The Key To Understanding Handicaps
Handicaps are developed from score posting data. Handicaps are adjusted and updated as new scores are posted.
Handicaps are a reflection of the players demonstrated ability. In order for this to be accurate, all scores played by the rules of golf – not just the good ones – need to be posted.
GROSS SCORE – is the total number of strokes you take on every hole.
Gross scores are used when posting your score.
NET SCORE – is your total Gross Score less your course handicap. Some Club events use Net Scores to determine winners. Your Net Score will only be accurate if your handicap is accurate.
MAXIMUM ADJUSTED SCORE – Introduced in 2020 under the World Handicap System, the Maximum Adjusted Score replaces the previous ESC (Equitable Score Control) adjustment. The Maximum Adjusted Score for each hole is NET DOUBLE BOGEY. This value is based on your accurate Course Handicap and the use of the Stroke Index Allocation rating for the course.
When used in conjunction with the "Hole-By-Hole" scoring method on the Golf Canada Score Centre, this calculation is done automatically, converting your Gross Score for each hole to your Maximum Adjusted Score. The use of the adjusted score value allows for the downward adjustment of individual hole scores for handicap purposes so that handicap indexes are a reflection of the player's demonstrated ability. The adjusted score is only applied when a player's actual (Gross) score, or most likely score, exceeds the adjusted score value.
IMPORTANT: The Maximum Adjusted Score is used only for handicap purposes. It is not to be used in place of Gross Scores. Accurate Net Scores are determined by Gross Scores, not Maximum Adjusted Scores. (If you take “10” strokes on a hole, mark “10” down on the scorecard and enter “10” when you post your score!)
When should a player "pick up"?
For the purposes of Pace Of Play, and only if you are not competing in a GROSS or NET event, you may wish to pick up after you have reached your adjusted score value. Your adjusted score value is based on your accurate course handicap and may change over the season. Please ensure you are familiar with your adjusted values before you pick up.
Quick Tips and Details
Want to know more?
Golf Ontario supplies a wealth of information, videos and charts on the World Handicapping System through their Handicap Resource Centre.