HANDICAP INDEX, COURSE HANDICAP AND PLAYING HANDICAP
Are you confused with these terms? What do they mean and why are they different? The short answer is the handicap is a numerical measure of a golfer’s potential that is used to enable players of varying abilities to compete against one another. Better players are those with the lowest handicaps. Here are the Handicap definitions – 1.0.
Handicap Index: Every 15 days the AGA sends you an updated Handicap Index. This number is calculated by the best 8 scores of the last 20 scores posted to GHIN. So, for example your calculated Handicap Index is 17.5. Note, the number is listed with a decimal point!
Course Handicap: A Course Handicap represents the number of strokes needed to play to par of the tees being played. This is the number used to adjust hole scores for net double bogey or net par. This number or Course Handicap gives you your “pops or dots” on your card. Note, this is a whole number e.g. Course Handicap is 16.
Playing Handicap: Now for partner games – your Playing Handicap can be the same or different than the Course Handicap. Yes, playing with partners requires another calculation. It is a percentage (e.g. 85%) of your combined Course Handicaps! Again, leveling the field for teams to compete with each other is done via Golf Genius.
For more in-depth explanations visit the following websites:
- The World Handicap System: https://www.whs.com
- Golf 101-How to calculate your handicap: https://www.golfwrx.com
- USGA handicap information: https://www.usga.org/handicapping.html