 = 32.) Simply put, she gets 2 strokes on the 14 most difficult holes and 1 stroke on all the other holes.
If she scores 9 on Hole #1, her maximum adjusted score using the Net Double Bogey method is Par (4) + Double Bogey (2) + Stroke Allocation (2) = 8. Her gross score is still 9. The adjusted score is used for the purpose of updating her handicap.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: When you post your score using the Hole-By Hole method, the program automatically adjusts your gross score to the correct maximum adjusted score.
When will you need to do these calculations manually?
- In match play - to ensure the correct strokes are given/received between playing opponents.
- When you "pick-up" prior to finishing a hole. If you are not playing in any form of Gross or Net competition, you may wish to “pick-up” before completing the hole. You will need to know your maximum value for that hole before you do this.
Click here to download and print the Quick Tip.
The Full Story
Rule #3 “Maximum Holes Score” (Rules of Handicapping) outlines complete information on the adjustment of scores, including maximum scoring and scoring for holes not played and for holes started but not finished.
Appendix E: “Stroke Index Allocation” (Rules of Handicapping) outlines complete information on the allocation of stroke holes.
Click to access the Rules of Handicapping and details on the Rule and Appendix noted above.